Sunday, 30 September 2012

Biographies of Henry II

Henry II Coat of Arms - Winchester Great Hall

 Henry II, King of England - Wikipedia

Henry II's Coats of Arms

The history of the life of King Henry the Second, and of the age in which he lived
 By George Lyttelton, 1st Baron Lyttelton
Volume 1
Volume 2
Volume 3
Volume 4
Volume 5
Volume 6

John Lingard (1837). A history of England from the first invasion by the Romans (to the Revolution in 1688).. For J. Mawman. pp. 7–

John Lingard (1825). The History of England, from the First Invasion by the Romans. Chapter V - Henry II: J. Mawman. pp. 269–.

William Stubbs (1876). The early Plantagenets / by William Stubbs. Longmans, Green.
William Stubbs (1886). The Early Plantagenets, by William Stubbs, 5th Edition. Longmans & green.

Norgate,Kate (1887) England Under the Angevin Kings (Macmillan)

Richard Barber (1978). The Devil's Crown: Henry II, Richard I, John. British Broadcasting Corporation. ISBN 978-0-563-17507-0.

John D. Hosler (2007). Henry II: A Medieval Soldier at War, 1147-1189. BRILL. pp. 1–. ISBN 978-90-04-15724-8

Wilfred Lewis Warren (1973). Henry II. University of California Press. pp. 6–. ISBN 978-0-520-02282-9.
(ISBN 10: 0520034945 / ISBN 13: 9780520034945 )

Percy H. Winfield (1 November 2000). The Chief Sources of English Legal History. Beard Books. pp. 102–. ISBN 978-1-58798-079-4.

Emilie Amt (1993). The Accession of Henry II in England: Royal Government Restored, 1149-1159. Boydell Press. ISBN 978-0-85115-348-3.

Richard Barber (2003). Henry Plantagenet. Boydell Press. ISBN 978-0-85115-993-5.

Martin Aurell (2007). The Plantagenet Empire: 1154-1224. Prentice Hall. ISBN 978-0-582-78439-0.

Lucienne Escoube (1976). Henri II Plantagenêt: comte d'Anjou, roi d'Angleterre. P. Petit.

Jean Marie (prêtre du Diocèse de Bayeux.) (1976). Henri II Plantagenêt: la gloire, le drame et la tristesse : récit historique. Éd. Heimdal.

Henry II Of England - Encyclopaedia Britannica 1911

Christopher Harper-Bill; Nicholas Vincent (2007). Henry II: New Interpretations. Boydell Press. pp. 1–. ISBN 978-1-84383-340-6.

David Hume (1819). The history of England from the invasion of Julius Caesar, to the Revolution in 1688. Printed for Christie & Son; Baldwin & Co.; Sharpe & Son; Akerman; Smith & Co. ... [and 40 others]. pp. 329–.

David Hume (1866). Questions on the student's Hume: A history of England. pp. 24–

Thomas Madox; Richard Fitzneale; Gervasius (of Tilbury.) (1769). The History and Antiquities of the Exchequer of the Kings of England, in Two Periods: To Wit, from the Norman Conquest, to the End of the Reign of K. John; and from the End of the Reign of K. John, to the End of the Reign of K. Edward II : Taken from Records. Together with a Correct Copy of the Ancient Dialogue Concerning the Exchequer, Generally Ascribed to Gervasius Tilburiensis : And a Dissertation Concerning the Most Ancient Great Roll of the Exchequer, Commonly Styled the Roll of Quinto Regis Stephani. W. Owen.

Thomas Madox (1711). The History and Antiquities of the Exchequer of the Kings of England .... Knaplock. pp. 105–

James Tyrrell (1700). The General History Of England, Both Ecclesiastical and Civil: Volume IIII. Rogers.

Robert Brady (1685). A Complete History of England: From the First Entrance of the Romans Under the Conduct of Julius Cæsar, Unto the End of the Reign of King Henry III.. In the Savoy, Printed by T. Newcomb for S. Lowndes.

William Harris Rule (1854). The Third Crusade: Richard I., Coeur de Lion, King of England ; with the Affairs of Henry II. and Thomas Becket.  J. Mason.

Kings and Queens
(12 part mini series for UK TV Channel 5)
(2002, Channel 5 Boradcasting Ltd)
Episode 2: "King Henry II (1133-1189)"
Presented by Nigel Spivey
  Part 1/3
  Part 2/3
  Part 3/3

John Horace Round (1899) Calendar of documents preserved in France: illustrative of the ..., Volume 1
(Eyre and Spottiswoode)

Robert William Eyton (1878). Court, household, and itinerary of King Henry II: instancing also the chief agents and adversaries of the king in his government, diplomacy, and strategy. Printed by Taylor and co.

Great Britain; Léopold Delisle; Élie Berger; Normandy (France). (1920). Recueil des actes de Henri II, roi d'Angleterre et duc de Normandie: concernant les provinces françaises et les affaires de France.  Imprimerie nationale.
Louis Francis Salzman (1914). Henry II. Mifflin.

John Tate Appleby (1962). Henry II: the vanquished king. Bell.

Richard Barber Henry Plantagenet. Boydell Press. ISBN 978-0-85115-993-5.

Amy Ruth Kelly (1978). Eleanor of Aquitaine and the Four Kings. Harvard University Press. pp. 1–. ISBN 978-0-674-24254-8.

Christopher Tyerman (1996). England and the Crusades, 1095-1588. Henry II - The King over the Water?: University of Chicago Press. pp. 36–. ISBN 978-0-226-82013-2.

The Court and Household of King Henry II, 1154-1189
Lally, J.

Acta of Henry II in progress

The monastic patronage of King Henry II in England by J. Martinson

George Lillie Craik; Charles MacFarlane (1846). The Pictorial History of England: Being a History of the People, as Well as a History of the Kingdom .. Henry II - Surnamed Plantagenet: Harper & Brothers. pp. 423–.

Henry II of England Images -

Woodstock Hunting Lodge, Palace and Manor

Henry I of England built a hunting lodge here and in 1129 he built seven miles of walls to create the first enclosed park, where lions and leopards were kept. The lodge became a palace under Henry's grandson, Henry II, who spent time here with his mistress, Rosamund Clifford. 

Woodstock is near to Oxford and close to  important medieval routes from Northampton to Salisbury, Winchester, and Southampton, and from London to St. David's through Gloucester, Hereford, and Brecon.  It was also very close to Eynsham Abbey.

Extract from

[For the following curious and highly interesting account of the ancient Palace of Woodstock we are indebted to Mr Dunkin whose History of Oxfordshire we have before alluded to they are from his Manuscript Collections and are therefore more valuable. Ed.]


The town and manor of Woodstock (anciently written Vudestoc, i.e. woody place) constituted a part of the royal demesne from remote antiquity, and was honoured with a regal residence in the Saxon times. King Ethelred is believed to have held a Wittenagemot here, and the illustrious Alfred here translated Boethius Consolatione Philosophiae.

Succeeding kings also regarded it as one of their chief palaces, and annexed thereunto a deer-fold for the pleasure of the chase, called in Domesday-book parca silveslris bestiarum. To this Henry I. in the eighteenth year of his reign appended an enclosure for a collection of wild beasts, which he procured from foreign princes; a novelty which at that time excited so much attention as to occasion the vivarium by way of eminence, to be denominated "the Park" and misled our ancient historian, Rous, to assert that it was the first formed in England.

Tenanted by the lion, leopard, lynx and William de Montpellier's gift "the wonderful porcupine" then first seen in the country and gravely asserted by Malmsbury"to be covered with sharp pointed quills, which it naturally shot at the dogs which hunted it," no wonder this place attained celebrity; though it does not appear to have greatly differed from the Saxon deer-fold, excepting in the smallness of its dimensions, the contrivance of dens, and being bounded by a lofty stone wall.

In 1123, King Henry I. removed his court from Dunstable to Woodstock, where on Wednesday, the third day after Epiphany, riding out in his deer-fold deeply engaged in conversation between the bishops of Lincoln and Salisbury, the former suddenly exclaiming "Lord king I die" fell from his horse and being carried home speechless died on the following day. -- Saxon Chron. sub an

In 1140 during the eventful struggle for the crown between King Stephen and the Empress Maud, Woodstock was garrisoned for the latter.

Her son, Henry II, resided much at Woodstock, and on an adjoining spot constructed a residence or tower for his adored charmer Rosamond, the second daughter of Walter, Lord Clifford, which he surrounded with a labyrinth, whose mazes no stranger could possibly unthread. This lady he is believed to have first seen in one of his visits to Godstow Nunnery, soon after he attained the English sceptre, and having triumphed over her virtue, to have here secluded her from the jealous eyes of his queen; a woman of tainted reputation, much older than himself, whom he had married solely from motives of ambition. In this "bower," it is said, he spent some of his happiest hours in wanton dalliance, and by Rosamond had two sons, William Longspe, afterwards Earl of Sarum, and Geoffry, Archbishop of York. To this amour New Woodstock owes its origin; and one of the public records thus gives the history of its foundation-- "The site was a waste place without the park of the king's manor, where his men at a great distance intercommoned, until the beginning of the reign of Henry II; but when that monarch, enamored of Rosamond Clifford, often sojourned at Woodstock Palace, found the accommodation of his retinue at so great a distance as Old Woodstock, attended with serious inconvenience with the unanimous assent and consent of his peers, he granted divers parcels of the said waste to different persons for the purpose of erecting houses thereon for the use of the men of the said king." The reserved rents were trifling, and under royal auspices the town increased and improved; and for a further benefit he granted them a market to be holden on Tuesday in every week, from which his bailiffs collected toll and rendered account thereof yearly at his Exchequer.

In 1163 Henry II held a great council at Woodstock, when divers grants of lands given to monasteries were confirmed; and in July Malcolm king of Scotland here did homage to king Henry and his son. Seven years after, 1170, prince Henry then lately crowned kept his Christmas here and in 1175 king Henry and his son held another great council in the week before Midsummer, wherein Geoffry the king's son by Rosamond, exhibited a dispensation from the pope for his birth and age, to enable him to exercise the office of bishop of Lincoln, to which he had been previously elected.

Stowe asserts the decease of Rosamond occurred in 1177, a period which admits of her having been the mistress of Henry for upwards of twenty years. Contemporary historians seem to have studiously thrown this amour into shade, and Bromptpn and Knighton -- X. Script 1151 and, 2035-- simply state that she died soon after the completion of the splendid apartments constructed for her use at Woodstock. Later chroniclers however, according to Hearne, upon the slender authority of a ballad of the fifteenth century, have propagated tales of tragic pathos, touching her concealment herein from the jealous queen, until in a luckless hour that dreaded personage discovered her at the outward door of the labyrinth, and instantly pursuing, was guided into the recess by a ball of silk which Rosamond dropt at the first alarm, a part of which adhering to her garment acted as a clue. That the queen at entering her apartment was struck with amazement at her beauty, but recovering from its effects, planted a dagger to her breast and compelled her to swallow poison.

In the absence of authentic documents it must now for ever remain doubtful whether she was "discovered, upbraided, and so dealt with" by the queen as more credible writers admit. Still it is universally agreed that her decease took place during one of the king's visits to the continent, and that on his return he was so distracted at her loss, that he hastened to her grave and commanded it to be opened that he might once more see and take a last farewell of her much loved remains. He then constructed a costly tomb, covered with a silk pall over the body which her parents had interred before the high altar in Godstow Nunnery, and caused wax lights to be placed around it and kept continually burning. Thus it remained fourteen years; when in the second year of his successor, Richard I., it was destroyed by order of Hugh, bishop of Lincoln, as unfit for the sight of the chaste sisters. The nuns, however, so much esteemed their late benefactress and companion that they re-interred her bones in their chapter-house, and themselves and their successors carefully preserved her cabinet and several other memorials till the dissolution of their society in the reign of Henry VIII. Her portrait is yet preserved in the manor house of Kidlington wi th that of Lord Clifford.

Notwithstanding the bower had lost its fair tenant, Woodstock was not deserted by the king, for he knighted his son Geoffry, Duke of Brittany, in the palace on the 8th of the ides of August in the following year, A.D. 1178, and in 1186, herein entertained William, king of Scotland and gave him his cousin, the lady Ermengard, daughter to Lord Beaumont in marriage; the ceremony was performed by the Archbishop of Canterbury in the royal chapel, and the nuptials celebrated with great magnificence.

Foot note: Henry embarked at Portsmouth, August 17 1177, for the continent to endeavour to retard his son Richard's marriage with Adeliza, the French king's daughter; and having spent six months in regulating his foreign dominions, landed July 15th following in England Hoveden. Annal. p. 320 Benedict Abbas, 61 p 230-242 
Footnote:  The following account is given from a book written in the fourteenth century-- "It bifel that she (Rosamond) died and was berid whyle the kynge was absent. When he came agen he wolde se the body in the grave. And whanne the grave was openned there sate an orrible tode on her brest between her teetyes, and a foul adder begirt her body about her middle, and she stanke so that the kynge ore none other might stande to se the orrible sight. Thanne the kynge dyde shette agen the grave, and dyde wryte theese two verssis upon ye grave --
 "Hie jacet in tomba rosa Mundi, non rosa Munda,
 non redolet sed oiet, quae redolere solet."

 King John also frequently resided here, and built a chapel for the use of the inhabitants of New Woodstock, wherein he founded a chantry in honour of "our lady" and endowed it for a chantry priest. A part of it still remains on the south side of the present church as noticed by the author of "Woodstock". Its revenues were increased by a small endowment of Henry VI.

Woodstock was visited by King Henry III in 1228 and 1235; three years after being again resident at the palace, he narrowly escaped assassination. A priest, named Ribbaud, who was either insane or feigned himself so, climbed through a window by night into the chamber of the king and queen. He was discovered while entering by Margaret Bysett, and taken to Oxford where he was torn in pieces by wild horses. Henry again resided here in 1241, and at the feast of the assumption of the Virgin invited hither and entertained Alexander, king of Scotland, and most of the English nobility, with great splendour. This monarch gave the tithe of Woodstock Park to Godstow Nunnery. Cart 15 Hen III. 7 

Edward I. called a parliament at Woodstock in 1275. A.D. 1301, herein was bom Edmund, his second son, by queen Margaret, called from thence Edmund of Woodstock.

In December, 1326, Isabella, queen of Edward II., then triumphant, caused divers royal games to be here celebrated.

Edward III. was much attached to this place and his son Edward, termed the Black Prince as well as Thomas his sixth son, were born at Woodstock. In honour of the latter event, solemn jousts and tournaments were here held, which were attended by great numbers of the nobility. The court of this monarch and his successor, Richard II, were graced by Geoffry Chaucer, a native of this place, and the first poet of the age. His house was situated at the right angle of an area before the present usual entrance to the Park, but the whole was pulled down about sixty years back, excepting a small fragment, and a portion of some outhouses now forming part of a malthouse.

Richard II. was frequently here; and in the thirteenth year of his reign, A.D. 1389, kept his Christmas at the palace, when a tournament was held in the Park, at which John Hastings, Earl of Pembroke, then only seventeen years of age, was unfortunately slain by John St. John, the lance slipping pierced his body, and causing his bowels to gush out.

Most of the succeeding kings of England occasionally visited Woodstock; and Henry VI. granted a charter of incorporation in 1453, although it had previously been a borough by prescription. Henry VII. added considerably to the buildings of the palace, particularly the front and principal gate, on which was his name, and an English rhyme, importing that he was the founder. It was in this gatehouse, according to Warton, that princess, afterwards Queen Elizabeth, was imprisoned. The apartment in which she lodged remained, until taken down by Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, as specified in a former number; its original arched roof was formed of Irish oak, curiously carved, and painted blue, with gilded ornaments. 

The visits of Queen Elizabeth and James I. are amply detailed in the "progresses" of those monarchs, published by Nicholls. In the civil wars of the seventeenth century, the palace was defended by Captain Samuel Fawcet with much skill and courage, who intended to have buried himself beneath its ruins, had it not been surrendered by commissioners from the king.

In 1649, after the decollation of King Charles I., commissioners were sent hither for the purpose of surveying the royal property. These fanatics profaned the principal apartments in the most improper manner. But their triumph was soon interrupted by a combination of strange events, which filled that credulous age with wonder, then believed to be caused by the Devil, but afterwards discovered to be contrived by the ingenuity of a humorous royalist, who had procured the situation of secretary to the commissioners. The details by the pen of the resident clergyman, Mr. Widdows, may be found in Plot's Nat Hist c. 8 38-45.

Cromwell allotted the building to three persons: two of them, about 1652, pulled down their portions for the sake of the stone; but the third suffered his tore main which consisted of the gatehouse abovementioned and some adjoining ruinous buildings. After the restoration of King Charles II it reverted to the crown and was inhabited by Lord Lovelace for several years.

The manor and park remained in the crown till the 4th of Queen Anne, when her Majesty, with the concurrence of Parliament, granted all the interest of the crown in the honour and manor of Woodstock and hundred of Wootton, to John, Duke of Marlborough, and his heirs, as a reward for his eminent military services against the enemies of his country, by the service of presenting, on the 2nd of August in every year, for ever to her Majesty and her successors, at Windsor, one standard or colours with three fleur-de-lis painted thereon, as an acquittance for all manner of rents, suits and services due to the crown, which custom is still scrupulously performed. The ruins of the old palace were taken down by Sarah, Dutchess of Marlborough, at the recommendation of Lord Treasurer Godolphin.
-- Dunkin's MSS. Collections for Oxfordshire.

 Other References

Thomas Miller (1839). Fair Rosamond; or, The days of king Henry ii. pp. 19–.

Agnes Strickland (1841). Matilda of Flanders. Eleanora of Aquitaine. Lea & Blanchard. pp. 269–

William Fordyce Mavor; Woodstock Blenheim palace (1820). New description of Blenheim [&c., by W.F. Mavor.. [on large paper. cm.20].]. pp. 94–

Reuben Percy; John Timbs (1826). The Mirror of literature, amusement, and instruction. J. Limbird. pp. 9–

Sir Walter Scott (1832). Woodstock, or, The cavalier: a tale of the year sixteen hundred and fifty-one. Baudry's Foreign Library. pp. 22–.

 Edward Francis Finden; William Finden; Sir Walter Scott; Charles Tilt, John Martin (1834). Landscape Illustrations of the Waverley Novels: Ivanhoe to Woodstock. C. Tilt. pp. 79–.

Arboricultural Journal: The International Journal of Urban Forestry
Volume 5,Issue 3, 1981

Thomas Keightley (1841). The History of England: In two volumes. Fair Rosamund Note G: Longman. pp. 555–.

The History of England. assignment from Mr. Knapton. 1757. pp. 326–.

Alison Weir (2011). Eleanor Of Aquitaine: By the Wrath of God, Queen of England. Rosamund de Clifford: Random House. pp. 171–. ISBN 978-1-4464-4902-8.

Edward Marshall (1873). The Early History of Woodstock Manor and Its Environs: In Bladon, Hensington, New Woodstock, Blenheim; with Later Notices. Visits of Becket to Woodstock: J. Parker and Company. pp. 59–.

John Henry Parker; William Grey (1842). A Guide to the Architectural Antiquities in the Neighbourhood of Oxford. J. H. Parker. pp. 115–.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Central Issue behind the Constitutions of Clarendon

The central issue consequent upon the Constitutions of Clarendon was Libertas Ecclesiae, the Freedom and Honour of the Church from state or temporal interference. This was what Becket claimed he was fighting for.

The Church claimed the right to the salvation of the souls of everyone in Christendom, which meant controlling their behaviour and thoughts. The state claimed authority over all temporal matters. Becket believed he was protecting the Church from the tyranny of Henry II. Henry declared Becket to be a traitor in respect of his feudal rights as king to be the supreme authority in his kingdom.

The historian, Lyttelton, a strong believer in the rights of Parliament, took a contrary view to Becket's efforts in this direction.
Extract from

Nor had the cause he maintained the least connexion with their liberty we suppose that their liberty consisted in the church and all churchmen independent on state according to the principles of Gregory the Seventh. This most evidently appears from  the account I have given of the whole process of long dispute with the crown on the authority of his letters and those of his friends and the companions of his exile. But as some persons think any opposition to a king a struggle for liberty so others wish to recommend this prelate in that light to the esteem and favor of those who would not respect him as a martyr for popery in its most extravagant claims. A late writer more ingenious than accurate or impartial speaks of him as a guardian of rights of the subject and standing in the breach against an arbitrary power which would have ever turned them. One should imagine from these words that the Constitutions of Clarendon had been ordinances imposed not by the whole legislature but by the arbitrary power of King Henry the Second. Whereas they not only were enacted by the advice and authority of parliament but after a strict enquiry into what was the law and custom of the land before that time which these statutes did no more than revive and confirm. The preamble to them says 

in præscentia ejusdem regis facta est ista recordatio vel recognitio ejusdam partis consuetudinum et libertatum et dignitatum antecessorum suorum videlicet, regis Henrici avi sui et aliorum qua observari et teneri debent in regno. 

What Becket opposed even after this act of parliament to which he had consented is here declared by the voice of the whole legislature to be a recognition of customs and liberties and dignities of the king's ancestors namely of King Henry the First and others which ought to be observed and maintained in the realm. It was therefore the authority of the law and of the legislature of England not the lawless will or the arbitrary power of the king against which Becket directed that opposition for which he has been sainted. The great Charter [Magna Carta] does indeed begin with a confirmation of the rights and liberties of the church 

Imprimis concessimus Deo et hac præsenti carta nostra confirmavimus pro nobis et hæredibus nostris in perpetuum li quod Anglicana ecclesia libera fit et habeat omnia jura sua integra et libertates suas illæsas. 

But it must be supposed that these rights and liberties of the church were defined and limited by the laws and customs of the realm and by that right which is inherent in the supreme magistrate of every civil society to administer justice impartially to all his people. That under the notion of ecclesiastical liberty the clergy meant dominion appears undeniably from numberless facts in those times and is plainly declared by a clergyman contemporary with Becket who speaking of the agreement between King Stephen and Henry Plantagenet which as it was made by the mediation of the bishop of Winchester he supposed would confirm the pretensions of the church in their whole extent cries out with a kind of rapture Clerus mine demum dominabitur. But Henry in concurrence with the whole legislature at the council of Clarendon opposed the accomplishment of this prediction and as far as it could be done without an entire reformation from popery resisted that dominion.

On what foundation the abovementioned writer affirms that the whole nation at the accession of King Henry the Second was in the utmost consternation lest he should avail himself of the title of Conquest and set aside the rights of the people in imitation of the founder of the Norman line I am at a loss to discover. Not one of the many contemporary writers says any thing like it but all their histories are full of the national joy on that event. His treaty with Stephen was an unsurmountable bar to any title by conquest if he had ever thought of setting up so wild a claim which it was impossible he could do as he had not even a victory on which to ground it. While he was in arms against Stephen he had been chiefly supported by the English themselves and after the death of that king the whole nation unanimously submitted to his government without a blow being struck against his right of succession.

Libertas Ecclesiae or Freedom of the Church

A very important issue in and one of the central themes which spanned across the whole of the Medieval period was the concept of Libertas Ecclesiae or Freedom of the Church which spread across the whole of Western Christendom. In England this importance finds itself expressed in various coronation charters of its kings and very explicitly in Magna Carta (1215) in clause 1 (and clause 63, and implied in other clauses) of that charter

Henry I Coronation Charter or Charter of Liberties

In this Charter in Clause 1 Henry I promises
Know that by the mercy of God and the common counsel of the barons of the whole kingdom of England I have been crowned king of this said kingdom; and because the kingdom has been oppressed by unjust exactions, I, through fear of God and the love which I have toward you all, in the first place make the holy church of God free, so that I will neither sell nor let out to farm, nor on the death of archbishop or bishop or abbot will I take anything from the church’s demesne or from its men until the successor shall enter it.

And I take away all the evil customs by which the kingdom of England was unjustly oppressed; which evil customs I here set down in part:
Magna Carta Clause 1

1. In the first place we have granted to God, and by this our present charter confirmed for us and our heirs forever, that the English church shall be free, and shall have its rights entire, and its liberties inviolate; and we will that it be thus observed; which is apparent from this that the freedom of elections, which is reckoned to be of the greatest necessity and importance to the English church, we, of our pure and unconstrained will, did grant, and did by our charter confirm and did obtain the ratification of the same from the lord Pope Innocent III, before the quarrel arose between us and our barons: and this we will observe, and our will is that it be observed in good faith by our heirs forever. We have also granted to all the free men of our realm, for us and our heirs for ever, all the liberties written below, to have and to hold to them and their heirs, of us and our heirs.

Origin of Libertas Ecclesiae

From whence does this Liberty arise? What precedents does it have? Why is it possible? Throughout the Medieval period the issue of the Freedom of the Church arose repeatedly. And kings' promises were broken again and again.

In Christian cosmography there are two kingdoms The Kingdoms of Heaven and Earth. God rules directly in Heaven, and He has delegated the Kingdom on Earth to be ruled by Men.

The Kingdom on Earth under the Gelasian Theory of the Two Swords is itself divided into two realms or swords: Sacerdotium (the Spiritual realm) and Imperium (the Secular or Worldly  realm).Of the two realms the senior or more important of the two is the Spiritual one over and above the Secular realm. God has made the ruler of the Spiritual realm on Earth  and placed the Pope. The Secular realm is further divided into Empires (grouping of minor kingdoms, principalities and duchies), and independent Kingdoms.The two realms are meant to work in partnership: the stronger realm [imperium] is meant to protect the weaker [sacerdotium]; that is its prime duty. It is allowed to bear arms in executing this duty. The weaker realm [sacerdotium] is meant to pray for the souls of the Emperors and Kings, and give moral guidance, and to strive for peace on Earth. The priesthood do not bear arms.

Implicit in the authority and rulership of the Sacerdotium above the Imperium is the fact that the priesthood, Popes or Archbishops anoint Emperors and Kings. The very legal authority to rule is granted by the Church to the King or Emperor during the coronation ceremony. The classical precedence for this is Zadok the Priest crowning Solomon in the biblical account of the anointing of Solomon: 1 Kings 1:38-40]

Popes and Emperora/Kings each have followers or subordinates over whom they rule, and expect complete allegiance and obedience from. The subornates owe a duty of service to their overseers.

Amidst the Kingdom on Earth there is a hugely evil force, led by Satan and the Fallen Angels who will try to tempt Man into commiting sin, causing his to go astray. The Church is there to provide Man with moral guidance how to avoid this temptation and to seek salvation of his soul before he dies, and his damnation becomes irrevocable..All of Mankind priesthood or princes are subject to the temptations of the Devil.

The Church [sacerdotium] is Free from interference in its internal affairs from the Secular [imperium] authority because it is the senior partner. The junior partner may not enslave or rule over, or oversee the senior partner. that's the Theory of Libertas Ecclesiae.

Kings however may include representatives of the Church to come to their Councils to discuss matters concerning the running of their kingdoms, to seek their moral guidance and listen to their advice. Kings may even recommend who is appointed to the senoir positions in the church hierarchy in their lands. But ultimately it is the Church who elects who is appointed to these posts. Kings may grant land and money, and endow monasteries for the good their souls to sustain the priesthood in its role. But ultimately the Church is Free from interference by Kings.

In support of the latter thesis John of Salisbury describes in Policratus Book V Chapter 2 a classical reference which would have strongly confirmed his point of view this had he not falsely invented the classical reference.

Johannes (Sarisberiensis) (1990). Cary Nederman, tr and ed. John of Salisbury: Policraticus. Book V Chapter 1 ->: Cambridge University Press. pp. 65. ISBN 978-0-521-36701-1.

In which he claims and ascribes Plutarch has written a letter to the Emperor Trajan explaining what a Republic [or State] is and describing that it is ruled by rational and moral forces, and that there exists a State religion whose vicars or prefects have a moral authority and guidance over the whole Body of State, and that Emperors should heed this. Although a false reference to the classics this does not overule the fact that the Roman Cathoici Church believed itself to be superior to the Secular authorities in the varous kingdoms of Europe..

John of Salisbury was a strong advocate for Freedom of the Church, and supported Thomas Becket throughout his career and cause.

If Thomas Becket fought and was martyred for anything it was for Libertas Ecclesiae.

References B

A Companion To John Of Salisbury Chapter 8
Cary J.Nederman: John of Salisbury's Political Theory

John of Salisbury and Pseudo-Plutarch
H. Liebeschütz
Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes
Vol. 6 (1943), pp. 33-39
Published by: The Warburg Institute
DOI: 10.2307/750420
Stable URL:

Kate Langdon Forhan; Cary Joseph Nederman (23 July 2013). Medieval Political Theory: A Reader: The Quest for the Body Politic 1100-1400. Routledge. pp. 41. ISBN 978-1-136-12356-6.

The importance of the organism in the political theory of John of Salisbury
Tilman Struve

Cary J. Nederman
History of Political Thought
Vol. 8, No. 2 (Summer 1987), pp. 211-223
Published by: Imprint Academic Ltd.
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References from Blog Constitutions of Clarendon

Gelasian Theory or the Theory of the Two Swords -

Libertas Ecclesiae -

Henry I's Charter of Liberties -

Magna Carta (1215 and 1225) - Chapters 1 (and 63): The Freedom of the English Church

Central Issue behind the Constitutions of Clarendon -

Table of Contents to Blog -

References A

Constitutions of Clarendon: Libertas Ecclesiae

W. L. Warren (1977). Henry II. University of California Press. pp. 242–. ISBN 978-0-520-03494-5. 

Christopher Harper-Bill; Nicholas Vincent (2007). Henry II: New Interpretations. Boydell Press. pp. 7–. ISBN 978-1-84383-340-6.  

Why Religious Liberty (and Thomas Becket) Really Matters - Online Library of Law & Liberty 

Andrew Lythall (2009). How Did the Murder of St. Thomas Becket Affect the Relationship Between Church and State in England 1170-1215?. GRIN Verlag. ISBN 978-3-640-45817-2.

William Stubbs (1867). Gesta regis Henrici Secundi Benedicti abbatis: the chronicle of the reigns of Henry II. and Richard I. A.D. 1169-1192; known commonly under the name of Benedict of Peterborough. Was Henry II a Tyrant?: Longmans, Green, Reader, and Dyer. pp. 22–.

R. Jason Richards, A Primer on the Origins and Implications of The Thomas Becket Affair, 1 LINCOLN MEM’L U. L. REV. 145 (2014). 
A Primer on the Origins and Implications of The Thomas Becket Affair