Saturday, 3 November 2012

Lyttleton's Comments: Constitutions Clause 4

George Lyttelton (1767). The History Of The Life of King Henry the Second, Sandby and Dodsley. pp. 140–.

It is unlawful for archbishops bishops and any dignified clergymen of the realm to go out of the realm without the king's license, and if they go they shall, if it so please the king, give security that they will not either in going, saying or returning procure any evil or damage to the king or the kingdom.

This was enacted to prevent the too frequent and dangerous intercourse between the pope and English prelates. I agree with Mr Selden that the words in the original constitution personae regni should be translated dignified clergymen. See Titles of Honour p. 732, 733. It takes in abbots, priors, the king's chaplains and all clergymen who held of him in chief, but does not here I think extend to all parsons or beneficed clergymen as the word is commonly translated.

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