1. British and Saxon Periods

tullian, who, early in the third century, wrote (Adv. Jud., vii.; ANF, iii. 158) that Christianity had penetrated into regions of Britain inaccessible to the Romans. The history of the British Church wag thenceforth that of early Christianity everywhere. It furnished victims to persecution, one of whom, Alban of Verulam (q.v.), was early canonized; it sent repre sentatives to councils, for example, that of Arles (314); and it produced the heretic Pelagius (q.v.; for this entire period see Celtic Church). The Saxon period dates from the arrival, in 597, of the monk Augustine, who had been despatched by Gregory I. (see Anglo-Saxons, Conversion of the; and AUGUSTINE, SAINT, OF CANTERBURY). As archbishop of Canterbury Augustine came into conflict with the bishops of the old British, or Celtic, Church; but the Roman type of Christianity pre- vailed over the Celtic, and crowded it out. The differences concerned the date of Easter, the mode of the tonsure, and allegiance to Rome, the Britons being determined to remain independent of the Roman rule. Augustine called the British bishops to a colloquy on the Severn, but they refused to acknowledge his authority and Augustine invoked and predicted judgment upon them. Christianity spread rapidly in southern England, and was introduced into Northumbria by Paulinus, and made the permanent religion by the labors of St. Aidan of Ireland. Under Theodore of Tarsus (consecrated archbishop of Canterbury in 668) the English episcopate was more fully organized, and the dioceses were grouped around Canterbury as the central and superior see. Theodore held synods and treated the British Christians in a high-handed way. During this period monasteries were founded; and here and there a solitary form, like C>3edmon, the monk of Whitby; or Bede, " the father of learning "; or Alcuin the scholar, called to the Court of Charlemagne; or Alfred, the Christian king and patron of letters, stands out prominently. The Danish invaders of the eighth and ninth centuries interrupted the services, and devastated the property of churches and monastic orders. But the judicious wisdom and enlightened zeal of Dunstan (959-988), the first of many English ecclesiastical statesmen, repaired their ravages and effected a severer discipline and a more compact organization of the clergy. He guided the State during the nine years' reign of the invalid Eldred. During the Anglo-Saxon period papal rule won acknowledgment in increasing measure. Members of the royal family went to Rome, and Peter's pence was paid to the Roman treasury. Lender the later Saxon kings the Church sank into ignorance and corruption. There were no synods; the priests were married or lived in concubinage; and simony was freely practised.

The Norman period dates from the conquest of England by William the Conqueror in 1066 under a banner blessed by Alexander II. It is distinguished by the complete vassalage into which the Church went to the papal see, the subjection of


the State to ecclesiastical domination, and the growing corruption of the clergy. But the State in turn struggled to emancipate itself a. The from ecclesiastical fetters by legislation, Norman and the people to rid themselves Period. of clerical incompetency and scandal by a reform in the life and doctrine of the Church. William the Conqueror removed all the Saxon bishops except Wulfatan of Worcester and replaced them with Norman prelates. He practically chose all ecclesiastical dignitaries himself, and insisted upon the right of investiture as his royal prerogative. He withstood the claims of Gregory VIII. to rights over England as his fief. Lanfranc (q.v.), archbishop of Canterbury (107010891, secured the institution of special ecclesiastical courts, in which all ecclesiastical cases were tried. After Lanfranc, archbishop after archbishop contended with royalty, now for the superior rights of the Church and papal investiture, now for the liberties of the people. Lanfranc's successor Anselm (q.v.; 1093-1109), appointed by William Rufus, fought the battle of investiture and went into exile rather than receive it from the king. Under his primacy the canons against clerical marriage and concubinage (,1102, 1107, 1108) were renewed by synodal action, but Eadmer reports that " almost the greater and the better part of the English clergy " were the sons of priests. The next great archbishop- Thomas Becket (q.v.; 1162-1170), contended with Henry II., who sought to reform the abuses growing out of clerical exemption from civil jurisdiction. Becket's attitude called forth the famous Constitutions of Clarendon in 1164, which forbade papal briefs to be received in England without the royal consent, or prelates to go to Rome without the same consent. Though Becket was murdered, victory did not rest with the king. It remained for the State as a national body to come into subjection to the ecclesiastical power of Rome. This was accomplished during the reign of John (see Langton, Stephen; and Innocent III.).


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