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And he compiled that ritual so well known in English Church history as the Use of Sarum.
St. Osmond (for he was canonized in the fifteenth century) had a most unsaintly successor in Roger, who obtained Henry Beauclerc's favour by the rapidity with which he got through a mass; that prince saying no man could be so fit a cha soldiers as one who performed his work with such dispatch. It appears from Villanueva's Memoirs that this accomplishment has lost none of its value in later times; that in Spain, immediately before its revolution, a mass of twenty minutes was thought intolerable, even by persons who had the reputation of respecting the ceremonies of their church: there were some who got through the service in twelve minutes, others in nine; and two priests who, aspiring to greater perfection, hurried it over, the one in seven minutes, the other in five, were proceeded against for irreverence. Roger was more prudent: chance had thrown this opportunity of recommending himself in his way, Henry, serving under his brother William, happening to enter his church near Caen, as it lay on his road. And when the royal youth, says William of Newbury, said 'follow me,' he adhered as closely to him as Peter did to his heavenly Lord uttering a similar command; for Peter leaving his vessel followed the King of Kings ; he leaving his church followed the prince, and being appointed chaplain
to him and his troops, became a blind leader of the blind.' The old historian might have added that many men who have attained high stations by better deserts have not employed their wealth and power so well; for this prelate, though literally of the church militant, was a magnificent person ; and among other works of the same kind rebuilt the church at Sarum, which had been injured by storms and fire, and beautified it so greatly, that it yielded to none in England at that time. His fortunes are as illustrative of his age, and as tragic, as Wolsey's. Having served Henry ably and faithfully, bringing into order the affairs of his household, when prince, and of his treasury when king, and possessing the full favour and entire confidence of that monarch, who seldom misbestowed either, he sided with the usurper Stephen, in violation of his duty and of his oath ; became one of the castle-builders of that turbulent and miserable reign, and received the righteous reward of unprincipled ambition. Stephen seems to have dealt with him as Turkish governors with the Jews when they let the sponge fill before they. squeeze. By God's birth, the usurper said more than once to his companions, 'I would give him half England if he asked for it: till the time be ripe, he shall tire of asking before I tire of giving. When the time was ripe, he took advantage of an accidental quarrel between the bishop's retainers and those of
the Earl of Britany concerning quarters, to seize Roger and his nephew the Bishop of Lincoln, and the chancellor, who, though called his nephew, is significantly said to have been something more. The castles which he had built at Malmsbury and Sherbourne, and that which he had strengthened at Sarum, were surrendered to the king; but that which he had erected at Devizes was defended by another member of the episcopal family, his nephew the Bishop of Ely. There are two statements concerning the means by which he was reduced to give it up; one is, that Roger voluntarily declared he would take no food till the castle was surrendered to the king, thinking that, for natural compassion and gratitude, the prelate would overcome his own haughty spirit, and make the sacrifice which was required. But this, though upon the highest contemporary authority, is less consistent with the circumstances and character of all parties, and therefore less probable than the statement that Stephen ordered Roger and the Bishop of Lincoln to be kept without food till the castle should be given up, and moreover threatened to hang the chancellor. The Bishop of Ely must have very well known that his uncle would not, like a Bramin, commit suicide in this manner, and in that knowledge he might safely have held out. But if the threat were from the king, Stephen, though less cruel than many of his contemporaries, was yet a man to keep his word in such a case; and, therefore, after they had been three days in this fearful fast, he surrendered to save their lives. Roger, however, was broken hearted, and when, in the course of a few months, he died, his fate was ascribed not to the inveterate ague from which, in Malmsbury's words, he escaped by the kindness of death, but to grief and indignation for the injuries he had received. This remarkable man had then cause to wish that he had performed the service deliberately and devoutly when Prince Henry entered his church, and that he had employed his life in laying up treasures for himself, not upon earth, but in heaven, where thieves do not break through and steal. The plate and money which had been saved from the king's rapacity, he had hoped to convert to his own use in the other world, by obtaining credit for its amount in due form, according to the Romish belief, upon the celestial treasury: and having devoted it to the completion of his church at Sarum, he placed it upon the altar, in the hope that Stephen might be restrained by fear of sacrilege from laying hands on it. But of this also he was plundered, and his last earthly affliction was to see himself disappointed in this last hope of salvation. To me,' says William of Malmsbury, it appears that God exhibited him to the rich as an example of the instability of fortune, in order that men should not trust in uncertain riches. Was there any thing VOL. XXXIV. NO. LXVIII.
adjacent to his possessions which he desired? he would obtain it either by treaty or purchase; and if that failed, by force. He erected splendid mansions on all his estates with unrivalled magnificence, in merely maintaining which his successors will toil in vain. His cathedral he dignified to the utmost with matchless adornments, and buildings in which no expense was spared. It was wonderful to behold in this man what abundant authority attended, and flowed, as it were, to his hand. He was sensible of his power, and somewhat more harshly than beseemed such a character, abused the favour of heaven. But,' says the contemporary historian, “the height of his calamity, even I cannot help commiserating; that, wretched as he appeared to many, there were very few who pitied him, so much envy and hatred had his excessive power drawn on him, and undeservedly too, from some of the very persons whom he had advanced to honour.'
Such prelates as this Bishop of Sarum must not be condemned too severely; at least, while their ambition is rightly imputed to them as a sin for its inconsistency with the spirit and duties of their profession, it should be remembered how beneficially their profession modified the worldly passion. We compare them, for condemnation, with what, as Christian ministers, they ought to have been; but in extenuation they should also be compared with the temporal barons of their age. If Roger had been fortunate enough to have had a biographer such as Wolsey found in his faithful Cavendish, unquestionably it would then have appeared that there was much to admire in a man who, in the best regulated of the Norman reigns, held the highest judicial office in this kingdom, brought the treasury into order after Rufus's prodigal and reckless government, and was entrusted with full power by a most able and discerning king during his own frequent and long absences in Normandy. He resembled Wolsey not less in his love of letters than in his unrivalled magnificence; for it is expressly stated that when his two nephews were raised to the sees of Lincoln and Ely, it was because they were men of noted learning and industry by virtue of the education which he had given them.
Roger left the church which he was rebuilding incomplete; and in that state it probably remained under the two succeeding bishops, the first of whom was embroiled in the disputes between Becket and the king, taking the constitutional part against that high-minded and unforgiving primate; and the second went with Coeur-de-Lion to the Holy Land, there, like that good Christian the Bishop D. Hieronymo, that perfect one with the shaven crown,' to smite the Saracens, for the love of charity, with both hands. Under Herbert Poore, the third in succession, pauper in name, but rich in possessions, it was determined to remove the
cathedral. Two or three centuries ago, cities were as commonly and easily removed in Spanish America, as governments are at this time changed, and constitutions framed in the same countries. There was little inconvenience in those American removals, and no other expense than that of the compulsory labour which the unhappy Indians performed. But the reasons must have been weighty which induced the clergy of Sarum to this determination. The church which Roger had rebuilt, though incomplete, is said to have been not inferior in beauty to any in England, at a time when ecclesiastical architecture had just attained perfection. To commence another building upon a new site was a work of such cost, that, wealthy as the bishop was, and largely as the liberality of the age might be counted on, it could not be effected without a heavy sacrifice on the part of the members of the church. The motives for this removal are specified in the bull whereby it was authorized. It was alleged, the Pope said,
that forasmuch as your church is built within the compass of the fortifications of Sarum, it is subject to so many inconveniences and oppressions, that you cannot reside in the same without great corporal peril; for being situated on a lofty place, it is, as it were, continually shaken by the collision of the winds, so that whilst you are celebrating the divine offices you cannot hear one another, the place itself is so noisy; and besides, the persons resident there suffer such perpetual oppressions, that they are hardly able to keep in repair the roof of the church, which is constantly torn by tempestuous winds: they are also forced to buy water at as great a price as would be sufficient to purchase the common drink of the country; nor is there any access open to the same without the license of the castellan. So that it happens that on Ash Wednesday, when the Lord's Supper is administered, at the time of synods and celebration of orders, and on other solemn days, the faithful being willing to visit the said church, entrance is denied them by the keepers of the castle, saying that thereby the fortress is in danger; besides, you have not there houses sufficient for you, whereby you are forced to rent several of the laity; and that on account of these and other inconveniences many absent themselves from the service of the said church.'
These inconveniences having been sufficiently proved, Pope Honorius authorized them to remove the church to a more convenient place,' but saving to every person, as well secular as ecclesiastical, his rights; and the privileges, dignities, and all the liberties of the said church, to reinain in their state and force.' And if any one should presume to infringe, or rashly to oppose, the tenor of this grant, be it known to him,' said the Pope, that he will incur the indignation of Almighty God, and of the blessed Saints, Peter and Paul, his Apostles. To St. Peter and St. Paul it should seem to be of
little importance whether Salisbury Cathedral stood upon the hill at
Old Sarum, or in the valley two miles distant. But it was of great importance to the clergy of that church that they should be settled where there was no divided authority; and to the country also it was of great moment that the cathedral should be fixed where a city might grow round it, which the want of water rendered impossible at the former site. Wherefore then had the former site been chosen? The reason, though it has not been assigned, may with much probability be conjectured. The cathedral at Sarum was founded soon after the conquest, when the government, which depended solely upon its own strength, was far from secure, and the people, suffering grievously under their new lords, were at any time ready for revolt if a leader had arisen. Herman, the founder, had connected himself with the Norman government; and his attempted usurpation at Malmsbury may have made him as unpopular with the monks in that country, as this connection had made him with the West Saxons. It seems likely therefore that the site was chosen for the sake of protection from that castle, the vicinity of which became afterwards a sufficient reason for abandoning it. The natural disadvantages of the spot must have been well known, but disregarded for the sake of security. That motive had ceased to operate; the local inconveniences were irremediable, even if the adventitious ones had been obviated; and the removal therefore was effected, the Pope, as has been seen, reserving to the people of Old Sarum their rights, one of which is pretty remarkable at this day.
A full account of the new foundation was drawn up by the dean William de Wanda. It was the foundation of Salisbury as well as of the cathedral; and as we have no other record so circumstantial of the origin of an English city, the detail possesses more than a local interest. The site to which they removed could not have been better chosen in all respects; the land was part of the bishop's temporalities, a broad vale where the Wily and the Bourne join the Avon, and lose their names in that clear and beautiful stream. The soil is a fine black mould resting on a substratum of gravel; so that, with all the advantage of being well watered, it is at once dry and fertile, and near enough the Ďowns to enjoy the benefit of that salubrious air, which renders Wiltshire eminently one of the healthiest counties in Great Britain. Attracted by these advantages, persons enough had already settled there to form a village at Harnham, now a suburb. The canons and vicars engaged to contribute each one-fourth of his income, for seven years, toward the expenses of erecting the new cathedral. But this was not the only share of the burden which they took upon themselves; their own habitations were also to be built upon an agreement, that the heirs of the first builders only,