Page:The History of the Church & Manor of Wigan part 1.djvu/37

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History of the Church and Manor of Wigan.

favour, and we especially commend him to your good will, intimating with all truth to your holiness that he is entirely innocent of the crime that has been laid to his charge, wherefore we claim it of your love that you should put no faith in such detractors and evil prompters, and that you should be ready to treat him, if it please you, with all the more affection and favour because others have endeavoured to defame him and take away his character."[1]

Such a character given by a King to his subject after so many years of service, bears the highest testimony to his unswerving fidelity to his sovereign prince.

While awaiting the result of the reference to the French King, Henry thought it expedient to obtain a second dispensation from the new Pope, and John Maunsell was the confidential agent employed for this purpose. In a letter dated 6th February, 1262, one Roger Lovell, clerk, informs the King that Master John Maunsell has obtained for him the fullest release from his obligations.[2] This second bull was dated from Viterbo, v. Kal. Mar. (25 February.)[3]

The Archbishop of Canterbury, John Maunsell, and others, were enjoined to publish it in all churches with ringing of bells and lighted tapers; and it was accordingly proclaimed at Westminster on the 2nd of May, 1262.[4]

In July, 1262, Maunsell accompanied the King to France as keeper of the great seal, and returned with him to England in December following.[5]

The said John Maunsell, and Simon de Walton, bishop of Norwich, were entrusted with power, by the Pope, to absolve the King and his nobles from the oath they had taken at Oxford, which was repudiated and annulled by the Roman pontiff as an unlawful one. They were moreover furnished with authority to

  1. Rymer's Fœdera vol. i. p. 415.
  2. Royal Letters, temp. Hen. III. p. 206, No. 950.
  3. Rymer's Fœdera vol. i. p. 416.
  4. Blaauw's Barons' War, p. 96, note
  5. Eyton's Antiquities of Shropshire, vol. i. p. 339.