Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 32.djvu/93

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Lanfranc
Lanfranc
87

cruciform, with two western towers, a central lantern, and a nave of eight bays; the ceilings were illuminated, and it was furnished with gorgeous vestments. He gradually and by gentle means brought the members of his chapter to forsake their worldly and luxurious ways of living, raised their number to 150, and made the constitution of the house completely monastic, placing it under a prior instead of a dean, and probably causing canons to take monastic vows, for previously the chapter seems to have been of a mixed character. He also either separated, or confirmed the separation of, the estates of the convent from those of the archbishop. He built a palace for himself, and several good churches and houses on his estates. At Canterbury he also built two hospitals for the sick and poor of both sexes, and the church of St. Gregory, which he placed in the hands of regular canons, giving them charge of the poor in his hospitals. The foundation of this priory seems to have been the first introduction of regular canons into England. The church of Rochester Lanfranc made his special care [see under Gundulf]. His friendship with Scotland, abbot of St. Augustine's at Canterbury, enabled him quietly to take measures that lessened the independence of the monastery, and prepared the way for his attack on its privileges after the Conqueror's death.

In secular matters Lanfranc played a conspicuous part during the reign of the Conqueror. He was sometimes, as in the case of the dispute between Bishop Herfast and St. Edmund's Abbey [see under Baldwin, d 1098], commissioned by the king ti preside over a secular court. During one or more of the hing;s absences from England he was the principal vicegerent of the kingdom, a function subsequently annexed to the later office of the chief justicar, and so that title is sometimes assigned to him. While William was in Normandy in 1074-5 Lanfranc appears to have suspected that Roger, earl of Hereford, was unfaithful to the king, and when his suspicion was confirmed excommunicated the earl, and would not absolve him until he had thrown himself on the king's mercy. About the same time Earl Waltheof came to Lanfranc, and confessed that he had been drawn into the conspiracy of the Earls of Hereford and Norfolk. Lanfranc appointed him a penance, and bade him go and tell all to the king. In 1076 he visited Waltheof in prison, and used to speak warmly of hiss repentance and of his innocence of the crime for which he was put to death. Meanwhile, the earls having taken up arms, the leaders of the royal forces sent reports of their doings to Lanfranc, who wrote to the king the news of victory. Lanfranc is credited with encouraging William in 1082 to arrest Bishop Odo, his old opponent, to whom the king had given the earldom of Kent. The king scrupled to imprison 'a clerk,' but the archbishop answered merrily, 'It is no the Bishop of Bayeux whom you will arrest, but the Earl of Kent.' At the Whitsuntide court at Westminster in 1086 Lanfranc armed the king's youngest son, Henry, on receiving knighthood, as he had armed his brother Rufus on a like occasion. In September 1087 the news of the Conqueror's death filled him with such anguish that his monks feared that he would die.

As it pertained to Lanfranc's office to crown a new king, and probably also because he possessed great power and influence, his action at this crisis is represented as of paramount importance (see William Rufus, i. 10, ii. 459). When William Rufus came to him at Cantebury, bringing a letter in which the Conqueror had when dying expressed to his old minister his wish that William should succeed to his kingdom, Lanfranc appears to have hesitated; but being unwilling to prolong the interregnum he accepted William, and on the 26th crowned him at Westminster, receiving from him, in addition to the coronation oath, the promise that he would in all things be led by the archbishop's counsel. He attended the new king's court at Christmas, and ot must have been against his will that the king then reinstated Bishop Odo, the archbishop's implacable enemy, as Earl of Kent. On the death of Abbot Scotland in September 1087, Lanfranc renewed his attack on the independence of St. Augustine's, and hallowed as abbot Guy, apparently the king's nominee. The next day Lanfranc, accompanied by bishop Odo as Earl, wnet to the monastety, and demanded if the monks would accept Guy as their abbot. They refused. He bade all who would not submit to leave the house, and installed Guy. Most of the monks withdrew to the precincts of St. Mildred's Church, but the prior and some others were sent to prison. When dinner-time came most of the seceding monks, being humgry, made their peace, and promised obedience to the abbot; the rest Lanfranc sent to different monasteries until they grew submissive. Before long a conspiracy was made against Guy, and a monk named Columban, being brought before the archbishop, owned that he had intended to spay the abbot. On this Lanfranc caused him to be tied naked before the gate of the abbey and flogged in the presence of the people, and then bade that his cowl should be cut off and he should