Page:The History of the Church & Manor of Wigan part 1.djvu/19

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History of the Church and Manor of Wigan.

to defer the matter to another time, and when he had completed his arrangements for the defence of the borders during his absence, he returned to London. And here the bishop had also repaired with full purpose of pronouncing sentence of excommunication against John Maunsell in particular and against all the disturbers of his church and dignity.

When this was known to Maunsell he came to the King and resigned the benefice, upon which the King allowed the matter to drop. But Maunsell was immediately rewarded by having the richer benefice of Maidstone bestowed upon him by the King; and in the same year he was likewise presented to the well-endowed church of Hoveden. By this step, moreover, the bishop of Lincoln was pacified, and, at the King's request, he preached a sermon in which he commended the humility of all concerned.[1]

We next hear of Parson Maunsell in a military capacity. Having accompanied the King to France, he was with him in his French wars; and in the battle, fought at Xantoigne, in 1242, where many were taken prisoners on both sides, among those captured by the English was one Peter Orige, high steward to the Count de Boulogne, who was personally taken by John Maunsell. On this occasion he is described by Matthew Paris as "a clerk and special councillor of the English King who was reckoned not the least among brave men." Maunsell seems to have remained with the King during the winter months in his inglorious retreat at Bordeaux.

In the following spring some feeble attempts were made by the English to recover lost ground, and the towns of certain rebel Gascons within the territories of Bordeaux were reduced to subjection by those who remained faithful to the English King. At this time there was a certain monastery called Verines, where the King's rebellious subjects had taken refuge, and had made the church into a castle, or rather a robber's cave; and the learned monk of St. Albans, who gives the fullest history of these events, tells us that "while this fortress was being unsuccessfully besieged

  1. Matthew Paris, sub anno.