Page:The History of the Church & Manor of Wigan part 1.djvu/26

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History of the Church and Manor of Wigan.

to evade it; and his strictures were in some measure prompted, no doubt, by the fact that Maunsell had lately offended the monks of St. Albans, of whom the learned historian was one, by supporting the claims of his own brother-in-law, Sir Geoffrey de Childerwick, against the Abbot and his Convent, in a controversy concerning certain rights of warren in the land of St. Albans. The said Sir Geoffrey, who held under of the church of St. Albans, had married Clarissa, the daughter of a country priest and sister of John Maunsell.

One of the best traits in Maunsell's character was his fidelity to his friends. To the King he was ever consistently faithful; and we have an example of his courage in supporting his friends in trouble in the case of Henry de Bath and Philip Lovel, the King's Justices, who had fallen under the royal displeasure about this time, and who were indebted to Maunsell for the saving of their lives. One of them, Henry de Bath, appeared before a grand parliament held at London on 17th February, 1251, where he was fiercely attacked by his enemies. The King, we are told, was in the highest degree enraged against him, and rose up saying, 'Any one who shall slay Henry de Bath shall be quit of his death, and I declare him quit of the same," after which he hurriedly departed from the assembly. De Bath's accusers were ready to fall upon him, but they were restrained by Maunsell, who thus addressed them: "My lords and friends, We ought not to act upon that which is said over hastily and in hot anger. When the moment of resentment is past, perhaps the King will be sorry that he has given utterance to such angry words. Moreover, if you do any harm to this Henry, here are the Bishop of London and his other friends, these Knights, of whom the former will take spiritual, and the latter temporal vengeance";[1] and so his life was spared.

In this year, 1251, Maunsell was sent into Scotland to treat

  1. Matthew Paris.