Page:Vactican as a World Power.djvu/187

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Anger and dejection spread among the people. John swore venge- ance, and carried out his oath with terrible cruelty. Well-nigh the whole clergy disappeared from England, churches and monasteries were sacked, and the Jews were either tortured until they gave the King their money or driven to suicide when they could not flee the country. In 1209 Innocent went further and imposed the ban on John; but even then the persecution of the Church did not cease. Then in 1211 the Pope declared the Plantagenet deposed from his throne, and released his subjects of their oath of loyalty. The King of France was to carry out this verdict in so far as John's possessions on the Continent were concerned.

Philippe Auguste of France had already come to grips with the Papacy under Celestine III. Soon after his marriage with Ingeborg, he had put her aside and wedded Agnes de Meran. Ingeborg sum- moned Innocent as well as Celestine to aid her cause, and they cham- pioned her right by imposing the ban and the interdict on the King, whom intimated prelates had helped to have his will. Philippe finally gave way to popular feeling and separated himself from Agnes, who died soon thereafter. Nevertheless Ingeborg remained under arrest and continued to beseech Innocent to obtain justice for her. Events in England now induced the Pope, who during the struggle for power between the two countries, had hitherto protected the lands of the Lionheart against the Capetian monarch's desire of conquest, to pit the strength of France against John. During twelve years he had ceaselessly besought Philippe to set his marriage in order, gradually sub- stituting persuasion for command. Now, when he formally sum- moned the king to undertake a crusade against John, he found in him who had chronically berated the Papacy a zealous advocate of Papal authority. For he had long since cherished a dream of landing a force in England. Now the banished Ingeborg was once more attractive to her husband. He declared that she was his lawful wife, received absolution from Innocent and prepared to take the field against John. Meanwhile the Papal Legate suggested to the English monarch that his only salvation lay in submitting to the Pope. John, who was also menaced by foes in England, knelt before the Legate, took his hand and swore that he would obey the Pope. He restored peace to the Church and ruled that the Kingdom of England and Ireland, as a