Aldred

, abbot of Tavistock, was promoted to the bishopric of Worcester in 1046. He was so much in favour with king Edward the Confessor, and had so much power over his mind, that he obliged him to be reconciled with the worst of his enemies, particularly with Swane, son of the earl Godwin, who had revolted against him, and came with an army to invade the kingdom. Aldred also restored the union and friendship between king Edward and Griffith king of Wales. He took afterwards a journey to Rome; and being returned into England in the year | 1054, he was sent ambassador to the emperor Henry It staid a whole year in Germany, and was very honourably entertained by Herman archbishop of Cologn, from whom he learned many things relative to ecclesiastical discipline, which on his return he established in his own diocese. In 10.58, he went to Jerusalem, which no archbishop or bishop of England had ever done before him. Two years after, he returned to England; and Kinsius, archbishop York, dying the 22d of December, 1060, Aldred was elected in his stead on Christmas day following, and thought fit to keep his bishopric of Worcester with the archbishopric of Canterbury, as some of his predecessors had done. Aldred went soon after to Rome, in order to receive the pallium from the pope; he was attenc.ed by Toston, earl of Northumberland, Giso, bishop of Wells and Walter, bishop of Hereford. The pope received Joston very honourably, and made him sit by him in the synod which he held against the Simonists. He wanted to Giso and Walter their request, because they were tolerably well learned, and not accused of simony. But Aldred being by his answers found ignorant, and guilty of simony, the pope deprived him very indignantly of all his honours; so that he was obliged to return without the pallium. On his way home, he and his fellow-travellers were attacked by some robbers, who took from them all that they had. This obliged them to return to Rome; and the pope, either out of compassion, or by the threatenings of the earl of Northumberland, gave Aldred the pallium; but he was obliged to resign his bishopric of Worcester. However, as the archbishop of York had been almost entirely ruined by the many invasions of foreigners, king Edward gave the new archbishop leave to keep twelve villages or manors which belonged to the bishopric of Worcester. Edward the Confessor dying in 1066, Aldred crowned Harold his successor. He also crowned William the Conqueror, after he had made him take the following oath, viz That he would protect the holy church of God and its eaders: that he would establish and observe righteous that he would entirely prohibit and suppress all rapines and unjust judgments. He was so much in favour with the conqueror, that this prince looked upon him as a father; and, though imperious in regard to everybody else, he yet submitted to obey this archbishop; John Brompton gives us an instance of the king’s submission, | which at the same time shews the prelate’s haughtiness. It happened one day, as the archbishop was at York, that the deputy-governor or lord-lieutenant going out of the city >vith a great number of people, met the archbishop’s servants, who came to town with several carts and horses loaded with provisions. The governor asked to whom they belonged; and they having answered they were Aldred’s servants, the governor ordered that all these provisions should be carried to the king’s store-house. The archbishop sent immediately some of his clergy to the governor, commanding him to deliver the provisions, and to make satisfaction to St. Peter, and to him the saint’s vicar, for the injury he had done them; adding, that if he refused to comply, the archbishop would make use of his apostolic authority against him (intimating that he would excommunicate him.) The governor, offended at this proud message, insulted the persons whom the archbishop had sent, and returned an answer as haughty as the message. Aldred fhen went to London to make his complaint to the king; but even here he acted with his wonted insolence; for meeting the king in the church of St. Peter at Westminster, he spoke to him in these words “Hearken, Q William when thou wast but a foreigner, and God, tQ punish the sins of this nation, permitted thee to become master of it, after having shed a great deal of blood, I consecrated thee, and put the crown upon thy head with blessings; but now, because thou hast deserved it, I pronounce a curse over thee, instead of a blessing, since thou art become the persecutor of God’s church, and of his ministers, and hast broken the promises and oaths which thou madestto me before St. Peter’s altar.” The king, terrified at this discourse, fell upon his knees, and humbly begged the prelate to tell him, by what crime he had deserved so severe a sentence. The noblemen, who were present, were enraged against the archbishop, and loudly cried out, he deserved death, or at least banishment, for having offered such an insult to his sovereign; and they pressed him with threatenings to raise the king from the ground. But the prelate, unmoved at all 'this, answered calmly, “Good men, let him lie there, for he is not at Aldred’s but at St. Peter’s feet; let him feel St. Peter’s power, since he dared to injure his vicegerent.” Having thus reproved the nobles by his episcopal authority, he vouchsafed to take the king by the hand, and to tell him the | ground of his complaint. The king humbly excused himself, by saying he had been ignorant of the whole matter; and oegged of the noblemen to entreat the prelate, that he might take off the curse he had pronounced, and change it into a blessing. Aldred was at last prevailed upon to favour the king thus far; but not without the promise of several presents and favours, and only after the king had granted him to take such a revenge on the governor as he thought fit. Since that time (adds the historian) none of the noblemen ever dared to offer the least injury. The Danes having made an invasion in the north of England in 1068, under the command of Harold and Canute the sons of king Swane, Aldred was so much afflicted at it, that he died of grief on the llth of September in that same year, having besought God that he might not see the desolation of his church and country. 1

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Brit. Gen. Dict.