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The Percy Histories.
Lo! numerous domes, a Burlington confess:
ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY AND GOVERN
MENT. It is certain that not long after the first introduction of Christianity into this island, London was erected into a bishop's see; but at what particular period or by whom does not appear. In the list of ecclesiastics, who formed the second general council held at Arles, in France, in 326, we have the presence of a Bishop of London recorded in these terms : « Ex Provincia Britanniæ Civitate Londinensi Restitutus Episcopus.” Joceline of Furnes, in his book of British Bishops, says, that this Restitutus was the twelfth bishop of London; but no dependence can be placed on the accuracy of his list. The catalogue of our kings from Brute the son of Eneas, the son of Venus, down to King Lud, is quite as authentic. When the persecution under Dioclesian drove Christianity to
take shelter in the mountainous parts of Cornwall and Wales, another long night of Pagan darkness overshadowed the banks of the Thames.
It was not till the time of Pope Gregory the Great, that Augustine, who has been called the Apostle of the English, restored the light of the gospel. Among his first converts was Ethelbert, King of Kent, who, about 610, erected London of new into a bishop's see,
and founded St. Paul's cathedral. Of the bishops who filled this see till the arrival of the Normans, the only one whose name still lives in the memory of men, was that noted saint and magician Dunstan. No less than three churches in and around London have been dedicated to him : one" in the west,” another “ in the east," and a third at Stepney.
William, the first bishop under the Norman line, was held by the citizens of London, in grateful remembrance for many centuries, for his good offices in prevailing with William the First, to grant them the ample recognition which he did of their ancient rights and franchises. His remains were interred in St. Paul's cathedral, and a monument erected to his memory by the corporation, on which they inscribed in warm terms the obligations which he had conferred on the city
Reddita libertas duce
Te ; donatq. multis,
Publica Muneribus. For a long time the corporation made it one of their principal duties on Lord Mayor's Day, tì do homage at the shrine of this restorer of their liberties, and
even as late as the reign of James the First, the cus-
WALKERS whosoe're you be,
Call it the Monument of Gratitude.
bishop, confident in his own probity, thus boldly made answer: “ Mentiris dæmon: Deus meus est Deus Sabaoth."
During the episcopate of Eustace de Falconbridge, who was appointed to the see in 1221, a great dispute arose with respect to a right of exemption claimed by the abbots and monks of Westminster, from the jurisdiction of the bishops of London. The matter was referred to the pope, and by his holiness remitted to the archbishop of Canterbury, and some other heads of the church, who decided that Westminster abbey, and the adjoining church of St. Margaret, should be, as they have ever since continued, independent of the see London.
Fulco Basset, "a man stout and corrageous,” filled the see of London, at that troubled period of our history, when the Pope, by his Legate Rustand, shared with Henry the Third, in those schemes of spoliation, by which the people of England were, during the reign of that monarch, so much oppressed. Basset steadily refused lending his countenance to the exactions, which were attempted to be imposed on the clergy of his diocese, and when threatened with deprivation, he made this spirited answer, that“ though he might be unjustly deprived of his mitre and crosier, ne still hoped to be able to retain his helmet and sword.”
In 1992, there occurred a remarkable instance of collision between the claims of the Bishop of this diocese and the citizens. The Bishopric had a manor attached to it, situated in the parish of Steppey, on which there grew “ two faire woods.". Richard de Gravesend, the Bishop at that period, wished to enclose