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for those seven years, after which they were to be given up to the treasurer; but it is not apparent for what reason he should have chosen to have them in his keeping during this time. The king confirmed by charter to the new church all the liberties and privileges which had belonged to the old cathedral, as the pope had done, and granted some fresh immunities. The charter declared that New Salisbury should be for ever a free city, and that its citizens should be quit, throughout the land, of toll, pontage, passage, pedage, lastage, stallage, carriage, and all other customs, being thus invested with the same privileges as the citizens of Winchester. The bishop and his successors were authorized to enclose the city with competent trenches, for fear of robbers, and to hold the same for ever as their proper domain, saving to the crown the advowson of the said see, and all its other rights as in other cathedrals. They were empowered also to levy tallage upon the citizens whenever the king exacted it in his domains. The liberties and free customs of a weekly market were granted, and an annual fair of eight days, from the vigil to the octave of the Assumption inclusive, for the benefit of the church. And the citizens were prohibited from selling or mortgaging their burgages or tenements to any church or religious house, without the leave of the bishop.
William Longspee, who laid the fourth stone, (the first which was laid by lay hands,) was the first person whose remains were deposited in the new church; a man unhappy in his parentage, conspicuous in his life, and unfortunate in his end. He was the son of Henry II. and of a mother, whose very name bespeaks favour for her, and whose true penitence may excite as much sympathy as the tragedy which poets have feigned of her death. Fair Rosamond's son was not unworthy to be Coeur-de-Lion's brother; and in that turbulent or heroic age, few persons were more remarkable for their exploits by land and by sea, and for their hair-breadth escapes : but he is supposed to have perished, as his mother is fabled to have done, by poison. There was a report that he had perished by shipwreck, on his return from Bourdeaux, in a storm which had been so violent, that his baggage was thrown overboard. Hubert, the justiciary, instigated his kinsman, Raymond, upon this report, to marry the Lady Ela, and obtain the earldom of Salisbury in her right, pretending some hereditary claim to it on his part, to facilitate his object. Henry III., who was always lightly persuaded by those who had any influence over him, gave his consent, and Raymond, being thus encouraged, urged his suit without regard either to the honour or the feelings of the lady; she, who was a high-spirited and virtuous woman, told him, that had she been indeed a widow, she would never have
condescended to marry with one so much beneath her, but that letters and messages had arrived from her husband, assuring her of his life and safety. When the earl returned he demanded protection of the king, not against Raymond, whom perhaps he considered too much beneath him, but against Hubert, the justiciary, threatening, if justice were not granted him, to exact it for himself, though he should throw the kingdom into confusion in the pursuit. Hubert confessed and excused his conduct, and purchased a reconciliation by costly gifts. On the earl's part it was sincere; he accepted an invitation from Hubert to a dinner at Marlborough, and it was supposed that poison was then administered to him in his food; a supposition which easily arose and obtained credit, because of the general dislike with which the justiciary was regarded. The earl, from whatever cause, was immediately taken ill; he returned to his castle of Sarum, and dying there, was interred in the unfinished cathedral, where only eight weeks before he had been welcomed on his return from Bourdeaux, with a procession from the church, and with every other demonstration of public joy for his escape. The Lady Ela, who was left with nine children, executed the office of sheriff for Wiltshire three times after her widowhood, and then purchased, for 200 marks, the custody of Sarum Castle for her life. But growing weary of the world, she founded a monastery at Lacock for Augustinian nuns, and retiring thither herself became the abbess.
William Longspee is said to have lived in habitual neglect of his essential duties as a Christian, till he was converted by hearing a sermon, and conversing afterwards for some hours with the preacher, who was canon and treasurer of the new cathedral. That person, who, from this station was raised to the primacy and afterwards canonized as St. Edmund of Canterbury, flourished then at Salisbury in the latent odour of sanctity, and his history, as written by his companion and secretary Bertrand, Abbot of Pontigny, (not as weeded for the use of English Roman Catholics,) is curiously characteristic of those times, and of the system of the Romish church. Reynold Rich, his father, was a tradesman at Abingdon, who, with his wife's consent, retired from the world and became a monk at Evesham. This son was named Edmund, because his mother was engaged in prayer at King St. Edmund's shrine when she felt the first indication of his existence; and on that saint's day he was born, with the happy augury of an immaculate birth,.coming into the world in such perfect purity as not to spot or stain the linen wherein he was wrapt. His education was in conformity to this portent: for his mother trained him to observe a bread and water fast regularly on Fridays, by promising and giving him little rewards for the observance; and
when she sent him with his brother to pursue their studies at Paris, she gave them each a haircloth shirt, charging them to wear it next the skin twice or thrice a week. This mother, Mabylia, who is called in her epitaph the flower of widows, trained her children
which she went herself, being a woman of heroic and iron virtue. As soon as her husband had separated himself from her, she assumed a dress which, by its outer appearance and inner materials, might arm her against temptation : the under garment was of haircloth, reaching to her heels; and over this, that the bristles might be pressed to the skin and felt there, she wore a coat of chain-mail of equal length, in which two plates of iron were inserted for the more discomfort. These were the material arms which she used in her spiritual warfare.
Miserable as those ages were in so many respects, they were favourable to poor scholars. The widow of a tradesman at Abingdon could send her two sons to Paris to pursue their studies, with money enough only to maintain them frugally for a short time, but in full confidence that if they proved themselves deserving, they might rely upon Providence for support. What friends Edmund found there, and how he distinguished himself, as he must have done, his biographer has not thought worthy of record; but he relates that, being troubled with continual head-ache, his mother supposed the cause to be that his clerical tonsure had not been made large enough, and accordingly the razor which enlarged the mystic circle, effectually removed the pain. He tells us also that our Saviour had appeared to him when a boy, and enjoined him every night to trace with his finger the words Jesus of Nazareth upon his forehead, a practice which, it was added, would secure any person from sudden death. And he informs us, which there is no reason to disbelieve, that when Edmund made a vow of chastity before an image of our Lady, he espoused himself to our Lady by putting a ring upon the finger of her image! From that day, his biographer assures us, the Virgin took him under her special protection, et erat ei in umbraculum diei ab æstu tentationum. This was experienced when the devil, performing that office which a heathen poet would have assigned to Cupid, made him find favour without seeking it in the eyes of his landlady's daughter. Weary of repelling the advances of one who is compared to Potiphar's wife, he at length appointed her to come at a certain hour in secret to his chamber; she was true to the assignation, but when at his desire she had taken off some of her upper garments, he flogged her severely with a rod which he had prepared for the purpose, and accompanied the flogging with a lecture, which, according to his own account, made her virtuous for the rest of her life,- vexatio intellectum dedit, et gratiam apposuit.