Canterbury Cathedral

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“Canterbury Cathedral, which was a key place during the contest with King John. In the quarrel with John of England the issue was not a matter of personal morality, but of Church authority. There was a dispute about the election to the Archbishopric of Canterbury, the most important church office in England. The monks of Canterbury chose one candidate and the king another, and then both parties appealed to the pope. Innocent rejected both candidates and proposed one of his own, Stephen Langton, a man in every way suitable for the office. John refused to submit, and the pope used against him the same means that had been employed to coerce Philip Augustus. He laid England under an interdict, and, though its effect was not so immediate as in France, it finally brought John to terms. Not only was John obliged to accept the pope’s candidate, but he went so far as to surrender the kingdom of England to the pope and receive it back as the pope’s vassal, paying in token of vassalage a sum of money each year."—Colby, 1899


Frank Moore Colby, Outlines of General History, (New York: American Book Company, 1899) 291


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