William was a very religious man despite being the ruthless leader he was and he saw the Anglo-Saxon Church for what it was, a huge source of power and influence. William's process of possession of the English Church was done slowly. Throughout the beginning of his rule there were many uprisings and by 1070 many of the churches had been crushed - he then proceeded to open the York Archbishopric after Ealdred's death (he coronetted William) in 1069. In 1070, at a church council in Winchester, the papal legate had Archbishop Stigand (who had committed pluralism) deposed and imprisoned. Stigand had been condemned by successive Popes for committing pluralism and for supporting the antipope, Benedict X.Shortly after Stigand had been removed, bishops of Selsey, Lichfield, Durham, and Elmham had been removed and then William had them replaced by supporters of the church from Normandy and France. Thomas of Bayeux, Bishop Odo of Bayeux and William himself became the archbishop of York, while Lanfranc became archbishop of Canterbury. Only three English bishops remained and by 1086 only three Anglo-Saxon abbots remained.
Archbishop Lanfranc-Church Refom
Archbishop Lanfranc and William I were firm supporters of the papal reform movement, which aimed to spiritually strengthen the Western Church, and to remove Canon Law (universal law of Church), including simony (selling of church posts), nepotism (appointing family/friends posts), pluralism (holding 2 posts), and clerical marriages. In order to take control of the English church, Lanfranc assembled 10 important Church councils during William's reign and this represented a significant shift in power. In 1070, he had established Canterbury over York, with William's support, whereas before both had been considered equal. The bishoprics were divided into smaller territorial units called archdeaconries, all headed by an archdeacon. Archdeaconries were divided into deaneries, headed by deans.Church reorganisation was the first step to higher moral standards. In order to spread the ideas of the reform movement, Lanfranc demanded that bishops held regular councils called synods. Lanfranc used the synods to speak out against corruption. Later he demanded that all clergy remained celibate and that in future no one could hold a church post if married. soon after taking office, Lanfranc ordered that Canterbury should be redeveloped in romanesque style. This was the start of an architectural change in the Churches; the Anglo-Saxon Churches were redeveloped and their relics were removed. Parts of liturgy, the chants, prayers and masses had also been changed to suit Norman versions.
William II & Archbishop Anslem
Archbishop Lanfranc died in 1089 and William II was not interested in finding a successor. He preferred to take the profits of the Bishopric instead. However in 1093 he was severely ill and changed his mind after he was convinced that he would die. William appointed Anslem, the Abbot of Bec in Normandy to become the archbishop of Canterbury. Yet William didn't die and began to regret his decision. William was intelligent, cruel and was unconcerned with being devout. He controlled and exploited the Church whereas Anslem was very concerned with the reform movement. The most serious problem was when both men disagreed over which pope should be recognised (early 1095), antipope Clement III or Urban II. William believed that it was the king's right to decide who England would support as the pope, however Anselm had already recognised Urban II and refused the king's demand to retract this. Anslem aggravated the king further when he insisted that he needed to go to Rome and be presented with his pallium from Urban himself. in Feb 1095, the magnates of England held a council to discuss the problem and as they were appointees of the king they heavily encouraged Anselm to follow William's wishes but he didn't.
William II & Archbishop Anslem
Consequently the conference ended in deadlock. William attempted to solve this by opening secret negotiations with Urban II through his legate. In return for recognising the pope, William secured the policy that no legates or papal letters would be sent to England without the king's consent. He also tried to use this to remove Anslem but this idea was rejected. In May 1095, Anselm received his pallium and he now knew that the king severely disliked him. Between 1095 and 1097 their relationship became even more strained because William kept refusing to allow Anselm to organise a reforming council. Anslem wanted to get rid of the corruption of the English Church and this included William's selling of Church offices and leaving others empty. In 1097 Anselm asked to go to Rome to discuss the church reform there (he was old and saw his office as a burden). William was in a stronger position (after defeating his brother, Robert, who rebelled in Normandy) and he received the support of the clergy and barons who were now tired of Anselm and his willingness against the king. Anslem chose to travel to Rome which meant that his lands were confiscated and he was no longer the Archbishop. If he had stayed he would have had to pay a fine and promise not to appeal to Rome again. Anselm arrived in Rome in early 1098 and there was an exchange of letters between the pope and William as he set out his case against Anselm. The papal council, in October 1098, discussed William's behaviour and considered excommunication, however, it wasn't acted upon - Urban wanted financial support from England in his case against Clement III.Before a solution could be found, Urban died in 1099 and William in 1100.
Henry I and Anselm
The Investiture Controversy:Lay investiture - the symbolic act of a king giving the ring and staff, the emblems of office, to a new bishop to confirm his appointment. Now henry was king, he invited Anselm to return to England in 1100, he agreed but he did bring with him the latest religious ideas from Rome. E.G. at church councils in Rome 1099, lay investiture had been condemned because it implied that a bishop was dependant on his lay lord, rather than the Church. After being greeted by Henry in 1100, Anselm told him that he would be unable to be submissive to him and that and new bishops chosen by Henry wouldn't be recognised. This was an attack on the monarchy's traditional right over the church as William had kept the powers of investiture and homage. Both didn't want the dispute to end badly (as Henry was establishing his royal power and needed the support of the Church. Anslem saw Henry as a monarch with whom he could do business).Consequently investiture and homage was put to one side, in the hope that Pope Paschal II would soften his stance.Anslem then carried out a marriage service between Henry and Matilda and crowned her queen, in order to maintain a peaceful relationship with the new king. Additionally Anslem persuaded wavering magnates to remain loyal to Henry when Duke Robert landed in England in 1101.
Henry and Anslem
September 1101 the pope responded to Henry, urging his to give up lay investiture (but no specific news on homage). this was the basis of the gradual settlement between Henry and Anselm. Autumn 1102 Anselm was permitted to hold a reforming council, in which he condemned clerical marriages and simony etc. Henry, like his father, showed that he was in favour of the Church Reform Movement so long as it did not impose on his power as the king. As Henry's power as king grew, however, he felt as though he could pressurise Anselm into paying him homage and accept lay investiture. But in Easter 1103 Anselm went into self-imposed exile.This agitated the conflict further as the pope began to become more involved; in December 1104 Paschal sent Henry a letter wishing good health but also warning him about Christ's wishes and consequences to those who do not follow. In order to prevent himself from being excommunicated, he was careful with his actions. One way to prevent this punishment, was when Henry had Anselm and himself personally re-conciliated in August 1106 at Bec. Henry eventually agreed to give up on lay investiture but retained the rights to homage and Anselm returned to England and the compromise was settled in a London Church council in August 1107.Also Henry managed to continue to have his leading churchmen profess their obedience to him/perform their feudal obligations and his influence over appointments were not put to an end.