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weight, in favour of its strict interpretation, that the Saxon Chronicle employs the same phrase: and declares that Egferth was "hallowed to king:""] Eczven to cyninze zehalzod." This is the earliest coronation alluded to in that chronicle; in other instances the accession only is mentioned; 15 and I do not see any reason why we should not conclude that unction, in its proper sense, as ordered by the pontifical of Egbert, formed one of the solemn rites of the first known English coronation.

Having thus spoken somewhat of unction, as connected with the records, real or pretended, of the most ancient coronations, it will be as well to collect here some more observations bearing upon that important part of the solemnity.

We have a very remarkable proof of the view in which the anointing of kings was regarded in the thirteenth century, as explained and insisted on, by the highest ecclesiastical authority at that time recognized in this country, in a letter from pope John XXII. to Robert Bruce, king of Scotland. After speaking of some of the duties incumbent upon kings, he thus proceeds: "— ad quæ utique perfectius exercenda, iidem reges unctionis sacræ virtute, quam per venerabiles Dei ministros antiquo more suscipiunt, donum gratiæ recipiunt potioris, ut et in prosecutione justi regiminis fortius convalescant, et tam in se, quam in eorum subditos prudentiori et sanctiori spiritu dirigantur. Vehemens namque est in iisdem regibus hujusmodi effi


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15 Taylor. Glory of regality. p. 228. Who remarks also, that Florence of Worcester notices the same event, in similar words: "Et

Egferthus, ejusdem regis natus,
rex est consecratus."

Sub an.

cacia unctionis. Nam inuncto Saule, insiliit Spiritus Domini super eum, et in virum alterum est mutatus; et in David, unctione suscepta, Spiritus Domini est directus ad insinuandum quoque, quod in regibus esse debeat plenitudo virtutum, et integra dominii temporalis auctoritas."


Before this, archbishop Thomas Becket had written to king Henry II. to this effect: "Inunguntur reges in capite, etiam pectore et brachiis, quod significat gloriam, sanctitatem, et fortitudinem."" And not long after, Robert Grossetest, bishop of Lincoln, to Henry III. "Quod autem in fine literæ vestræ nobis mandastis, videlicet quod intimaremus quid unctionis sacramentum videatur adjicere regiæ dignitati, cum multi sunt reges qui nullatenus unctionis munere decorentur, non est nostræ modicitatis complere hoc. Tamen non ignoramus quod regalis inunctio signum est prærogativæ susceptionis septiformis doni Sacratissimi Pneumatis, quo septiformi munere tenetur rex inunctus præeminentius non unctis regibus omnes regias et regiminis sui actiones dirigere: etc." Selden, who

16 Wilkins: Concilia. tom. 2. p. 555. The same bull speaks also of the crown: 66 Capiti principis sub circulari forma honorabile imponitur diadema, ut ab eo, qui talibus fuerit decoratus insigniis, et titulis præsignitus, tanquam a capite, subditis, velut membris, recte vivendi modus et modestiæ regula indicatur." I must add, that this bull is not the composition of John XXII. as it occurs, almost word for word, in an epistle from Alexander IV. to a

bishop of Prague in the preceding century. But this does not affect the reason for which I have quoted it.

17 Apud Matt. Paris. cit. Selden. p. 109.

A very great canonist says: "Effectus unctionis regalis est, ut augeatur ei gratia ad officium, quod ei committitur exercendum : et ut honorabilior habeatur." Hostiensis, in summa. lib. 1. tit. de sacr. unct.

quotes this from a MS. observes, and not rightly, that the bishop was answering as if his mind had been only on the unction given in confirmation.


It was from having been anointed with the sacred oil that our kings have received the style "Dei gratia:" which, as an old author of the 14th century, cited by Selden,18 tells us, could not be given to any one else of the laity. Nota, quod nullus potest proprie uti isto verbo Dei Gratia, qui in laicali positus est dignitate, nisi sit imperator vel rex vel alter qui sui capitis recepit unctionem. Nam tales unguntur oleo sancto; et in rege potest dici evidentissime per exemplum." And this affords an additional, though incidental, proof how early the rite of unction had become a fixed form, in the coronation of the Saxon kings, not only in the north, as is shewn by the pontifical of archbishop Egbert, but in the west of England. For Ina's ecclesiastical laws, A.D. 700, commence with this style: "Ego Ina Dei gratia occiduorum Saxonum


Selden also cites and remarks upon the rule laid down in the "old Provinciale Romanum," as to the number of sovereign princes, who were entitled to be anointed and although the copies vary, some having four kings named, and others less, yet, as he concludes, the true reading of the rule was, that the kings of England, Jerusalem, France, and Sicily, were alone so entitled. It would seem from Hostiensis, (who, by the way, names only England and France,) in the place just cited in the note, that when the kings

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of other countries desired to be anointed, special permission was to be obtained from the see of Rome: "si quis de novo inungi velit, consuetudo obtinuit, quod a papa petatur, sicut fecit rex Aragonum, et quotidie instat rex Scotia." Regarding the case of the king of Scotland, the bull mentioned above, was directed to him, on such an occasion: and we have in Matthew Paris an instance of a legate sent to anoint Haco, king of Norway, in 1247. Applicuit similiter in Anglia episcopus Sabinensis, iturus in partes boreales legatus, -et regem Norwegia Haconem in regem inuncturus et coronaturus.'



The anointing was always held to confer sacredness upon the person of the sovereign: and for this we have the authority of S. Augustine, who speaks however of the earlier unction of the Jewish kings: but the argument is the same. "Quæro, si non habebat Saul sacramenti sanctitatem, quid in eo David venerabatur? Si autem habebat innocentiam, quare innocentem persequebatur? nam eum propter sacrosanctam unctionem, et honoravit vivum, et vindicavit occisum: et quia vel panniculum ex ejus veste præscidit, percusso corde trepidavit. Ecce Saul non habebat innocentiam, et tamen habebat sanctitatem, non

20 Hist. Angl. p. 637. Matthew Paris mentions this again. "Anno sub eodem-coronatus est rex Haco, et in regem inunctus solemniter apud Bergas." p. 643. And the same mode of expression is used by Matthew of Westminster: "Die vero sanctorum Felicis etc., inunctus et coronatus est in regem princeps

Norwegia Haco." Flores Hist. edit. 1601. p. 340. Either this was then thought an unusual case, or the king of Norway is to be added to the number of the ancient anointed kings: which last is scarcely probable, from the fact of the legate, who was sent to crown him.

vitæ suæ (nam hoc sine innocentia nemo potest) sed sacramenti Dei, quod et in malis hominibus sanctum est." 21

The reader will observe that S. Augustine calls the regal unction in the above passage, a sacrament: nor, relying upon his authority, does there appear to be any objection to the use of so high a term, in the same wide sense in which we speak of the sacrament of orders, or of marriage. So also S. Gregory the Great says expressly: "Quia vero ipsa unctio sacramentum est, is qui promovetur, bene foris ungitur, si intus virtute sacramenti roboretur. "Rex unctus," says Lyndwood, "non mere persona laica, sed mixta secundum quosdam." But this anointing must not be


21 Contra litt. Petiliani. lib. ij. cap. 112.

22 Expos. lib. 1. Regum cap. x. Balsamon, in his scholia on the 12th canon of the council of Ancyra, has not feared to go much further, as to the effects of this unction. But his interpretation of the canon is condemned, and very justly, by all later writers on the subject. He says: "Præsenti canone usus ille sanctissimus patriarcha dominus Polyeuctus:-dixit enim cum sancta synodo, in synodalibus actis quæ tunc habita fuerunt, quæ in Chartaphylacio reponuntur, quod quoniam sancti baptismatis unctio omnia, quæ ante baptismum fuerunt, qualia et quantacunque sunt, peccata delet; omnino imperatoris

quoque unctio cædem delevit." Bevereg. Pandect. Tom. 1. p. 385. The case alluded to is that of the Emperor John Tzimisches, who had slain his predecessor.

Upon the distinction laid down in the 12th century, between the regal and sacerdotal unction, see Raynaldus, Tom. 1. ad. an. 1204. xlj. And on its effect, Hostiensis, Summa. lib. 1. rubr. xv. 11. Scacchi, Eleochr. Sacr. p. 1074.

23 Lib. 3. tit. 2. Ut clericalis. verb. beneficiati: cited by archdeacon Wilberforce, Church Courts, p. 93. and see a remarkable assertion, made by Charles the Bold, [Bald?] 859, upon the sanctity of kings, in consequence of their consecration by bishops. ibid. p. 30.

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