pope frederick albans
ADRIAN IV. whose name was Nicholas Breakspeare, was born before 1100 A.D. at Langley, near St Albans, in Hertfordshire, and is the only Englishman who has occupied the papal chair. His request to be allowed to take the habit of the monastery of St Albans having been refused by Abbot Richard, he proceeded to Paris, where he studied with diligence, and soon attained great proficiency, especially in theology. Being admitted, after a period of probation, a regular clerk in the monastery of St Rufus, in Provence, he distinguished himself so much by his learning and strict observance of the monastic discipline that he was chosen abbot when the office fell vacant. His merit became known to Pope Eugenius III., who created him cardinal-bishop of Alba in 1146, and sent him two years later as his legate to Denmark and Norway. On this mission he converted many of the inhabitants to Christianity, and erected Upsal into an archiepiscopal see. Soon after his return to Rome, Anastasius, successor of Eugenius, died, and Nicholas was unanimously chosen pope, against his own inclination, in Nov. 1154. On hearing of the election, Henry II. of England sent the abbot of St Albans and three bishops to Rome with his congratulations, which Adrian acknowledged by granting considerable privileges to the monastery of St Albans, including exemption from all episcopal jurisdiction except that of Rome. The bestowal by Adrian of the sovereignty of Ireland upon the English monarch was a practical assertion of the papal claim to dispose of kingdoms. The act, besides facilitating and hastening the subjection of Ireland to England, was also the means of inducing Henry to yield the long-contested point of lay investiture to ecclesiastical offices. The beginning of Adrian's pontificate was signalised by the energetic attempts of the Roman people to recover their ancient liberty under the consuls, but the pope took strong measures to maintain his authority, compelling the magistrates to abdicate, laying the city under an interdict, and procuring the execution of Arnold of Brescia (1155). In the same year he excommunicated William, kin,b of Sicily, who had ravaged the territories of the church, but the ban was removed and the title of King of the Two Sicilies conferred on William in the following year, on the promise of a yearly tribute to the Holy See. With Adrian commenced the long and bitter conflict between the papal power and the house of Hohenstaufen which ended in the humiliation of the latter. Frederick Barbarossa having entered Italy at the head of a large army for the purpose of obtaining the crown of Germany from the hands of the pope, Adrian met him at Sutri. The demand that he should hold the pope's stirrup as a mark of respect was at first refused by Frederick, whereupon the pope on his part withheld from the emperor the osmium pacis, and the cardinals ran away in terror. After two days' negotiation, Frederick was induced to yield the desired homage, on the representation that the same thing had been done by his predecessors. His holiness then conducted the emperor to Rome, where the ceremony of coronation took place in the Church of St Peter's. It was in these transactions that the quarrel originated. A letter addressed by the pope to Frederick and the German bishops in 1157 asserted, on the ground of the ceremonies that had taken place, that the emperor held his dominions as a beneficium. The expression, being interpreted as denoting feudal tenure, stirred up the fiercest indignation of Frederick and the Germans, and though explanations were afterwards given with the view of showing that the word had not been used in an offensive sense, the breach could not be healed. Adrian was about to pronounce the sentence of excommunication upon Frederick when he died at Anagni on the 1st Sept. 1159.