Breakspear, The English Pope A virtual talk by our Renter Warden
Tuesday 7th November 2023
Start: 6.30pm | Finish: 8.00pm
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Last year our Renter Warden Adrian Waddingham CBE published a Book entitled BREAKSPEAR The English Pope, this year Adrian has kindly agreed to give Guild members an insight into his book and the life of Adrian IV: the only English pope in the history of the Church.
Overlooked for centuries, Nicholas Breakspear’s achievements outshone those of his contemporary, the martyr Thomas Becket. Born in poverty and probably illegitimate, Breakspear rose to become the only Englishman to ascend the throne of Saint Peter, ruling over the papal states as Adrian IV.
His life is not a tale of liturgy or sermons, and there are more cannons than canons, as Breakspear faced fighting in Scandinavia and the Second Crusade in Spain. He was immediately thrust into conflicts upon his election as pope in 1154.
First, he had to overcome the rebellious republicans of Rome before defending his Church against armed threats from the Norman King William of Sicily, the Byzantine Emperor Comnenus and finally the German King Frederick Barbarossa, intent on restoring the former glories of the Holy Roman Empire.
Breakspear saved his Church from German domination, but his legacy is contested. There was a papal schism on his death and many blame him for allowing Henry II’s subjugation of Ireland in 1171.
Join us for this fascinating talk: you will be sent a Zoom link soon after we receive your booking and a reminder closer to the event.
If you choose to make a donation, please do so to the usual Guild account no later than 27th
October with reference ‘Pope charity’. Any funds received will be transferred to the Guild charity after that date.
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