Front Page Titles (by Subject) chapter xiii: Whether Pipin was created King by the Pope or by the Authority of the Francogallican Council - An Account of Denmark, With Francogallia and Some Considerations for the Promoting of Agriculture and Employing the Poor
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chapter xiii: Whether Pipin was created King by the Pope or by the Authority of the Francogallican Council - Robert Molesworth, An Account of Denmark, With Francogallia and Some Considerations for the Promoting of Agriculture and Employing the Poor 
An Account of Denmark, With Francogallia and Some Considerations for the Promoting of Agriculture and Employing the Poor, Edited and with an Introduction by Justin Champion (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2011).
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Whether Pipin was created King by the Pope or by the Authority of the Francogallican Council
Having in the former Chapter given an Account, that after the Expulsion of Childeric, (a stupid Prince, in whom the Line of the Merovingians ended) Pipin, from being Mayor of the Palace, was created King; It will be worth our Enquiry, to know by whose Authority the Kingdom was conferr’d upon him. For Pope Gelasius says thus, Cap. 15. Quest. 6. “A Roman Pope, viz. Zacharias, deposed the King of the Franks, not so much because of his evil Actions, as because he was stupid, and unfit for the Exercise of so great a Trust; and in his Stead, substituted Pipin, Father of Charles the Emperor: Absolving all the Franks from their Oath of Allegiance to Childeric.”;
And there is scarce an Author who does not acquiesce in this Testimony of one Pope, concerning the Power of another: Thus Ado,Lambertus,Rhegino,Sigebertus,Aimoinus,Landulphus, nay, even Venericus Vercellensis, (in the Book which we formerly quoted) cites these Words out of the Epistle of Pope Gregory the 7th to Herman Bishop of Metz; viz. “A certain Pope of Rome deposed the King of the Franks from his Kingdom, not so much for his Wickedness, as his being unfit for so great a Power; and after having absolved all the Franks from the Oath of Fidelity they had sworn to him, placed Pipin in his Room. Which Otto Frisingius, lib. Chron. 5. cap. 23. and Godfrey,Chron. Part. 17. laying presently hold of, break out into this Exclamation. From this Action, the Popes of Rome derive an Authority of changing and deposing Princes, etc.”;
But pray let us enquire whether the Truth of this Story, as to the Matter of Fact, be sufficiently proved and attested. For in the first Place, ’tis manifest, That not one of all that great Number of Kings of the Franks, which we have instanced to have been Elected or Abdicated, was either created or abdicated by the Pope’s Authority. On the contrary, we have irrefragably prov’d, that the whole Right, both of making and deposing their Kings, was lodg’d in the yearly great Council of the Nation; so that it seems incredible the Franks should neglect or forgoe their Right, in this single Instance of Pipin. But to make few Words of this Matter, Venericus Vercellensis gives us the Testimony of an ancient Historian, who has written of all the Francogallican Affairs; whereby that whole Story of the Pope, is prov’d to be a Lye: And ’tis clearly demonstrated, that both Childerick was deposed, and Pipin chosen in his room, according to the usual Custom of the Franks, and the institutions of our Ancestors: That is to say, by a solemn General Council of the Nation; in whose Power only it was, to transact a Matter of so great weight and moment; as we have before made it appear. The Words of that Historian are these. “That by the Counsel, and with the Consent of all the Franks, (a Relation of this Affair being sent to the Apostolick See, and its Advice had) the most noble Pipin was advanced to the Throne of the Kingdom, By the Election of the whole Nation, the Homage of the Nobility, with the Consecration of the Bishops, etc.”; From which Words, ’tis most apparent that Pipin was not appointed King by the Pope, but by the People themselves, and the States of the Realm. And Venericus explains this Matter out of the same Historian. “Pipin, Mayor of the Palace (says he) having all along had the Administration of the Regal Power in his Hands, was the first that was appointed and elected to be King, from being Mayor of the Palace; the Opinion of Pope Zachary being first known, because the Consent and Countenance of a Pope of Rome, was thought necessary in an Affair of this Nature. And presently after he tells us; The Pope finding that what the Ambassadors had deposed was just and profitable, agreed to it; and Pipin was made King by the unanimous Suffrages and Votes of the Nobility, etc.”; To the very same Purpose writes Ado of Vienna, Aetat. 6. Sub Anno 727. “Ambassadors (says he) were sent to Pope Zacharias, to propose this Question to him; Whether or no the Kings of the Franks, who had scarce any Power in their Hands, but contented themselves with the bare Title, were fit to continue to be Kings? To which Zacharias return’d this Answer, That he thought the Person who governed the Commonwealth, ought rather to have also the Title of King: Whereupon the Franks, after the Return of the Ambassadors, cast out Childeric, who then had the Title of King; and by the Advice of the Ambassadors, and of Pope Zacharias, Elected Pipin, and made him King.”
Besides the above Proofs, we have Aimoinus ’s Testimony to the same purpose, lib. 4. cap. 61. where he concludes thus. “This Year Pipin got the Appellation of King of the Franks, and according to their ancient Customs was elevated to the Royal Throne in the City of Soissons, etc. Nay, even Godfrey of Viterbo himself, Chron. part. 17. cap. 4. Pipin (says he) was made King by Pope Zacharias, (ex electione Francorum) through the Election of the Franks,Hilderic their slothful King being, by the Franks, thrust into a Monastery.”
In like Manner Sigebertus, sub Anno 752. The Authors of the Miscellany History, lib. 22. Otto Frising. lib. 5. cap. 21, 22, 23. And the Author of the Book intituled Fasciculus temporum, do all clearly agree in the Account given of this Transaction. From which we may easily gather, that although the Franks did consult the Pope before they created Pipin King, yet it cannot therefore be any Ways inferr’d from thence, that he was made King by the Pope’s Authority; for ’tis one Thing to make a King, and another to give Advice touching the making him: ’Tis one Thing to have a Right of Creation, and another that of only giving Advice; nay; no Man has a Right of so much as giving Advice in Matters of this nature, but he whose Advice is first ask’d.
Lastly, no Man has more clearly explained this whole Matter than Marsilius Patavinus; who during the Reign of Lewis of Bavaria, writ a Book de translatione imperi, in which, Cap. 6. he has these Words. “Pipin, a very valiant Man, and Son of Charles Martel, was (as we read) raised to the Dignity of being King of the Franks, by Pope Zacharias. But Aimoinus more truly informs us, in his History of the Franks, that Pipin was legally elected King by the Franks themselves, and by the Nobility of the Kingdom was placed in the Throne. At the same Time Childeric, a dissolute Prince, who contenting himself with the bare Title of a King, wasted both his Time and Body in Wantonness, was by them shaven for a Monk: So that Zacharias had no hand in the deposing him, but consented (as some say) to those that did. For such deposing of a King for just Causes, and electing of another, does not belong to any Bishop or Ecclesiastick, nor to any College of Clergymen; but to the whole Body of Citizens [ad universitatem civium] inhabiting that Region, and to the Nobles of it, or to the majority of them both.” Therefore those Pretences of the Popes, to a Power of creating or abdicating Kings, are apparently false to every body. But besides this fabulous Device, which is a sufficient Instance of their wickedness and malice, I think it worth my while to add a remarkable Letter of Pope Stephen, adapted to the foregoing Fable; by which we may make a Judgment of the madness and folly of that old crafty Knave. This Letter is extant; in Rhegino, a Benedictine Monk, and Abbot of Prum, an irrefragable Testimony in an Affair of this Nature; ’tis in Chron. anni 753. “Stephen the Bishop, Servant of the Servants of God, etc. As no Man ought to boast of his Merits, so neither ought the wonderful Works of God which are wrought upon his Saints without their desert, to be buried in Silence, but published abroad as the Angel admonished Tobias. I being constrained through the Oppression of the holy Church, by that most wicked, blasphemous, and not worthy to be named Wretch, Aistolphus, to fly for Refuge to that excellent and faithful Votary of St. Peter, Lord Pipin, the most Christian King, took my Journey into France; where I fell into a mortal Distemper, and remained some time in the District of Paris, in the venerable Monastery of St. Denis the Martyr And being now past Hopes of Recovery, methought I was one Day at Prayers in the Church of the same blessed Martyr, in a Place under the Bells: And that I saw standing before the great Altar our Master Peter; and that great Master of the Gentiles, our Master Paul; whom I knew very well by their Vestments. And a little after, I saw the blessed Lord Denis, a tall and slender Man, standing at the Right Hand of our Lord Peter. And then that good Pastor the Lord Peter said ‘This good Brother of ours asks for Health.’ Then reply’d the blessed Paul ‘He shall be healed presently.’ And thereupon approaching to our Lord Denis, he amicably put his Hand upon his Breast, and look’d back upon our Lord Peter, and Lord Peter with a chearful Countenance said to our Lord Denis, his Health shall be your particular Act of Favour. Then presently Lord Denis taking a Censer full of Incense, and holding a Branch of Palm-tree in his Hand, accompanied with a Presbyter and Deacon, who assisted him, came near to me, and said, Peace be with thee, Brother, be not afraid, thou shalt not die until thou return in Prosperity to thy own See. Rise and be healed, and dedicate this Altar to the Honour of God, and the Apostles St. Peter and St. Paul, whom thou seest standing before thee, with Masses of Thanksgiving. Whereupon I was presently made whole. And being about to accomplish that which I was commanded to do, they that were present said I was mad. So I related all that I had seen to them, to the King, and all his People, and how I had been cured; and I fulfilled all that I was bid to do. These things happen’d in the 753rd Year, from the Incarnation of our Lord on the Ides of August; at which Time being strengthened by the Power of Christ, between the Celebration of the Consecration of the above-mention’d Altar, and the Oblation of the Sacrifice, I anointed King Pipin and his two Sons, Charles and Carloman,Kings of the Franks. Moreover, I laid Hands upon, and blessed Bertranda the King’s Wife, cloathed with her Royal Mantle, and the Grace of the Sevenfold Holy Spirit: And the Nobles of the Franks being sanctified by the Apostolical Benediction, and the Authority delivered by Christ to St. Peter, obliged themselves solemnly, and protested, That neither they, nor any of their Posterity, would at any Time hereafter, presume to constitute any Person, as King over them, but only such as were of the Race of King Pipin.”;