Guillaume De Blois

Guillaume De Blois (surnamed the cardinal of Champagne) was born in 1135. In his early childhood he was recommended by his father to St. Bernard, who inspired him with the love of study and virtue. In 1164 Guillaume was elected bishop of Chartres, and in 1168 consecrated archbishop of Sens by the venerable Maurice, bishop of Paris. In the same year pope Alexander III, who was at that time in France, selected him as his legate, on the occasion of a quarrel which had broken out between Thomas, archbishop of Caniterbury; primate of England, and king Henry II. Owing to the prudence and zeal with which he transacted his mission, he obtained the archiepiscopal see of Rheims. Guillaume had the honor of crowning, at Rheims, his nephew, Philip Augustus, as associate with his father, Louis the Younger. He took advantage of the credit which he enjoyed with Louis the Younger to obtain from him the regulation which granted to the archbishops the perpetual privilege of having the sole power of consecrating the kings of France, a regulation afterwards confirmed by the bull of the pope. At the beginning of the reign of Philip Augustus, Guillaume fell into disgrace, and so turned his further attention towards the court of Rome, which shortly afterwards conferred upon him the cardinal's hat, and restored him to his dignity at the French court, and his call to the ministry of the state. Guillaume died at Laon about 1202. See Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, s.v.

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