which he had strayed. But the German bishops sided with the emperor, and gave the pope an answer which showed the growth of a strong national spirit. They said that they could not countenance the words of the pope, which seemed by their ambiguity to assert unheard-of claims. They besought the pope to explain his words, so as to give peace to the empire and to the church.
Meanwhile Frederick I was preparing for an expedition into North Italy. Adrian IV judged it prudent not to declare himself the enemy of one who was so powerful. On 1 Feb. 1158, he sent from Rome legates who met the emperor at Augsburg. They greeted him with reverence and modesty, and handed him a letter from the pope, in which Adrian IV explained that he had used the term beneficium in its scriptural, not in its feudal signification (‘Ex beneficio Dei, non tanquam ex feudo, sed velut ex benedictione.’—Radevicus, 760). Frederick I was satisfied with this explanation, and friendly relations between him and the pope were restored. But Frederick's success against Milan, and his lofty assertion of the imperial claims in the diet of Roncaglia (November 1158), filled the pope with alarm. He began to draw nearer to William of Sicily, and to uphold the Italian against the imperial party. He showed his ill-will towards the emperor by refusing to confirm the election to the archbishopric of Ravenna of a person who was in the favour of Frederick I. Soon afterwards he sent a letter to Frederick, forbidding him to interfere in a dispute between Brescia and Bergamo concerning the possessions of their churches. This letter was brought by a poor messenger who thrust it into the emperor's hands and at once disappeared. Frederick I retorted by ordering the imperial chancery to change its style of addressing the pope, and revert to more ancient usage. The emperor's name was to be set before that of the pope, and the pope was to be addressed in the second person singular, and not the second person plural. Adrian IV deeply resented this slight. He is said to have exhorted Milan to revolt. An open breach with the emperor seemed imminent.
But the counsels of Bishop Eberhard of Bamberg turned the pope once more to peace. In April 1159 he sent an embassy to Frederick I, and proposed a renewal of the treaty made in 1153 between the emperor and his predecessor. Frederick answered that he had been true to that treaty, but Adrian IV had broken it by his alliance with Sicily. He proposed that the differences between him and the pope should be submitted to arbitrators. The pope replied by proposing conditions to be imposed on imperial envoys sent to Rome. These Frederick I rejected, and many fruitless embassies passed between them. In May Adrian IV withdrew from Rome to Anagni, where he was nearer Sicily. Frederick I received envoys from the citizens of Rome, and agreed to receive their submission and confirm the rights of their senate. The imperial ambassadors appeared in Rome; the envoys of Milan and Sicily were busy at Anagni. Adrian IV was preparing to put himself at the head of the enemies of Frederick I, and issue an excommunication against him, when he died of an attack of quinsy at Anagni on 1 Sept. 1159.
Adrian IV's pontificate was a period of constant struggles, mainly of his own seeking. His object was to maintain the claims of the Roman Church as they had been defined by Gregory VII. In this he showed skill, resoluteness, and decision; but he had for his antagonist the mightiest of the emperors. He bequeathed to his successor a hazardous conflict, in which the papacy succeeded in holding its own.
In English affairs, Adrian IV is celebrated for his grant of Ireland to Henry II. The English king sent, to congratulate Adrian IV on his succession, an embassy of which John of Salisbury was a member. The envoys were charged to lay before the pope the king's desire to civilise the Irish people and bring them fully into the pale of the Roman Church. Adrian IV granted Ireland to the king, on the ground that all islands converted to Christianity belonged to the Holy See (Rymer, Fœdera, i. 19). John of Salisbury says that this claim rested on the donation of Constantine (Metalog. lib. iv. c. 42). John of Salisbury records that Adrian IV was deeply impressed by the responsibilities of his office; he said, in conversation, that the pope's tiara was splendid because it burned with fire (Polycrat. lib. viii. c. 23). The bulls and letters of Adrian IV are to be found in Baronius, Radevicus, and Migne's ‘Patrologia’ (vol. clxxxviii.). Oldoinus in Ciaconius, i. 1062, says that Adrian IV, before he became pope, wrote a treatise, ‘De Conceptione Beatissimæ Virginis,’ a book, ‘De Legatione sua,’ and a catechism for the people of Norway and Sweden.