The Canon Law, besides controlling the government and organization of the church, was also concerned with ecclesiastical property and the cure of souls. These courts derived their jurisdiction from the church and not from the country in which they were located, and often came into conflict with the national courts and government. The ecclesiastical courts were always anxious to increase their jurisdiction, and all their efforts towards this end were sure to meet with violent opposition.2 The height of their power was reached during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.

2 See Section 69 for an account of the contest between the Common Law and the Canon Law in England.