in a letter to Augustine, gave him authority to appoint twelve bishops in England, and among them a bishop of York, who, if his mission was prosperous, was to ordain further bishops in the North of England, remaining himself the chief of them, and being invested with the pall, the mark of a metropolitan bishop. Provision was made that the first bishop of York should be subordinate to Augustine, but that subsequently the question of seniority was to be decided by priority of consecration. Thus early did the question of precedence between York and Canterbury arise.
We may take it that the early Christian church had entirely died out in Northumbria, and that prior to the mission sent by Gregory there had been no effort in the southern part of the kingdom, at least, to reclaim the inhabitants from heathendom. York was chosen as the seat of the metropolitan bishop in the north, entirely because of its importance as a city. It is after this event that it becomes chiefly remarkable for its ecclesiastical imp