In the peace of Utrecht he was ignored; Sardinia and Sicily, Parma and Piacenza, were disposed of without regard to papal claims. When he quarrelled with the duke of Savoy, and revoked his investiture rights in Sicily (1715), his interdict was treated with contempt.
His attempts to strengthen the monarchy and fill the treasury at the expense of the Church resulted in his excommunication by Pope Honorius III., and Portugal remained under interdict until Alphonso II.
But Alexander, a fugitive from Italy and menaced by an alliance of the emperor with an antipope, was indisposed to take extreme measures against Henry; and six years elapsed before the king found himself definitely confronted with the choice between an interdict and a surrender.
This led to his excommunication and brought the interdict upon France, and did more to weaken him than any other act of his.
From some places the interdict was not removed for twenty-six years.
The king replied by issuing a proclamation to the effect that he would outlaw any clerk who should accept the validity of such an interdict and would confiscate his lands.
In this connexion in 1317 he laid London under an interdict after William de Melton (d.
When peace was arranged through French mediation in 1607 the papacy had lost greatly in prestige: it was evident that the once terrible interdict was antiquated, wherefore it has never since been employed against the entire territory of a state.
He refrained from public preaching, but held conferences in St Mark's with large gatherings of his disciples, and defied the interdict on Christmas Day by publicly celebrating mass and heading a procession through the cloisters.
After visiting Luther at Wittenberg, he settled with his amanuensis William Roy in Cologne, where he had made some progress in printing a 4to edition of his New Testament, when the work was discovered by John Cochlaeus, dean at Frankfurt, who not only got the senate of Cologne to interdict further printing, but warned Henry VIII.