Monday, 25 March 2013

Becket's Election as Archbishop by Ralph de Diceto


Extract from

Edwardus Grim; Alanus Tewkesberiensis abbas; Parisiensis Anonymus; decanus Salisburiensis Johannes (1845). Vita S. Thomae (etc.). Parker. pp. 306–.

MCLXII. Clero totius provinciae Cantuariorum generaliter Lundoniae
convocato, praesente Henrico filio regis et regni
justiciariis, Thomas Cantuariensis archidiaconus et regis
cancellarius, nemine reclamante sollemniter electus est in
archiepiscopum.  Electionem factam sine aliqua contradictione
recitavit Henricus Wintoniensis episcopus apud Westmustier
in refectorio monachorum iiii feria ante Pentecosten. Electus
autem sabbato Pentecostes ordinatus est in presbiterum in
ecclesia Cantuariensi a Waltero Rofensi episcopo, in
ordinationibus et dedicationibus faciendis ecclesiae
Cantuariensis vicario. Sequenti die Dominica, consecratus est
a Henrico Wintoniensi episcopo vice Lundoniensis ecclesiae
tunc vacantis; quod ad jus suum spectare dicebat Rofensis
episcopus sed non optinuit.

Nuntiis ad dominum papam directis, quem ad
Gallias descendentem Willelmus de Monte Pessulano
tanquam ligium dominum suum receperat honorifice, celeri
relatione perlatum est, quod suffragenei Cantuariensis
ecclesiae sibi pastorem elegerant, qui concurrentibus
omnium votis jam a propia sinodo fuerat consecratus. Acceptum
fuit verbum istud in auribus domini papae. Litteris igitur
episcoporum, litteris etiam prioris et conventus Sanctae
Trinitatis, litteris quoque regis in medium recitatis sub
audientia cardinalium in consistorio postulatione facta,
facilis et jocun- dus juxta, petitionem ab omnibus datur
assensus. Pallium itaque cum ea gravitate, cum ea
remoratione, cum ea solennitate qua consueverant nunciis est
commissum, quod Thomas archiepiscopus in sede Dorobernensi
conditionibus solitis involutus, et sacramento constiictus,
ab altari majore suscepit. Postquam autem induit vestes,
summis sacerdotibus, nomino disponente, collatas, habitum sic
mutavit ut mutaret et animum. Mam curiæ cuiis interesse non
approbans, ut eximeretur a cuiia, vacans orationi,
superintendens ecclesiæ suæ negotiis, nuntium in Normanniam
regi direxit, renuntians cancellariæ, sigillum resignans.
Quod altius in cor regis ascendit, in se solum causam
resignationis tam subitæ retorquentis. . Audierat namque quod
Maguntinus archiepiscopus in Teutonica sub rege, quod
Coloniensis archiepiscopus in Italia sub imperatore, nomen
sibi vendicent archicancellarii. Qui nec promiscuis actibus
estimant turbari rerum officia si gestant in dextra baculum
pastoralem, et ad expediendas regni vel imperii necessitates
et pacem ecclesiae procurandam propensius accingantur,
dummodo cancellarius curiae sinistro lateri sigillum
allateret nunc regis nunc imperatoris, qui dicitur
protonotarius.

AD 1162. The whole of the clergy in general of the province of Canterbury was convoked to appear in London, in the presence of Henry son of the king and king's justiciar; Thomas archdeacon of Canterbury and the king's chancellor, without anyone dissenting was solemnly elected archbishop. The result of the election was recited by Henry bishop of Winchester without contradiction at Westminster in the monks' refectory on the fourth day before Pentecost. Having been elected he was ordained as a priest in the church of Canterbury by Walter, bishop of Rochester representing him during the ordination and dedication and proceedings in the church at Canterbury. On the day following Sunday he was consecrated by Henry bishop of Winchester, because bishop of London was vacant at the time; which was seen to be the right of the bishop of Rochester, he said, but not taken up. 

Messengers were directed to go to the lord pope, who was in France. This descended to William of Montpellier, who had just been received honourably by his liege lord. He was swiftly to relate the report that the suffragens of the church of Canterbury had elected  their pastor, and also that they chose had been concurrently consecrated by a special synod. This report was received at an audience with the lord pope. Then a letter from the bishops, letter from the prior and convent of the Holy Trinity, and also the king's letter were read out in the during the audience with the cardinals assembled making the request simple and easy: the petition was given assent by all. The pallium was then wrapped with all gravity, with its reverence, with its solemnity, and entrusted to the messengers in the customary manner and bound with holy sacraments that archbishop Thomas might receive it upon the high altar of the See of Canterbury. After, however, he had put on the vestments of the high priest, in the name of the appointment, it was conferred upon him. As he changed his habit so his spirit changed, for the court no longer met his interest or approval, and that so he might be rescued from this, vacant in prayer he saw his business was now superintending the church. He sent a message to the king in Normandy renouncing the chancellorship and resigned the seal. That the more deeply felt in the heart of the king, in itself the cause of so sudden a resignation it had to be related to this: for he, the king, had heard that the archbishop of Mainz, in the kingdom of Germany, and that the archbishop of Cologne in Italy under the emperor, they both claimed the title of archchancellor.  He acts neither indiscriminately considering the welter of official matters who if they bear in their right hand the pastoral staff, and who are more likely to expedite the needs of the kingdom or empire and readily to procure peace  with the church, provided also that the chancellor of the royal court on his left hand bears either the king's or emperor's seal, who may be called the chief cleric.

References

Humphrey Hody (1701). A History of English Concils and Convocations. pp. 1–.

No comments:

Post a Comment