Tuesday, 14 May 2013

How the Archbishop did not Affix his Seal to the Constitutions

Extract from
Materials for the History of  Thomas Becket, IV, 305.

Scripto vero expressas, ut jam diximus, consuetudines continente ad chirographi formam confecto et propalato, postulat rex ab archipraesule et coepiscopis, ut ad cautionem majorem et firmitatem sigilla sua appendentes apponant: verum archipraesul et si vehementer motus et contristatus, dissimulat tamen, regem exacerbare tunc nolens. Et caute quidem non de plano negat, sed differendum dicebat adhuc. Et si paratos ad faciendum, adjiciebat tamen propter negotii magnitudinem decere dilationem vel modicam, quum juxta sapientem absque consilio nihil faciendum sit grave, et exinde post deliberationem aliquantulam, ipsum et episcopos alios super hoc decentius requirendos. Scriptum tamen dictas consuetudines continens recipit, praemeditate quidem et provide ut causam videlicet suam secum scriptam haberet. Alteram vero scripti partem suscepit Eboracensis archi-episcopus: rex vero ipse tertiam, in regum archivis reponendam. Et sic a curia recessimus versus civitatem Wintoniam proficiscentes.


Extract from
William Holden Hutton (1899). S. Thomas of Canterbury. D. Nutt. p. 59

Herbert of Bosham, (Quadrilogus) Materials iv. 305.

When the customs had been written down and put
in the form of a document [chirograph], the king demanded from
the archbishop and his suffragans, that for greater
safety and security they should append their seals.
But the archbishop, though very sad, disguised his
feeling, unwilling at this time to vex the king. And
he cautiously did not utterly refuse, but said that it
should be put off for the present. Even if they were
prepared to do it, he added that nevertheless a little
delay would be fitting on account of the gravity of
the business, since according to wisdom nothing
weighty should be done without counsel ; and then,
after deliberation, the bishops might curse if they be
required to do it elsewhere. Nevertheless, he re-
ceived the document [his part of the chirograph] containing the said customs,
with forethought indeed and prudence, that he might
have as it were the pleadings of his suit with him.

The second part of the legal document [chirograph], was accepted by the archbishop of York, and the king himself verily took the third part, for deposit in the king's archives. And thus we retired from the court and departed in the direction of the city of Winchester 


David Charles Douglas (1996). "EHD 127. Herbert of Bosham on the Constitutions of Clarendon (1164)".  
English Historical Documents. Volume 2. Routledge. pp. 770–. ISBN 978-0-415-14374-5.

See also

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