Friday, 10 May 2013

James Tyrrell's Translation of the Constitutions 1700


Extract from


I shall here also superadd the rest of the Constitutions made at Clarendon; And though they chiefly relate to Ecclesiastical Affairs, yet since they give great Light to the History of those times as well in Ecclesiastical as Civil matters, and have never been by any one put into English, as I know of, but are to be found in the Life of Thomas Becket, I will translate them from Quadrilogus, whose Copy of these Constitutions, as being more exact than that in Gervafe of Canterbury, and Matt. Paris, I rather chuse to follow: They begin thus.

In the Year 1164 of our Lord's Incarnation, and the 4th of the Papacy of Pope Alexander, and the Tenth Year of the Reign of the most Illustrious King Henry, in the presence of the said King there was a Remembrance, and Recognition made of some part of the Customs, and Liberties, and Prerogatives of his Ancestors, (viz.) of King Henry his Grandfather and others, which ought to be observ'd and maintain'd in his Kingdom; and because of the dissections and discords, which have risen between the Clergy and our Lord the King's Justices, and the Barons of the Kingdom, concerning the said Customs and Prerogatives, this Recognition was made before the Archbishops, Bishops and Clergy, as also before the Earls, Barons and Chief Men of the Kingdom [Proceres]; and the same Customs being acknowledged by the said Archbishops, Bishops, Earls, Barons, and others of the more noble and antient Men of the Kingdom [Antiquiores], Thomas Archbishop of Canterbury, and Roger Archbishop of York, &c. (where also follow the Names of all the rest of the Bishops which need not be recited here.) who have all granted, and in the word of Truth, & viva voce, have firmly promised shall be held and observed to our Lord the King and his Heirs bona fide, and without any evil meaning, in the presence of Robert Earl of Leicester, Reginald Earl of Cornwall, Conan Earl of Bretaign, &c.

Then follow the Names of all the rest of the Earls and Chief Barons of the Kingdom (which I omit,) with many other Chief and Noblemen of the Kingdom, both Clerks and Laicks; which  Customs and Prerogatives [Dignitatum] of the Kingdom, being so recognized, some part of them is contained in the present Writing, of which these are the Heads.

Art. I The first is concerning the Advouson and Presentation of Church' Churches, so that, if any controversy should arise between Laicks, under Pope or between Clerks and Laicks, it shall be handled and determined in the King's Court [Curia Regis].
[This Article the Roman Church under Alexander the Third, first of all condemned.

II. The Churches belonging to the King's Fee cannot be granted for ever without his Assent and Consent. 
[This the pope tolerated] 

III. Clerks arraign'd or accus'd of any matter being summon'd  by the King's Justice shall come to his Courts, there to answer concerning what ever shall seem fit to the said Court for them to make answer to, and also in the Ecclesiastical Court, to what it shall there seem fit to be answer'd; so that the King's Justice may send it into the Court of Holy Church to see after what manner the matter is there handled, and if a Clerk shall be convicted, or confess his Crime, the Church for the future ought not to defend him.
[This be condemned]

IV. It shall not be Lawful for the Archbishops, Bishops, or any other persons of the Kingdom to depart from the same, without the consent of our Lord the King, and if they so depart they shall give security, that they will not, either in going, staying, or returning procure any evil or dammage to the King, or Kingdom.
[This he condemned.]

V. Persons excommunicated ought not to give any vadium ad Remanens, i. eMoney or some other Pledge deposited in the Bishop's Court, but only Sureties and Pledges of standing to the Judgment of the Church, that they may be absolved. 
[This he condemned.]

VI. Laicks ought not to be accused; unless there be certain and legal Accusers, and that in presence of the Bishop, yet so that the ArchDeacon may not loose his Right, nor any thing, which he may have from thence; and if they are such who are culpable, and that none either will, or dare accuse them, the Sheriff being required by the Bishop, shall cause Twelve Lawful Men of the Vicinage or Town to be sworn before the Bishop, that they will declare the truth according to their conscience. 
[This he tolerated.]

VII. No man who holds of the King in Capite, nor any of his chief Officers, shall be excommunicated; nor shall the Lands of any such Persons be put under an Interdict [i.e. Divine Service forbidden to be celebrated in those places.], unless our Lord the King (if he be then in the Land) be first made acquainted with it, or else his Justice, if he shall be out of the Kingdom; that he may do Right concerning such a person, so that what shall belong ro the King's Court shall be there determin'd, and that which belongs to the Ecclesiastical Court, shall be sent to the same to be there dispatched.
[This he condemned.]

VIII. Is concerning Appeals; which,when they arise,they shall proceed from the Arch-deacon to the Bishop, from the Bishop to the Archbishop, and if the Archbishop shall be wanting in doing Justice, it shall at last come before our Lord the King; that by his precept the Controversy may be determined in the Archbishop's Court, so that it ought not to proceed further, without the consent of our Lord the King. 
[This he condemned.]

IX. If any difference shall happen between a Clergy-man and a Lay-man concerning any Tenement, which a Clergyman would make to be an Almes, and the Lay-man to be Lay-Fee, it shall be determined by the Verdict of Twelve Lawful Men according to the Custom or manner of the King's chief Justice, and that before him, whither the Tenement belong to Frank Almoign or the Lay Fee; and if it be found to belong to the Former, the Plea shall be held in the Ecclesiastical Court; but if to the latter, the Plea shall be in the King's Court, unless both of them shall claim [Avocaverint] to hold of the same Bishop, or Baron; and if each of them shall claim to hold of the same Lord [either Ecclesiastical or Temporal] the Plea shall be in his Court, yet so, that he who was first seized may not loose his Seisin, because of the Recognition so made to the other. 
[This he condemned.]

X. Whosoever is an Inhabitant of any City, Castle, Borough, or any Demesne or Manor of our Lord the King , if he shall be cited by the Archdeacon or Bishop concerning any fault, of which he ought to answer them, and will not obey their Citations, it shall be Lawful to put him under an Interdict; but he ought not to be excommunicated, before the King's chief Officer of that Town be made acquainted with it, that so he may cause him to give satisfaction, and if such an Officer shall fail therein, he shall be in the mercy of our Lord the King, and then the Bishop may compel the party accused by Ecclesiastical Process.
[This he condemned.]

XL That all Archbishops, Bishops, and other Ecclesiastical per. sons of the Kingdom who hold of the King in Capite, may enjoy their Possessions of our Lord the King, as a Barony, and out of them, answer the King's Justices and Officers, and that they may persue [Sequuntur] and  perform all Royal Rights and Customs; and as Barons they ought to be present at the Judgments of the  King's Court [Curia Regis] with the lay Barons, till they come to Judgment or sentence of Death or the loft of Members.
[This he tolerated.]

XII. When an Archbishoprick, Bishoprick, Abbey, or Priory held of our Lord the King shall be void, it ought to remain in his hands, and he to receive the Rents and Issues thereof, as of his Demesnes; and when he pleases to provide for that Church, our Lord the King ought to send for the chief Persons of that Church, and the Election ought to be made in the King's Chappel, with the Assent of our Lord the King, and by the Advice of such persons whom he shall call to perform it, and the person Elect shall there do Homage to our Lord the King, as his Liegeman of Life and Members, and worldly honours, saving his Order before he was consecrated.
[This he condemned.]

XIII. If any of the Noblemen [Proceribus] of the Kingdom shall deny [Defortiaverit] the Archbishop's, Bishop's, or Arch-deacon's Jurisdiction, concerning himself or his Goods [suis], the King shall do him Justice; or if any one should happen so to deny [Defortiaret] the Jurisdiction of our Lord the King, the Archbishops, Bishops and Archdeacons shall do Justice on him,  that he may make satisfaction [Restitudinem]  to our Lord the King.
[This he tolerated.]

XIV. That the Chattels of such as are under the King's Forfeitures may not be detained either in the Church, or Church-yard, against the King's Justice, because they belong to the King, whither they are within the bounds of Churches, or without.
[This he tolerated.]

XV. Pleas concerning Debts, which are owing upon Naked promife  [fide interposita] or without promise, shall be within the Justice of our Lord the King.
[This he condemned.]

XVI. That the Sons of Country Clowns (or Villains) ought not to be ordained Clerks without the Assent of the Lord, in whose Lands they are known to be born.
[This he tolerated.]

These Ordinances or Statutes of Clarendon were sent to Pope Alexander the Third to be confirmed, but notwithstanding the great Importunity the King used to perswade him to it, he damn'd most, and only tolerated some of them, as we find in Labbés Tenth Tome of Councils, Col. 1431, &c. and according to that Addition, to every Article we have (in the margin) put his Consent to, or condemnation of them.

Yet not withstanding the Pope's Prohibitions, the King's Court did not stick to proceed upon divers of those Articles, which are so condemned, particularly in the First, Fourth, Ninth, Twelfth and Fifteenth Articles, as may appear to any one that will take the pains to consult our Histories and Law-books concerning those matters.


See also

Philippe Labbé; Gabriel Cossart (1671). Sacrosancta Concilia Ad Regiam Editionem Exacta: Quae Nunc Quarta Parte Prodit Auctior. Ab anno MLXXIII. ad annum MCXCVII.. Tomus Decimus. Societas Typographica Librorum Ecclesiasticorum.  col. 1425-33.

Catholic Church. Councils; Jean Hardouin; Philippe Labbe; Catholic Church. Pope, Gabriel Cossart, France. Conseil d'Etat (1714). Acta conciliorum et epistolae decretales, ac constitutiones summorum pontificum: pt. 1. Ab anno 872 ad annum 1085. Ex Typographia Regia. pp. 311–.

Another translation

John Johnson (1851). A collection of the laws and canons of the Church of England: from its first foundation to the conquest, and from the conquest to the reign of King Henry VIII. 1164 The Articles of Clarendon: Parker. pp. 50–.  

And another

Jeremy Collier (1708). Ecclesiastical History of Great Britain, Chiefly of England from the First Planting of Christianity to the End of the Reign of King Charles II. Samuel Keble. pp. 351–.

And another
Johann Lorenz Mosheim (1803). An Ecclesiastical History, Antient and Modern, from the Birth of Christ to the Begginning of the Eighteenth Century: in which the Rise, Progress, and Variations of Church Power are Considered in Their Connexion with the State of Learning and Philosophy, and the Political History of Europe During that Period. Thomas Turnbull. pp. 56–.

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