Monday, 30 September 2013

A Cut Down Version of the Constitutions of Clarendon

The following abbreviated version of the clauses 1 to 7 of the Constitutions of Clarendon exists only in one 12th century collection of manuscripts, amongst a set of Becket's correspondence in the Bodleian library Oxford - Bodl. MS Rawlinson Q.f.8 (27836). This collection was in the Library of Ely Cathedral in the 14th century. It might be an abridged version of the full text , or an abstract compiled by the clerics who formed this collection. It is conceivable that it might even be a preliminary version of the Constitutions, made quite late on  when they were being formulated.

Abstracted from
Dorothy Whitelock; Martin Brett; Christopher Nugent Lawrence Brooke (1981). Councils & Synods: With Other Documents Relating to the English Church. A.D.871-1204. Clarendon Press. pp. 883-5. ISBN 978-0-19-822394-8.

1. De presentationibus ecclesiarum placitum inter laicos sive inter clericos, sive inter clericos et laicos, in curia regis terminetur.

Concerning the presentation [advowson] of churches in legal proceedings between either lay persons, or between clerics, or between clerics and lay persons are to be decided in the king's court.

2.  Elemosine (sic for Ecclesie) de feudo regis non possunt dari in elemosinam in perpetuum, nisi per licentiam regis.

Frankalmoign [lands held in free alms] (as thus by the Church) of the king's fee are not possible to be granted in Elemosina [free alms] in perpetuity, not without authorization from the king.

3. Clerici qui calumpniati fuerint et rettati de quacumque re, summoniti per iusticiam regis veniant in curiam regis responsuri ibia de hoc quod ipsi curie videbitur ibi respondendum, et inde ad curiam sancte ecclesie ibi ad respondendum vel faciendum quod iustum fuerit; et iusticia regis mittat in curiam ecclesie ad videndum quo iure res tractetur.

Clerics who have committed any calumny and who have been accused on any matter whatsoever, are to be summoned by the king's justice to come into the king's court to be seen in that court to answer, there to respond about this, and then [to be sent] to the court of the holy church there to respond and/or to do that which must be done, that which is right and just; and the king's justice is to be sent into the ecclesiastical court to see that justice is done.
4. Episcopis sive aliis personis non licet exire a regno Anglie nisi per licentiam regis.

Bishops or other parsons [vicars or ecclesiastical persons] are not allowed to leave the kingdom of England without the king's authorization.

3b. Clericum convictum et confessum non debet ecclesia tueri.

Clerics who have been convicted and have confessed must not be protected by the Church.

5. Excommunicati non debent dare pro absolutione sua pignus, nisi vadium et plegium standi iudicio ecclesie, nec prestare iuramentum.

Excommunicates must not give their own pledge for absolution, without bail and surety to stand trial in the church [court], nor proving an oath.

6. Laici non accusentur nisi per legitimes accusatores et legales testes et in presentia ipsius episcopi causa  tractetur, salvo tamen iure archidiaconi.

Lay persons are not to be charged except by legitimate accusers and in the presence of lawful witnesses, and the case dealt with in the presence of the bishop himself, having regard, however, for the right of the archdeacons.

7. Barones regis vel servientes vel aliqui qui in capite de rege teneant non excommunicentur, donec domino regi prius ostendatur, et  in curia regis quod ad iusticiam regis pertinet et in curia ecclesiastica sit quod ibi pertinet.

The king's barons and/or in his service, and/or anyone who is a tenant-in-chief [tenens in capite] of the king are not to be excommunicated, until it has been first disclosed to the lord king, and the case brought both before the king's court for that which pertains to the king's justice, and into the ecclesiastical court for matters which pertain there.


Two Early Collections of the Becket Correspondence and of other Contemporary Documents
A. Saltman
Bulletin of Historical Research
Volume 22, Issue 66, pages 152–157, November 1949
See 11b  Variant text of the first seven Constitutions of Clarendon (unprinted).

Bodleian Library Catalogue Entry

Shelfmark MS. Rawl. Q. f. 8
Summary Catalogue no. 27836
Summary of contents Letters of and documents concerning Thomas Becket. From the library of Ely cathedral priory.
Language Latin
Origin English
Date 12th century, fourth quarter
Material parchment

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Cistercians, Pontigny Abbey and Becket's Exile at Pontigny Abbey

Some of the most important events concerning the history of this case take place when Becket is an exile at the abbey of Pontigny December 1164 - November 1166.

Pontigny was to gain a hallowed tradition of sheltering  renowned but persecuted English churchmen, most notably Saint Anselm and Saint Thomas Becket, and later archbishop Stephen Langton, and archbishop Edmund of Canterbury.

Chartres Cathedral: Becket Leaving Pontigny


Janet Burton; Janet E. Burton; Julie Kerr (2011). The Cistercians in the Middle Ages. Boydell Press. ISBN 978-1-84383-667-4.

Sharla Race (2011). Aelred of Rievaulx: Cistercian Monk and Medieval Man: A Twelfth Century Life. Sharla Race. pp. 1–. ISBN 978-1-907119-02-6.

Isaac of Stella, the Cistercians and the Thomas
Becket Controversy: A Bibliographical and
Contextual Study
Travis D. Stolz
Marquette University

Actes Du Colloque International de Sedieres. Robert-Henri Bautier: Les premières relations entre le monastère de Pontigny et la royauté anglaise: Editions Beauchesne. pp. 41–.

Richard Cumpston Jones. Saint-Omer and the British Connection. pp. 23–. ISBN 978-1-4478-7482-9. 

Pontigny Abbey

A Cistercian abbey which was founded in 1114 .


Becket in Exile at Pontigny Abbey 1164-66

a) Escape from Northampton 1164

After his flight and escape from the trial at Northampton, and crossing the Englsih Channel, Becket landed in Flanders, North France, and eventually reached the pope, who was also living in exile in Sens.

William Holden Hutton (1910)
Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury. p. 109-11
Pitman London

Kay Brainerd Slocum (January 2004). Liturgies in Honour of Thomas Becket. University of Toronto Press. pp. 44–. ISBN 978-0-8020-3650-6.

b) Resident at Pontigny Abbey

Following discussions with the pope, and at the pope's recommendation, but also, it seems, chosen by Becket himself,  Becket found refuge at the Abbey of Pontigny amongst the Cistercians. During these first years in exile (from November 1164 to Spring 1166) he devoted his time to learning canon law. As monks the Cistercians were a severely ascetic order who insisted on a very strict observance of their Rule, which perhaps suited Becket. Perhaps Becket was inspire by Anselm, who had been a Cistercian before becoming archbishop.

pp. 121-133 November 1164 to Spring 1166

James Craigie Robertson (1859). Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury. pp. 153–.

Henry Hart Milman (1860). Life of Thomas à Becket. Sheldon & company. pp. 113–27

c) King Henry's Revenge Christmas 1164

In December 1164 King Henry became malevolently spiteful. He removed the benefices paid to Becket's clerics from those who had fled into exile with him, including Herbert of Boseham, and demanded payments from those bishops who had stood surety for him at his trial at Northampton.  And also sent a huge number of Becket own extended family and servants into exile. He gave this programme of reprisal to Ranulf de Broc to oversee, who ruthlessly executed the king's order. The archbishopric of Canterbury had become void following Becket's flight and consequently passed into the king's hands. Ranulf de Broc was given the custodes of it to farm on the king's behalf.

Ancient Hampshire Families: BrocThe Herald and Genealogist. 1870. pp. 508–.

Thomas (Becket); Christian de Wulf (1682). Epistolae Et Vita Divi Thomae Martyris Et Archi-Episcopi Cantuariensis. Fricx. pp. 127–.

Thomas Madox (1711). "Page 406 Footnote q:"The History and Antiquities of the Exchequer of the Kings of England ... Knaplock. pp. 406–.

Constitutions of Clarendon: Writ of Henry II addressed to the sheriffs of England (December 1164)

Thómas Saga Erkibyskups: A Life of Archbishop Thomas Becket, in Icelandic, with English ... (Volume 1) - Eiríkur Magnússon
Chapter 48 p. 319-26 Of the Hardness of King Henry
Chapter 54 p. 347-353 The Kin of Thomas are Banished

Gourde, Leo T. (1943), "An Annotated Translation of the Life of St. Thomas Becket by William Fitzstephen".
pp. 99-101

James J. Spigelman (2004). Becket & Henry: The Becket Lectures. James Spigelman. pp. 161–. ISBN 978-0-646-43477-3.

Kay Brainerd Slocum (January 2004). Liturgies in Honour of Thomas Becket. University of Toronto Press. pp. 47–. ISBN 978-0-8020-3650-6.

James Craigie Robertson (1859). Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury. pp. 157–.

Michael Green (2004). St Thomas Becket. Gracewing Publishing. pp. 51–. ISBN 978-0-85244-590-7.

Frank Barlow (1990). Thomas Becket. University of California Press. pp. 149–. ISBN 978-0-520-07175-9.

Michael Staunton (7 December 2001). The Lives of Thomas Becket. Manchester University Press. pp. 144–. ISBN 978-0-7190-5455-6.

d) Papal Legate

The Pope makes Becket Papal Legate to England 24th April 1166

Frances Andrews; Brenda M. Bolton; Christoph Egger; Constance M. Rousseau (1 January 2004). Pope, church, and city [electronic resource]: essays in honour of Brenda M. Bolton. BRILL. pp. 184–. ISBN 978-90-04-14019-6

Michael Green (2004). St Thomas Becket. Gracewing Publishing. pp. 54–. ISBN 978-0-85244-590-7.

James J. Spigelman (2004). Becket & Henry: The Becket Lectures. James Spigelman. pp. 173–. ISBN 978-0-646-43477-3

Saint Thomas (à Becket) (2000). The Correspondence of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1162-1170: Letters 1-175. Oxford University Press. pp. 270–. ISBN 978-0-19-820892-1. Retrieved 26 September 2013.Text "Letter 69" ignored (help)

Saint Thomas (à Becket) (2000). "Letter 71".  Pope Alexander to Archbishop Thomas of Canterbury (Lateran 2 May 1166) The Correspondence of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1162-1170: Letters 1-175. Oxford University Press. pp. 278–. ISBN 978-0-19-820892-1.

Kay Brainerd Slocum (January 2004). Liturgies in Honour of Thomas Becket. University of Toronto Press. pp. 51–. ISBN 978-0-8020-3650-6

Martha G. Newman (1996). The Boundaries of Charity: Cistercian Culture and Ecclesiastical Reform, 1098-1180. Stanford University Press. pp. 210–. ISBN 978-0-8047-2512-5.

e) Becket's Letters to King Henry

During 1166 Becket writes three letters to king Henry, threatening him with ecclesiastical punishments. Henry considers them as sermonising him and ignores them.  Each letter represents in turn an escalation of Becket's case.

Loqui de Deo (ca April 1166)

Desiderio desideravi (Late May to Early June 1166)

Exspectans exspectavi (After 12th June 1166)

f) Excommunications at Vézelay

On Whitsun 1166, at Vézelay, Becket excommunicated several of Henry's advisors and ministers, including John of Oxford, Richard of Ilchester, Richard de Lucy, and Jocelin de Balliol. He stopped short of excommunicating the king himself.

Excommunications at Vézelay

Letter from his Suffragan Bishops: Quae Vestro (1166)

Frank Barlow (1990). Thomas Becket. University of California Press. pp. 147–. ISBN 978-0-520-07175-9.

Actes Du Colloque International de Sedieres. (Aout 1973) Editions Beauchesne.

Actes Du Colloque International de Sedieres. Editions Beauchesne. pp. 135–.

Saint Thomas (à Becket); Herbert (of Bosham); Jacques-Paul Migne (1854). S. Thomæ Cantuariensis Archiepiscopi et martyris nec non Herberti de Boseham clerici ejus a secretis opera omnia. Excudebatur et venit apud J.-P. Migne. pp. 1–.

Saint Thomas (à Becket) (2000). The Correspondence of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1162-1170: Letters 176-329. Oxford University Press. pp. 1369–. ISBN 978-0-19-820893-8.

Saint Thomas (à Becket) (2000). The Correspondence of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1162-1170: Letters 1-175. Oxford University Press. pp. 497–. ISBN 978-0-19-820892-1.

Saint Thomas (à Becket) (2000). The Correspondence of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1162-1170: Letters 1-175. Letter 115 Oxford University Press. pp. 557–. ISBN 978-0-19-820892-1.  = MTB 246

More References

Anne J. Duggan (2000). The Correspondence of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1162-1170: Letters 176-329. Volume II. Epistola 181: Clarendon Press. pp. 814–. ISBN 978-0-19-820893-8.

Frank Barlow (1990). Thomas Becket. University of California Press. pp. 157–. ISBN 978-0-520-07175-9.

Kay Brainerd Slocum (January 2004). Liturgies in Honour of Thomas Becket. University of Toronto Press. pp. 51–. ISBN 978-0-8020-3650-6.
John Morris - 1885
In the September following, on Holy Cross Day (Sept. 14, 1166), the general chapter of the Cistercian Order was held as usual. The King sent them a letter ... After the three days of the chapter, Gilbert, Abbot of Citeaux, the Bishop of Pavia, who had once been a monk of the order, and several other Abbots, came to Pontigny ...

Analecta Cisterciensia. v.27-28 1971-72. pp. 64-80
Archbishop Thomas Becket and the Cistercian Order
by Bennett D. Hill

Travis D. Stolz
Marquette University Dissertations 2009

Actes Du Colloque International de Sedieres. Marie-Anselme Dimier; Thomas Becket et les Cisterciens: Editions Beauchesne. pp. 49–

Herbert of Bosham: Materials for History of Thomas Becket III pp.397-398.

Martin Aurell (2007). The Plantagenet Empire, 1154-1224. Longman. pp. 79–. ISBN 978-0-582-78439-0.

Léopold Delisle (1869). Recueil des historiens des Gaules et de la France. Victor Palmé. pp. 129–.

Waast B. Henry (1839). Histoire de l'Abbaye de Pontigny, Ordre de Citeaux. Maillefer. pp. 48–.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Writ of Henry II addressed to the sheriffs of England (December 1164)

The king's writ to the sheriffs  December 1164.

(Materials for the History of Thomas Becket, Volume 5  p.152)

Saint Thomas (à Becket) (1845). Opera. Parker. pp. 279–.

David Charles Douglas (1961). "EHD 134: Writ of Henry II addressed to the sheriffs of England (December 1164). English Historical Documents: 1042-1189, edited by D. C. Douglas and G. W. Greenaway. Oxford University Press.

Has literas misit Henricus rex Anglice singulis vicecomitibus Angliae, in principio persecutionis sancti Thomae.

'Praecipio tibi, quod si aliquis clericus vel laicus in bailia tua Romanam curiam appellaverit, eum capias, et firmiter custodias, donec voluntatem meam percipias; et omnes reditus et possessiones clericorum archiepiscopi saisias in manum meam, sicut Randulphus de Broc, et alii ministri mei tibi dixerint: et omnium clericorum, qui cum archiepiscopo sunt, patres et matres, fratres et sorores, nepotes et neptes ponas per salvos plegios, et catalla eorum, donec voluntatem meam inde percipias, et hoc breve tecum afferas, quum summonitus fueris.'

This Writ was sent by Henry king of England to all the Sheriffs of England, Sheriff of Kent, in principle persecuting saint Thomas.

'I charge thee, that if some cleric or layman, has appealed to the Court of Rome, in thy district, thou art to arrest him, and to lock him up securely in prison, until my pleasure is known: and that all of the revenues and properties of the archbishop's clerics are to be seized into my possession, as directed Ralph de Broc, and my other ministers, and that of all the clerics, who are with the archbishop, their fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, nephews, nieces, and thou shalt demand from them pledges in security and their chattels, until I command that my will in this matter is made known. And thou shalt bring this writ with thee, if thou hast been summoned.

Letter Henry II to the Bishops of England

Gilbert Foliot (1845). Epistolæ. J. H. Parker. pp. 278–.


Has literas misit Henricus rex Angliae singulisepiscopis Angliœ.

Nosti quam male Thomas Cantuariensis archiepiscopus operatus est adversum me et regnum meum, et quam male recesserit: et ideo tibi mando, quod clerici sui, qui circa ipsum fuerunt post fugam suam, et alii clerici, qui detraxerunt honori meo et honori regni, non percipiant aliquid de reditibus illis, quos habuerunt in episcopatu tuo, nisi per me, nec habeant aliquod auxilium vel consilium a te.
Teste Ricardo de Luci, apud Merleberg.

This letter was sent by Henry II king of England to each of the bishops of England.

You know how badly Thomas archbishop of Canterbury has laboured against me and my kingdom, and how shamefully he has escaped: and therefore to you I command this, because his clerks, who have been around him since his escape, and the other clergymen, who have dragged down my dignity and the honour of the kingdom,  not to allow them to receive any source of income belonging to them, which they hold in your bishopric, unless through me, and nor may they receive any help or advice from you.
Witnessed by Richard de Luci, at Marlborough.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Medieval Boats, Skiffs and Ships

Side of Tournai Font in Winchester Cathedral

Wikipedia Cog (ship)
[Kug or Kugge]

Wikipedia Medieval ships

Wikipedia Traditional Fishing Boat

Wikipedia Galley (Medieval)

Wikipedia Longship

Snecca or Snekkja [Snake or Serpent]

Sea Battle off Sandwich - Chronica Majora by Matthew Paris

Richard Brooks (2014). The Knight Who Saved England: William Marshal and the French Invasion, 1217. Osprey Publishing. pp. 241–. ISBN 978-1-84908-550-2.

Auger, B. 2011. La représentation des bateaux en Europe entre le VIIIè et le XIIIè siècle.. [e-book] Grenoble: Université de Grenoble.

Robert Odell Bork; Andrea Kann (1 January 2008). The Art, Science, and Technology of Medieval Travel. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. pp. 1–. ISBN 978-0-7546-6307-2.

Clifford Rogers (June 2010). "Galleys"The Oxford Encyclopedia of Medieval Warfare and Military Technology. Oxford University Press. pp. 1–. ISBN 978-0-19-533403-6.

Norse Herring Boat

Wikipedia Yole

Smyth, H. Warington (1906)
Mast and sail in Europe and Asia


Boat used by William the Conqueror depicted in Bayeaux Tapestry

John Block Friedman; Kristen Mossler Figg (4 July 2013). Trade, Travel, and Exploration in the Middle Ages: An Encyclopedia. Routledge. pp. 553–. ISBN 978-1-135-59094-9.

Craig Lambert; Craig L. Lambert (2011). Shipping the Medieval Military: English Maritime Logistics in the Fourteenth Century. Boydell Press. pp. 7–. ISBN 978-1-84383-654-4

Craig Lambert; Craig L. Lambert (2011). Shipping the Medieval Military: English Maritime Logistics in the Fourteenth Century. Boydell Press. pp. 7–. ISBN 978-1-84383-654-4.

Louis Sicking; Darlene Abreu-Ferreira (2009). Beyond the Catch: Fisheries of the North Atlantic, the North Sea and the Baltic, 900-1850. BRILL. pp. 91–. ISBN 978-90-04-16973-9. Navis I Database Navis II Database

Cymbula [Cumbula] Regia (Royal Barge)


Franklin, C. A. (1985). Caulking techniques in Northern and Central European ships and boats, 1500 B. C.- A. D. 1940 (Master's thesis, Texas A&M University).

Michael L. Ryder. "Animal Hair in Medieval Ship Caulking Throws Light on Livestock Types." Environmental Archaeology 2013; 2(1), 61-66.

Deforce, K., Allemeersch, L., Stieperaere, H., & Haneca, K. (2014). Tracking ancient ship routes through the analysis of caulking material from shipwrecks? The case study of two 14th century cogs from Doel (northern Belgium). Journal of Archaeological Science43, 299-314.

The Wrecking of the White Ship (La Blanche-Nef)
Night of the 25th November 1120

BL Royal 20 A. ii, f. 6v. Henry I & White Ship

The heir to the English throne, son of Henry I, Prince William, together with the flower of English society gathered around him, drowned on that night. The ship they were in, the White Ship, a  50-oared single bank galley,  foundered on some rocks which lay just beneath the surface of the water in the race of Catteville just outside the harbour of Barfleur. The White Ship struck one of the rocks and sank. During this voyage, William was accompanied by some 300 companions including 140 knights and 18 nobles, his half-brother Richard, his half-sister Matilda Countess of Perche, his cousins Stephen and Matilda of Blois, nephew of the Emperor Henry V of Germany, the young Earl of Chester and most of the heirs of the great landowners of England and Normandy. The atmosphere was merry; the Prince had filled the boat with barrels of wine. Both passengers and crew soon became drunk, sufficiently enough to chase away a group of clerics who had came to bless the journey just before they set sail. Some of the intended passengers, including Stephen of Blois [later king of England] , who was suffering from diarrhoea, sensing complications, luckily decided to take another boat.
Galley with Single-Bank of Oars

Arthur Bailey Thompson (1865). The Victoria history of England: from the landing of Julius Caesar, B.C. 54, to the marriage of H.R.H. Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, A.D. 1863. Routledge, Warne & Routledge. pp. 59–.

L'Epoque ou Soirées européennes: formant le cours le plus complet de la littérature européenne et asiatique.  Naufrage du Vaisseau Blanc. Libr. des Beaux-Arts. pp. 309–12.

Barfleur, un naufrage, le 25 novembre 1120, la Blanche Nef

Société des antiquaires de Normandie (1825). Mémoires de la Société des antiquaires de Normandie. Société des antiquaires de Normandie. pp. 336–9.

Dorling, H. Taprell  (1912) All about ships

The Monthly Magazine: Or, British Register .... 1823. pp. 299–.

Herbert Fry; George Bradshaw (1865). Bradshaw's hand-book to Normandy and the Channel Islands. pp. 77–.
Jacques Nicolas Augustin Thierry (1841). History of the conquest of England by the Normans [tr. by C.C. Hamilton].. pp. 143–.

George C. V. Holmes (1 July 2006). Ancient and Modern Ships V1: Wooden Sailing Ships. Kessinger Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4286-4751-0.

Bowen, Frank C.(1927) The sea; its history and romance. p.18

Sarah's History Place Blogspot

Tides, Tidal Flows and Currents in the English Channel

Curious winds and tides occur in the English Channel and North Sea. These seas are subject to high tidal ranges and the funelling effect of the English Channel as it narrows in the Straits of Dover. There are strong anticlockwise tidals streams and flows. The prevailing winds blow from the South West. These conditions can be used to effect by experienced navigators enabling them swiftly to cross the Channel over from Flanders to the English ports such as Sandwich and Dover and vice versa. Extreme adverse conditions, however, could occur if the winds were to blow in the opposite direction to the tidal flows. Fogs could could also arise blocking visibility. At the same time huge volumes of sands and gravel were shifiting from the Channel into the North Sea creating hazards like large gravel and sand banks in shallow seas and shoals upon which boats might be stranded where they would have to wait for the next high tide to lift them off. Port entrances were gradually silting up over centuries. River mouths could be blocked by huge mudbanks. Storms could arise creating choppy seas.

Navigators in these times would have to rely on their own knowledge and skill at handling the adverse conditions. Navigation generally required sight of the shoreline. There were no lighthouses, few shorelights, and few landmarks apart from cliffs, castles or church towers. There were no compasses or accurate navigation instruments. Some parts of the English Channel had dangerous rocks upon which boats could founder.


Ipswich Town Seal ca 1200


Cognitive Maps of Time and Tide Among Medieval Seafarers
Charles O. Frake
New Series, Vol. 20, No. 2 (Jun., 1985), pp. 254-270

Samuel Haughton (1865). Manual of tides and tidal currents. Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts & Green. pp. 1–.

Luc Cuyvers (1 January 1986). The Strait of Dover. BRILL. pp. 17–. ISBN 90-247-3252-2.