Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Garnier: Content of the Constitutions of Clarendon

Extract from
Verses 479-512
Lines 2391-2560

479 If you would like to listen to the laws of king Henry which he wanted both to put in place and establish in his kingdom, and to make [force upon] holy church both to keep and hold to them, you can learn about them here, for I do not want to lie about them. [It is sufficient reason that] St. Thomas did so much hate them, [that] everyone should hate them [too].

480 If a plea [dispute] concerning a church arises between the laity and clergy [literate persons], [that is] between lay persons one of them being the defendant [advocate], or between clerics one of them being he who presented the plea [the plaintiff] in the king's court is the plea to be heard and concluded. The rights of holy church in this matter are forgotten [ignored].

481 Without the consent [the express written/official authorisation] of the king no one must give [away the benefice of] a church  which lies in his [the king's] fief/fee. -- Well can you see clearly that the whole kingdom is his, that he is the governor of the whole of the said. By this law he could deceive everyone and all the churches [of his kingdom] are converted [transferred] into [ones in the power of] his gift. --

482  Clerics should answer all charges in the king's court; then afterwards be brought before the court of Holy Church [ecclesiastical court], where the king's justice should be present for the plea. Those who are convicted [attainted] should be degraded and dismembered [torn apart?/put to death?/mutilated?] -- It is wrong one must be put in peril [jeopardy] twice for one sole misdeed. -- 

483.  Neither prelate nor parson [curate/person of the Church] may travel outside of England without the king's permission; And if obtained then they must swear that that will not seek to do any evil, neither to the king nor to the kingdom.— If this were so then a weak man could never win as king Henry would hold the power of St. Peter [himself] —.  

484 Those who have been excommunicated should not give a pledge to [give money to] Holy Church to make amends for their misdeed, nor a large amount to be absolved of a great sin  — Most would be free to sin even more if they were not otherwise restrained by the clergy. —   

485 No clerk, no layman, no one may bring a plea against any laick, except before a bishop [in his ecclesiastical court]; neither should he reply to it there unless trusted lawful testimony has been heard against him, saving that the archdeacon does not lose his right.  - (But according to this law,  no one would gain anything by this.) -

486 If it were such that no one dared to accuse him then it was necessary for the bishop to take this up with the sheriff [viscount]. Then twelve men were to try the truth, how using their knowledge they could swear to this.  — (From now on God must submit His claim [make His appeals] to St. Peter.)  —

487 No one who holds his land from the king in chief [No tenant-in-chief], neither anyone of his ministers may be excommunicated, likewise their lands may not be put under interdict, without having discussed it with the king, if he was present in the country or the kingdom.

488 If one cannot find the king in the country then the prelate must go to the [king's chief] justiciar. That which concerns the king is to be settled in the king's court. That which pertains to the prelate to be decided in his court. He who judges sins well can he can hear the confession of them.  

489 The archdeacon must hear the appeals before others; from there they must come before the bishop, and thence to the archbishop. If he cannot fulfil them then the king must bring them to the court of God for finalisation. They must not go out from his court without his permission..

490 —  Then  the court of king Henry would be the highest assize, placed well above that of the court of Rome. Then would all England be without divine justice: nor would she be taken to be one of the twelve tribes [of Israel] if Moses were not the supreme judge. —

491 If a cleric wished to quarrel with a laick over a holding which he wished to change from lay fee into elemosyne [free alms], or a laick wished to convert elemosyne into a lay fee [then] by [the testimony of a jury of] twelve is the rightness to be proved whether it ought to be lay fee or elemosyne.

492. If both agree it [the land in question] is held from one overlord, either cleric or laick, each is to go his [own] court. But if they accept that there are two overlords of this fee, in the court of king Henry both are to plead about it, but recognition of seisin [feudal ownership by physical occupation] will not be lost.    
493  This clause ought not to be tolerated by either cleric or laick. For Holy Church it can lead to a failure in justice. For both clerics and laicks it  can lead to loss; the promissory oaths of [a jury of] twelve can take away fiefs, and in the case of overlords, even as much and his [the latter] having to give up his rights to his man [vassal]. —

494 If anyone from a castle, from a burgh, or from a city or from the manor of the king, anyone of his demesne, if anyone accused of  crimes is brought before their prelates, if to their lawful summons and do not come of their own free will, then they are to appear before the officer [sheriff?] of king Henry.

495. And if he [the king's agent] could not fully well set this matter to right, he must lift the sentence,  and make him [the accused] appear before the king at his mercy. And the prelates can then pass judgement on him because before this no one would have been allowed to excommunicate him, even one of whom could well have been dismissed from the Church.

496. All parsons and prelares of the realm who hold from the king lands and property, they all hold from him in chief as barons. They are present at his judgements like his other intimates, until they are condemned to death or mutilation.

497 — Clerics must not judge laicks, neither are laicks to judge clerics. For land held in free alms to no one must one be responsible for it other than to God. And if the king himself [thinks] he is equal to God, then well can he chase out all the saints in heaven from there; but I know not what part of it he would leave for God.  —

498. If in the kingdom any [ecclesiastical] position falls vacant [that is it has been delivered up to the king], bishopric, priory, abbey or any archbishopric, the king will seize the rents and [income from its] fiefs; he will profit from.the possession of them and keep hold of them like he manacles his hawk, until the position is filled with an appointed pastor. 

499. I have been in many places which have been seized by the king. In none of them were guests or the poor received. I was in front of the gate [of one of them] and the porter refused me entry. Charity was not there, this I heard by he said, [that] the king had taken away everything whence the place was furnished with.
500 Monk and cook [cou/queux] and servant, squire and servant boy [groom] each had his allowance by right of bread, because the servants of the king were in the house; when they left they pillaged it so that nowhere in the larder [store] could one find even the smallest capon.

501 Thus a great wrongdoing had been committed by the king against God, and against the place, and to the barons whose fathers had founded the church. For they devote themselves entirely to the service of their fief, and he takes their alms and puts it into his treasury. [money] which was meant for the poor and [such] well deserved ends.

502 When the king wants to invest a church [cathedral] with a pastor [bishop].
(Because all must agree to go along with his will) three persons from the Church [from its chapter] would be sent for, and he would summon them to meet together with prelates and barons in his [the royal] chapel.

503   How important it is that one must consult the Church in accordance with [the laws of] God. Those of understanding and those of noble rank should be kept distant from one another and be prevented from coming together, for the barons would deceive the wits, and those of noble rank and worth would violently clash against them [those of understanding]. Simony could [also] lead to the promotion of a person little merit.

504  The elected one does homage to the king without delay, [swearing] fealty and allegiance to his liege lord, with his body for his earthly estate. -- By doing this the servant of [Christ] the Saviour is having to perform homage which not one of them would ever do if it were not for [the investiture of] their crozier.

505 If no one is willing to enforce their right before prelates, then either the king will do this himself or this will be addressed through another [an intermediary]. If it happens that someone cannot bring a case to court against [versus] the king that he cannot obtain his rights, then he may receive justice from a prelate [in the church court] as if he were the king.

506 The King is duty bound [on oath] to uphold [protect] Holy Church and the clergy; therefore they should not bear arms, neither should they equip themselves for great wars. They must serve God, whoever they may be, night and day.  They must not cause trouble with the king's enemies, neither the French nor Welsh, for this separates them from God.

507  If someone is in forfeit of his properties to the king, his goods [possessions] must not be kept in [on the land of] a graveyard [cemetery], nor [given sanctuary] in a monastery. But I know that if a robber or a felon enters,  it is false they [that their person] can be seized from monasteries and graveyards.

508 Pleas which are for debt, either entered into by oath or without oath, such pleas must all be heard in the king's court. I [as Garnier himself was a cleric] ought not to plead in a lay court for a crime. Clerics, and all those whom live and are provided for from charity, shall have their own court and law for debt and other matters.

509 The son of a churl [or villein bound to a manor] is not to be and nowhere ordained without the assent of the lord on whose land he was born. (But yet God calls us to his service to everything. Of better worth is the son of a villein if he is gifted and wise, than the inadequate and repulsive son of a gentleman).

510 Such were the chapters [clauses] of the laws of king Henry. And I truly tell you that the good pope Alexander, and likewise St. Thomas, excommunicated all those who observed them from this moment on forever. One must not comply with those which are not friendly to God.

511 To fools and to felons they seem pleasing laws. Every man who has faith must contradict them, for throughout they upset the Celestial King. How exalted is His champion who took up the battle to vanquish this wickedness.

Teneur des articles de Clarendon

479. Se vus volez les leis le rei Henri oïr. 
Qu'il voleit en sun règne e mètre e establir 
E faire a saint' iglise e guarder e tenir, 
Ci les purrez aprendre; car jo n'en voil mentir. 
2395 Quant sainz Thomas les het, tuit les deivent haïr. 

480. Se plaiz sursist d'iglise entre lais u letrez. 
Entre les lais se cil u cil fust avoez. 
Entre les clers se cil u cil fust presentez. 
En la curt le rei fust li plaiz faiz e finez. 
2400 — Li dreiz de saint' iglise fu iluec oblïez. — 

481. Senz le congié le rei ne deüst nuls duner
Iglise en tut sun fiu. — Bien poëz veeir cler 
Tuz li règnes est suens, tut le deit guverner. 
Par celé lei poiist trestuz ensoffimer, 
2405 E tûtes les iglises a sun dun aturner. — 

482. A la curt respundreient le rei clerc de tut ret; 
En curt de saint' iglise resereient puis tret; 
La justise le rei sereit iluec el plet. 
Desordené sereient li ataint e desfet. 
2410 — A tort deit um périr dous feiz d'un sul mesfait. — 

483. Prélat hors d'Engleterre ne persone n'alast 
Senz le congié le rei; e dunkes si jurast 
Que al rei ne al règne nul mal ne purchaçast. 
— S'ensi fust, fiebles hum dreit mais ne conquestast; 
2415 La poesté saint Piere li reis Henris guardast. — 

484. Ne dunassent pas guage li escumenïé 
Qu'a saint' iglise fuissent del mesfait adrescié, 
Ne mais a ço qu'il fussent asols del grant pechié. 
— Mult fuissent a pécher li pluisur deslïé, 
2420 Quant altrement ne fussent destraint par le clergié. — 

485. Ne clerc ne lais, ne nuls, lai en plait ne mesist 
Fors par devant l'evesque; n'ilec ne respundist, 
Se leaus testemonies contre lui n'i oïst, 
Si que l'arcediacnes le suen dreit ne perdist. % 
2425 — Mais selunc celé lei nul d'els rien n'i presist. ~ 

486. Se cil fust teus que nul ne l'osast acuser, 
Dune l'esteiist l'evesque al vescunte mustrer; 
A duze hummes fereit la vérité prover, 
Cum a lur escïent le purreient jurer. 
2430 — Des ore se deit Deiis a saint Piore clamer. — 

487. Nuls qui tenist del rei sa terre chevaument, (f. 21 r") 
Ne nuls de ses ministres, lur terres ensement, 
Ne fust mis en dévié n'en escumen^ement, 
Se li reis n'en ïust mis en araisunement, 
2435 Se il fust el païs u el règne en présent. 

488. S'um ne peûst le rei dune el païs trover, 
Le prélat esteûst a la justise aler, 
Ço qu'ai rei apartint en la rei curt finer, 
Ço qu'atainst al prélat en' sa curt terminer. 
2440 — Qui les péchiez justise, bien en puet confesser. — 

489. L'arcediacnes dut les apeaus ainz oïr; 
D'iluec durent avant a l'evesque venir, 
E puis a l'arcevesque. S'il nés poeit furnir, 
Li reis les dut puis faire en la curt Deu fenir; 
2445 Ne durent de sa curt senz sun congié partir. 

490. — Dune fust la curt le rei Henri mult haut asise, 
Quant sur la curt de Rume aveit la sue mise; 
Dune fust tut' Engleterre senz divine justise. 
Ne des duze lignées ne fust ele pas prise, 
2450 Se Moyses ne fust soveraine justise. — 

491. Se clers de tenement volsist lai quereler, 
Qu'il volsist le lai fiu a aumosne mener, 
U lais volsist l'aumosne a lai fiu aturner, 
Par duze le fesist la justise prover, 
2455 Se deûst a lai fiu u a aumosne ester. 

492. Se d'un seignur andui a tenir graantassent, 
U clerc u lai, andui en sa curt en alassent; 
Mais se dous seignurages a cel fiu avoassent,
En la curt rei Henri andui en plaideassent; 
2460 Mais pur reconissance saisine ne laissassent. 

493. — Cel capitle ne deit ne clers ne lais suffrir:
De saint' iglise en puet la dreiture périr, 
E as clers e as lais en puet perte venir; 
Li seremenz des duze puet bien le fiu tolir 
2465 Al seignur, quant l'estuet a sun humme guerpir. — 

494. Se nuls fust de chastel, de bure u de cité 
U de maneir le rei, de sa demaineté, 
S'a ses prelaz l'eiist-nuls de crimene acusé, 
S'a lur dreite somunse ne venist de sun gré, 
2470 Al ministre le rei Henri fust dune mustré. 

495. E se cil nel fesist del tut bien adrescier, 
De la merci le rei l'estetist alegier, 
E li prelaz peiist celui puis justisier; 
Car ainceis ne l'osast nuls escummenïer, 
2475 Mais qu'um li peiist bien faire iglise voidier. 

496. Persones e prelaz tut de la regiun 
Qui tenissent del rei terre e possessiun, 
Tuit tenissent de lui en chieî cumme barun; 
A ses jugemenz fuissent cum si autre drugun, 
2480 Tresque fust a mort d'umme u a desfacciun. 

497. — Clers ne devreit le lai, ne li lais clerc, jugier. 
D'aumosne ne deit nuls fors a Deu cheveier. 
E se li reis se puet a Deu parifïer, 
Dune puet bien tuz les sainz del ciel la sus chacier; 
2485 Mais ne sai de quel part il voldra Deu laissier. — 

498. Se delivrast el règne nuls lius, cum eveschiez, 
Priorez, abeïe u nuls arceveschiez,
Li reis en saisireit les rentes e les fiez; 
Les espleiz en avreit e tendreit en ses ^iez, 
2400 Tresque li lius sereit de pastur ( onseilliez. 

499. — ]o ving- en pluisurs lius que li reis out saisiz: 
N'i esteit nuls des hostes ne povres recuilliz; 
)o fui defors la porte del portier escundiz; 
Carité n'i fu pas, c'entendi par ses diz. 
2495 Li reis prist tut fors tant dunt li lius ert furniz. 

500. Muine e cou e sergant, escuier e garçun, 
Chascuns aveit sun pain a dreite livreisun; 
Kar li serjant le rei erent en la maisun, 
Qui al partir la mistrent en tel destructiun, 
2500 N'i trovisiez d'estor nis le menur chapun. 

501. La fait li reis vers Deu e vers le liu mesprise, 
E as baruns ki père establirent l'iglise. 
Car il funt de lur fiu tut plenier le servise, 
E il prent lur aumosne, en sun trésor l'ad mise, 
2505 Qui deiist estre as povres e en buen liu asise. — 

502. Quant li reis a l'iglise voldra pastur duner 
(Car tut après sun voil covendra a aler), 
Treis persones ferad de l'iglise mander, 
E prelaz e baruns i fera asembler 
2510 En sa chapele, cels qu'il voldra apeler. 

503. — Quant um devra l'iglise selunc Deu conseillier, 
Science e genterise en covient esluignier; 
Car les baruns voldreit li sens survezïer, 
Genterise e valurs encontre els ruisteier. 
2515 La puet le poi vaillant symonie eshaucier. — 

504. Al rei feïst humage li esliz senz demur, 
Feelté e ligance, cum a lige seignur, 
De ses menbres e de sa terrïene honur. 
— La fesissent humage li serf al salveiir, 
2520 Qui nul ne l'en fesissent senz la croce a nul jur. — 

505. Se nuls volsist lur dreit as prelaz esforcier, 
Li reis de lui e d'autre lur fereit adrescier. 
Se nuls par aventure peûst si reideier 
Vers le rei, que sun dreit n'en peust purchacier, 
2525 Celui durent al rei li prélat justisier. 

506. — Li reis deit saint' iglise e les clers maintenir. 
Ne deivent porter armes ne granz guerres furnir. 
Deu deivent, qui qu'il seient, e jur e nuit servir; 
Ne deivent pas al rei ses enemis grevir, 
2530 Ne Franceis ne Gualeis pur ço de Deu partir. — 

507. Se nuls îust el forfait le rei Henri chaiiz, 
Ne fust en cimetere sis aveirs retenuz, 
N'en mustier, puis que la justise i fust venuz. 
— Bien sai^ se lerre u îel i venist, u faiiz, 
2535 Mustiers e cimitiries li deiist estre escuz. — 

508. Plait qui fuissent de dete, u par fei u senz fei, 
Tel plait deiissent estre tuit en la curt le rei. 
— De crimene en laie curt par dreit plaidier ne dei. 
Clerc e de dete e d'el avrunt e curt e lei, 
2540 E tuit cil qui d'aumosne unt e vivre e conrei. — 

509. Fiz a vilain ne fust en nul liu ordenez 
Senz l'asens sun seignur, de qui terre il fust nez. 
— E Deus a sun servise nus ad tuz apelez! 
Mielz valt fiz a vilain qui est prouz e senez, 
2545 Que ne fait gentilz hum failliz e débutez. 

510. Tel erent li capitle des leis le rei Henri. 
Li buens pape Alissandres, saint Thomas altresi, 
Becket se retire à l'ontigny. Vengeance du roi Henri o7 
Les escumenïerent, tut pur voir le vus di, 
E tuz cels quis tendreient de cel' ore a nul di. 
2550 Nés deivent pas tenir cil qui sunt Deu ami. 

511. As tous e as feluns i out plasible lei. 
Contredire la deit chascuns hum qui ad fei, 
Car par tut desplaiseit al celestïen rei. 
Sun champiun en ad muit eshaucié, ço vei, 
2555 Qui enprist la bataille pur vaintre cel desrei. 

512. Mais quant li arcevesques ot a Sanz sujorné 
E entur l'apostolie bien un meis demuré, 
A Punteigni l'aveit la pape comandé, 
Od blans muines qu'i erent e od Guischar l'abé. 
2560 Quanque mestiers li fu, li aveit cil trové. —

Guernes de Pont Sainte-Maxence (1859). Célestin Hippeau, ed. La vie de saint Thomas le martyr: archevêque de Canterbury. Chez A. Aubry. pp. 84–.

Guernes (de Pont-Sainte-Maxence); tr Jacques Thomas (2002). La vie de Saint Thomas de Canterbury. Peeters. pp. 154–. ISBN 978-90-429-1188-8.

Guernes (de Pont-Sainte-Maxence); tr Janet Shirley (1975). Garnier's Becket: translated from the 12th-century Vie saint Thomas le martyr de Cantorbire of Garnier of Pont-Sainte-Maxence. Phillimore. pp. 64–. ISBN 978-0-85033-200-1.

A life of Thomas Becket in verse
by Guernes de Pont-Sainte-Maxence ;
translated with an introduction and notes by Ian Short.
ISBN 978-0-88844-306-9 pp. 83-

Anglo-Norman Dicitionary online

Dictionnaire du Moyen Français (1330-1500)

Online Dictionaries - DicFro


Algirdas Julien Greimas (1969). Dictionnaire de l'ancien français jusqu'au milieu du XIVe siècle. Larousse.

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