Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Roger of Hoveden: Henry II's Decree of 1165

Roger of Hoveden  Chronica Magistri Rogeri de Houedene:. Cambridge University Press. pp. 231–2. ISBN 978-1-108-04881-1.

Eodem anno papa Alexander Romam rediens, a Ro-
manis honorifice suscipitur. Eodem anno obiit Malcol-
colmus rex Scottorum ; cui successit Willelmus fratei ejus.
Eodem anno Henricus rex Anglorum transfretavit de
Anglia in Normanniam, faciens grave edictum et exe-
crabile, contra Alexandrum papam et Thomam Can-
tuariensem archiepiscopum. Cujus capitula haec sunt.

(I.) " Si quis inventus fuerit ferens litteras vel mandatum
" domini papae, vel Cantuariensis archiepiscopi, continens in-
" terdictum Cliristianitatis in Anglia, capiatur, et de eo, sine
" dilatione fiat justitia, sicut de regis traditore et regni.

(II.) " Item nullus clericus, vel monachus, vel conversus
" alicujus religionis, permittatur transfretare, vel redire in
" Angliam, nisi de transfretatione habeat litteras justitiarum,
" et de reditu litteras regis. Et si aliquis aliter inventus fue-
" rit, capiatur et retineatur.

(III.) "Item interdictum est, ne aliquis ferat mandatum ali-
" quod domini papa?, vel Cantuariensis. Et si quis talis in-
" ventus fuerit, capiatur et retineatur.

(IV.) " Item generaliter interdictum est, ne aliquis appellet
" ad dominuni papara, vel ad Cantuariensem archiepiscopum,
" neque de cfptero aliquod eorum mandatum in Anglia reci-
" piatur, neque aliquod placitum ex mandato eorum teneatur.
" Et si quis contra hoc interdictum aliquid fecerit, capiatur
" et retineatur.

(V.) " Item si episcopi, vel presbyteri, vel abbatcs, vel
" monachi vel clerici vel laici, sententiam interdicti tenuerint,
" sine dilatione de terra ejiciantur, et tota eorum cognatio, ita
" quod nihil de catallis suis secum deferant, et catalla et pos-
" sessionea eorum capiantur in manu regis.

(VI.) "Item omnes clerici, qui liabent redditus in Anglia,
" sint summoniti per omnes comitatus, quod sint infra tres
" menses post summoiiitionem in Anglia ad redditus suos,
" sicut diligunt habere ipsos redditus ct redire in Angliam.
" Et si non venerint ad terminum pra^dictum, catalla ct pos-
" sessiones eorum capiantur in manu regis.

(VII.) " Item Lundoniensis et Norewicensis episcopi sum-
" moneantur, quod sint coram justitiis regis ad rectum facien-
" dum, quod contra statuta regni interdixerunt terram coinitis
" Hugouis, et in ipsum sententiam tulerunt. Item denarii
" Sancti Petri colligantur et custodiantur." 


Pope returns to Rome 23rd November 1165.

These instructions were not issued in the year 1165, nor probably before 1169, under which year Gervase (c. 1409) gives a very similar set of injunctions. This is proved by a comparison of the viith clause with certain of Becket's letters : ed. Giles.



In this year, also, Henry, king of the English, crossed over from England into Normandy, having issued a shocking and execrable edict against pope Alexander and Thomas, archbishop of Canterbury; the words of which were to the following effect:—

"If any person shall be found carrying letters or a mandate of our lord the pope, or of the archbishop of Canterbury, containing an interdict of Christian offices in England, let him be arrested and without delay let justice be done upon him, as a traitor to the king and the realm. Moreover, let no clerk, monk, or lay brother of any orders, be permitted to cross the sea, or to return to England, unless he has a letter from the justiciaries permitting him to cross over, or a letter from the king allowing his return. And if any such person shall be found, let him be arrested and detained. It is also forbidden that any person shall bring any mandate whatsoever of our lord the pope, or of the archbishop of Canterbury. And, if any such person shall be found, let him be arrested and detained. It is also universally forbidden that any person shall appeal to our lord the pope, or to the archbishop of Canterbury, and that, in future, any mandate of theirs shall be received in England; and it is ordered that no pleas whatsoever shall be held at their mandate. And if any person shall do anything against this prohibition, let him be arrested and detained. And further, if any bishop, priest, abbat, monk, clerk, or layman, shall observe any sentence of interdict, without delay let him be banished the kingdom, and all his kindred, but they are to take away none of their chattels with them, but let their chattels and possessions be seized into the king's hand. Also, let all clerks, who have benefices in England, be admonished throughout every county, within three months after summons, to return to their benefices, as they wish to retain those benefices and to return to England. And, if they shall not return within the period before-mentioned, then let their chattels and possessions be seized into the king's hand. Also, let the bishops of London and Norwich be summoned to appear before the king's justiciaries, to make redress for having, contrary to the statutes of the realm, laid an interdict on the lands of earl Hugh, and passed sentence against him. Also, let Saint Peter's pence be collected and kept."


George Lyttelton Baron Lyttelton (1769). The History of the Life of King Henry the Second: And of the Age in which He Lived. J. Dodsley. pp. 473–.

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