Friday, 20 June 2014

John of Salisbury's Troubles Leading To His Exile

John of Salisbury was perhaps in Europe the foremost political philosopher and intellectual of his times. He was employed in the papal curia until about end of 1153, and early 1154 entered service with Archbishop Theobald. He had a rival in Arnulf, bishop of Lisieux. Both loathed each other. John had accused Arnulf that he had used the second crusade, who had been appointed papal legate for the Normans and English armies, for his own personal profit and gain, and blamed him for its mismanagement.  In 1156 Arnulf had persuaded Henry king of England not to invade Ireland by advising him, that the lordship of the Ireland granted by Pope Adrian IV to Henry which had been obtained by John of Salisbury seemed to acknowledge the pope's supremacy over all islands of Britain, something which Henry could not sanction: the Holy See claimed, under the Donation of Constantine, that every Christian island was the property of the Papacy thus any Papal Bull issued to the English crown authorising the invasion of Ireland would automatically grant the Pope authority over the whole of the British Isles. Henry reluctantly had to agree with Arnulf and decided not to act on the papal permission that he had been given, but John of Salisbury thereafter never forgave Arnulf for placing royal interest ahead and above that of the papal prerogative. Arnulf was a moderate, a political climber but seeking compromise where ever possible. John of Salisbury was more of an idealist, basing his judgement on the canons of the Church. John was highly critical of the mission that had been sent by Henry to Pope Adrian IV for they had used considerably amounts of bribes with the members of the Papal Curia to obtain what they wanted

John angered King Henry on several occasions. Arnulf, bishop of Lisieux, advised Henry to have him removed from court (See Giles JoS Epistola 121). During his visit to Rome as archbishop Theobald's representative in 1156. Upon his return Arnulf advised king Henry that John had been far too solicitous in the Church's cause, to the detriment of the king's own rights. John fell from the royal favour of Henry II when he held to a position which differed from the King's in regard to secular and ecclesiastical jurisdiction.  And John was subsequently denounced of lèse-majesté, especially concerning when elections were to be held for the higher vacant positions in the Church in England or when ecclesiastical cases were to be examined and judged, and he was accused of promoting the Church's own rights of liberty in these matters to the archbishop of Canterbury. Because of this he was forced for a while into a kind of semi-retirement at Rheims in disgrace, exiled from the court of Theobald, archbishop of Canterbury at the command of Henry II, where he completes his work, The Policraticus. Indeed John of Salisbury even maintained in this work that the kings of England frequently abused the laws of lèse-majesté to rid themselves of awkward criticism. And indeed it was John's position that one owed a greater fealty to God, and to His hierarchy [Pope and Church] rather than to any earthly king.

A novel and heavy tax [scutage and extras] was introduced in 1156 and again 1159 by king Henry II the latter to meet the costs of and funding for the Toulouse campaign against the king of France, (See JoS Epistola 145. p. 223). The tax in 1159 is often known as the Great Scutage of Toulouse, and it has fallen arbitrarily and with a particularly heavy severity upon the Church (see J. H. Round in the Engl. Hist. Rev. vi. pp. 635-, 1891). John  vehemently denounced this tax (See JoS Epistola 113 p.162 and as a consequence he was to fall even further out of favour with the king, and was accused of urging the Church to assert its privileges and rights over those of the king's rights. John wrote about this in his letters to Peter of La Celle (See JoS Epistola. 115.p. 164 f and Epistola 96. p. 142),

It is ironical that Becket, during his time as the king's chancellor, had become the trusted friend of king Henry, and it seems that he was one of the principal organisers of the expedition to besiege Toulouse in 1159, and it was possibly he who was personally responsible or involved  in the levying of the heavy taxes imposed on the Church. Perhaps Becket was later to feel guilty about what he had done.

Upon Becket's accession as archbishop of Canterbury, John becomes a clerk at Canterbury, where he remained till his exile in 1163. John must have had a very significant and great influence upon Becket for he was eventually to adopt and makes his life's cause the rights and freedom of the Church over those of the king, ideas which were current in the Church, but being heavily promoted by John of Salisbury.  However there is no documentary evidence of how this influence evolved other than nearly all of John's books were dedicated to Becket.  During his time as Becket's clerk, Becket asked John to compose a biography [hagiography] of archbishop Anselm which Becket was to give to pope Alexander III at the Council of Tours and which he wanted to use in his campaign to have Anselm canonised as a saint. Anselm himself had been a strong campaigner for the freedom of the Church over the rights of kings. The pope subsequently authorised Becket to assemble a council of the bishops in England to review Anselm's case for sainthood.

John eventually left England and went into permanent exile in France late in 1163 or early in 1164 after further disagreements with the king about the liberties of the Church. He was strong supporter of the position that Becket had taken at the Council of Westminster in October 1163 and had championed his cause. Indeed it was possibly he who encouraged Becket to go into exile himself. It was he who helped to make preparations with the king of France to receive Becket after Becket's own flight from England following his trial at the Council of Northampton later, in November 1164. He was not to return until November 1170, just before Becket's own return.


David Luscombe, ‘Salisbury, John of (late 1110s–1180)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2011

John of Salisbury (DNB00) - Wikisource

John of Salisbury (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

The Avalon Project - The Bull of Pope Adrian IV Empowering Henry II to Conquer Ireland. A.D. 1155

The Bull Laudabiliter
Kate Norgate
The English Historical Review
Vol. 8, No. 29 (Jan., 1893), pp. 18-52

Nicholas Breakspear (Adrian IV.) Englishman and Pope A.H. Tarleton,

John of Salisbury The Metalogicon of John of Salisbury: A Twelfth-century Defense of the Verbal and Logical Arts of the Trivium. Paul Dry Books. pp. 274–. ISBN 978-1-58988-058-0.

C. P. Schriber, ‘Arnulf , bishop of Lisieux’, rev. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Oct 2008
John (of Salisbury, Bishop of Chartres); John Allen Giles (1848). Joannis Saresberiensis opera omnia. Nunc primum in unum collegit et cum codicibus manuscriptis: Epistolae. Volume 1. Epistola CXXI: J. H. Parker. pp. 169–.
John to Pope Adrian IV
Letter 91 page 75
Translation: Cullinane, Mary Patricius, "Translations of Letters Sixty-One to One-Hundred Six of John of Salisbury" (1943). Master's Theses. Paper 478.
Summary: John tells Pope Adrian IV that Bishop Arnulf of Lisieux was the author of the accusations that had brought down upon his head the wrath of King Henry.
For further letters on John's trouble see also letters 94, 96, 101, 103, 104, 105, 106, 113, 127.
Translations: Rooney, Clare, "An Annotated Translation of the Letters of John of Salisbury: Letters 107-135" (1943). Master's Theses. Paper 344.

John (of Salisbury, Bishop of Chartres); John Allen Giles (1848). Joannis Saresberiensis opera omnia. Nunc primum in unum collegit et cum codicibus manuscriptis: Epistolae. Volume 1 Epistola 96: J. H. Parker. pp. 141–.
Translation: Letter 127 - John to Abbot Peter of Celle p. 67
Summary: Acknowledges receipt of Peter's letter at Eastertide. and explains why he had not come to Troyes as he had promised. Friends had advised him not to flee from England in the midst of his troubles. and he was awaiting the king' s return. He asks Peter for some books, and suggests that he may visit him before the end of autumn. R. L. Poole places this letter in the Summer of 1160.  He deduces this date from John's mention of the queen's return from France.

John (of Salisbury, Bishop of Chartres); John Allen Giles (1848). Joannis Saresberiensis opera omnia. Nunc primum in unum collegit et cum codicibus manuscriptis: Epistolae. Volume 1. Epistola 113: J. H. Parker. pp. 161–.
Translation: Letter 104 - John to Archdeacon Thomas Becket
Cullinane, Mary Patricius (1943) , "Translations of Letters Sixty-One to One-Hundred Six of John of Salisbury" Master's Theses. Paper 478.
Summary: John begs for Becket's intercession with the king, sends him the Pope's letter of petition and assures him of Theobald's favour. He also mentions that archbishop Theobald has stopped Becket receiving the "seconda auxilia" from his Becket's churches. This letter was written at the end of 1159.

John (of Salisbury, Bishop of Chartres); John Allen Giles (1848). Joannis Saresberiensis opera omnia. Nunc primum in unum collegit et cum codicibus manuscriptis: Epistolae. Volume 1. Epistola 115: J. H. Parker. pp. 164–.
Translation: Letter 101 - John to Abbot Peter of Celle
Cullinane, Mary Patricius (1943) , "Translations of Letters Sixty-One to One-Hundred Six of John of Salisbury" Master's Theses. Paper 478.
Summary: John writes that malevolent informers [bishop Arnulf of Lisieux] have kindled the king 's wrath against him, and lists the charges that have been made. He fears that exile is near and has determined to quit England at the end of the year. This letter was written near the end of 1159. Peter of Celle was in constant touch with John during this trouble. Indeed, it may have been he who first warned John of the impending trouble.

John (of Salisbury, Bishop of Chartres); John Allen Giles (1848). Joannis Saresberiensis opera omnia. Nunc primum in unum collegit et cum codicibus manuscriptis: Epistolae. Volume I. Epistola CXXI [Letter 121]: J. H. Parker. pp. 169–.

In this letter John of Salisbury to Pope Alexander III describes bishop Arnulf of Lisieux as "episcopus Lexoviensis malleus iniquitatis est ad conterendam Ecclesiam Dei"  = "The bishop of Lisieux is the hammer of iniquity destroying the Church of God."

The Letters Of Arnulf Of Lisieux Introduction

John (of Salisbury, Bishop of Chartres); John Allen Giles (1848). Joannis Saresberiensis opera omnia. Nunc primum in unum collegit et cum codicibus manuscriptis: Epistolae. Volume 1. Epistola 145: J. H. Parker. pp. 221–.
Translation: Letter 174 - John to Bishop Bartholomew of Exeter

The Alleged Disgrace of John of Salisbury in 1159
Giles Constable
The English Historical Review
Vol. 69, No. 270 (Jan., 1954), pp. 67-76

Carolyn Poling Schriber (1990). The dilemma of Arnulf of Lisieux: new ideas versus old ideals. Indiana University Press. p. xviii. ISBN 978-0-253-35097-8.

Arnulf (of Lisieux) (1939). The letters of Arnulf of Lisieux. Offices of the Royal Historical Society.

Peter of Celle, Letters of Peter of Celle, ed. and trs. J. P. Haseldine, Oxford Medieval Texts (Oxford, 2001)

Giles JoS 134
Materials for the Life of Thomas Becket Volume 5: Epistola 55
Correspondence of Thomas Becket Vol 1: 24

Giles JoS 145 
Materials for the Life of Thomas Becket Volume 5: Epistola 194
Monumenta:  Ioannes Saresberiensis, Epistulae, 145

Sister M. Anthony Brown
Franciscan Studies
Vol. 19, No. 3/4 (SEPTEMBER-DECEMBER 1959), pp. 241-297
Article Stable URL:

Christopher Harper-Bill; Nicholas Vincent (2007). Henry II: New Interpretations. Boydell Press. pp. 157–. ISBN 978-1-84383-340-6. 

 (PL 199 0099D)

W. J. Millor (1986) - Editor, H. E. Butler. The Letters of John of Salisbury. Volume: 1.  Clarendon Press, Oxford. p. 31
Letter 19 John to Peter, abbot of Celle
[Autumn of 1156]
After I returned from the Church of Rome, Fortune piled on me such a load of bitter troubles, that I think I have never before endured anything to call trouble
The indignation of our most serene lord, our all-powerful king, our most unconquerable prince, has grown hot against me in full force. If you ask the reason, perhaps I favoured him more than was just, and worked for his advancement with greater vigour than I should; for I sighed for this with all my heart's longing, namely that I might behold him whom I deemed to be kept in exile by the malice of Fortune, reigning by God's mercy on the throne of his fathers, and giving laws to peoples and nations. It was for this perhaps that God has resolved to punish the impatience of my desire. For whatever is sought with impatience brings us the stab of pain, whether the object of our desire retreats or approaches.This is not the fault of which I am accused, but innocent as I am, I am charged with a crime far beyond my power to commit and one which might excuse one so insignificant as myself by its very magnitude. I alone in all the realm am accused of diminishing the royal dignity. When they define the act of offence more carefully, these are the charges that they hurl upon my head. If anyone among us invokes the name of Rome, they say it is my doing. If the English Church ventures to claim even the shadow of liberty in making elections or in the trial of ecclesiastical causes, it is imputed to me, as if I were the only person to instruct the lord archbishop of Canterbury and the other bishops what they ought to do. On these counts my position is shaken to its foundations,and they are so pressing that it is thought that I am in danger of banishment. If necessary, I shall endure this fate for the sake of justice, not only with equanimity but with joy. I think that I shall leave England before the first of January, and after consulting you, I shall either stay in France or proceed to the Church of Rome.

See also
Cullinane, Mary Patricius, (1943) "Translations of Letters Sixty-One to One-Hundred Six of John of Salisbury".
Letter 101. John to Abbot Peter of Celle

The Alleged Disgrace of John of Salisbury in 1159
Giles Constable
The English Historical ReviewVol. 69, No. 270 (Jan., 1954), pp. 67-76Stable URL:

John (of Salisbury, Bishop of Chartres); W.J.Millor; H.E.Butler (1955). Revised by Christopher Nugent Lawrence Brooke, ed. The Letters of John of Salisbury: The early letters, 1153-1161. Volume One. Appendix II The Great Disgrace: T. Nelson. pp. 257–8.

Ibid. Letters 27 and 28 in same volume to Thomas Becket chancellor.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

The Great Scutage of Toulouse, 1159


Scutage allowed barons under the feudal system of land tenure of knight-service, and who held knight fees, to opt out of personally attending the king's wars and in lieu of that personal service to buy out the military service owed to the crown, as holders these knight's fees, with money instead.

All bishops were barons, and consequently had to pay scutage, as they themselves could not personaly participate in a war. Scutage was a particularly heavy imposition for them. Further they probably saw that the Toulouse Campaign itself as nothing less than Henry's vanity (sinful attempt) in trying to extend his empire.

There is some evidence in the Pipe Rolls that the method of raising revenue by Scutage began in 1157 to finance King Henry II's wars in Wales. But the financing of the Toulouse Campaign in 1159 by Scutage is well established.  Why be faced with the costs of transportation of an effectively amateur force a very long way when you can tax the landholders in England and use the money raised to hire mecenaries?

The amount taken by the king for the expedition to Toulouse in 1159 was set at rate of two marks of silver (26s. 8d.) per knight's fee. But several bishops and abbots, including abbots who did not owe knight's service, as holders of land in frankalmoign, had to pay additional sums. These extra levies, known as secunda auxilia or dona, were to cause considerable resentment in the Church.

Becket, as Chancellor, was instrumental in the organisation of its collection, as well personally participating in the war itself. 

John of Salisbury complained bitterly that Henry

"Tolosam belle aggressurus, omnibus contra antiquum morem et debitam libertatem indixit ecclesiis, ut pro arbitrio eius satraporum suorum conferrent in censum. Nec permisit ut ecclesiae saltem cosequarentur in hac contributione, vel magis exactione tam indebita." (Sal. Ep., 145.)

But when about to attack Toulouse, he enjoined on all the churches, contrary to ancient custom, their rightful liberty, that they should contribute to a tax at the will of himself and his satraps. He did not allow the churches to be on a par with the lay magnates in the contribution, or rather improper and unjust extortion.
The churchmen complained bitterly of the extortion as being a sheer robbery, contrary to the ancient customs and exposing them to the arbitrary will of the king's officers.  In 1159 grand total of 1,101 marks was raised from the Church by legitimate scutage, and a further 4,442½ (or, adding the dona from non-feudal houses, 4,700) marks by special imposition. It was this latter which was the real extortion of which the churchmen of the time complained.

Secunda Auxilia

Lyttleton calls this the Second Scutage or second levying of a tax in the same year.

Father Morris says that Archbishop Theobald called this "custom " as the imposition of an unjust and illegal tax upon the clergy for the prosecution of the war, a part of the great  "scutage '' raised by the King for the expenses of the Toulouse campaign.

L.B. Radford thinks that the auxilia cannot refer to the scutage raised by the King for the expenses of the Toulouse Campaign but were monies for part of the income of the post of Archdeacon of Canterbury.


Thomas Madox (1711). The History and Antiquities of the Exchequer of the Kings of England .... Chapter XVI: Of the revenue arising by Scutage or Escuage: Knaplock. pp. 431–.

Studies on The Red book of the Exchequer by J.H. Round
The Antiquity of Scutage
James Fosdick Baldwin (1897). The Scutage and Knight Service in England.

James Tyrrell (1694). Bibliotheca politica Printed for R. Baldwin. pp. 443–53.

George Lyttelton Baron Lyttelton (1768). The History [of The] Life of King Henry the Second, and of the Age in which He Lived: To which is Prefixed, A History of the Revolutions of England, from the Death of Edward the Confessor to the Birth of Henry the Second. G. Faulkner. pp. 539–.

George Lyttelton Baron Lyttelton (1777). The History of the Life of King Henry the Second. Volume II. J. Dodsley. pp. 428–9.

George Lyttelton [Baron Lyttelton] (1777). The History of the Life of King Henry the Second: Volume II. J. Dodsley. pp. 492–8.

William Stubbs. (1874) The Constitutional History of England, in Its Origin and Development. Volume 1 Cambridge University Press. pp. 456–. ISBN 978-1-108-03629-0.

William Stubbs. (1874) The Constitutional History of England, in Its Origin and Development. Volume 1 Cambridge University Press. pp. 581–. ISBN 978-1-108-03629-0.

The Life and Martyrdom of Saint Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury : John Morris (1885).   <> p. 42-3

Hubert Hall. The Red Book of the Exchequer. Cambridge University Press. pp. 193–. ISBN 978-1-108-05325-9.

John Horace Round . Feudal England: Historical Studies on the XIth and XIIth Centuries. Cambridge University Press. pp. 275–. ISBN 978-1-108-01449-6.

J. H. Round
The Introduction of Knight Service into England
English Historical Review (1891) VI (XXIV): 625-645
John Horace Round. Feudal England: Historical Studies on the XIth and XIIth Centuries. Cambridge University Press. pp. 277–. ISBN 978-1-108-01449-6.

Thomas K. Keefe (1983). Feudal Assessments and the Political Community Under Henry II and His Sons. II The Knight's Fee and Scutage: University of California Press. pp. 20–. ISBN 978-0-520-04582-8.
Thomas K. Keefe (1983). Feudal Assessments and the Political Community Under Henry II and His Sons. University of California Press. pp. 29–30, 36. ISBN 978-0-520-04582-8.

Sydney Knox Mitchell (1951). Taxation in Medieval England. Yale University Press.

The Significance of Scutage Rates in Eleventh- and Twelfth-Century England
C. Warren Hollister
The English Historical Review
Vol. 75, No. 297 (Oct., 1960), pp. 577-588

John (of Salisbury, Bishop of Chartres) (1979). The Letters of John of Salisbury. Volume 2. Clarendon Press. p. 104. ISBN 978-0-19-822240-8.

Cullinane, Mary Patricius, "Translations of Letters Sixty-One to One-Hundred Six of John of Salisbury" (1943). Master's Theses. Paper 478. - Introduction

John (of Salisbury, Bishop of Chartres) (1848). Opera omnia: nunc primum in unum collegit et cum codicibus manuscriptis. J. H. Parker. pp. 223–.

John of Salisbury (1641). Ab Hugone Et Roberto Regg. Usque Ad Philippi Augusti Tempora. Cramoisy. pp. 466–.

L.B. Radford  Thomas of London. CUP Archive Chapter VII: The Chancellor and The Church. pp. 153–.

Cullinane, Mary Patricius (1943) "Translations of Letters Sixty-One to One-Hundred Six of John of Salisbury" Master's Theses. Paper 478.
Letter 99. Archbishop Theobald to Archdeacon Thomas Becket [also Chancellor]
Summary: Theobald informs his Archdeacon, Thomas Becket, that he proposes to abolish all the evil customs that have arisen during his term as archbishop, and specifically that of the "secunda auxilia", which was begun by his brother Walter [bishop of Rochester], when the latter was archdeacon of Canterbury. The letter was probably written in the autumn of 1159 when Theobald had fallen into his final illness.
[Giles JoS Epistola 49, Jacques-Paul Migne (1855). Patrologiae Cursus Completus: Series Latina Volume 199 Epistola XLIX: Ad Cancellarium Regis: excudebat Migne. Column 31. ]
[John (of Salisbury, Bishop of Chartres); Christopher Nugent Lawrence Brooke (1955). The early letters, 1153-1161. Volume 1. Letter 22: T. Nelson pp. 28- ]

John Allen Giles (1846). The Life and Letters of Thomas À Becket: Now First Gathered from the Contemporary Historians. Huge Levies on the Church: Aid or Scutage?: Whittaker and Company. pp. 94–.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

John of Salisbury's The Policraticus, 1159

The Policraticus was a work by John of Salisbury which appeared in 1159. John dedicated the book to Thomas Becket, chancellor to Henry II at that time. Both had been in the household of Theobald, archbishop of Canterbury, Becket as archdeacon of Canterbury and John of Salisbury as Theobald's secretary and special envoy.

Book IV Chapter 1
On the difference between the prince and the tyrant, and what the prince is

John of Salisbury asserted that the law was supreme: "A tyrant is one who oppresses the people by rulership based on force, whilst he who rules in accordance with the laws is a prince." A true prince states "I will not rule over you, but God shall rule over you." A prince reigns but does not rule.

"As the image of the deity, the prince is to be loved, venerated, and respected; the tyrant, as the image of depravity, is for the most part even to be killed."

"All tyrants reach a miserable end".

Was Henry II a tyrant against whom Becket, our hero, fought over the Constitutions of Clarendon? Or did Henry really seek to treat all his subjects as the same, no matter whether they were clerics or ordinary citizens, all subject to the same laws, his laws.

Some argue that Henry should be remembered as a law-giver and not as a tyrant.

Some argue that Canon Law, or the law of the Church, or more specifically God's law was superior to the king's law. This was Becket's position, that the punishments exacted by the king's law were cruel and uncivilised, uncouth and unfit to be used on clerics no matter how wrong they have or had been. Those who were clerics considered themselves to be an elite, the elected ones of God. Becket's position was that the Church was thus fully entitled to have its own separate system of laws and punishments. He fought to the death on this principle, for which he was made a saint. The Church had its own hierarchy. Did Becket owe allegiance to the king alone? Or as a cleric did he owe allegiance to the king saving only the honour and duty he owed to God?

Some have seen The Policraticus and Becket's personal friendship with John of Salisbury, one of the major thinkers and intellectuals of his age, as the central reason why Becket took up his struggle against Henry II.

Did Becket believe he was a member of a meritocracy, a member of the middle class who managed to rise to highest positions in society? Did those of noble birth resent this upstart? Did Becket resent the nobles, the gentry of so-called high birth? Did Becket resent the divine right of kings?

Cullinane, Mary Patricius (1943) "Translations of Letters Sixty-One to One-Hundred Six of John of Salisbury" . Master's Theses. Paper 478. Page 94

100. Letter John of Salisbury to Abbot Peter of Celle
Ca September 1159

Summary: John is sending his newly-finished book, The Policraticus, to Peter, and asking him to correct it. John finished Policraticus betore the siege ot Toulouse was ended, [ see Pollcraticus 8. 25, ed. Webb p. 424.] He also speaks of Pope Adrian IV as still living [Policraticus 8. 23]. The siege ended about the beginning of October and this could not have been known in England until about the middle of that month: while Adrian IV died on August 31 and this news would not have reached England until about October 1. John therefore probably finished The Policraticus sometime before he wrote this letter.

"I have brought out a book about the vanities of the courtiers and the traditions of the philosophers which will please or displease me, dependent upon your decision. It is unpolished and is desirous, by order, of being corrected by you, a friend. It was on its way to an illustrious man, the Chancellor to the King of England [Thomas Becket], but check it, unless you deem it expedient to allow it to circulate. For it is garrulous and will have scarcely a friend in the court. I do not wish it to make me an enemy at the court. I beg that you polish it unhesitatingly and send it back corrected to an awaiting friend."


Les Vanitez de la Cour. [A translation of lib. I-VI. of the “Polycraticus,” by D. M., i.e. F. Eudes de Mézeray.]. 1640.
Les vanitez de la Cour, 1639 :

John of Salisbury, Policraticus, Books 1, 2, 3

John of Salisbury: Policraticus

John of Salisbury. John of Salisbury: Policraticus. Cambridge University Press. pp. 28–. ISBN 978-0-521-36701-1.

Policraticus Book IV Chapter 1
De differentia principis et tiranni, et quid sit princeps.

Policratici - sive De nvgis cvrialivm et vestigiis philosophorvm libri VIII, Volume I - John, of Salisbury,

Policratici - sive De nvgis cvrialivm et vestigiis philosophorvm libri VIII Volume II - John, of Salisbury,

Rocco Pezzimenti; Isaiah Berlin; Karl Raimund Popper (1997). The Open Society and Its Friends: With Letters from Isaiah Berlin and the Late Karl R. Popper. IV: The Rebirth of Dissent. John of Salisbury: Gracewing Publishing. pp. 97–. ISBN 978-0-85244-294-4.

John (of Salisbury, Bishop of Chartres); Denis Foulechat; Charles Brucker (1994). Le Policratique de Jean de Salisbury (1372). Librairie Droz. ISBN 978-2-600-00035-2.

John (of Salisbury, Bishop of Chartres); Charles Brucker; Bibliothèque nationale de France (1 January 1985). Le Policraticus de Jean de Salisbury, traduit par Denis Foulechat (1372), (manuscrit no 24287 de la B.N.). Presses Universitaires de Nancy. ISBN 978-2-86480-165-8.

Denis Foulechat; Charles Brucker (2006). Le Policratique de Jean de Salisbury, 1372. Livre V. Librairie Droz. ISBN 978-2-600-01072-6.

Aristotelianism and the Origins of "Political Science" in the Twelfth Century
Author(s): Cary J. Nederman
Source: Journal of the History of Ideas, Vol. 52, No. 2 (Apr. - Jun., 1991), pp. 179-194
Published by: University of Pennsylvania Press

Priests, Kings, and Tyrants: Spiritual and Temporal Power in John of Salisbury's Policraticus
Author(s): Cary J. Nederman and Catherine Campbell
Source: Speculum, Vol. 66, No. 3 (Jul., 1991), pp. 572-590
Published by: The University of Chicago Press on behalf of the Medieval Academy ofAmerica

Nature, Sin and the Origins of Society: The Ciceronian Tradition in Medieval PoliticalThought
Author(s): Cary J. Nederman
Source: Journal of the History of Ideas, Vol. 49, No. 1 (Jan. - Mar., 1988), pp. 3-26
Published by: University of Pennsylvania Press

A Special Collection: John of Salisbury's Relics of Saint Thomas Becket and Other HolyMartyrs
Author(s): Karen Bollermann and Cary J. Nederman
Source: Mediaevistik, Vol. 26 (2013), pp. 163-181
Published by: Peter Lang AG
Stable URL:

The Liberty of the Church and the Road to Runnymede: John of Salisbury and theIntellectual Foundations of the Magna Carta
Author(s): Cary J. Nederman
Source: PS: Political Science and Politics, Vol. 43, No. 3 (July 2010), pp. 456-461
Published by: American Political Science Association
Stable URL:

Source: Traditio, Vol. 45 (1989-1990), pp. 87-110
Published by: Cambridge University Press
Stable URL:

The Aristotelian Doctrine of the Mean and John of Salisbury's "Concept of Liberty"
Source: Vivarium, Vol. 24, No. 2 (1986), pp. 128-142
Published by: Brill
Stable URL:

Cary J. Nederman
History of Political Thought
Vol. 8, No. 2 (Summer 1987), pp. 211-223
Published by: Imprint Academic Ltd.

Arthur P. Monahan (1987). Consent, Coercion, and Limit: The Medieval Origins of Parliamentary Democracy. Part Two - The Twelfth Century : 1. John of Salisbury The Policraticus: Brill Archive. pp. 57–. ISBN 90-04-08304-9.

Volume 3, Issue 3, December 1928
John A. McGann
Pages 504-507
DOI: 10.5840/thought19283326
Book Review
John A. McGann, The Statesman’s Book of John of Salisbury, Thought (Philosophy Documentation Center)

John of Salisbury
Clement C. J. Webb
Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society
Vol. 2, No. 2 (1892 - 1893), pp. 91-107

John of Salisbury's Policraticus in Thirteenth-Century England: The Evidence of Ms Cambridge Corpus Christi College 469
Amnon Linder
Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes
Vol. 40, (1977), pp. 276-282
John of Salisbury and the Doctrine of Tyrannicide
H. Richard and Mary A. Rouse
Speculum Volume 42 Issue 04 October 1967, pp 693-7

God, Man, and Tyrants
John of Salisbury and the Bestselling Book of the Twelfth Century
Dave Kopel
Liberty magazine, May 2004, pp. 37-38, 52.
God, Man, and Tyrants

John of Salisbury, the Policraticus and Political Thought
Quentin Taylor
Rogers State University

John of Salisbury's Policraticus
M.R. James
J Theol Studies (1910) os-XI (3): 467-468

Policraticus - Wikipedia

John of Salisbury - Wikiquote

Dr Paul Dalton; Professor David Luscombe (28 June 2015). Rulership and Rebellion in the Anglo-Norman World, c.1066–c.1216: Essays in Honour of Professor Edmund King. Chapter 9: David Luscombe - John of Salisbury and Courtiers' Trifles: Ashgate Publishing Limited. pp. 153–. ISBN 978-1-4724-1375-8.

John Guy (5 April 2012). Thomas Becket: Warrior, Priest, Rebel, Victim: A 900-Year-Old Story Retold. Penguin Books Limited. pp. 178–. ISBN 978-0-14-193328-3.

J. H. Burns; James Henderson Burns (1988). The Cambridge History of Medieval Political Thought C.350-c.1450. Cambridge University Press. pp. 327–. ISBN 978-0-521-42388-5.

Fordham University
Medieval Sourcebook- John of Salisbury- Policraticus, Book Four (selections)
John of Salisbury, Policraticus, Books 1, 2, 3
John of Salisbury, Policraticus, Books 4, 5, 6

J. H. Burns (17 October 1991). The Cambridge History of Medieval Political Thought C.350-c.1450. Cambridge University Press. pp. 327–. ISBN 978-0-521-42388-5.

John (of Salisbury, Bishop of Chartres) (1639). Policraticus: sive de nugis curialium et vestigiis philosophorum, libri octo accedit huic editioni ejusdem metalogicus. Book VII Chapter XXV: Of the love and acclaim of liberty: ex officina Ioannis Maire. pp. 516–.
Johannes (Sarisberiensis) (26 October 1990). John of Salisbury: Policraticus. Cambridge University Press. p. 175. ISBN 978-0-521-36701-1.

Larry Scanlon (5 November 2007). Narrative, Authority and Power: The Medieval Exemplum and the Chaucerian Tradition. Cambridge University Press. pp. 88–. ISBN 978-0-521-04425-7.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Henry of Houghton, Becket's Envoy to the Pope, October to November 1163

At or around the time or just after the Council of Westminster in October 1163 Becket sent a cleric as his personal messenger or envoy with letters for the Pope and a number of Cardinals of the Papal Curia, at Sens in France, where Pope Alexander III was resident in exile at that time. This messenger was sent to petition for support and seek advice against King Henry's programme to weaken the Church's liberties or privileges in England, and to explain verbally to the Papal Curia what was happening. That envoy was Master Henry of Houghton. The sending of this envoy was tantamount to committing a form of treason, as it was law of the land that the king's express permission was required for the senior clerics to leave the kingdom or to communicate with the Pope. Becket begged the Pope to listen to Henry Houghton as if he had come himself in person. Becket describes what was happening to the Church as a sea of calamity as a ship heading to be wrecked, that the secular power was wanting to take over the Church's rights and privileges, and that the canons of the Church were failing to protect the clergy from this.

"To His Holiness Pope Alexander.
"The letter of consolation, which your holiness has vouchsafed to send me, would be a balm to a mind less deeply wounded than my own: nay, if my sorrows had proceeded from a single cause, I should have seen a ray of hope that they would soon be over. But the malice of the times increases daily; our wrongs, and Christ's, which makes us feel them still more, become greater and greater, and wave follows wave so fast in this sea of calamity, that we see nothing but shipwreck before us. There is no chance left for us, but to arouse Him who is sleeping in the vessel, and say, 'Lord save us, we perish!' The iniquity of our persecutors vents on us its malignity the more freely, because of the attenuated condition of the holy Roman see: so that what they heap upon our heads, be it good or bad, runs down over our beards even to the skirt of our clothing. Christ is despoiled even of that which He earned for himself with his own blood: the secular power has wrested from Him his inheritance; the authority of the holy fathers is set at nought, and the canons of the Church fail to protect even the clergy. But it would weary your holiness to relate in writing our sufferings; we have, therefore, sent master Henry, whose fidelity is known to you as well as to us; and what he will tell you by word of mouth is entitled to your belief, as much as if we ourselves had spoken it. And would to God, holy father, that we could address you by our own mouth, rather than by another's. We speak to you as to our father and to our lord; let this not be told in public, for whatever is said to you in the conclave, is brought to the king's ears. Woe is me, that I am reserved for times, in which such evils have come upon us. What privileges did we once enjoy, and with what bitter bondage are we now atoning for them! Truly we would have fled, that our eyes might not see the violation of the Crucified One! But whither should we flee, save to Him, who is our refuge and our strength?
Let your consideration be directed, my lord, to the matter of the Welsh, and Owen who calls himself their prince; for our lord the king is most excited and indignant on this subject.

Dearest father and lord, farewell!" 


CTB 12 Becket to pope Alexander
Lupus 18
Giles TB 1
MTB 29 
Litterae consolationis

To enumerate or set down in writing all that we are suffering would be long and wearisome, so we are sending to your paternal kindness Master Henry, a loyal servant to both you and us, in whose mouth we have put each and every detail, to explain to you as he has seen and heard what happened. Please believe him as you would ourselves, if we were speaking to you in person.

CTB 13 Becket to Humbold bishop of Ostia
Lupus 19
Giles TB 44
MTB 30
Sanctitati vestrae

CTB 14 Becket to Bernard bishop of Oporto
Lupus 20
Giles TB 34
MTB 31
Hortatur nos

CTB 15 Becket to Albert cardinal priest
Lupus 21
Giles TB 30
MTB 32
Nil nobis hac tempestate

CTB 16 Becket to Hyacinth cardinal deacon 
Lupus 22
Giles TB 49
MTB 33


Frank Barlow (1990). Thomas Becket. University of California Press. pp. 131–. ISBN 978-0-520-07175-9.


James Craigie Robertson. Materials for the History of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury Volume 5. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-108-04929-0. pp 48-55.


Giles TB
Saint Thomas (à Becket); John Allen Giles (1846). Epistolae Sancti Thomae Cantuariensis. Apud Whittaker et socios. pp. 1–.

Universität Zürich Corpus Corporum:

John Allen Giles (1846). The Life and Letters of Thomas à Becket: Now First Gathered from the Contemporary Historians. Whittaker and Company. pp. 196–.


Henry Houghton's Report

CTB 20 A Messenger to Archbishop Thomas of Canterbury
Ca 9th Nov 1163
Lupus 23
Giles TB 375
MTB 36
Comitem Flandrie

"Messenger [Master Henry] to the Archbishop of Canterbury.
"I did not see the count of Flanders, and thought it neither safe nor worth my while to lose time in trying to find him.
"At Soissons the French king listened to my business with much pleasure, and forwarded the abbat of St. Mard, a man of gravity and discretion, in my company, with letters to the pope:but the more important parts of his instruction were committed to him by word of mouth, for the king would not trust his secretary to write them. On taking my leave, his majesty, holding my hand in his, pledged himself on his royal word, if ever you visited his dominions, to receive you, not as a bishop or even as an archbishop, but as a brother-sovereign. The count of Soissons, also, assured me solemnly, that if you ever came into his territories, all his revenues should be placed at your lordship's disposal, and. if I would take Sens on my way back, he would write you a letter to the same effect."

"Having finished my business at Soissons, I hastened to court in the prior's company, through the estates of Earl Henry, because this way was the shortest, and my companion was a guarantee for my safety. Two days before I was admitted to the pope's presence, the prior delivered the king's letters, and the commission with which he was entrusted by word of mouth. At length I had an audience: His Holiness, on receiving me, sighed deeply, and betrayed other signs of dejection. He had already heard all that took place in the council,—the persecution of the Church, your lordship's firmness, which of the bishops stood by you, how he went out from among you who was not of you, and the sentence passed upon the cleric; indeed every thing, even what had been done most secretly, was known before my arrival to the whole court, and even talked of in the streets. A private interview was then granted me, in which I laid before His Holiness the several heads of our memorial. He, on his part, praised God without ceasing, for vouchsafing to the Church such a shepherd: indeed the whole court loudly extol in your lordship that courage, in which themselves are so lamentably deficient. As for themselves, they are lost in imbecility, and fear God less than man. They have just heard of the capture of Radicofani in Tuscany, and in it of the pope's uncle and nephews, together with several castles belonging to the fathers of certain cardinals, which have surrendered to the Germans. Besides this, John de Cumin has now been a long time at the emperor's court, and count Henry absents himself from the pope's presence, and no messenger has of late arrived from the king of England: and other concurring events have so terrified them, that there is no prince whom they would dare to offend; nor would they, if they could, raise a hand in defence of the Church, which is now in danger all over the world. But of this enough.
"What has been the success of your lordship's petitions, you will doubtlessly hear from the prior, and from the bishop of Poitiers, who by God's grace arrived here the day before myself, and has laboured in your lordship's cause with most friendly zeal. His Holiness declines altogether to offend the king, and has written to the archbishop of York, in a tone rather hortatory than commanding. However, he will send over a brother of the Temple, to mediate between your lordships on the subject of the Cross, and to settle any dispute that may arise in the interim. At all events, the archbishop of York is not to carry his cross in your diocese; this we obtained by dint of perseverance. To the bishop of London he has written in the same strain, and the only effect of the letter will be to make his pride insolent. Indeed, the pope feels this, and sends your lordship a copy of the letter, that you may judge for yourself whether to forward or retain it. As to the profession, his lordship of Poitiers has debated this point with the pope repeatedly, and we have at last obtained a promise, that if on being demanded, it is formally refused, then his holiness will extort it. The bishop will explain this in his second letter; the subscription will distinguish the second from the first. In the matter of St. Augustine's we can obtain nothing. The pope asserts that he has himself seen grants of his predecessors which he cannot revoke, securing the privileges now claimed by that monastery. Lastly, on our requesting that His Holiness would send your lordship a summons to appear before him, heanswered with much apparent distress,' God forbid! rather may I end my days, than see him leave England on such terms, and bereave his Church at such a crisis.'
"May God preserve your lordship in all your ways. At Citeaux, Pontigni, and Clairvaux, by the pope's request, prayer is offered daily for yourself, and your Church. May my lord inform me shortly how he fares, that my spirit may be consoled in the day of its visitation."


James Craigie Robertson. Materials for the History of Thomas Becket Volume 5. Cambridge University Press. pp. 58–. ISBN 978-1-108-04929-0.

John Allen Giles (1846). The Life and Letters of Thomas à Becket: Now First Gathered from the Contemporary Historians. Whittaker and Company. pp. 198–.

Richard Hurrell Froude; James Bowling Mozley (1839). Remains of the Late Reverend Richard Hurrell Froude: v. 2.. J. G. & F. Rivington. pp. 67–.

Saint Thomas (à Becket); John Allen Giles (1846). Epistolae Sancti Thomae Cantuariensis. Apud Whittaker et socios. pp. 253–.

Christianus Lupus (1682). Epistolae et vita Divi Thomae Martyris et Archiepiscopi Cantuariensis, . typis Eug. Henrici Fricx. pp. 1–