Saturday, 28 February 2015

Roger de Hoveden Council of Clarendon

The following is a secondary source describing the Council of Clarendon.

Roger de Hoveden
Chronica magistri Rogeri de Houedene. Vol. 1 (ed. by William Stubbs)
Longmans, Green, Reader, and Dyer (London) pp. 221-2
Roger (de Hoveden.) (1868). Chronica magistri Rogeri de Houedene.  pp. 221–.

Et paulo post congregato clero et populo regni apud Clarendun, poenituit arcbiepiscopum quod ipse concessionem illam fecerat regi. et volens resilire a pacto dixit se in illa concessione graviter peccasse, et quod in hoc amplius non peccaret. unde rex plurimum in ira adversus eum commotus, minatus est ei et suis mortem et exilium. Venerunt ergo ad archiepiscopum Salesberiensis et Norewicensis episcopi, et Robertus Leicestriæ et Reginaldus Cornubiæ comites et duo Templares, scilicet Ricardus de Hastinges et Tostes de Sancto Omero; et lacrymantes provoluti ad pedes archiepiscopi petebant ut saltem propter honorem regis veniret ad eum, et coram populo diceret se leges suas recepisse.

Precibus igitur tantorum virorum archiprsesul victus, venit ad regem, et coram clero et populo dixit, se leges illas, quas rex avitas vocabat, suscepisse. Et concessit ut episcopi leges illas susciperent, et ut illas custodire promitterent. Tunc praecepit rex universis comitibus et baronibus regni, ut irent foras, et recordarentur legum Henrici regis avi sui, et eas in scripto redigerent. Quod cum factum fuisset, pnecepit rex archepiscopis et episcopis, ut sigilla sua apponerent scripto illi; et cum caeteri proni essent ad id faciendum, arcbiepiscopus Cantuariensis juravit, quod nunquam scripto illi sigillum suum apponeret, nec. leges illas confirmaret. Cumque vidisset rex quod tali modo non posset procedere, fecit leges illas in chirographo poni, et medietatem illius tradidit Cantuariensi archiepiscopo, quam ipso contra prohibitionem totius cleri recepit de manu regis, et conversus ad clerum dixit, "Sustinete fratres; per hoc scriptum scire poterimus malitiam regis, et a quibus debeamus cavere nos." Et sic recessit archiepiscopu a curia: sed in nullo gratiam regis assequi potuit. Et quia ipse hoc inconsulte fecerat, ipse seipsum suspendit  e divini officii ab ilia hora, usque dum ipse vel nuncius ejus locutus fuisset cum domino papa.


The clergy together with the people of the kingdom assembled at Clarendon. And soon afterwards the archbishop ashamed that he had made a concession to the king. said that he wanted to withdraw from the agreement adding that he had committed a grave sin in this, and that he would sin no longer. Whereupon, the king flew into a great rage against him, and threatened him and his men with both death and exile. Therefore there came before the archbishop, the bishops of Salisbury and Norwich, and Robert the earl of Leicester, and Reginald, the earl of Cornwall together with two Templars, namely Richard of Hastings and Tostes of Saint Omer. Weeping they prostrated themselves at the feet of the archbishop, begging him that, at least for the sake of the king's honour, he should come to him, and in the presence of the people he should say that he accepted his laws.

And therefore at the insistence of so many men the archbishop gave in. He came to the king, and in the presence of the clergy and people he said that he would recognise those laws which the king called ancestral. And he conceded that the bishops would recognise those laws and that they would promise to keep them. Then the king commanded all the earls and barons of the kingdom, that they should go out and make a record of all the laws of his grandfather, king Henry [I] and render them in writing. And when that had been done, the king commanded the archbishop and bishops that they should append their seals to that document: and whilst the others were inclined to do this, the archbishop of Canterbury vowed  that never would he append his seal to that document, nor would he affirm those laws. And when the king saw that it was not possible for him to proceed in such a manner, he had those laws drawn up as a chirograph. Of this the king delivered one half of it to the archbishop of Canterbury. The archbishop found himself against the prohibition of  the whole of the clergy because he had received this from the hand of the king. And turned towards the clergy the archbishop said, "bear with this brothers, for with this document we can know the malice of the king, and of whom we must be wary." And thus the archbishop retired from the council chamber: but it was no longer possible for him to gain favour with the king. And because he had acted rashly, he suspended himself from the divine offices of the hour all the way till he himself or his messenger had spoken with the lord pope.

S.M. Toyne (2017). The Angevins and the Charter. Roger de Hoveden on Council of Clarendon: Merkaba Press (PublishDrive). pp. 33–.

Another Translation

Shortly after this, the clergy and people of the kingdom being convened at Clarendon, the archbishop repented that he had made this concession to the king, and, wishing to recede from his agreement, said that in making the concession he had greatly sinned, but would sin no longer in so doing. In consequence of this, the king's anger was greatly aroused against him, and he threatened him and his people with exile and death; upon which, the bishops of Salisbury and Norwich came to the archbishop, together with Robert, earl of Leicester, Reginald, earl of Cornwall, and the two Templars, Richard de Hastings and Tostes de Saint Omer, and in tears threw themselves at the feet of the archbishop, and begged that he would at least, for the sake of the king's dignity, come to him, and in the presence of the people declare that he would observe his laws. The archbishop being consequently overcome by the entreaties of such great men, came to the king, and in the presence of the clergy and the people, said that he had acceded to those laws which the king called those of his grandfather. He also conceded that the bishops should receive those laws and promise to observe them. Upon this, the king gave orders to all the earls and barons of the realm, that they should go out and call to remembrance the laws of king Henry his grandfather, and reduce them to writing. When this had been done, the king commanded the archbishops and bishops to annex their seals to the said writing; but, while the others were ready so to do, the archbishop of Canterbury swore that he would never annex his seal to that writing or confirm those laws.

When the king saw that he could not by these means attain his object, he ordered a written copy of these laws to be made, and gave a duplicate of it to the archbishop of Canterbury, which he, in spite of the prohibition of the whole of the clergy, received from the king's hand, and turning to the clergy, exclaimed, " Courage, brethren! by means of this writing we shall be enabled to discover the evil intentions of the king, and against whom we ought to be on our guard;" after which he retired from the court, and was unable by any means to recover the king's favour. And because he had acted unadvisedly in this matter, he suspended himself from the celebration of divine service from that hour, until such time as he himself, or his messenger, should have spoken thereon with our lord the pope


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