Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Historical Notes on Clause 12: Vacant Sees and the Appointment and Election of Bishops

Cum vacaverit archiepiscopatus, vel episcopatus, vel abbatia, vel prioratus de dominio regis, debet esse in manu ipsius, et inde percipiet omnes redditus et exitus sicut dominicos. Et cum ventum fuerit ad consulendum ecclesiae, debet dominus rex mandare potiores personas ecclesiae, et in capella ipsius domini regis debet fieri electio assensu domini regis et consilio personarum regni, quas ad hoc faciendum vocaverit. Et ibidem faciet electus homagium et fidelitatem domino regi sicut ligio domino, de vita sua et de membris et de honore suo terreno, salvo ordine suo, priusquam sit consecratus.

When an archbishopric or bishopric, or an abbey or priory of the king's demesne shall be vacant, it ought to be in his hands, and he shall assume its revenues and expenses as pertaining to his demesne. And when the time comes to provide for the church, the lord king should notify the more important clergy of the church, and the election should be held in the lord king's own chapel with the assent of the lord king and on the advice of the clergy of the realm whom he has summoned for the purpose. And there, before he be consecrated, let the elect perform homage and fealty to the lord king as his liege lord for life, limbs, and earthly honor, saving his order.


When an archbishopric, bishopric, abbacy, or priory is vacant, it ought to be in the king's hand, and he shall receive all the rents and issues as of his own demesnes: and when the Church is to be provided for, the king is to send his mandate to the chief parsons of that Church, and the  election ought to be made in the king's chapel, and by the advice of the king's parsons whom he shall call for this purpose; and the elect shall do homage and fealty to the king, as to his liege lord, for his life and members and earthly honour, (with a saving to his order,) before he be consecrated.

This was one of the more controversial clauses in the Constitutions of Clarendon, more controversial than the one about the prosecution of criminous clerks. This clause was condemned by Pope Alexander III. The issues contained in its meaning had a long history. This was a time when the king was trying to exert his authority over a hodge-podge of customary feudal and regalian rights and the resources of the kingdom, when the precedents for the effective exercise of royal power were hardening into law. These are the early days of the building of nation states as kingdoms ruled by one prince, about the power which these princes had to govern and rule in their own lands, against the ever-centralising Western Christendom-wide power of the bishop of Rome.

It was William the Conqueror who had turned the lands and sees held by bishops and abbots into feudal baronies, fiefs of the crown. But Eadmer tells us that it was William Rufus who was the first king of England to exploit this to the full as a major source of income. Rufus assumed the right to appropriate the revenues of vacant bishoprics and abbacies for the Treasury, as the king's regalian right. It seems that Rufus and his procurator, Rannulf Flambard, together had devised a scheme adapting feudal principles to vacant ecclesiastical fiefs, the same principle that applied to lay fiefs. Already the fiefs of dead lay barons were held in wardship after the death of their fiefholder and before the successor came of age. These were a source of revenue for the Treasury. The heirs to tenancies-in-chief held of the king for military service had to buy back their lands from the king before they were allowed to inherit them. And whilst the fiefs were held in wardship the revenues accrued to the treasury. The feudal right of wardship allowed the lord to take control of a fief of a minor heir and farm it until that heir came of age. Now ecclesiastical fiefs would have to do the same when their bishop or abbot died.

"Flambard's contribution to the development of regalian right in England was his efficiency in transforming what was in origin a royal trust of wardship into a most profitable royal right."

William Rufus made huge exactions from these vacant bishoprics and abbacies, the process and profits being managed by Rannulf Flambard who, according to one account of the times, held up to sixteen sees and abbeys vacant at one time, during the year 1097. It was said that Rannulf even bought the vacant and hugely rich episcopacy of Durham from the king from the personal profits which he made from this enterprise, for which he was later imprisoned by Henry I and brought to book by archbishop Anselm and Pope Paschal for simony. He escaped from the Tower and fled into exile in Normandy together with his treasure, joining Robert of Normandy against his brother Henry I.

Scarcely was Archbishop Lanfranc in his grave before Rannulf was within the gates of Christ Church, demanding a full description of its sources of revenue. And even while the frightened monks were hastening to obey the behest of this king's messenger, he informed them that henceforth a tax must be paid on all food brought into the abbey precincts, as also upon all land belonging thereto; and that henceforth the whole property attached to the see of Canterbury was to form a portion of the royal 'demesne' or estate.

This exploitation of the Church's property and lands clearly was not at all popular with the clerics.  By the end of  William Rufus' reign, 60% of the revenues and wealth of the churches in England were, in one way or other, under the control of the king.  Henry I, however, when he came to the throne promised to end this systematic exploitation of  vacant church estates. At least that was the promise that he made in his coronation charter.

I, Henry, by the grace of God having been crowned the King of England, shall not take or sell any property from a Church upon the death of a bishop or abbot, until a successor has been named to that Church property. I shall end all the oppressive practices which have been an evil presence in England.

Henry realised he needed the support of the Church to enforce his claim to the throne. One of his first acts immediately after his accession, was to have Rannulf  incarcerated into the Tower 

However, the issue was not now only one of exploiting the profits from vacant sees, but became one of asserting the rights of the king regarding investiture, the king' right to nominate and appoint bishops and abbots, and to invest them with their regalia, known as the Investiture Controversy. Henry battled long and hard with archbishop Anselm [later Saint Anselm] over this matter.  The Church claimed these as its own spiritual rights. Kings claimed that the appointment of bishops to their sees were in their gift, naturally, for a consideration.

Prior to the Norman invasion one chronicler recorded that the bishoprics of England had been for many years under the Anglo-Saxon kings within the royal gift. He described that the procedure was as follows: upon the death of a bishop or abbot, the ring and staff [crozier] of the deceased incumbent were sent to the king who after selecting his candidate the latter was sent back to his cathedral with the items for "election" to the see by the dean and chapter.

After the Norman Invasion in England every ecclesiastical election had to receive royal assent, in the form of a letter or writ of consent sent by the king to the chapter giving them the right to hold an election to the see. Much later this writ evolved into the formal Congé d'Elire to the dean of the chapter of a vacant see, allowing the chapter of the cathedral to hold an election for its bishop.

Before the time of Henry I the investiture of a Bishop to his Bishopric was a gift of  the King, per traditionem annuli et baculi, the ring denoting the marriage of the Bishop to the Church, the staff his pastoral office; but the power of the Roman Curia was increasing. It drew grants from Henry grants, in future the donation of the Bishoprics would and should be elective by the Chapter or Convent of the Cathedral, whose submission was in fact a gift to the Pope, through the means of his agents the monks, of the presentation to every Bishopric in the kingdom of its Bishop. A Vatican Council of 1099 had condemned the investiture of a bishop by a lay person, and the doing of homage by them to a secular man.

The sin of Simony, was the purchase of Church offices or sacraments for money. The Papal Reform movement wanted completely to root out this sin, to clean up the Church and to end the immoral practice of simony. Their reforming zeal was based on Canon Law which was being documented at this time by the ecclesiastical legal scholars. The reforming popes, and Gregory VII in particular, saw it as their responsibility to prohibit and end the investiture of bishops by lay authorities. The investiture of bishops had long been a custom amongst lay rulers, who claimed that it was their right to install and grant newly elected prelates of their land to the secular rights and properties of their sees. This practice had evolved and corrupted over time from one of the king's right not only to invest a newly elected bishop with his regalia but was transforming into the king assuming the right to select the candidate and make the appointment of the new bishop in the first place. This went completely against the Canon Law, displacing the formal the religiously legal process of canonical election of a bishop by the dean and chapter house of its cathedral, for the office of bishop was often sold by the king to the highest bidder or to those who could be relied upon for financial, and/or political support. Also bishops were not to marry and create family dynasties of their positions: Lateran Council II formally  banned this in 1139, and secondly declared the following canon

Canon 28: No church was to be left vacant more than three months from the death of the bishop; secular canons who excluded from episcopal election regular canons or monks were condemned

St Anselm's metaphorical model was that the Church in England was a plough and that it should be pulled by two oxen, namely the king [Henry I] and the archbishop of Canterbury [himself], the one drawing along by his human justice and sovereignty, the other by divine doctrine and authority. Anselm fought long and hard with Henry I over the Church's rights regarding the nomination and appointment of bishops, and the result was the Concordat of London 1107. This essentially was a compromise between the Church in England and State: Henry I gave up the right of investiture of the bishops and abbots, but reserved the custom of requiring the candidate bishop to come before him beforehand him in person to do homage for his temporalities (the feudal properties or regalia of the episcopacy or abbacy), and receive his baronage directly from his hand. During the homage ceremony the candidate bishop or abbot would effectively be made a baron, a tenant-in-chief of the king, and have to do service (provide knights) or pay scutage for their landed properties. After the candidate bishop or abbot had done homage and sworn fealty to the king in the commendation ceremony (saving their order), like any other secular vassal, the Church could then proceed to invest the candidate with the symbols of ecclesiastical office and consecrate him as a bishop.  Clearly ambiguity remained who put forward, or recommended the candidate bishops and abbots in the first place, and whether the required clerical election processes took place before the homage ceremonies or afterwards, just before consecration. It could be supposed that the incumbent previous bishop or abbot, if they were not dead, had a large say in the nomination of their successor whom they prepared and groomed for the post..

But Henry I  did not keep the apparent promise he had made in his coronation charter. No sooner than he was on the throne than he too continued the practice of keeping vacant sees empty to line his treasury's coffers. There have been many interpretations by historians about the promise he had made in his Charter of Liberties and there is little agreement as to exactly what the first clause meant, although it is unambiguously clear that Henry I continued for some years after his coronation to enjoy the fruits of vacant episcopal and abbatial sees.

Vacant sees were hugely lucrative for kings. When a king levied scutage on a vacant bishopric he took payment not only for the registered knights' fees of the barony, the servicium debitum [military service] found in the Domesday Book, but also from the other unregistered fees of that same barony just as the bishops themselves did from all the tenants of the fees on their barony, whilst only paying over monies to the king's treasury for their registered fees. Thus when a king raised levies on vacant sees he was able to recoup far more from them than when they were occupied by a bishop.

It is said that the reign of Stephen was the only break in the royal claim to the rights of the revenues of vacant sees in England. Stephen's charter of 1136,  unambiguously promises 

Dum vero sedes propriis pastoribus vacuae fuerint, ipse et omnes earum possessiones in manu et custodia clericorum vel presbiterorum hominum ejusdem ville committantur donec pastor canonice restituatur.

But for so long as a see shall have become vacant of its proper pastor, let the same and all its holdings pass into the care and custody of clerics or priests, trustworthy men of the same city, until a pastor may be canonically restored to it.

Stephen is clearly promising more than just a change in management of vacant sees. He is unambiguously renouncing his right to profit from them, at least the Church seems to have interpreted the clause in this way. Stephen's reign was a time of a brave heart for the Church and the rule by a king willing to make concessions beyond those of his predecessors.

But on the question of the appointment of bishops to their see there was no break in the continuity of the theory and practice that the bishop's barony was to be received at the king's will.

Regarding this the charter says
I promise that I shall neither do, nor permit to be done, anything by simony in the church or in ecclesiastical affairs. I allow and confirm that jurisdiction and authority over ecclesiastical persons and over all clerks and their property and the disposal of ecclesiastical honours will be in the hands of the bishops. I grant and concede that the liberties of the church confirmed by their charters, and their customs that have been observed from antiquity, will remain inviolate. I concede that all ecclesiastical possessions and tenures which were held on the day when king William my Grandfather was alive and dead, will be free and absolved from all dues, without any recovery from claimants. But if the church hereafter seeks to recover possessions which it held before the death of the said king but of which it is now deprived, I reserve to my own pleasure and dispensation whether the property should be restored or the matter discussed. I confirm whatever has been bestowed since the death of the said king by the liberality of kings or the munificence of princes whether in alms, by purchase or by any other grant of the faithful. I promise that I shall keep the peace and do justice in all things, and maintain them as far as I am able.

Did Stephen keep the promises contained in his charter? This is not easy to answer. A few years later he had some bishops arrested contrary to hi promises in the charter. However this question is not strictly relevant to the topic of this  blog as it was Henry II's policy to continue to enjoy the same rights that his grandfather, Henry I, had, ignoring whatever rights Stephen may have conceded.  Clause 12 of the Constitutions of Clarendon was Henry's interpretation of what those rights were in respect of the right to reap the revenues of vacant sees and on the procedures for appointing bishops to their posts.

Becket argued the following

Fisher, M. Ann Kathleen (1947). "An Annotated Translation of the Life of St. Thomas Becket By Herbert Bosham (Part Two)" .

"To this the archbishop responded briefly that the property of the poor ought by no means to be applied to the treasury, and that this would be, as it were, contrary to royal mercy and magnificence; also that these riches of another are in no wise the redemption of the soul of a prince.  Although this sacrilege has sometimes been committed by those before us we ought not extend it to its limit. Rather this (encroachment upon the rights) of the Church ought always be proclaimed, always opposed, and, as far as possible, resisted. And if what cannot be corrected be tolerated, yet we ought never agree to it."

Later the Pope condemned this clause.

After Becket's murder Henry II agreed in 1173 to give the Church greater freedom in the election of bishops, and in 1176 Henry promised the pope that in future he would not keep sees vacant for more than a year; but he carefully left himself a loophole:

Concedo etiam quod archiepiscopatus, episcopatus et abbatiae non teneantur in manu mea utra annum, nisi urgente necessitate et evidenti de causa quae propter hoc non fuerit inventa ut diutius teneantur.
I concede also since an archbishopric, the bishopics and the abbeys may not be held in my hand  beyond a year, except in the case of a pressing necessity that they are held for longer the apparent cause of which was not discovered and made evident beforehand.

Pope Gregory VII described the transfer of an ecclesiastical office a donum episcopatus.

Gregory was originally willing to accept the donum from the king if it was done in a canonical fashion, but after the synod of 1075,  he went against lay investiture. The donum must be given by worthy persons. The Constitutions of Clarendon tried to enforce the king's rights in this respect.

Lateran II 1139

Canon 28 states
Since the decrees of the fathers prohibit churches to be left vacant [of its bishop] for more than three months, we forbid under anathema the canons of the episcopal see to exclude religious men from the election following on the death of the bishop; but let a virtuous and suitable person be elected as bishop with their advice. Because if an election is held with these religious persons excluded, where this is done without their knowledge and consent, it is null and void.


Ranulf Flambard and Early Anglo-Norman Administration: (The Alexander Prize Essay)
R. W. Southern
Transactions of the Royal Historical Society
Vol. 16 (1933), pp. 95-128
Article DOI: 10.2307/3678666

William M. Aird (1998). St Cuthbert and the Normans: The Church of Durham, 1071-1153. Boydell & Brewer Ltd. pp. 169–. ISBN 978-0-85115-615-6.

Saint Anselm of Canterbury and Charismatic Authority
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Religions 2012, 3, 1-x manuscripts; doi:10.3390/rel30x000x

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Johann Karl Ludwig Gieseler (1871). A Text-book of Church History. The Extension of the Power of the Papacy in the Church: Harper & brothers. pp. 366–.

William Stubbs. The Constitutional History of England, in Its Origin and Development. Cambridge University Press. pp. 297–306. ISBN 978-1-108-03629-0.

John Horace Round. Feudal England: Historical Studies on the XIth and XIIth Centuries. Cambridge University Press. pp. 226–. ISBN 978-1-108-01449-6.

Everett U. Crosby (2013). The King's Bishops: The Politics of Patronage in England and Normandy, 1066-1216. Chapter 2: The Principles of Authority -: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 17–. ISBN 978-1-137-35212-5. "Rex episcopatum dedit" The king gave the bishopric ...

Margaret Howell (1962). Regalian Right in Medieval England. University of London, Athlone Press.
CHAPTER I The Beginnings of Regalian Right in England
CHAPTER IV The Machinery of Royal Administration of Vacant Bishoprics
CHAPTER V The Emoluments of Episcopal Vacancies: (I) Revenue
CHAPTER VI The Emoluments of Episcopal Vacancies: (II) Patronage and. Feudal Perquisites

Reviewed Work: Regalian Right in Medieval England  by Margaret Howell

Review by: J. O. Prestwich
The English Historical Review
Vol. 79, No. 311 (Apr., 1964), pp. 393-395
Published by: Oxford University Press

Regalian right - Wikipedia

Felix Makower The constitutional history and constitution of the Church of England

Ethel Mary Wilmot-Buxton (1915). Anselm. Harrap.  

Sandra Visser; Thomas Williams (2009). Anselm. Oxford University Press, USA. pp. 9–. ISBN 978-0-19-530938-6.

Lauren Helm Jared (1991). English Ecclesiastical Vacancies During the Reigns of William II and Henry I. , 42, pp 362-393.

John Reeves; William Francis Finlason (1869). Reeves' History of the English Law: Vol. 1: From the time of the Romans to the end of the reign of Henry 3. Reeves & Turner. pp. 118–.

Judith A. Green (1989). The Government of England Under Henry I. Cambridge University Press. pp. 78–. ISBN 978-0-521-37586-3.

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Anne J. Duggan
In Making and breaking the rules: succession in medieval Europe, c. 1000-c.1600.
Établir et abolir les normes: la succession dans l’Europe médiévale, vers 1000-vers 1600. 

January 2007, pp. 175-190

St Anselm and the English investiture controversy reconsidered
Sally N. Vaughn  
Journal of Medieval History
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Richard W. Southern (1990). St. Anselm: A Portrait in a Landscape. The Investiture Dispute: Cambridge University Press. pp. 232–. ISBN 978-0-521-43818-6.

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Early English Laws Stephen’s 1136 charter of liberties for the Church (St eccl)
William Farrer (2013). Early Yorkshire Charters: Volume 1 Cambridge University Press. pp. 121–. ISBN 978-1-108-05823-0.

Lauren Helm Jared (1991). English Ecclesiastical Vacancies During the Reigns of William II and Henry I. , 42, pp 362-393.

Feudal law of Wardship

When a tenant-in-chief died, an inquisition post mortem was held in each county in which he held land and his or her land temporarily escheated (reverted) to the demesne of the crown until the heir paid over a sum of money (a relief), and was then able to take possession (livery of seisin) of the lands. However, if the heir was underage (under 21 for a male heir, under 14 for an heiress) they would be subject to a feudal wardship where the custody of their lands and the right to arrange their marriage passed to the monarch, until they came of age.

Francis Stoughton SULLIVAN; Gilbert STUART (LL.D.) (1776). An Historical Treatise on the Feudal Law, etc. pp. 107–.

Scott L. Waugh (2014). The Lordship of England: Royal Wardships and Marriages in English Society and Politics, 1217-1327. Princeton University Press. pp. 4–. ISBN 978-1-4008-5947-4.

Stroud Francis Charles Milsom (1976). The Legal Framework of English Feudalism: The Maitland Lectures Given in 1972. 5: Inheritance: CUP Archive. pp. 154–. ISBN 978-0-521-20947-2.

The constitutional history and constitution of the Church of England p.16- : Felix Makower
The constitutional history and constitution of the Church of England p.20- : Felix Makower  

On the Making of Bishops

Initially, bishops were chosen per clerum et populum by the local clergy and laity with the consent of neighbouring bishops. At the First Council of Nicaea in 325, the metropolitan bishop of the province was given the right to be able to confirm the candidate who had been selected. Later, secular rulers demanded that their consent for the election of  a bishop was also required. Even later, in medieval times, rulers demanded not only their consent to an election which had been made by others but that they also had the right to choose the candidate bishops directly themselves first. The Investiture Controversy changed that to some extent, but kings and other secular authorities largely continued to exercise their rights in the appointment of bishops.

First Council of Nicaea - Canon 4
The ordination of a bishop must take place in the presence of at least three provincial bishops and be confirmed by the Metropolitan bishop.

NPNF2-14. The Seven Ecumenical Councils  Council of Nicea (325 AD) Canon 4
This canon is found in the Corpus Juris Canonici, Gratian’s Decretum, Pars I. Dist. LXIV. c. i

Ab omnibus conprouincialibus episcopi ordinentur.
Episcopi ab omnibus, qui sunt in sua prouincia,
debent ordinari. Si uero hoc difficile fuerit, uel urgente
necessitate, uel itineris longitudine, tres episcopi debent
in unum congregari, ita ut ceterorum, qui absentes sunt,
consensum litteris teneant. Potestas sane uel confirmatio
pertinebit per singulas prouincias ad metropolitanum
Louis Thomassin ((C.O.)) (1717). Ancienne et nouvelle discipline de l'Eglise, touchant les benefices et les beneficiers. Part II Chapter I: chez Charles Osmond. pp. 253–.

Congé d'Elire - Wikipedia

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Pope Gregory VII  Constitutions of Clarendon Dictatus Papae, A.D. 1075
Specified several clauses concerning the powers of the Pope over the appointment and removal of clergy from their positions.

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The British Critic. F. and C. Rivington. 1826. pp. 455–. 

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The Bishop-Elect Manuscripta Vol 15, No 1

Walter Farquhar Hook (1854). A Church Dictionary. Congé d'Elire. E. H. Butler & Co. pp. 158–.

Richard Lionheart and English Episcopal Elections
Ralph V. Turner
Albion: A Quarterly Journal Concerned with British Studies
Vol. 29, No. 1 (Spring, 1997), pp. 1-13
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Article DOI: 10.2307/4051592

St. Anselm: Reluctant Archbishop?
Sally M. Vaughn
Albion: A Quarterly Journal Concerned with British Studies
Vol. 6, No. 3 (Autumn, 1974), pp. 240-250
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Article DOI: 10.2307/4048245

The Control of English Episcopal Elections in the Thirteenth Century
Alfred H. Sweet
The Catholic Historical Review
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Canon Law

R. H. Helmholz (2010). The Spirit of Classical Canon Law. University of Georgia Press. pp. 42–. ISBN 978-0-8203-3463-9.

R. H. Helmholz (2010). The Spirit of Classical Canon Law. University of Georgia Press. pp. 33–. ISBN 978-0-8203-3463-9.

Decretum Gratiani - DISTINCTIO LXIII.

In the latter [Dist. 63 c.13] The choice of bishops should be made per clerum et populum

In the procedure for the election of his clerics a bishop was supposed to consult his clergy
Decretum Gratiani d.24.6 

Distinctio XXIV
C. VI. Sine clericorum suorum consilio episcopus clericos non ordinet.
Episcopus sine consilio clericorum suorum clericos non ordinet, ita ut ciuium conniuentiam et testimonium
III. Pars. Gratian. Queritur, quid fieri debeat de his, qui sine examinatione prouecti sunt.
De his ita legitur in Concilio Martini Papae:

Causa VI. A bishop may not ordain his clergy without the counsel of his clerics
A bishop may not ordain his clergy without the counsel of his clerics, it is thus that he may acquire the connivance and witness of the people.
(It is asked, what ought to be done about those who have been advanced without examination.)
This was legitimised during the council of Pope Martin I [Because of this, this may be a false-decretal]
The Eleventh Council of Toledo [7 November 675]

The council tried to curb simony by making bishops swear an oath that they had neither paid nor promised to pay for their see before their consecration. If the oath was ignored, the consecration could not take place. Those guilty of simony were exiled for two years, but could retain their sees. This last provision probably signifies that simony was becoming less common already.

In the election of bishops the assent of the prince [temporal ruler] is desired.

John Ayliffe (1734). Parergon juris canonici Anglicani Thomas Osborne. pp. 126–.

pseud BIBLICUS (1819). Dissertations on the opening of the sealed book;  Pat. Cochran. pp. 127–.

Boudinhon, A. (1909). Election. In The Catholic Encyclopedia.

Constitutions of Clarendon - Concordat of London 1107 and Clause 12 of the Constitutions

23 Sept 1122. Concordat of Worms, or the "Pactum Calixtinum" - Concordat of Worms - Wikipedia
The King was recognized as having the right to invest bishops with secular authority ("by the lance") in the territories they governed, but not with sacred authority ("by ring and staff"); the result was that bishops owed allegiance in worldly matters both to the pope and to the king, for they were obligated to affirm the right of the sovereign to call upon them for military support, under his oath of fealty. It was confirmed at First Council of the Lateran - Wikipedia. Canons 2, 4 and 10 ended the practice of the Holy Roman Emperor naming bishops and the pope.

Joseph Duemer (2001). Magical Thinking: Poems. Ohio State University Press. pp. 26–. ISBN 978-0-8142-0889-2.

The Gregorian Reform and the Growth of Papal Supremacy, 1049-1159

David Charles Douglas (1964). William the Conqueror: The Norman Impact Upon England. University of California Press. pp. 326–. ISBN 978-0-520-00350-7.
Bishops and abbots were at once involved more closely than ever before in secular affairs, and in the case of the abbeys a division was normally made between the land of the abbot and that of the monastery, so that the abbot as a great feudal lord became removed from the life of his monks.

David Knowles (1979). Religious Orders. Chapter VI: The Monastic Adminstration: Cambridge University Press. pp. 55–. ISBN 978-0-521-29566-6.

The Making of a Bishop in the Middle Ages: The Part of the Pope in Law and Fact
Author(s): Geoffrey Barraclough
Source: The Catholic Historical Review, Vol. 19, No. 3 (Oct., 1933), pp. 275-319
Published by: Catholic University of America Press
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Rosamond McKitterick; David Edward Luscombe; Paul Fouracre (1995). The New Cambridge Medieval History. Volume 4 Part I. Chapter 5 P. Landau Development of Law: Cambridge University Press. pp. 113–. ISBN 978-0-521-41410-4.

An influential recent study of European legal history by the American scholar Harold Berman sees the foundations of the ‘western legal tradition’ in a papally inspired ‘revolution’ between 1075 and 1122, namely the transformation of legal systems inspired by Pope Gregory VII (1073–85). This development has traditionally been known as the ‘Gregorian reform’, but the term does not do justice to its revolutionary character. Although Berman’s interpretation of eleventh-century legal history may be somewhat overstated, it is scarcely possible to deny that a new direction, ‘un tournant dans l’histoire du droit’, was taken in the closing decades of the eleventh century, marking a clear historical transition in the development of law. This new direction can be linked thematically to the great ideological struggle between pope and emperor, the Investiture Contest. Formally, it could be seen as a definitive espousal of written forms of law and a renunciation of previous approaches which depended extensively on the continual adaptation of oral traditions. That earlier legal culture is hard to relate to concepts based on modern forms of law.

Harold J. Berman (June 2009). Law and Revolution, the Formation of the Western Legal Tradition. Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-02085-6.

Harold J. Berman (2000)
The Western Legal Tradition in a Millennial Perspective: Past and Future
Louisiana Law Review Volume 60 Number 3 Spring 2000

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