Bishop and Chapter in Twelfth-Century England: A Study of by Everett U. Crosby

By Everett U. Crosby

This booklet is a examine of the reformation in ecclesiastical politics in twelfth-century England wherein the cathedral bankruptcy, by means of steadily gaining regulate of extra of its personal wealth and assets, elevated its strength and emerged as a neighborhood principally self sufficient of the bishop. the tale illuminates a big interval within the inner lifetime of the Church, while the responsibilities and rights of people and associations have been being given ever extra unique definition, and while new perspectives on Church doctrine and canon legislation, in addition to on royal and papal pursuits, grew to become the worry of a few of the best ecclesiastics of the day.

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Extra resources for Bishop and Chapter in Twelfth-Century England: A Study of the ’Mensa Episcopalis’

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There was the threat, moreover, that the abbot might appropriate the convent's possessions for his own purposes. " 65 But worse was to come at the death of Abbot Samson in 1211. The sacrist and chamberlain, on behalf of the prior, bought the custody sede vacante from King John for 400 marks. 66 In fact what had happened was that the king had seized the abbot's share, as was customary, and then had sold it back to the prior, so that the latter then held the administration of both parts. 67 By combining the separate mensae under his own hand, the prior undoubtedly sought to increase the abbey's income or, at least, to improve the lot of his own supporters.

Certain clauses in the Anglo-Norman versions of the decrees of the Council of Clermont in 1095: "Quod aliquis episcopus simul abbas esse non possit" (GR 11, p. 392); "Nemo episcopus abbas simul sit" (OV ix, p. 5 St. 7 But Stephen Langton, at the beginning of the thirteenth century, when Benedictine monasticism was in full decline, declared that monastic chapters should not elect monks as bishops, not because of an inherent incompatibility between secular and regular life, but because so few monks, he thought, were qualified for the job.

19 The views of the lawyers and apologists, however, were of less concern to the men who governed England in the twelfth century than the actual position of the bishop as diocesan and royal vassal. On the one hand, under his jurisdictional powers the bishop exercised authority to hold synods, to dispense justice, to visit churches and to administer property and revenues. On the other hand, the fact that Domesday Book records the church as holding more than a quarter of all the land, of which the bishops possessed a substantial portion, meant that the episcopate formed a key group of magnates.

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