Vatican Regesta 727


Institute of Historical Research



J. A. Twemlow (editor)

Year published





Comment on this article
Double click anywhere on the text to add an annotation in-line

Citation Show another format:

'Vatican Regesta 727: 1487', Calendar of Papal Registers Relating to Great Britain and Ireland, Volume 14: 1484-1492 (1960), pp. 202-208. URL: Date accessed: 25 November 2014.


(Min 3 characters)

Vatican Regesta, Vol. DCCXXVII. (fn. 1)

Bullarum Liber XXX.

3 Innocent VIII.

Prid. Id. June.
(12 June.)
St. Peter's, Rome.
(f. 25r.)
Confirmation, with exemplification, of:—
(i) The undated (fn. 2) letters Honestas et religio vestra of pope Alexander [III], (fn. 3) in the form of a privilege, addressed to Herlowynus, prior of the church of Holy Trinity [alias Christchurch], Canterbury, and his brethren, present and future, by which the said pope, at their petition, takes the said church under the protection of St. Peter and of himself, and ordains that its possessions, present and future, shall remain undiminished to the said prior and brethren, and to their successors. He confirms, moreover, to them, and by them to their sacristship, its manors and possessions, mentioning them by name (see footnote), all which possessions, with their oblations, and other profits accustomed and due, shall be applied to the uses of the sacristship, in such wise, however, that the revenues shall be in the keeping of those who shall be appointed treasurers by the prior and convent, which treasurers shall deal with or expend none of the said revenues without the order of the prior and convent, or of the greater and sounder part thereof, in accordance with the rule of St. Benedict and the custom of their church. The pope further ordains that on the voidance of their censuales ecclesie they may elect the chaplains and present them to the archbishop, which chaplains shall be answerable to him as regards spirituals, and to the prior and convent as regards temporals, according to ancient custom. Moreover, on the voidance of any of their churches, none shall presume to take possession until the prior and convent have made provision of the person to be instituted, and have presented him to the archbishop, unless, which God forbid, they have maliciously delayed to do so. Likewise, none shall presume to impede the liberties and dignities reasonably confirmed to them by privileges of popes or kings or others. On the voidance of their church, the bishops and other persons ecclesiastical and secular of their diocese shall in no wise withdraw from the said church their due obedience, but shall obey the prior and convent in those things which are of God. No person ecclesiastical or secular shall, during voidance of the see, hinder the prior and convent from disposing freely of their goods and possessions, according to God[‘s will]. The pope, therefore, decrees that to no man, etc. (i.e. the usual final clauses). (fn. 4) (ii) The letters Ad perpetuam rei memoriam. Exigit specialis deuotionis affectus of pope Urban [VI], (fn. 5) dated at St. Mary's in Trastevere, 13 Kal. April anno I (20 March 1378/9), by which, at the recent petition of the present archbishop Simon and the prior and chapter of Canterbury (containing that although during the voidance of the said church, by ancient and hitherto peacefully observed custom there belongs to the prior for the time being, who holds a major dignity in the said church, all jurisdiction, [even] metropolitical and provincial and legatine, belonging to the archbishop of Canterbury for the time being, alike over prelates and abbots of the said Order, and also over any others in and of the province of Canterbury; and that although the said prior and chapter are subject solely to the jurisdiction and power of the apostolic see and of the said archbishop for the time being, (fn. 6) the presidents of the chapter-general of the Black monks (fn. 7) in the realm of England, in virtue of certain constitutions made by Benedict XII and of the declarations made thereupon by Innocent VI, endeavour to compel the said prior and chapter, contrary to their liberties and privileges, to go to the said chapter-general, and in other ways [unlawfully] (fn. 8) endeavour to aggrieve them, to their no small prejudice and hurt), the said pope Urban grants that in future the prior (present and for the time being) and chapter shall in no wise be bound to go or send to the said chapter-general, but shall be free from the burden of so doing and from all jurisdiction of the said presidents, notwithstanding the aforesaid and any other papal constitutions and declarations, and the statutes and customs of the said Order; in such wise, however, that the said archbishop, and the archbishop for the time being, shall during the foregoing, cause all things which shall be ordained in the said provincial chapter by the apostolic see to be observed by papal authority by the said prior and chapter of Canterbury. (fn. 9) The pope further grants faculty to the said archbishop to absolve the said prior and chapter from any sentences of excommunication and suspension which may have been delivered against them by reason of the foregoing, and to dispense those of them who have contracted irregularity by celebrating or taking part in divine offices when under such sentences, after first suspending them from the exercise of their orders for such time as he shall think good. Nulli ergo etc. … Datumanno primo.
(iii) The letters super gregem dominicum of pope Eugenius IV addressed to the bishop of Ross, (fn. 10) and dated at St. Peter's, Rome, in the year of the Incarnation 1432, 3 Kal. July [29 June], anno 2, and ordering the said bishop, at the recent petition of the prior and chapter of the church of Canterbury, O.S.B. (containing that although at every voidance of the said church, by ancient and hitherto peacefully observed custom there belongs to the said prior, who holds a major dignity therein, all jurisdiction, even metropolitical and provincial and legatine, belonging to the archbishop of Canterbury for the time being, alike over abbots and prelates of monasteries of the said Order, and over any others of the province of Canterbury; and that although the said prior and chapter are subject solely to the jurisdiction and power of the aforesaid see and arch bishop, (fn. 11) and have not been wont to go to the chaptergeneral of the Black monks wont to be celebrated in the realm of England, or to send any one for such celebration, nevertheless the presidents of the said chapter-general, perhaps following certain constitutions made by Benedict XII and the declarations made thereupon by Innocent VI, endeavour to compel the said prior and chapter, contrary to their liberties and privileges, to go or send to the said chapter-general, (fn. 12) and (fn. 13) in other ways unlawfully (fn. 14) endeavour to aggrieve them, to their no small prejudice and hurt), if he find that the said prior and chapter have not been wont to go and send to the said chapter-general, as above, etc., by papal authority to grant them that they shall not be bound to do so, even in future, and cannot be compelled thereto by the said presidents or chapter-general or otherwise by any one, and that they shall be free from all jurisdiction of the said presidents. In the event of the said bishop making such grant, the pope decrees that all processes, and all sentences of excommunications [sic], of suspensions [sic], and of interdict, and other ecclesiastical sentences, censures and pains pronounced by any authority against the said prior and chapter by reason of their non-appearance in such chapter-general, shall be without force; notwithstanding the aforesaid constitutions and ordinances, and all other things to the contrary. Datumanno secundo. (fn. 15)
At the [recent] petition, therefore, of William Selleyo [sic], (fn. 16) prior of the church of Canterbury, O.S.B. (sent to the pope by Henry, king of England, as his orator in order to make obedience to the pope and the apostolic see) and of the chapter (fn. 17) of the said church, who allege that execution of the aforesaid posterior letters has been proceeded to by the judge appointed therein, as is said to be more fully contained in the relative processes, the pope hereby approves and confirms the said letters and grant and, as far as they concern the said grant, all the contents and consequences of the said posterior letters, and decrees that they shall have perpetual force, and nevertheless, potiori pro cautela, makes a fresh grant of the said letters and concessions in the foregoing manner and form, and, as regards the obedience to be made to the aforesaid prior and chapter during voidance of the said church, extends the aforesaid prior letters to all and singular the persons, both ecclesiastical and secular, of the said province. He therefore orders the abbot of the monastery of Holy Cross de Walchaw [sic] and the prior of the canons regular of St. Nicholas de Ledys, in the dioceses of London [and] Canterbury, and the archdeacon of Canterbury, to cause all the aforesaid to be inviolably observed where and when expedient, and where and when requested by the said prior and chapter, not suffering them to be unlawfully molested by any persons soever, etc. Ad perp. rei memoriam. Licet ea que per Romanos pontifices. [7½ pp. In the margin at the end: ‘Jul (ii).’]
5 Kal. Aug.
(28 July.)
St. Peter's, Rome.
(f. 180r.)
To the priors of the monasteries of Kylley and Naas (de Nassa), wont to be governed by priors, in the diocese of Kildare (Daren.) and John Faelan, a canon of Ferns. Mandate, as below. The recent petition of Nicholas Oengasa, a canon of the monastery of All Saints without the walls, Dublin, O.S.A., contained that on the voidance in a certain way of the priorship of the monastery of St. Mary, Conall, wont to be governed by a prior, of the said order, in the diocese of Kildare, the then archbishop of Dublin, the church of Kildare being void, made in accordance with ancient custom (by which during voidance of the church of Kildare the collation and provision of all benefices in the city and diocese of Kildare belongs to the archbishop) de facto collation and provision of the said priorship to the said Nicholas, under pretext of which collation and provision he took possesion of and still detains the said priorship, taking the fruits in good faith. The said collation and provision being therefore without force, (fn. 18) and the pope having learned that the said priorship is still void as above, he hereby rehabilitates the said Nicholas, and remits to him the fruits which he has taken, and orders the above three to collate and assign the said priorship, which is conventual and has cure, and the yearly value of which does not exceed 120 marks sterling, howsoever it be void, to the said Nicholas. Before they proceed to the execution of these presents, he is to resign it to them. Sedis apostolice consueta clementia. [5 pp.]


1 On the back of the volume: ‘Inn. viii. Bullar. An. i. ad iv. L. xxx.' The original sheepskin binding, preserved at the beginning of the volume, has one or two unimportant contemporary notes, and the usual later ‘Innoc. 8. Lib. 30.’ There are i–cccxxix ff. of text, and no ‘rubricelle.’
2 For the date, viz. circ. 1177, see the end of the next note but one.
3 For the ordinal number of the pope, see ibid.

Alexander episcopus seruus seruorum dei dilectis filiis Herlowyno priori ecclesie sancte Trinitatis Cantuariensis eiusque fratribus tam presentibus quam futuris regularem vitam professis in perpetuum. Honestas et religio vestra nos moueat (recte mouet) propensius et inducunt ut secundum deum vestris commodis et profectibus intendamus, et ne possitis in posterum super hiis qui rationabiliter possidetis aliquorum malignitate vexari, apostolicum vobis imparti[a]mur patrocinium et fauorem. Ea propter, dilecti in domino filii, vestris iustis postulationibus clementer annuimus, et prefatam ecclesiam, in qua diuino mancipati estis obsequio, sub beati Petri et nostra protectione suscipimus et presentis scripti privilegio communimus, statuentes ut quascunque [sic] possessiones[et] quecunque bona que eadem ecclesia in presentiarum iuxte (recte juste) et canonice possidet, aut in futurum concessione pontificum largitione regum vel principum oblatione fidelium seu aliis iustis modis prestante deo poterit adipisci, firma vobis vestrisque successoribus et illibata permaneant. Maneria vero et possessiones que ad vestram sacristiam pertinent vobis et per vos eidem sacristie duximus confirmandas [sic] et propriis nominibus exprimendas [sic]:—Robynge (recte Rokynge) cum pertinentiis suis et prouentibus, Berchesore cum pertinentiis sui⋅ et prouentibus, Berchesere [sic] cum pertinentiis suis et prouentibus [i.e. a repetition], Visdemu (m) (?) cum pertinentiis suis et prouentibus, dimidium manerium de Diepham [sic] cum pertinentiis suis et prouentibus, ecclesiam de Derepham [sic] cum pertinentiis suis et prouentibus, in Demuisira (recte Deuunsira) Doccumb cum pertinentiis suis et prouentibus. Preterea possessiones que sic vocantur:—Geddinge Cliuesland Hop Ligberge Stepunbergo [sic] Bermesole; apud Londonias quosdam redditus vestros et ecclesias, ecclesiam scilicet Omnium Sanctorum [Bread Street? ], ecclesiam sancti Michaelis que vocatur Pater Noster cherch, Nierburge (recte Werburge) cherch, ecclesian sancti Michaelis [Crooked Lane], ecclesiam sancti Pancratii, ecclesiam sancti Oluustan[i] (recte Dunstani), ecclesiam sancti Leonardi que vocatur Melchiede (? recte Berking), ecclesiam sancti Vedasti, ecclesiam sancte Marie Magdalene Baceherke (? recte in Milk Street), ecclesiam de Barbuigo [sic] in London (ia); in ciuitate Cantuariensi quosdam redditus vestros et ecclesias, ecclesiam scilicet sancti Sepulcri, ecclesiam sancti Georgii de Neivengate (?), ecclesiam de Quenegan (? recte Quenegate) cum capella sua de Burgate in Velves (?), ecclesiam sancti Michaelis, ecclesiam de Bockynge, ecclesiam de Halestu, cum omnibus earum pertinentiis et prouentibus; domum etiam in Burue, decimam de dominio de Frangeham, decimam de Elsuartun, decimam de Ercheslane, decimam de Anges (?), decimam de Barefeld, decimam de Cranthocij [sic], decimam dominii de Sillingo, decimam de Berchaciarum (?) de Clure de Culinge et de Osterland; in Douoria et Sandwic quosdam redditus, de molendino de Hlost unam ma[r? ]cham, ex dono Anselmi mariscum, mariscam [sic] de Vestwale; in No¬rwico duas mensuras ex dono Eustachi clerici de Tornetun’, duos solidos de Bockeford que pertinet ad Gadler (um) (?) duos solidos preter hec mansionis [sic] predia prata oblationis [sic] obuentiones et reliquas possessiones et redditus omnes infra Cantuariensem ecclesiam vel extra ad jam dictam sacristiam pertinentes. Que quidem omnia cum suis exennis et ceteris consuetis et debitis prouentibus sacristarie (?) usibus prout diximus applicentur. Ita tamen quod redditus ipsi ad eorum custodiam deueniant qui per prioren et conuentum fuerint thesaurarii constituti, et illi de redditibus ipsis nichil ordinent vel expendant nisi de mandato prioris et conuentus aut maioris et sanioris partis, prout beati Benedicti regula et vestra [sic] consuetudo ecclesie habet. Statuimus insuper ut liceat uobis ad censuales ecclesias vestras cum vacauerint capellanos eligere et archiepiscopo presentare, qui ei de spiritualibus, vobis autem de temporalibus debeant respondere sicuti ab antiquo usque in presens noscitur obseruari. Cum autem aliquam ecclesiarum vestrarum vacare contigerit, nullus eam audeat temere occupare donec prior et conuentus de persona instituenda prouiderint et eam curauerint archiepiscopo presentare, nisi forte quod absit malitiose duxerint di[f]ferend (um). Libertates quoque et dignitates vobis priuilegiis Romanorum pontificum seu regum aut aliorum rationabiliter confirmatas nullus impedire presumat. Vacante vero ecclesia vestra episcopi et relique persone ecclesiastice et seculares vestre diocesis eidem ecclesie debitam obedientiam nullatenus subtrahant, sed priori et conuentui prout debent in hiis que dei sunt studeant obedire. Nulla quoque persona ecclesiastica vel secularis priorem vel conuentum ecclesie vestre, sede vacante, impediat quominus de rebus et possessionibus suis disponend (is) secundum deum liberam habeant facultatem. Decernimus ergo ut nulli omnino hominum liceat prefatam ecclesiam temere perturbare nec possessiones eius auferre vel ablatas detineri [sic] imminuere seu quibuslibet vexationibus fatigare, sed omnia integre conseruentur eorum pro quorum gubernatione et sustentatione concessa sunt usibus omnimodis profutura, salua sedis apostolice auctoritate et Cantuariensis archiepiscopi debita reuerentia. Si qua [sic] igitur in futurum ecclesiastica secularisue persona hanc nostre constitutionis paginam sciens contra eam temere venire tentauerint [sic], secundo tertioue commonita, nisi reatum suum digna satisfactione correxerit, potestatis honorisque sui dignitate[m amittat?], reumque se diuino indicio existere de perpetrata iniquitate cognoscat, et a sanctissimo corpore et sanguine dei et domini redemptoris nostri Yesu (Yh'u) Christi aliena fiat, atque in extremo examine districte ulcioni subiaceat. Cunctis autem eidem loco sua iura seruantibus sit pax domini nostri Yesu Christi quatenus et hic fructum bone actionis percipiant, et apud districtum iudicem premia eterne pacis inueniant. amen.

The list of the priors of ‘Christ-Church or Holy Trinity Cathedral and Monastery of Benedictines, in Canterbury,’ in Monasticon, vol. i, pp. 111–12, contains the names of ‘Elmer, or Ailmer,’ (D.N.B. Ethelmær, Elmer, Aelmer, alias Herlewin), who was prior from 1128 to 1137, and ‘Herlewin,’ who appears to have been elected prior in or about 1177, and who resigned the year of his election. Of these two, the first is excluded by the fact that there was no pope Alexander during his priorship. The year 1177, on the other hand, was one of the last years of the pontificate of Alexander III (1159–81). The ordinal number of the Pope is thus determined, and the date of the bull approximately fixed, viz. circ. 1177.

5 The bull mentions popes Benedict XII (1335–42) and Innocent VI (1352–62). The pope Urban in question is therefore either Urban V (1362–70) or Urban VI (1378–89). The former is excluded by the fact that during his first year he was at Avignon, and in fact did not go to Rome till 1367, returning to Avignon in 1370 and dying there the same year. The author of the bull was therefore Urban VI, who was elected in Rome on 8 April, and crowned there on the following 18 April, and 20 March in whose first year was therefore 20 March 1378/9. The archbishop Simon whois mentioned in the bull was consequently Simon Sudbury, 1375–81. The bull naturally does not occur in Cal. Papal Lett., vol. iv, as the registers of Urban VI there summarized do not begin till his second year during which, and until 1383, his bulls are all dated at St. Peter's, Rome. Mas Latrie, Trésor de Chronologie, does not give Urban VI's itinerary, but it is evident from the bull that for part at least of his first year he was at St. Mary's in Trastevere.
6 petitio continebat quod licet ad priorem dicte ecclesie pro tempore existentem, qui maiorem dignitatem post pontificalem in eadem ecclesia obtinet, predicta ecclesia pastore carente, omnimod (a)jurisdictioni [sic; cf. the next note but four] [etiam] metropolitice [sic; cf. ibid.] et prouincialis ac legationis apostolice sedis ad archiepiscopum Cantuariensem qui est pro tempore pertinens, tam in prelatos et abbates monasteriorum dicti ordinis, quam etiam in quoslibet alios in et de prouincia Cantuariensi existentes, de antiqua et approbata et hactenus pacifice obseruata consuetudine pertinere noscatur, dictique prior et capitulum juris. dictionis [sic; cf. ibid.] et p (otes)tatis [sic; cf. ibid.] sedis apostolice et archiepiscopi predicti pro tempore existentis duntaxat subiecti existant.
7 monachorum nigrorum.
8 As in the bull of Eugenius IV, below.
9 Ita tamen quod prefatus archiepiscopus qui est et pro tempore fuerit durantibus huiusmodi premissis omnia que salubriter ordinabuntur per sedem apostolicam in prefato prouinciali capitulo faciat auctoritate apostolica per dictos priorem et capitulum ecclesie Cantuariensis firmiter obseruari.
10 Rossen., doubtless Ross in Ireland, the bishops of that see not infrequently acting as a suffragan bishop in England; cf. Cal. Papal Lett., XIII, p. 487, note. It is not necessary to suppose that Rossen. is an error for Roffen., i.e. Rochester.
11 petitio continebat quod licet ad dictum priorem, qui maiorem inibi post pontificalem dignitatem obtinet, quotiens ipsa ecclesia pastore caret, omnimoda [here in full] etiam metropolitica et prouincialis ac legationis sedis apostolice ad archiepiscopum Cantuariensem pro tempore pertinens, tam in abbates et prelatos monasteriorum dicti ordinis, quam alios quoslibet provincie Cantuariensis, jurisdictio de antiqua et approbata hactenusque pacifice obseruata consuetudine pertineat, ac dicti prior et capitulum jurisdictioni et potestati sedis necnon archiepiscopi predictorum duntaxat sint subiecti.
12 priorem et ecclesiam Cantuarien (sis) capitulum predictos, recte priorem et capitulum ecclesie Cantuarien (sis) predictos, or perhaps rather predictos priorem et capitulum ecclesie Cantuariensis, as in the above bull of Urban VI.
13 aut,? recte et, as ibid.
14 indebite, omitted ibid.
15 The foregoing bull of Eugenius IV is not in Cal. Papal Lett., Vols VIII and IX.
16 William Sellyng in Monasticon, I, p. 112.
17 capitulo, recte capituli.
18 It is not obvious why, except under the pope's previous reservation of all conventual priories, but of this there is no explicit mention here.