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Diana E. Greenaway

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'Introduction', Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1066-1300: Volume 6: York (1999). URL: Date accessed: 21 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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The Chapter of York Minster 1066-1300

On the eve of the Conquest the Minster of York was ruled by archbishop Ealdred, who was also bishop of Worcester. On a visit to Germany in 1054 he had been greatly impressed by ecclesiastical building there and by liturgical practices especially in Cologne, from where he brought books back to England. One of these, a version of the Romano-German Pontifical, probably lay behind the third English Coronation Ordo which he used when he anointed and crowned William the Conqueror on Christmas Day 1066. (fn. 2) At York he may have reformed the York chapter along the lines of the common-life chapters he had seen in the Rhineland: this is suggested by a tradition that connects his building projects with his revival of the common life in the minsters - refectories at York and Southwell, and both refectory and dormitory at Beverley. (fn. 3) It is a testimony to institutional strength at York that Ealdred's Norman successor, Thomas I 'of Bayeux', coming into office in 1070 after the Conqueror's harrying of the north in 1069, did not immediately introduce changes based on Norman custom, but instead rebuilt the devastated church, refectory and dormitory, and restored the seven canons to their common life. (fn. 4) Seven was large for an English secular chapter at this time, when five was probably a typical number. (fn. 5) The chapter at York probably had a good deal in common with that at Salisbury, established by Ealdred's companion Hereman and supported by the Norman St Osmund: both communities occupied small churches and lived together in shared accommodation. (fn. 6) There are parallels too with Exeter under Leofric, Wells under Giso and Durham under Walcher. (fn. 7)

But before 1093 archbishop Thomas (1070-1100) had brought about a total reorganization and rebuilding at York, based on his experience in Normandy. (fn. 8) He had been clerk of Odo, bishop of Bayeux, and canon and treasurer of Bayeux cathedral, where by 1093, Odo presided over a large chapter, with nine dignitaries and over thirty canons. (fn. 9) The first dignitary to be appointed at York was a master of the schools, reflecting an emphasis on learning which was characteristic of the time and of the archbishop. Later, but still before 1093, Thomas added a dean, a treasurer and a cantor. (fn. 10) Dean, precentor, treasurer, archdeacon and some of the canons of York were present at the consecration by Thomas of archbishop Anselm at Canterbury in December 1093, as recorded by Hugh the chanter. (fn. 11) A sign of the influence of Bayeux is the way in which at York until 1218 the second place in chapter was occupied by the treasurer rather than the precentor: this unusual arrangement was the custom at Bayeux in the last years of the eleventh century, but was superseded by the middle of the twelfth. (fn. 12)

A second change in cathedral organization involved the division of chapter lands into individual prebends. A model existed at the time of the Conquest in collegiate churches of secular clerks in both England and Normandy. In England these were the minsters and in Normandy the collégiales. (fn. 13) There are clues that at some cathedrals in both countries division into prebends had begun to take place before 1066: in England at St Paul's cathedral, London, and in Normandy at the cathedral of Coutances. After 1066 the prebendal system on the Norman style was gradually adopted in both English and Norman cathedrals. At Bayeux in or after 1074 bishop Odo divided newly acquired land. (fn. 14) At York before c. 1090 archbishop Thomas divided some of the waste estates into individual prebends, thus abandoning the common life that he had earlier sought to encourage by rebuilding the refectory and dormitory. According to Hugh the chanter, 'The canons had long lived in common, but the archbishop, after taking advice, determined to divide some of the lands of St Peter's which were still waste into separate prebends, to leave room for a growing number of canons; in this way each of them might be eager to build on and cultivate his own share for his own sake.' (fn. 15) This is the first unequivocal evidence from an English cathedral of a bishop dividing estates into individual prebends, and there are documents recording the creation of four, perhaps six, prebends before 1114. (fn. 16) In a charter of [1105] relating to one of these prebends, Laughton, Henry I refers to 'the customs of the older prebends' of York. (fn. 17)

Of the thirty-six prebends that were finally to be formed for the canons of York, only a quarter of the estates had not been in the possession of the archbishop or the canons at the time of the Domesday Survey in 1086. (fn. 18) Four prebends originated from the royal demesne (fn. 19) and five from great secular honours. (fn. 20) In all cases, whatever the origin of the land, it was the archbishop who created the prebends. At York, as elsewhere, the establishment of territorial prebends was largely finished by the second half of the twelfth century. (fn. 21) Although only two can be shown definitely to have been created by archbishop Thurstan (1119-40), it seems likely that most were set up in his time. The two that were certainly created by Thurstan were to be held by the priors of the Augustinian houses of Nostell and Hexham: respectively Bramham, c. 1126 × 1129, (fn. 22) and Salton, perhaps about the same time. (fn. 23) Such an arrangement would hardly have been made if there were not already in existence a good number of prebends held by seculars. For several the first firm evidence belongs to the middle years of the twelfth century. (fn. 24) It is perhaps significant that of the five prebends mentioned in the charters of archbishop Roger (1154-81) none was newly founded. (fn. 25) Doubtless a few prebends still consisted in money payments into the early thirteenth century, like Thockrington which was territorialized only in 1224. (fn. 26) Only one, Botevant, (fn. 27) never had land. As time went on, most prebends received increases of property: in some cases early prebends were virtually reconstituted and had to be renamed, through augmentation or division in the thirteenth century. (fn. 28) The only dignitary to have a prebend annexed to his office was the treasurer, who held Newthorpe from before the end of the twelfth century; (fn. 29) a second prebend, Wilton, was created and added to his rich benefice in 1242. (fn. 30) The last prebend to be founded at York was Bilton in 1294. (fn. 31) This brought the total to thirty-six.

In the same way that the archbishop was responsible for the establishment of the prebends, he maintained a large measure of control over them. Before 1140 archbishop Thurstan issued regulations concerning the revenues of deceased canons. (fn. 32) The archbishop's power to divide prebends in order to increase the number of canons was confirmed by pope Nicholas IV in 1289. (fn. 33) His powers of visitation, however, were restricted by an agreement between archbishop John le Romeyn and the chapter in 1290. (fn. 34)

One of the archbishop's most visible powers was that of patronage: it was he who, in normal circumstances, appointed all the dignitaries (the dean only excluded), archdeacons and canons. On many occasions candidates who had been proposed by either the king or the pope were actually collated by the archbishop. When the see was vacant, the patronage fell directly to the king. The lists below show how frequently the regalian right was exercised in the Minster, especially in the thirteenth century - in the vacancies of 1212-15, 1255-6, 1258, 1265-6, 1279, 1285-6, 1296-7 and 1299.

By the end of the thirteenth century the king's interventions sede vacante were eclipsed by those of the pope acting in the plenitude of power. From the earliest times there had been a strong link with Rome through the necessity for the archbishops to receive the pallium. Of the seventeen archbishops listed below, ten collected the pallium from the pope in person, either in Italy or in France, while the remaining seven received it in England. Thirteen made costly visits to the Curia. (fn. 35) Five of these (Thurstan, Henry Murdac, Godfrey of Ludham, William de Wickwane, and Thomas of Corbidge) were actually consecrated by the pope. Disputes over archiepiscopal appointments encouraged contact, involving both archbishops and members of the chapter in attendance at the papal court - notably the cases of William Fitz Herbert and Geoffrey Plantagenet. Walter Giffard was provided after the pope had quashed the canons' election of William de Langeton (who had royal assent) and had accepted the resignation of the first papal provisee, Bonaventura. All four of Giffard's immediate successors were provided after disputed elections. In 1286 John le Romeyn was elected at the Curia by nine canons of York appointed as electors by the pope. (fn. 36)

Until the last years of the thirteenth century the majority of appointments to the dignities of York were made by the archbishops. Even where such appointments are not specifically recorded in surviving documents, it is clear from the careers of dignitaries that they owed their advancement to archiepiscopal patronage.

Throughout the twelfth century, the archbishop exercised the right to appoint the dean, and in the vacancy after the death of archbishop Roger, this patronage fell to the king, who appointed first Hubert Walter in 1186 and then Henry Marshal in 1189. The next appointment to the deanery was the subject of dispute between archbishop and king in 1193, and for the first time the canons claimed to elect: their candidate, Simon of Apulia, was eventually nominated and invested by the pope the following year. But the canons' right to elect their dean was not established in practice until much later. The king maintained the right to appoint during the vacancy in 1214, and it may be that notwithstanding the Fourth Lateran Council's decree in 1215 that cathedral deaneries were to be elective, in normal times the archbishop continued to appoint, as he quite certainly did in 1258 and most probably also in c. 1262. The first dean who is known definitely to have been elected by the canons, Master Robert of Scarborough, in 1279, survived challenges to his election, but fell foul of the archbishop and was finally deprived by him. It was only at the end of the period, in 1298, that the canons were successful in securing their choice, William of Hambleton, and even then, after a dispute over a papal reservation, William had to be provided by Boniface VIII in 1300. (fn. 37)

The only other dignity that attracted notable royal and papal interest was the treasury, which was one of the most valuable benefices in England, and at York second only to the deanery in wealth. Of eighteen treasurers in the period, seven were certainly appointed by the kings. There were four in succession from 1256, their names a roll-call of royal favourites and pluralists - John Maunsel the elder, Amaury de Montfort, Edmund de Mortimer, and Bogo de Clare. Before Bogo died in 1294, John de Colonna was provided by the pope, the first papal nominee of a series that stretched down to the middle of the next century. (fn. 38)

The archbishops were more successful in maintaining a large measure of control over appointments to the archdeaconries. That is not to say that there were not some papal provisions, (fn. 39) and several royal appointments, not all effective, (fn. 40) and one dispute between archbishop and canons, (fn. 41) but on the whole the oculi archiepiscopi were archiepiscopal choices. Walter de Grey demonstrated the archbishop's authority over chapter and archdeaconries when he separated the treasury from the archdeaconry of the East Riding in 1218. (fn. 42)

During the thirteenth century the number of prebends occupied by papal appointees, most of them foreigners, increased from three in the first decade to six in the 1220s. (fn. 43) It rose to eight by 1250. (fn. 44) Archbishop Giffard (1266-79) wrote to cardinal Ottobono that he could not confer a prebend on the cardinal's clerk, Master Aunerus, because as 'quasi medietas prebendarum nostrarum sit sub manibus alienis' he could scarcely find benefices for his own clerks. (fn. 45) This was only a slight exaggeration, as in Giffard's time the archdeaconry of Cleveland and at least nine prebends were certainly in the hands of foreigners, and possibly three more, and there were disputes over two others. (fn. 46) The number of foreign- held prebends on archbishop Romeyn's death in 1296 was eight, representing about a quarter of the chapter. (fn. 47) The proportion rose during archbishop Corbridge's pontificate, so that at Greenfield's succession in 1306 it was one in three, and it increased still further under archbishop Melton. (fn. 48) Romeyn had complained of the plundering of the church for the sake of the 'Romans', (fn. 49) yet he was of Roman descent himself, and had been elected in the Curia by nine canons of whom only one was English, while three were already cardinals and four others were papal officials. (fn. 50) When in 1280 archbishop Wickwane was assaulted by the archdeacon of Canterbury for carrying his cross erect in the Canterbury province on his return journey from the Curia to York, he was able to address his complaints to no fewer than six high-ranking papal officials - three of them cardinals - who were also either members or relations of members of the York and Southwell chapters; in the following year his proctor in the suit, Hugh of Evesham, was promoted to the cardinalate. (fn. 51) But in 1290 there was a concession to the archbishop: the pope waived his right to provide to the chapel of St Mary and the Holy Angels in the Minster, which had been held by Master Percival of Lavagna who had died at Rome, and ordered archbishop Romeyn to confer it on an Englishman. (fn. 52)

The value of the York prebends, being higher than at any other English cathedral, (fn. 53) was usually the prime consideration in the placement of papal nominees. In 1286 Peter de Sabello, nephew of Honorius IV, who had a provision to the next vacant prebend, refused the archbishop's offer of Botevant, which was worth only £10, and on the death of cardinal Hugh of Evesham in Rome the following year succeeded to the better prebend of Bugthorpe, worth £40. (fn. 54) Similarly in 1293-4 the proctor acting for John de Colonna son of Landulf refused first Givendale, which was worth only £12, and then Holme, worth £16 13s. 4d., and in 1298 sought Masham, at £166 13s. 4d., the most wealthy of all the prebends in England. (fn. 55) But a papal candidate might accept and hold a poor prebend until a better one became available: cardinal Ancher, nephew of Urban IV, held Warthill, at £10 one of York's poorest prebends, until he could get possession of North Newbald, worth £53 6s. 8d. (fn. 56)

But neither archbishop nor king was prepared to see all the best prebends being occupied by representatives of the Curia. The prebend of Fenton, worth £53 6s. 8d., became a battlefield between pope and king and between pope and archbishop. (fn. 57) It was even earmarked in 1288 by cardinal Matteo Rosso Orsini, with the prebend of Nassington in Lincoln cathedral, for annexation to the hospital of Santo Spirito in Sassia in Rome: the proposal was vigorously resisted by archbishop Romeyn and two years later by king and barons. (fn. 58) By contrast, Riccall, valued at £46 13s. 4d., was held between c. 1216 and 1300 by five provisees in succession, without dispute. (fn. 59)

By no means all papal provisions were effective, as for one reason or another archbishops were unable or unwilling to find prebends for 'expectant' canons, who had been provided to the next vacancy. Like abbot Samson of Bury St Edmunds, they may often have found that there were queues of claimants and too few benefices. (fn. 60) It is likely that some of the men who occur as canons and are listed among those with unidentified prebends (list 51) never progressed beyond the stage of being 'expectative'. Archbishop Grey satisfied at least one claimant to a prebend with the grant of a parish church. (fn. 61) Giffard was unable to find a prebend for a papal candidate and excused himself by stating that the admission of canons and the assignment of stalls belonged not to the archbishop but to the dean. (fn. 62) Technically, of course, this was true, but it was very exceptional for the chapter to refuse to install a canon who had the archbishop's mandate. (fn. 63)

Although many of the dignitaries and canons of the Minster had notable careers outside York, in royal, papal or archiepiscopal service, the chapter and its members exercised a formative influence on the development of the city. With their associated corporations, the Vicars Choral (whose services made possible the high level of absenteeism among the canons) (fn. 64) and the hospital of St Leonard, they dominated landownership and the market in land, especially in the central area. (fn. 65) From the property notes at the head of the lists below, it will be seen that prebendal houses clustered round the Minster. The records of the Vicars Choral are particularly important in revealing the landed interests of individual canons: among several series of documents, a valuable example is the collection of fifteen charters relating to property at the corner of Petergate and Stonegate that was acquired by Master Simon of Evesham, who was successively precentor, archdeacon of the East Riding and archdeacon of Richmond. (fn. 66)

As in most cathedral chapters, certain families were prominent at York over a lengthy period of time. Perhaps the most conspicuous was the family that was introduced into the chapter by archbishop Walter de Grey. A nephew of bishop John de Grey of Norwich (1200-14), Walter had three nephews in the chapter of York: William de Langeton (alias of Rotherfield), who was successively succentor, archdeacon of York and dean, and whose election as archbishop was quashed by the pope in 1265; (fn. 67) and Walter de Grey (fn. 68) and Walter le Breton, (fn. 69) both canons of York. William de Langeton's successor in the archdeaconry of York, John de Langeton, was presumably another relative, as his soul was remembered in William's chantry in the Minster; (fn. 70) a second chantry, for William's soul and that of archbishop Walter de Grey, was founded by William de Langeton the younger, the elder William's nephew and heir; (fn. 71) and another nephew was Walter de Langeton. (fn. 72) The name of Langeton appears also with three canons - Walter de Langeton, (fn. 73) a second John de Langeton (fn. 74) and a second William de Langeton. (fn. 75) It is not clear whether these three were kindred of archbishop Grey. The toponym Rotherfield, however, must indicate a relationship to Walter de Grey, as the manor in Oxfordshire called Rotherfield Greys was held by members of the Grey family. (fn. 76) It occurs as the name of two other members of the chapter of York: William of Rotherfield, archdeacon of Richmond, (fn. 77) and another William of Rotherfield, treasurer. (fn. 78) Another remarkable family at York was that of le Romeyn, Romanus. The elder John le Romeyn, who was already a canon before 1217, perhaps as early as 1201, (fn. 79) must have come to England from Rome before 1199, as he endowed a chantry for the soul of Richard I, who died in that year. (fn. 80) His parents, Giovanni and Maria, had died when he was so young that some had thought he was illegitimate. (fn. 81) He became, successively, subdean by 1228, archdeacon of Richmond by 1241, and treasurer of York by 1253; he died in 1255. (fn. 82) He had nephews called Peter and William who appear at York, and two others, Daniel and James Judici, who were clerks. (fn. 83) He was the father of John le Romeyn the younger, who was precentor of Lincoln by 1278, and was collated to a prebend in York in 1279. (fn. 84) The younger John became archbishop in 1286 at a notable election that took place at the Curia. (fn. 85) Among the series of thirteenth-century York archiepiscopal registers, Romeyn's is one of the most informative on the composition of the chapter and on the career of this active archbishop.


In addition to the papal and royal records and national chronicles such as that of Matthew Paris, York is exceptionally rich in local sources for the personnel of the Minster in the period 1066-1300, and is also fortunate in having so much of this material available in printed editions.


Among the narratives written locally, in York or in northern England, several are of especial interest and value.

Hugh the Chanter: The History of the Church of York 1066-1127 is of prime importance. The author, Hugh Sottovagina (or Sottewain), was a canon of York by c. 1109, and perhaps as early as the archiepiscopate of Gerard, before 21 May 1108. Before August 1133 he became precentor, and also acted as archdeacon of Cleveland. He ceased to be precentor between 22 August 1138 and January 1140. (fn. 86) The main theme of his History is the primacy dispute with Canterbury between the Norman Conquest and the year 1127, when pope Honorius II sent letters to the king and the archbishop of Canterbury on behalf of the archbishop of York. Hugh's text is invaluable for the light it sheds on the early days of the Anglo-Norman chapter of the Minster. The edition and translation by Charles Johnson (1961) was completely revised by M. Brett, C. N. L. Brooke and M. Winterbottom in 1990 for Oxford Medieval Texts.

The York tradition of narrative was carried on in the twelfth century by anonymous authors, though their work is of little value for the construction of Fasti. There are two lives of archbishops - of Thurstan and William Fitz Herbert - which were edited by James Raine in the second volume of Historians of the Church of York. (fn. 87) Raine also printed the Chronica pontificum ecclesie Eboracensis, which partly depends on Bede and on Hugh the Chanter and gives brief notes down to the death of Thurstan. (fn. 88)

This last chronicle was continued in the later fourteenth century by Thomas Stubbs, in his Continuatio chronice pontificum ecclesie Eboracensis. This account runs from the succession of Henry Murdac, in 1147, to the death of John Thoresby, in 1373. Stubbs was a Dominican who was still living in 1381, when he was named as an executor in the will of Thomas Hatfield, bishop of Durham (1345-81). (fn. 89) Hatfield had been a prebendary of York from 1343 to 1345. (fn. 90) The earlier sections of Stubbs's chronicle seem to draw on reasonably reliable York material, but the work is cited in the list of archbishops below only where contemporary sources fail. It too was printed by Raine in Historians of the Church of York, (fn. 91) but is badly in need of a new critical edition which would explore its relation to possible earlier narratives.

The priory of Hexham had a special relationship with York: it was an archiepiscopal foundation and its priors were canons of the Minster. (fn. 92) Two twelfth- century chronicles from Hexham are useful, particularly for events at York in the time of king Stephen: these are John of Hexham's continuation of Symeon of Durham's Historia Regum, and Richard of Hexham's De gestis regis Stephani. (fn. 93)

A Yorkshire parish with an especially close link with the archbishop and chapter of York was Howden, in the south of Yorkshire. The parson of Howden was the chronicler Roger of Howden, who was a secular clerk, employed at times in both the royal and archiepiscopal households. He wrote a continuation of the northern Historia post Bedam, the first version of which went under the name of Gesta Henrici II (previously attributed to Benedict of Peterborough), which he updated in his Chronica, which goes down to the year 1201. (fn. 94) His information on events and appointments at York, especially in the troubled times of archbishop Geoffrey, is especially important.

Charters and cartularies

Almost all the twelfth-century charters that relate to the Minster are printed in the volumes of Early Yorkshire Charters, edited by William Farrer (volumes I-III) and Sir Charles Clay (volumes IV-XII), (fn. 95) and in Clay's York Minster Fasti. (fn. 96) The chief sources from which these texts are drawn are the two great cartularies of York, the 'Magnum Registrum Album' (mid- 14th century), in York Minster Library and Archives, and a manuscript in the Cotton collection in the British Library, Claudius B. iii (late 13th century). (fn. 97)

The charters of the archbishops of York are being collected and edited in the British Academy's series of English Episcopal Acta, of which one volume has already appeared, covering the period 1070-1154, edited by Janet Burton, (fn. 98) a second volume, covering 1154-1181, by Marie Lovatt, is in the press, (fn. 99) and a third, for 1181-1212, is in preparation. (fn. 100)

The archives of the Vicars Choral at York are in many ways far richer than those of the chapter itself, containing large numbers of original charters. These are being edited for the Yorkshire Archaeological Society Record Series by Nigel Tringham, who has published the first volume, for the City of York and its Suburbs, (fn. 101) and is preparing the second, relating to the rest of Yorkshire.

The ten volumes of Yorkshire Deeds, published in the Yorkshire Archaeological Society's Record Series between 1909 and 1955, print English abstracts of original charters, from the twelfth to the seventeenth centuries, the great majority of which are in private ownership. (fn. 102)

Most Yorkshire cartularies have appeared in print, either in extenso or in calendar form, many in the two major northern record series - the Yorkshire Archaeological Society Record Series and the Surtees Society publications. Thus the cartularies of religious houses of different orders have long been available in print: for example, the Benedictines of Selby, (fn. 103) the Cluniacs of Pontefract, (fn. 104) the Cistercians of Rievaulx, (fn. 105) and the Augustinians of Healaugh Park. (fn. 106)

Archbishops' registers

The York registers, although they start a few years later than those at Lincoln, are probably the most complete and informative series for any English diocese in the thirteenth century. All were edited and published by the Surtees Society between 1872 and 1940. They are usefully listed and surveyed by David M. Smith, Guide to Bishops' Registers of England and Wales (Royal Historical Society, Guides and Handbooks no. 11, 1981) pp. 232-36. The originals are kept in the Borthwick Institute of Historical Research at York. The registers used in this volume of Fasti are those of Walter de Grey (1215-55); (fn. 107) Walter Giffard (1266-79); (fn. 108) William Wickwane (1279-85); (fn. 109) John le Romeyn (1286-96); (fn. 110) Henry of Newark (1298-99); (fn. 111) Thomas of Corbridge (1300-04); (fn. 112) William de Greenfield (1306-1315); (fn. 113) and William Melton (1317-40). (fn. 114)

Chapter records

The first surviving book of acta capitularia is preserved as fos. 1-28 of the so- called 'Misc. Reg.', MS M2/4/g in York Minster Library and Archives. This record contains brief notes, entered in a series of contemporary hands, of chapters acts between 1290 and 1338, and is a remarkably early example of its type. (fn. 115) A good deal of the material relates to the dignitaries and prebendaries - admissions, installations, sequestrations etc. The book also contains copies of some capitular statutes and documents relating to chantries.

An interesting and valuable record of York Minster is the volume of Fabric Rolls, put together by James Raine from a variety of sources, including accounts of the keeper of the fabric from 1360 and later, and notes by John Leland and Torre. Among its many uses, Raine's compilation allows us to understand something of the history of the chantries, and through them the chapter clergy of the earlier period. (fn. 116)

Records of estates

For the history of the estates of the dignitaries and prebendaries, there are surveys at the beginning and end of the period. The tenurial background is given in Domesday Book of 1086, and a series of extents of most of the York prebends survives from c. 1295. (fn. 117)

Much additional material may be gleaned from the printed calendars of Yorkshire Feet of Fines, running from 1218 to 1300, (fn. 118) the Assize Rolls from the reign of John and Henry III, (fn. 119) and Yorkshire Inquisitions from Henry III and Edward I. (fn. 120)

Antiquarian collections

In the seventeenth century two antiquaries set themselves the task of preserving copies of texts relating to the churches and families of medieval Yorkshire.

Roger Dodsworth (1585-1654), a collaborator of Sir William Dugdale in the project to publish a Monasticon Anglicanum, was a tireless if disorganized collector and transcriber of medieval records. (fn. 121) His Monasticon Boreale never saw the light of day, and remains with most of his other manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. (fn. 122) These volumes are an underexploited resource for medieval ecclesiastical and family history, especially for the north of England.

The collections of material made by James Torre (1649-99), entitled 'Antiquities Ecclesiastical', and relating to the City, the archdeaconries and peculiars of the diocese of York, comprise five folio volumes in the Minster Library and Archives, to which they were presented by their compiler. They have never been published, but although largely superseded by subsequent editions of their sources (such as chronicles, charters and archbishops' registers), they are still useful, particularly for topographical information. The volume especially concerned with the Minster, L1/7, is cited below.


Sir Charles Clay began his work on the Fasti of York Minster by correcting and expanding the notes that had been made by William Farrer in the course of editing the first three volumes of Early Yorkshire Charters. Farrer gave his manuscript to Clay in 1923: it was entitled 'Ecclesiastical Dignitaries: 12th Cent.' and Clay immediately saw the usefulness of the detailed information it contained. Between 1939 and 1947 he produced a series of four articles that listed the dignitaries and archdeacons of York from the Conquest to the early years of the thirteenth century: (fn. 123) in these pages he took the art of constructing Fasti to a new height. Later, Clay greatly expanded the scope of the lists, continuing the dignitaries and archdeacons down to the death of Edward I, adding lists for all the York prebends, and editing important relevant charters. This work was published in two volumes in 1958 and 1959, as York Minster Fasti. (fn. 124) It has formed the model for all subsequent publications of Fasti, though its lucidity, accuracy and logic could scarcely be matched.

At present the only other Yorkshire minster to have been provided with a set of Fasti is Beverley. (fn. 125) This volume, which came out in 1993, is an invaluable addition to the literature, and excites the hope that scholars may be found to embark on Southwell, Ripon and Howden.

The Fasti Parochiales of the diocese have not been neglected. So far there are published lists of clergy for the parishes of four Yorkshire deaneries - two in the West and two in the East Ridings - and of those in central and northern Nottinghamshire. (fn. 126)

Editorial Conventions

The same style and conventions are used in this volume as in volumes I-V of 1 Fasti. (fn. 127) The details in the entries are reduced to a minimum in order to focus on matters of chronology. Biographical information and notes of posts held in other dioceses are not intended to be exhaustive, but to assist the reader in anticipation of forthcoming volumes in the series. In 1999 the prospect of the appearance of a new Dictionary of National Biography, in which long out-dated entries will be replaced by completely revised biographies, has encouraged the inclusion of references to DNB where appropriate.

The first names of individuals are normally anglicized. Surnames are given in the most usual Latin form found in the sources, except in the case of identifiable places-names. The title 'M.' is given in the entry headings for men who regularly appear as magistri, and references are provided to A. B. Emden's biographical registers of the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. Square brackets are used to enclose entries where the identification of an office-holder is conjectural or an appointment was ineffective.

The conventions used for dates are as follows. Two dates linked by a rule, as 1238-42, indicate a term of years, from 1238 to 1242. Two dates linked by a cross, as 1238 × 42, indicate a particular but undetermined date between the outer limits, thus a date between 1238 and 1242. An oblique stroke, as 1239/40, is used for old style/new style: a document dated '1239' may actually belong to any date up to 24 March 1240. When the date is approximate, c. for circa is used, but wherever possible it is avoided except to indicate a date within a year or two.

As the present volume is published a little in advance of English Episcopal Acta, XX, York 1154-81, which the editor, Dr Marie Lovatt has kindly allowed me to use in typescript, I have, in citing it as EEA XX, given references also to earlier editions of charters, even though these are entirely superseded by Dr Lovatt's texts, in order to assist readers in the period before EEA XX is available in print.


1 This introduction owes much to two formative articles in A History of York Minster, ed. G. E. Aylmer and R. Cant (Oxford, 1977): R. M. T. Hill and C. N. L. Brooke, 'From 627 until the early thirteenth century', ibid. pp. 1-43 [hereafter cited as Hill and Brooke] (reprinted, with revisions, C. N. L. Brooke, Churches and Churchmen in Medieval Europe (1999) chap. III), and R. B. Dobson, 'The later middle ages, 1215-1500', ibid. pp. 44-109 [hereafter cited as Dobson].
2 See V. King, 'Ealdred, archbishop of York: the Worcester years', Anglo-Norman Studies xviii (1996) 123-37, at pp. 127-8; also J. L. Nelson, 'The rites of the Conqueror', ibid. iv (1981) 117-32, at pp. 126-8, 130, and M. Lapidge, 'Ealdred of York and Cotton Vitellius E. xii', in his Anglo-Latin Literature 900-1066 (London and Rio Grande, 1993) pp. 453-67.
3 See Hill and Brooke pp. 18-19, 22, citing Folcard of Saint-Bertin, 'Vita S. Johannis', HCY I 241, and the anonymous chron. of the abps. of York, HCY II 353-4.
4 Hugh the Chanter pp. 18-19.
5 F. Barlow, The English Church 1000-1066 (2nd edn., London and New York, 1979) pp. 241-2.
6 On Salisbury, see D. E. Greenway, '1091, St Osmund and the constitution of the cathedral', Medieval Art and Architecture at Salisbury Cathedral, ed. L. Keen and T. Cocke (British Archaeological Association Transactions xvii, 1996) pp. 1-9, at pp. 2-4.
7 See J. Barrow, 'English cathedral communities and reform in the late 10th and 11th centuries', Anglo-Norman Durham, ed. D. Rollason, M. Harvey and M. Prestwich (Woodbridge, 1994) pp. 25-39, at 32.
8 For the new church, probably begun in the late 1080s and substantially completed by Thomas's death in 1100, see D. Phillips, Excavations at York Minster, II: The Cathedral of Archbishop Thomas of Bayeux (RCHM, 1985), esp. pp. 5-7.
9 D. Bates, 'The character and career of Odo, bishop of Bayeux', Speculum 1 (1975), pp. 1-20, at 12, and 'Le patronage clérical et intellectuel de l'évêque Odon de Bayeux 1049/50-1097', Chapitres et cathédrales en Normandie, ed. S. Lemagnen and P. Manneville (Caen, 1997) pp. 105-14, at 105-8.
10 Hugh the Chanter pp. 18-19.
11 Ibid. pp. 12-13.
12 Antiquus Cartularius Ecclesiae Baiocensis, ed. V. Bourrienne (2 vols., Rouen and Paris, 1902-3), I no. 23. There is a hint that this custom was found also at Lincoln in the 1130s, when the chronicler Henry of Huntingdon lists the treasurers immediately after the deans of Lincoln (Henry, archdeacon of Huntingdon: Historia Anglorum, ed. D. Greenway (OMT, 1996) pp. 590-1); it may be significant that one of the earliest canons of York who was also archdcn. of Lincoln in the 1130s was a man called William of Bayeux (1 Fasti III 24-5; below, list 51.). See also D. Greenway, 'The influence of the Norman cathedrals on the secular cathedrals in England in the Anglo-Norman period, 1066-1204', Chapitres et cathédrales pp. 273-82. For the Bayeux connection among the canons of York, see also Hill and Brooke pp. 19-20.
13 For a more detailed study of what follows, see D. Greenway, 'The influence of the Norman cathedrals', pp. 278-82.
14 'L'enquête de 1133 sur les fiefs de l'évêché de Bayeux', ed. H. Navel, Bulletin de la Société de Antiquaires de Normandie, xlii (1935 for 1934), pp. 5-80, at 16; see also Antiquus Cartularius Baiocensis, I pp. lxxiv-lxxv.
15 Hugh the Chanter pp. 18-19.
16 Sherburn (preb. Fenton, list 25) and Fridaythorpe (26), either 1070 × 1100 or 1109 × 14; Holme (29), c. 1085 × 1100, perhaps before 1092; Laughton (33), 1104; Givendale (27), ? by 1086; Warthill (45), 'temp. William the Conqueror'.
17 HCY III 30 (cal. Regesta II no. 720): 'Quapropter volo et precipio quod predicta prebenda ita sit quieta et libera in omnibus rebus ac consuetudinibus sicut antiquiores prebende sunt predicte ecclesie habeatque easdem consuetudines quas ille habent.'
18 The canons were specified in Domesday Book as holding the estates in six later prebends: Bugthorpe (list 21), Dunnington (24), North and South Newbald (35, 36), Osbaldwick (38), and Riccall (39); and the cathedral of St Peter in eight more: Ampleforth (14), Husthwaite (30), Langtoft (32), Newthorpe (37), Salton (40), Stillington (41), Strensall (42), and Warthill (45). Of the remaining thirteen that were on the archbishop's estates, one, Grindale (28), was 'ad victum canonicorum', and at another, Givendale (27), there was a 'prebendarius', an ambiguous term (see 1 Fasti V pp. xviii-xix).
19 Driffield (list 23), Knaresborough (31), Laughton (33), and Weighton (46).
20 Bilton (Arches) (list 17), Bramham (Fossard) (20), South Cave and Masham (both Mowbray) (22, 34), and Thockrington (Umfraville) (43).
21 Cf. Lincoln, Salisbury, Chichester: 1 Fasti III pp. ix-xii, IV pp. xxiii-xxv, V p. xix.
22 List 20.
23 List 40.
24 Apesthorpe (list 15); South Cave (22); Driffield (23); Grindale (28); Husthwaite (30); Langtoft (32); Masham (34); South Newbald (36); Weighton (46).
25 Ampleforth (list 14); Bramham (20); South Cave (22); Langtoft (32); South Newbald (36).
26 List 43. On the prebends in the 13th century, see Dobson pp. 51-62.
27 List 19. For similar prebends at Lincoln, see 1 Fasti III pp. xi-xii.
28 For augmentation and renaming, see Knaresborough (list 31); for division and renaming, see Fenton (25) and Wistow (49).
29 List 37.
30 List 48.
31 List 17.
32 EYC I no. 150, 149, cal. EEA V nos. 79-80.
33 CPL I 500 = Reg. Nic. IV no. 1212.
34 HCY III 216-20; for commentary, see Dobson p. 83.
35 See, e.g., for John le Romeyn, who was el. at Rome in 1286, CPL I 484 = Reg. Hon. IV no. 280; for loans to Henry of Newark of 2500m., 2000m. and 1000m. to meet expenses at Rome, Dec. 1297, CPL I 574 = Reg. Bon. VIII nos. 2191, 2237; and for loans to Thomas of Corbridge of 2500m. and 2500m. for expenses at Rome 1300, CPL I 586 = Reg. Bon. VIII nos. 3476, 3484.
36 Reg. Hon. IV no. 278, cal. CPL 1 483. The canons were: Ancher Pantaléon, cardinal-pr. of S. Prassede (list 35), Hugh of Evesham, cardinal-pr. of S. Lorenzo in Lucina (19, 21), Jordan Orsini, cardinal-dcn. of S. Eustachio (25), Berard of Naples, papal chamberlain (23), Percival of Lavagna, brother of cardinal Ottobono (49), Peter de Sabello, nephew of pope Honorius IV (21), Napoleo Orsini, later cardinal-dcn. of S. Adriano (22), John le Romeyn (45) and M. Thomas of Adderbury (47).
37 On the subject of deanery elections at York, see also Dobson pp. 64-6.
38 See 2 Fasti VI 12-13; Dobson pp. 73-5.
39 Peter of Corbeil archdcn. of York 1198 (list 9), and prob. Sampson archdcn. of York before 1215 (9) and Rufinus of Tonengo archdcn. of Cleveland before 1264 (10).
40 Adam of Thorner, archdcn. of York 1196, and Tedisius de Camilla, to archdcnry. of York 1266, ineffective (list 9); Roger de Sancto Edmundo, to archdcnry. of Richmond 1198, disputed by abp., and Henry of Newark, archdcn. of Richmond 1279 (list 13).
41 Ralph de Kyme, canons' appt. to archdcnry. of Cleveland 1201, and Hugh Murdac, abp.'s candidate (list 10).
42 Lists 5, 11.
43 Sayers, Papal Govt. p. 177. Lists 32, 33, 35, 39, 42, 43.
44 Lists 14, 26, 28, 32, 33, 35, 39, 43.
45 Reg. Giffard p. 245.
46 Ibid. p. x. See also lists 10 (M. Rufinus of Tonengo, archdcn. of Cleveland), 14 (M. Henry of Lavagna, preb. Ampleforth), 15 (M. Simon of Rochechouart, preb. Apesthorpe), 25 (M. Peter de Montbrun and M. Jordan Orsini, preb. Fenton), 26 (John Caetani degli Orsini, preb. Fridaythorpe), 39 (M. Adenulf dei Conti of Anagni, preb. Riccall), 49 (M. Percival of Lavagna, preb. Wistow), and 51 (Grunerius son of Peter de Vico Placentini, M. Jordan Piruntus and Louis of Savoy, unident. prebs.). For disputes, see lists 35 and 45 (Ancher Pantaléon of Troyes, prebs. North Newbald and Warthill). For foreigners in possession of prebs. probably in Giffard's time, see lists 22 (Napoleo Orsini, preb. South Cave), 23 (Boniface of Cocconato, preb. Driffield), and 24 (Albert of Lavagna, preb. Dunnington).
47 Lists 22-4, 31, 35, 39, 42, 48. This figure revises downwards Dobson's estimate of a third (Dobson pp. 79-80).
48 A. Hamilton Thompson, VCH Yorks. III 378; Reg. Greenfield I pp. xvii-xviii.
49 Reg. Romeyn II pp. xvii-xviii, 28-9.
50 See above, n. 36.
51 Reg. Wickwane pp. 178-87.
52 CPL I 512 = Reg. Nic. IV no. 2529. M. Thomas of Corbridge appd. by abp. (see CPL I 524 = Reg. Nic. IV no. 4009).
53 See the table of values in 1291 and 1535 given in Dobson pp. 55-6, where it is shown that the average of the 36 York prebends was £48, about £8 higher than the equivalent figure at York's nearest rival, Lincoln. The 1291 figures are given also at the heads of the lists below.
54 Lists 19, 21.
55 Lists 27, 29, 34.
56 Lists 45, 35.
57 List 25.
58 Reg. Romeyn II pp. xvii-xviii, 28-9; CCR 1288-96 pp. 134-5, 450; Rotuli Parliamentorum (1783) I 33b; CPL I 518 = Reg. Nic. IV no. 3341.
59 List 39.
60 Jocelin of Brakelond: The Chronicle of the Abbey of Bury St Edmunds, trans. D. Greenway and J. Sayers (Oxford, 1989) p. 51; cf. CPL I 116 = Reg. Hon. III no. 6191.
61 M. Roffredus, see list 51. The church, Hinderwell (N.R.), was worth only £16 13s. 4d. in 1291 (Taxatio pp. 301a, 323a).
62 Reg. Giffard pp. 170-1.
63 See the composition of 1290, HCY III 216-20, at p. 219.
64 For the history of the vicars from the 12th cent. and for their incorporation in the mid-13th cent., see Nigel Tringham's introduction to Chs. Vicars Choral. See also F. Harrison, Life in a Medieval College: the Story of the Vicars-Choral of York Minster (1952).
65 A. Raine, Mediaeval York (1955) is still useful. For more recent work, see RCHM York V and the series of reports of excavations, The Archaeology of York (York Archaeological Trust, 1976-, in progress). Also P. M. Tillott, 'The Minster and its precincts', VCH City of York (1961) pp. 337-43 and R. M. Butler, 'Notes on the Minster Close at York', York Historian xiv (1997) 10-25.
66 Chs. Vicars Choral nos. 403-16 (for Simon, see lists 3, 11, 13, 46). Cf. ibid. nos. 127-8, 462, 464, 534, 538-9, for property of M. William of Laneham (lists 18, 26).
67 Lists 1, 2, 7, 9, 42.
68 List 34.
69 List 51.
70 York Fabric Rolls p. 290; and see Chs. Vicars Choral no. 533 note. For John, see lists 9, 10, 41.
71 York Fabric Rolls p. 301.
72 Reg. Giffard p. 35.
73 List 26.
74 List 26.
75 List 51.
76 The archbishop's parents were John and Hawisia de Grey of Rotherfield (Biog. Ox. II 807).
77 Lists 13, 50.
78 Lists 5, 37.
79 List 42.
80 HCY III 152-3; York Fabric Rolls p. 276.
81 CPL I 100 = Reg. Hon. III no. 5311; HCY III 125-6.
82 Lists 5, 6, 13.
83 Reg. Romeyn II pp. iv-v.
84 List 45.
85 List 1.
86 See below, lists 3, 10, 50.
87 The Historians of the Church of York and its Archbishops, ed. J. Raine (3 vols.: RS lxxi, 1879-94) II 259-69, 270-91.
88 Ibid. pp. 312-87.
89 Testamenta Eboracensia [ed. J. Raine] I (SS iv, 1836) p. 122. For Stubbs's career, see Biog. Ox. III p. xliii. For a note on his writings, see also Sharpe, Handlist no. 1835.
90 2 Fasti VI 50, 108.
91 II 388-421; for comment, see ibid. pp. xxii-xxv.
92 Below, list 40.
93 John of Hexham's chronicle is printed in Symeonis Monachi Opera Omnia, ed. T. Arnold (2 vols.: RS lxxv, 1882-5) II 284-332, and Richard of Hexham's in Chronicles of the Reigns of Stephen, Henry II and Richard I, ed. R. Howlett (4 vols.: RS lxxxii, 1884-9) III 137-78. Both are also found, together with other Hexham material, in The Priory of Hexham, ed. J. Raine (2 vols.: SS xliv, xlvi, 1864-5).
94 Both were edited by William Stubbs: Gesta Regis Henrici Secundi (2 vols.: RS xlix, 1867) and Chronica Rogeri de Houedene (4 vols.: RS li, 1868-71). For Roger's career and writings, see also D. M. Stenton, 'Roger of Howden and Benedict', EHR lxviii (1953) 674-82, whish is still useful though partly superseded by D. Corner, 'The Gesta regis Henrici Secundi and Chronica of Roger, parson of Howden', BIHR lvi (1983) 126-4, and 'The earliest surviving manuscripts of Roger of Howden's Chronica', EHR xcviii (1983) 297-310.
95 Early Yorkshire Charters, I-III, ed. W. Farrer (Edinburgh, 1914-16); IV-XII, ed. C. T. Clay (YRS, Extra series, 1935-65).
96 York Minster Fasti, ed. C. T. Clay (2 vols.: YRS cxxiii, cxxiv, 1957-8). See also below, p. xxxiv.
97 Brief descriptions are found in G. R. C. Davis, Medieval Cartularies of Great Britain: A Short Catalogue (London, New York, Toronto, 1958).
98 English Episcopal Acta, V, ed. Janet Burton (British Academy, 1988).
99 English Episcopal Acta, XX, York 1154-1181, ed. Marie Lovatt (British Academy, forthcoming).
100 By Marie Lovatt, the author of an unpublished dissertation, 'The career and administration of Archbishop Geoffrey of York, ?1151-1212' (Cambridge Ph.D., 1975).
101 Charters of the Vicars Choral of York Minster: City of York and its Suburbs to 1546, ed. N. Tringham (YRS cxlviii, 1993).
102 Yorkshire Deeds, I-III, ed. W. Brown (YRS xxxix, 1, lxiii, 1909-22), IV-VIII, ed. C. T. Clay (YRS lxv, lxix, lxxvi, lxxxiii, cii, 1924-40), IX-X, ed. M. J. Stanley Price (née Hebditch) (YRS cxi, cxx, 1948-50).
103 The Coucher Book of Selby, ed. J. T. Fowler (2 vols.: YRS x, xiii, 1891-3).
104 The Chartulary of St John of Pontefract, ed. R. Holmes (2 vols.: YRS xxv, xxx, 1899-1902).
105 Cartularium de Rievalle, ed. J. C. Atkinson (SS lxxxiii, 1889).
106 The Chartulary of Healaugh Park, ed. J. S. Purvis (YRS xcii, 1936).
107 The Register or Rolls of Walter Gray, Lord Archbishop of York [ed. J. Raine] (SS lvi, 1872).
108 The Register of Walter Giffard, Lord Archbishop of York, 1266-1279, [ed. W. Brown] (SS cix, 1904).
109 The Register of William Wickwane, Lord Archbishop of York, 1279-1285, [ed. W. Brown] (SS cxiv, 1907).
110 The Register of John le Romeyn, Lord Archbishop of York, 1286-1296, [ed. W. Brown] (2 vols.: SS cxxiii, cxxviii, 1913, 1917).
111 Ibid. II.
112 The Register of Thomas Corbridge, Lord Archbishop of York, 1300-1304 [ed. W. Brown and A. H. Thompson] (2 vols.: SS cxxxviii, cxli, 1925, 1928).
113 The Register of William Greenfield, Lord Archbishop of York, 1306-1315, ed. W. Brown and A. H. Thompson (5 vols.: SS cxlv, cxlix, cli-cliii, 1931-40).
114 York, Borthwick Institute of Historical Research, Reg. 9A and B (2 vols.). The sections that have been printed so far are: fos. 555r-621r in The Register of William Melton, archbishop of York, 1317-40 I, ed. R. M. T. Hill (CYS lxx, 1977); fos. 269-320v in ibid. II, ed. D. B. Robinson (CYS lxxi, 1978); fos. 622r-688v in ibid. III, ed. R. M. T. Hill (CYS lxxvi, 1988); fos. 400r-477r in ibid. IV, ed. R. Brocklesby (CYS lxxxv, 1997). The list of vacant benefices, 1316-19, which appears on fos. 636r-638r, was calendared by W. Brown, Miscellanea I (YRS lxi, 1920) 136-48, cited in the lists below as 'Vacant benefices 1316-19'.
115 On this subject, see K. Edwards, The English Secular Cathedrals in the Middle Ages (2nd edn., Manchester, 1967) pp. 28-31.
116 The Fabric Rolls of York Minster [ed. J. Raine] (SS xxxv, 1859).
117 'Extents of the prebends of York, c. 1295', ed. T. A. M. Bishop, in Miscellanea IV (Yorkshire Archaeological Society Record series xciv, 1937) 1-38.
118 In four volumes in YRS lxii, lxvii, lxxxii, cxxi, 1921-56.
119 Three Yorks. Assize Rolls, ed. C. T. Clay (YRS xliv, 1911).
120 Yorkshire Inquisitions, ed. W. Brown (4 vols.: YRS xii, xxiii, xxxi, xxxvii, 1892-1906).
121 For his career, see N. Denholm-Young and H. H. E. Craster, 'Roger Dodsworth (1585-1654) and his circle', Bodleian Quarterly Record vii (1932-4) pp. 409-19 (= Yorkshire Archaeol. Journal xxxii (1936) pp. 5-32.
122 For a catalogue of the 160 volumes, see Summary Catalogue of Western MSS in Bodleian Library, ed. F. Madan et al., nos. 4143-5101. Note that two more volumes are in the possession of the Yorkshire Archaeological Society, Leeds. The notes for Monasticon Boreale are Bodl., MSS Dodsworth 7-9.
123 'Notes on the chronology of the early deans of York', Yorkshire Archaeol. Journal xxxiv (1939) 361-78. 'The early treasurers of York', ibid. xxxv (1940-3) 7-34. 'The early precentors and chancellors of York', ibid. xxxv (1940-3) 116-38. 'Notes on the early archdeacons in the church of York', ibid. xxxvi (1944-7) 269-87, 409-34.
124 YRS cxxiii, cxxiv.
125 R. T. W. McDermid, Beverley Minster Fasti (YRS cxlix, 1993).
126 For Yorkshire: Fasti Parochiales, 5 vols. in YRS: I and II, Deanery of Doncaster, ed. A. H. Thompson and C. T. Clay (YRS lxxxv, cvii, 1933, 1943); III, Deanery of Dickering, ed. N. A. H. Lawrance (YRS cxxix, 1967); IV, Deanery of Craven, ed. N. K. M. Gurney and C. T. Clay (YRS cxxx, 1971); V, Deanery of Buckrose, ed. N. A. H. Lawrance (YRS cxliii, 1985). For Nottinghamshire: Lists of Clergy of central Notts., ed. K. S. S. Train (Thoroton Soc., xv, 1953-5); Lists of Clergy of north Notts., ed. K. S. S. Train (Thoroton Soc., xx, 1961).
127 See 1 Fasti I pp. ix-xi.