September 23rd, 1268, to August 15th, 1301.



Printed, for the Worcestershire Historical Society,

1301-29 Jan., 1302540-552


Reference to folios in the Register and pages in the book.

Original Register.

1-5. These folios are no part of the Register, it begins on folio 6.




[1] This and the next folios are wrongly numbered in the original. 84 is numbered 83, and 85, 84, and so on till folio 140, which is numbered 139. Folio 141 is numbered 142, and this mistake of being a number in advance continues until folio 396.







[1] From here the folios are all bound out of the proper order of foliation.
[2] The Register proper ends on this folio.


THIS part, a kalendar to the first fifty pages of the Register of Godfrey Giffard, Bishop of Worcester, 1268-1301, is the beginning of a great undertaking on the part of the Worcestershire Historical Society, which will be, when completed, one of the most valuable contributions ever made to the history of the County, a Kalendar of its Diocesan Registers. This may seem a bold statement to make, but it is true, and its truth will be at once admitted when the true nature of these documents are realised and appreciated. Bishop Stubbs - and upon this point no greater authority could be quoted - in speaking of Episcopal registers says [1],

"Every Bishop kept, and still keeps, a register of all his official acts.
"The first page generally contains the account of his consecration
"or appointment, then follow the bulls and other privileges which he
"received from the Popes. The bulk of each volume is occupied
"with the records of institutions to benefices, Acts of Consistory
"Courts, lists of persons ordained, to which in many instances
"important wills are annexed. This may be considered as an
"adequate description of the general run of registers. There are,
"however, frequent exceptions. Those of Canterbury and York
"contain proceedings with the Suffragans, Records of Convocation
"and Councils, and a vast number of letters on public business.
"The Register of William of Wykeham is the model of the record
"of a Statesman Bishop and a most valuable storehouse of notices
"of public interest, summonses to Parliament and miscellaneous
"official and personal acts. Others contain copies of more ancient
"documents which were perishing when transcribed, and are
"now lost."

It will be seen from this account that what are called Registers are really the official journals of the Bishops of all their Episcopal acts during the time they held the See. To these are

[1] Registrum Sacrum Anglicanum, 2 Ed. p. vii. b2


added for the sake of convenience of reference copies of a number of documents which were important either as shewing the cause or the authority for any action of the Bishop, or from their nature as affecting the Diocese. Of the first class would be such documents as Papal Bulls, letters of the Archbishop, Royal Letters, writs, &c.; and of the second, accounts of legal proceedings, accounts of the election of heads of religious houses, accounts of visitations, copies of wills and deeds. The Diocesan registers may be, and often are, great storehouses of information, shewing the part played by one of the great persons of the day in the various matters connected with Church and State. They are thus not merely a record of ecclesiastical matters, they relate to civil business as well. To what extent greatly depended on the character of the individual Bishop. If he took an active part in public business the register contains one class of entries, if he confined himself to his Diocese and to Diocesan work this class of entries disappears, but is replaced by those of a local nature; but whether it was one or the other, the registers are in either instance most important, as being the only contemporary documents that have survived to us, and which give us really reliable accounts of what the Bishops did.

The value of any set of Diocesan Registers depends on several considerations, chiefly upon their antiquity and upon their continuity. A register here and there over a series of years may or may not be of importance, it wholly depends on who the Bishop was. But a continuous series over a number of years cannot fail to be of the highest importance whoever were the Bishops, and whatever part they took in public life. A series of registers must shew the gradual change of manners and customs, the growth of religious opinions and beliefs, the changes of fashion, the rise and fall of habits and ideas, in a way that nothing else that we now have can possibly do; for here, and here only, we have the record of what each individual who filled a certain position did for a series of years in a particular office both in times of peace and in times of war, in times of quiet and in times of tumult.

The first consideration as to the importance of the Episcopal Registers in any Diocese is therefore their antiquity and their continuity. In some cases the antiquity is great; in several dioceses


the registers date from the thirteenth century, and in some they are practically continuous from then until now. These are the most important series. Others begin later, and their continuity is less perfect. But whatever may be the date at which they begin, whatever the breaks in the chain of continuity, all registers that have come down to us are valuable as being almost the only contemporary documents that have escaped the storms of the Reformation and the Rebellion, and are often the only record we possess of the events they relate.

Worcester occupies a good place both in antiquity and continuity. The Registers date from the beginning of the Episcopate of Godfrey Giffard, the 42nd Bishop, and in 1268, with two exceptions, are complete until 1570. The exceptions are first in 1521. Julius de Medici, nephew of Pope Leo X., was appointed to the See, but he resigned the following year, becoming Archbishop of Narbonne, subsequently became Archbishop of Florence, and afterwards Pope Clement VII. The other exception is the case of Hooper. He was appointed Bishop of Gloucester in 1551, the diocese having been divided in 154t. On the deprivation of Bishop Heath in 1552, Hooper was translated to Worcester and the Bishoprick of Gloucester suppressed, but soon after it was restored, and Hooper was made Bishop of Worcester and Gloucester. There is no register of Hooper's at Worcester, but it is possible there may be at Gloucester. Hooper's tenure of Worcester was only two years, 1552 to 1554. With these two exceptions the Worcester Registers are complete from 1268 to the present day, that is, there are registers, or fragments of registers, for each of the Bishops who have occupied the See during that period. A List of Bishops and the Registers to 1570 is given in the Appendix to this introduction.

To shew how good a position Worcester occupies the following Table has been made out, giving the English pre-Reformation dioceses, the date at which the Register begins, the number of bishops from the beginning of the Registers to the year 1540, and the approximate number of extant registers. It also gives some idea as to the number of registers and their continuity. After 1540 the registers of most of the Sees are fairly complete. The detailed accuracy of the Table is not vouched for, as it is a very difficult matter, except by personal inspection of the registers themselves, to obtain all the information required.


Diocese.Date of Register.Number of Bishops from 1st existing Register to 1540.Number of Registers.
St. David139718
St. Asaph15381

In determining the importance of a register it is not enough to entirely rely on antiquity or continuity, or on both. There are other elements to be considered; then, as now, there were Bishops and Bishops. Some were content with such work as their Diocese furnished, others disdained to confine their labours to any limited locality, but took a part, often a leading part, in the affairs of Church and State, essaying to control, and often controlling, the issues of peace or war. It is obvious that the Journals of the latter must contain far more, and be historically much more valuable, than the Journals of the former.

The registers furnish another source of interest. Whether they are the mere details of Diocesan work or the record of the political policy of the day, running through them is the mark of the Bishop's personality; we get some, it may be only a slight, glimpse, but still a glimpe of the man, his character, and his acts. We see him as he really was, not as he was represented to have been. It is impossible to follow the actions of a man over a series of years without forming some idea of what he was; learning something of the motives for his acts, something of his character, so as to be


able to say if he was strong or weak, wise or unwise. His individuality appears in his work, and his work speaks to us, not as plainly as it spoke to his contemporaries, but quite as truly. We can thus see and form our own opinion on his acts and deeds. This is of great advantage to us, for of the personalities of most of the Bishops of the English Church we really know nothing; their acts and deeds have been so misrepresented, their characters so distorted by controversial writers that we are mostly ignorant of what the men really were. A close study of Archbishop Peckham's Register would most likely disclose to us that the subjugation of the Welsh Church was not so tyrannical as is usually supposed. The register of Stephen Gardner will probably shew that the villain of "The Acts and Monuments of the Church" was one of the ablest of Tudor statesmen. The registers are not merely valuable as a mode for resuscitating lost episcopal reputations, the Bishops do not pass before us in them as Gray makes the founders of Cambridge pass before us each with some apt descriptive epithet. We see them as in fact they were. We know them for better or worse. One of their great admirers represents them as asking for this, asking that in return for all the work they had done, the dangers they had encountered for the sake of the Church and the good of mankind, there should be no apology, no panegyric, merely "un recit simple et exact; la vérité, rien que la vérité; la justice, rien que la justice; que ce soit la notre seule vengeance [1]". This is what the registers give us. They enable us to read the characters of the Bishops by the light of their own records, and it is quite possible that read in that light we may reverse the judgment of the past, not only as to reputed sinners but also as to reputed saints. Such are some of the reasons that make the publication of the Bishops' Registers so very important not only for local but also for national history.

Not the least difficult part of the task has been to determine the way in which the Registers should be published. Those of two Dioceses, Exeter and Winchester, have already been begun, but both of them proceed on a different plan. In Winchester a large number of entries are transcribed verbatim, and documents are printed either at length or very fully. This is certainly the best

[1] Montalembert Les Moines d'Occident, I. cclxxxii.


way, but the great objection to it is that having regard to the enormous mass of matter life is too short to get it done. No one can look at Mr. Baigent's work without admiring it, and no one can dread more than myself any comparison between the published volumes of the Winchester with the present part of the Worcester Registers. The number of men who can give the time Mr. Baigent must devote to the work are few, the number who possess Mr. Baigent's knowledge of his subject must be far fewer. Every one would like to see the Worcester Registers edited as he is editing the Winchester, if it was practically possible to do this or to get it done. Unfortunately it is not, and it is a choice between waiting until the Registers can be well done or their not being done at all.

In Exeter Canon Randolph has adopted the opposite method, and has published what is really an elaborate index to the contents of the Registers. This has the great advantage of enabling the work to be done quickly, but it involves the necessity of a journey to Exeter to consult the Registers if anything more than a reference to their contents is wanted.

For Worcester an intermediate course has been taken, which probably will be said to combine all the faults of both the others. Every entry is described; of the more important, or those that are deemed the more important, the substance is given. By this means it will be possible to make considerable annual progress with the volumes which form the Worcester series. The Kalendar or abstract will be framed exactly on the same lines as that of the Sede Vacante Register, which has already been published by this Society, but it must always be remembered that it only purports to be a Kalendar, not a transcript.

In order to fully appreciate the Register, some account of the surrounding circumstances and the facts that led up to the events recorded in it is required. The rest of this introduction endeavours to supply this, and to give some details of the MS. and its contents. An account of Giffard, his life and work, will be given in the next part, as well as some account of the more important matters treated in the Register. Here all that will be attempted is to shew what was the work that Giffard was called upon to do, leaving out for the present any consideration of the way in which he did it.


(a) Bishop Giffard's Register.

The first reference there is to this Register is the year after the Bishop's death, when the new Bishop Ginsborough, in a letter to the Prior, requests him to come and meet him, and to bring with him the Register of Bishop Giffard 1. If the Prior obeyed the order it is a matter for congratulation that the Register has come down to us at all, and still more that it has reached us in such good condition.

This Register is a folio volume 12 1/2 inches by 7 1/2 outside measure, containing 469 leaves of parchment, written for the most part on both sides. The leaves are of different sizes; folios 63 to 190 are nearly 2" less in length than those which precede and follow them. This is not from cutting the margins; as most of these leaves have a fairly wide margin, some of the larger leaves have the appearance of having been trimmed, part of the writing having been cut off; for instance, there has been something cut from the parchment leaf at the end of what is called the index. On the whole the manuscript is in a wonderfully good state of preservation and the writing very clear. At least four different persons have been engaged in writing, and in some places the register is written in one hand, while the writer has handed over to a deputy or scribe the duty of copying in the documents that are entered in it. Throughout the register are marginal notes to each entry, and the whole seems to have been very carefully kept.

The Register is divided into years, usually running from Michaelmas to Michaelmas. As Giffard was consecrated on the 23rd Sept., 1268, Michaelmas was probably taken as a convenient day for the year to begin. The first official act of the Bishop recorded in the register is dated the Thursday after Michaelmas, 1268.

At first it seems to have been the intention of the person who kept the Register to have had distinct sections for each of the two archdeaconries, Worcester and Gloucester, into which the diocese was then divided, for the entries on the first six pages relate to the Worcester Archdeaconry, and on folio 7 is a heading, " Register of the Archdeaconry of Gloucester, anno domini 1268, the first year of the episcopate of our Lord Godfrey". This distinction

[1] Sede Vacante Register, W.H.S. Pub., p. 43.


was, however, not kept up, and matters relating to each of the archdeaconries are subsequently entered in every year without any attempt at arrangement or classification.

Although the Register purports to be divided into years, yet there is a good deal of confusion in the entries, as matters are entered under one year, of which the date is either the year preceding or subsequent. Some documents are entered quite regardless of date, the entry having been made in the nature of a memorandum. It also seems fairly certain that all the Bishop did is not entered, for instance, the entries for the year 1271-72, only occupy part of one side of a page. It could hardly be the case that this was all the Bishop did in that year: in others the events of a year fill several pages. The register is not perfect, it terminates in the middle of an entry of the resignation of Simon dc Wyre, Prior of Worcester; the preceding entry as to the profession of the new Prior is dated the 15th August, 1301. Giffard died on the 26th January, 1302, so that the entries, if any, for the last few months of his episcopate are missing.

In some parts of the Register blanks have been left for the insertion of copies of particular documents, which have never been filled in. These blanks are of varying lengths, sometimes a few lines, sometimes a whole page. In some cases it seems as if formal documents had been separately made out and inserted, such as in one case the names of the persons ordained which apparently have been written on a separate leaf and added to the register.

Some documents that were obviously intended to have been copied in have been fastened to the register; most of them have vanished, only the places for fastening them remaining, but some are still there. A Writ is pinned on to one page.

Mostly the marginal notes are merely verbal, made for convenience of reference, but occasionally the scribe has inserted a sketch of the subject, or rather an expression of his feelings by the portrait of some monk or bishop, nun or abbot, some of which are very characteristic.

The Register was rebound about the beginning of the nineteenth century; it would seem that the leaves were not then disturbed, for that binding succeeded to a modern binding when the leaves were misplaced. A part of the leather back of this earlier binding remains, and it appears that on the last occasion when the book was bound


in vellum the back was not disturbed and the leaves not undone. At the end of the Register, on a blank leaf, is the following entry:-

" Bishop Giffard's Register.
" Memoranda made in 1824 by Henry Clifton [1].
" At the beginning of the register three loose fragments found
" in the register.
" The first five pages appear to be missing.
" Page 461, only a part of the leaf remaining.
" Page 473 mutilated at the upper corner on the right hand.
" Pages 396 to 423 inclusive appear to be missing".

A pencil note in another hand adds:-

" These pages, 404 to 409, are bound in wrong, immediately
" before 424, and 410 to 423 follow after it, and after 423 come
" 396 to 401.
" The folios 65 and 68 are transposed in binding".

There only appear to be two of the fragments mentioned by Mr. Clifton, bound at the beginning. They contain a number of memoranda, chiefly fragments of precedents of the commencements of deeds. The present Register begins on folio 6, and probably always did so, as on it is the formal heading.

On the bottom of folio 7d and 8 is the following entry:-

" In the Exchequer
Between Thomas Hill Lowe, Clerk . . .
William Firkins and Samuel Palfrey, Deft'.

" At the execution of a Commission for the examination of witnesses in this cause at the house of John Jones, known by the name or sign of the Star and Garter, situate in the Foregate Street, in the city of Worcester, on Wednesday the 15th day of October, 1823, this book marked with the letter B was produced and shewn to Henry Clifton, and by him deposed to in his examination on the part of the said Plt. Taken before us.


[1] Henry Clifton was the Bishop's Registrar at that time.


It is difficult to see the purpose for which this page was wanted, the entries on it are a certificate of the good conduct of William de Millay, the record of his legitimation, and a Licence dispensing with the priest's residence at Arleg, probably Areley Kings, unless it was to prove that Areley was a parish in the diocese of Worcester. Areley Kings, or Lower Areley, so called to distinguish it from Upper Areley, in the Diocese of Lichfield, is a place of some celebrity, as it was there that the poet Lanamon was priest.

One point in the Register should perhaps be noticed: in the first fourteen years of Giffard's episcopate there is no mention of any ordination; this at first gave rise to the idea that the Register was incomplete, and that some of the leaves had been lost in spite of the paging running on consecutively. The book has been paged at two different times, and has two different sets of numbers, but a careful examination of the book leads to the conclusion that this is not so, that the Register is complete, and that this, though the simplest, is not the real explanation. It may be taken that for the time it covers the Register is complete, except that there is no record of the last few months of Giffard's episcopate.

At the end of this Register is a paper of eleven leaves, which is called an Index to the Register. It is, however, so incomplete as to be practically useless, and so has not been transcribed. It is written in a seventeenth-century hand, and may possibly give the date of the first rebinding of the volume when the leaves were misplaced.

(b) State of Worcestershire in 1268.

To understand the state of the diocese in 1268, it is necessary to go back a few years in its history, to see who were the persons then the active spirits in the district, and what were the circumstances that led up to Giffard's appointment.

The landowners were of two great classes, the ecclesiastical and the lay; at the head of the ecclesiastical was the Bishop, who as lord of various manors was able when required to bring a force into the field that was by no means to be despised. Among the other ecclesiastical landowners there were in the north of the county the Cluniac monks, at Dudley; the Premonstratensian, at Halesowen, which, although actually in Shropshire, yet had considerable Worcestershire possessions; and the Cistercian at


Bordesley; while in the middle of the county were the Benedictine Houses of Worcester and Pershore, and the large estates of the Abbey of Westminster, with their cell at Malvern. Further south in the diocese were the Benedictines at Evesham, Tewkesbury, Winchcombe, Cirencester, and Gloucester, and the Cistercians at Hales. In addition, in the extreme south, were the Houses at Bristol. It is true that the Bishop had no control over these houses, but he had considerable influence. In most of the Benedictine Houses he was able, if not to appoint, at least to influence the appointment of the head of the House. The monk elected had to be submitted to him for approval; it was usual if he disapproved of the elect to nominate some one himself. It is quite true that as between themselves the different houses quarrelled and fought and resisted the Bishop and his visitations, but when it came to a question of taking sides between ecclesiastics or laymen, most of the religious Houses sided with the Bishop. If there were exceptions it would usually be in the case of the houses of other orders than the Benedictines. The Canons, the Cluniacs, the Premonstratensians, the Cistercians might decline to follow the Bishop; but all the Benedictines usually went with him, and in point of property the Benedictines were the most important order in the diocese. Worcester, Pershore, Evesham, Cirencester, Winchcomb, and Gloucester must have, when they assembled their forces for fighting, represented a considerable part of the posse comitatus. That something of this sort took place appears from a letter set out in the Register, written by Giffard to the abbots of Bristol, Gloucester, Cirencester, Tewkesbury, Winchcombe, Pershore, and the Prior of Llanthony, exhorting them to raise as many of their men as they could without delay, well armed, with horses, to resist those who wished to impugn the ecclesiastical liberties of the kingdom. Tewkesbury, it is true, would follow its patrons the Clares, but in this Tewkesbury stood alone. The Bishop therefore could control the ecclesiastical forces of the county; what those were we are not able to exactly say, but certainly in the Worcester portion of the diocese it represented quite as large, and possibly a larger, force than the lay barons could bring into the field, and one that could be more easily assembled, for the Benedictine houses lay fairly together and could muster without much difficulty, while the lay barons were scattered over the country, and required time to assemble. The possession


of Worcester, Tewkesbury, and Gloucester, also gave the ecclesiastics the command of the Severn. There was another circumstance which strengthened the Church in Worcestershire; west of the Teme, and of the Severn below the Teme, stretched a great extent of Forest land, Wyre Forest, Malvern Chase, and the Forest of Dean. Stretching across the county and separating the north from the south, running past Droitwich to the Warwickshire border, was the Forest of Feckenham; within its boundaries there was no great estate, and so no muster could be made of vassals. These forests gave the Bishop and the monasteries the advantage, often a priceless advantage, of being able to collect their forces at once and without interference.

Among laymen holding direct from the Crown the chief Worcestershire Landowners were in the north of the County the Someries, Lords of Dudley. They held the 12 manors of Dudley, Cradley, Welty, Middleton, Illey, Frankley, Belne, Hagley, Pedmore, Oldswinford, Warley-Wigorn, and Churchill. Roger de Someri, who was the representative of the family at the end of Henry II.'s reign, died in 1272. Like most of the Barons of that day his loyalty was not above suspicion. In 1253 he went with Henry III. on an expedition to Gascony. In 1257, and again in 1258, he was summoned by the King to serve against the Welsh. After this he seems to have considered himself entitled to some privileges, so began to strengthen his castle at Dudley. This the King forbade; for a time, therefore, Somerie was of doubtful loyalty. At Oxford in 1264 he took the King's side, and was rewarded by permission to finish his castle, so for the rest of the war he remained in name loyal to the King. At Lewes he fought for the King, and was taken prisoner by the Baronial party. He died in 1272, leaving his son Roger, who was then aged 18, his successor. As far as the Someries were concerned, although the King could not trust, he does not seem to have had much to fear from them.

The next great landowners who held direct from the Crown were the Mortimers, cadets of the great house of Wigmore. They owned a large part of the Teme Valley, from Tenbury to Cotheridge, and several manors in the centre of the County, round Droitwich. But the a manors held in Worcestershire were but a small portion of the estates of these great Lords Marchers. In Herefordshire and Shropshire lay their real strength, and the Lords


of Wigmore must have regarded the Worcestershire property of the branch of their family as only an incident in the family estates. The Worcestershire representative of the Mortimers at this time was Hugh Mortimer of Richards Castle, who died in 1275. His Worcestershire estates were acquired in 1259 from his mother, Margery Ferrers, who had married as her second husband William de Stuteville, who was tenant by the courtesy of her lands during his life; on his death Hugh Mortimer succeeded to them. In the next year Mortimer was ordered to raise all his forces and join his cousin, Roger, Lord Mortimer, of Wigmore, who had been appointed Captain General against the Welsh; for the future he mainly followed the fortunes of his cousin. He took the King's side against the Barons, and after the Royalist rout at Lewes was obliged to surrender Richards Castle to the Barons. After Evesham, however, he regained his castle and lands and appears to have remained loyal to the Crown, being Sheriff of Shropshire and Staffordshire in 1272.

The lay tenants of the Crown in the North and the West of the County were fairly safe, in the South it was different. There the great landowners who held direct from the Crown were the "princely" Clares, although their Worcestershire estates were by no means one of the possessions on which the family relied for their greatness. It was the Lordship of Gower, the Earldom of Gloucester, the Earldom of Hertford, which made the Clares the head of the English Baronage. At the Parliament of 1259 de Montfort had so recognised the then Earl of Gloucester:- "For you, my Lord Earl of Gloucester", he said, "the higher your position above us all the more are you bound to carry the laws into effect". The Clares also held some lands in the Teme Valley, running into those of the Mortimers, being the Crown's feudal tenants of the Manors of Clifton on Teme, Doddenham, Ankerdine, and Knightwick. The representative of the family during the greater part of the reign of Henry III., Earl Richard, was nominally a supporter of the King, but he wavered and changed from one side to the other as led from time to time by interest or ambition. In the Mad Parliament he was one of the Committee appointed on behalf of the Barons; he seems to have been always jealous of the power of de Montfort, and so to have hesitated as to whether he should side with the King or the Barons, in fact he was disposed to take the part


from which he would receive most consideration. His jealousy of de Montfort prevented him ever really adopting the popular side, while his quarrel with the Mortimers and Prince Edward prevented him cordially acting with the King. Perhaps he is best known by the story of the Jew who fell into a cesspit at Tewkesbury one Saturday and refused to be helped out as it was the Sabbath. So the Earl refused to allow him to be taken out on Sunday, and before Monday the Jew was dead. The incident is thus related:-

"'Tende Manus, Salomon, ut to de stercore tollam'
'Sabbata nostra colo, de stercore surgere nolo
En ruit altra dies, nunc me de stercore tolles.'
Sabbata nostra colo, de stercore tollere nolo.'"

This Earl died in July, 1262, and was buried in the choir of Tewkesbury by the side of his father; Cantilupe, Bishop of Worcester, William of Radnor, Bishop of Llandaff, ten abbots and numberless Barons and Knights attended his funeral. Boniface, the Archbishop of Canterbury, granted an indulgence of forty days to all who prayed for the repose of his soul. The Bishops of Worcester and Llandaff and Roger Longespee, Bishop of Lichfield, gave another 20, and Worcester and Llandaff a further 10 days, to all who would repeat for the same purpose ten pater nosters and three ayes within the year. If his epitaph spoke truly it would seem he hardly required all this, for it was stated on his tomb

"Hic pudor Hippoliti, Paridis gena, sensus Ulissis AEneae pietas,
Hectoris ira jacet".

His successor, Gilbert (better known as the Red Earl), "quia rufus erat et pulcher aspectu", 7th Earl of Gloucester and Hertford, and 9th Earl of Clare, was then 19. If his father was a waverer, he was a turncoat, or rather his conduct was governed by purely personal motives. His mother urged him to join the Barons, but he failed to decide until he quarrelled with Prince Edward, whom he imagined was too attentive to his Countess; he then refused to include the Prince in his oath of allegiance. So the King retaliated by seizing the Earl's castle at Tonbridge, and on summoning the royal adherents to meet at Worcester in 1264, omitting all mention of the Clares or their vassals. Then the


Red Earl joined the rebels, and at Lewes led their second line with such zeal and effect that he was knighted by de Montfort on the battle-field, and to him was accorded the honour of receiving the King's sword after the battle. In the mise of Lewes his indemnity is the subject of special provision. As a reward for his services on that day he claimed the custody of his own prisoners, which de Montfort refused, but gave him a grant of the estates of Warren, Earl of Surrey, except Rygate and Lewes Castle; what he wanted was the Castle of Bristol, which would have united his English and Welsh estates, and made him practically a king in the West Midlands. To this he had some family claim as an heir of William, 2nd Earl of Gloucester, but this was also refused. As a solace he was nominated with de Montfort and the Bishop of Chichester, Stephen Berksted, one of the electors of the new Council of nine who were really to rule the country. The refusals he met with, above all the refusal of the Castle of Bristol, led the Red Earl to reconsider his position. On it appearing de Montfort intended to keep the Castle of Bristol for himself, and was treating with the Welsh, the hereditary foes of the Clares, the Red Earl began negotiations with the Mortimers; these being favourably received, he broke with the Barons, collected a force in Gloucestershire, took Bristol, and advanced with Prince Edward against the younger de Montfort, whom he defeated at Kenilworth, then marched back against the elder de Montfort, defeating him at Evesham. In that battle the Red Earl led the second line of the Royal troops as he had led the second line of the rebel troops at Lewes. He had his reward. Montfort's death placed him without a rival among the English Barons; the leadership of the popular party was in his grasp, if he cared for it, but he had to decide if he preferred that to what the King could give, grants of the estates of the rebels. He tried to obtain both, and at one time posed as a Royalist to receive grants from the Crown; at another posed as a rebel to extort further grants from the King. In 1267 he marched at the head of the rebels, or the "disinherited party", as they called themselves, from the isle of Ely to London, occupied the City, summoned the Legate to surrender the Tower, but then changed his mind, made peace with the King, accepted the terms of the award of Kenilworth and a safe conduct for himself, his household, and all the exheredati. Again changing his mind he


refused to attend Court or to give the hostages the Legate required for his conduct. At Midsummer, 1268, he was persuaded by the Legate to assume the Cross. Such was the position of this Stormy Peterel of the Baronage when Giffard became Bishop.

In the Register will be found various entries shewing how important it was considered to induce Clare to join Prince Edward in the Crusades and so get him out of the country:- An agreement between Prince Edward and the Earl of Gloucester as to the cost of the journey to the Holy Land, a bond, condition, and securities, upon which the Earl of Gloucester should go on a crusade, further securities and conditions. To please him there is a letter from the King releasing the tax on the lands of the Earl of Clare, and what is still more significant a mandate in blank, no one seeming willing to accept the duty to restrain the men of the Earl of Gloucester taking and detaining the goods of religious persons.

These families, the Someries, the Mortimers, and the Clares, formed the chief of the Barons in Worcestershire, who held direct from the Crown. Of the rest holding of other Lords, there were the Tatlingtons, who held 5 manors in the south-east (Tatlington, Edmunscote, Hopwood, Darlingscote, and Newbold), as tenants of the Bishop. The Burnels, who held 8 manors from five Lords, one, that of Kidderminster, being held of the Crown. The Corbets, who were tenants of the Clares, for Chaddesley and Impney; and the Beauchamps, who by a series of fortunate marriages, first with the heiress of the D'Abitotes, a daughter of the Mortimers, and then with the heiress of the Earl of Warwick, were becoming powerful. The Beauchamps were tenants of the see of Worcester, and would probably follow their Lord. It will be seen Worcestershire required to be carefully dealt with, the landowners being either uncertain or hostile to the Crown.

We get a glimpse of what the Bishop did when he tried to collect men for the King, from two entries in this Register, one a letter from the Bishop to the Abbots of Bristol, Gloucester, Cirencester, Tewkesbury, Winchcombe, and Pershore, and the Prior of Llanthony, urging them to muster their forces at once. It will be noticed that with the exception of Bristol and Llanthony all the houses to which appeal was made were Benedictine. Evesham claimed to be exempt from episcopal supervision; no summons was sent there, but one was to Tewkesbury. The Earl of Gloucester


had changed sides so often, it was difficult to say to which he belonged at a given moment, and it was worth writing a letter to get the support of that abbey. It is obvious that it was on the Benedictine Houses and the Benedictine Monks that the Bishop had mainly to rely in his need. The laymen to whom he sent were all men who were not tenants in chief, with the single exception, and it is a notable one, of Maurice de Berkeley. The knights the Bishop summoned to go with him to London with their friends, and with horses and arms, were Sir Maurice de Berkeley, Sir William de Sautemareis, and his son, Sir Peter, Sir Grimbald Pauncefot, Sir William le Poer, and Sir William de Brad. The remaining twelve tenants were Henry de Ribbeford, Nicholas de Mutton, Nicholas le Archer, Thomas Golafre, Hugh de Chaveringworth, Simon le Chamberlein, William de Herenerton, Walter Haket, William de Wichindon, William de Astan, Peter Crok, and Richard de Clopton. What number of retainers each could bring is not clear it would depend a good deal on the size of their estates, and of how many knights' fees they consisted. But the importance of the fact is that it brings out very clearly before us the feudal position of the Worcester Bishop; he could call upon no less than the heads of seven religious houses, six knights, and twelve gentlemen, to muster their forces with horses and arms, and to take the field and join with him in supporting the cause he believed to be the true one, or for some other reason decided to follow. This shews how important it was for the Crown to have a Bishop on whom implicit reliance could be placed.

The King had learnt this lesson from the late Bishop of Worcester. In 1237 Walter Cantilupe had been appointed to the see. In some respects he was the ideal of a thirteenth-century prelate; his father, William de Cantilupe, had been sheriff of Warwickshire and Leicestershire, governor of the castles of Hereford and Wilton, sheriff of Herefordshire, and afterwards governor of Kenilworth Castle. His eldest brother, William, married Milicent, daughter of Hugh de Gournai, the founder of the Hospital of St. Mark's, Bristol, an entry as to which appears in Giffard's Register. One of William's sons, Thomas, subsequently became Bishop of Hereford and St. Thomas. Walter was employed by Henry III. as his agent at the Papal Court; he was a person in some favour there. It is doubtful if he was in orders, but if he was it was only in minor orders, for on


being elected Bishop, and his election being approved, he was ordained by the Pope himself deacon on the 2nd of the Nones of April, Priest on the 14th of the Kalends of May, and consecrated Bishop on the 5th of the Nones of May, 1237. He at once began to make his influence felt, for the Worcester monks appointed a relative, Walter de Cantilupe, to Cropthorne. Subsequently, in 1256, Hugh de Cantilupe, another relative, was made Archdeacon of Gloucester, and in 1257 Stoke was given to another de Cantilupe. The Bishop began a dispute with Peter de Saltmarsh about the manorial rights of Upton-on-Severn; in 1240 the legate Otho returned to Rome, and Cantilupe went there with him. On his return home the Bishop appointed a new Prior, John, to Malvern, a new Prior, Richard de Condicote, to Worcester, and a new abbot, Walter, to Gloucester, all adherents of the Barons. The Archdeacon of Gloucester was deprived in 1244, and a new Archdeacon, an adherent to the rebels, appointed. The Bishop quarrelled with William de Beauchamp, and persuaded the Council of Lyons to excommunicate him. Cantilupe seems to have always been in opposition to the Court and to the foreign party; he resisted the taxation to meet the demands made by the King. When matters came to a crisis the Bishop took the side of the Barons, being one of their great supporters. He was de Montfort's Chancellor, and one of the most active men in his party. Whether his conduct was patriotic or selfish need not be now considered; he filled the diocese with his own adherents, with men opposed to the King, men who sided with the Barons; in fact he had made the counties of Worcester, Warwick and Gloucester into a baronial stronghold, thus shewing what could be done by a thorough-going partisan Bishop.

To Cantilupe's palace at Kempsey, de Montfort brought Henry III. a prisoner before the battle of Evesham. From Cantilupe's palace at Kempsey de Montfort took Henry with the Bishop to Evesham; here Cantilupe spent the night before the battle with the rebel army praying, consoling, encouraging the troops for the morrow's fight; it was probably owing to his labours that the Worcester monk could write of the slain at the battle, "Erant
"tamen inter eos praecipue domini Hugo le Despencer, Radulphus
"Barret, Petrus de Monteforte et alii plures quorum nominum sunt
"in libro vitae".

Cantilupe was not summoned to the Parliament at Winchester in


1265, being considered as too deeply implicated in the rebellion. When Ottobonus came as legate in the autumn, Cantilupe was one of the three bishops suspended ab officio et beneficio. Shortly after, on his death-bed, he obtained pardon from the Legate, and died in Feb., 1266. Cantilupe left the diocese a hotbed of treason; the Government felt that it was necessary to send to Worcester a strong man who would not merely restore order, but also undo Cantilupe's work, and turn the temporal power of the See of Worcester from a rebel into a royal force. With the Welsh in a state of smouldering rebellion the English King could not afford to allow what was then both politically and strategically a most important part of the country to be in other than safe hands. What was therefore required was not only a man who could be relied upon as loyal to the Crown, but also a man who could and would undo the work Cantilupe's life had been spent in doing. Cantilupe had packed with rebels the diocese, the monasteries, the benefices, the offices. This it was imperative should be altered in each detail; it was also imperative to observe each part of the settlement of the country that had been brought about by the Award of Kenilworth. The Government thought they could not do better than appoint one of the men who both king and nobles had agreed upon at Kenilworth as fit to settle the questions between the Crown and the rebels, so the new bishop was Nicholas, Archdeacon of Ely, who had been Lord Keeper, and was then Lord Treasurer of England. Whether the choice was a wise one or not there was no opportunity of ascertaining; Nicholas was consecrated shortly before Michaelmas, 1266; and in the February following, Pope Clement IV. translated him to Winchester.

The necessity for a strong man as Bishop of Worcester had become greater than ever. The rebellion still smouldered, the Earl of Gloucester was still oscillating, at this moment inclining towards the rebels; it was of vital importance to prevent Worcestershire following the Clares into rebellion. The Archbishop of York was a strong royalist; he, however, was impossible, but the Archbishop had a brother the Lord Chancellor. The Government thought the Lord Chancellor was the man they wanted for Worcester, so on the 8th June, 1297, he was elected to the vacant See. In their opinion they had found, or imagined they had found, in the new Bishop the strong man they wanted: that man was Godfrey Giffard.


From 1268 to 1301 he filled the See; how he carried out his mission his Register tells us. Here all that need be said is that before he died he had finished the work he was sent to Worcester to do. He has left his impress as no other of the Bishops have done on the diocese. It is said that the armorial bearings of his family are the present arms of the see of Worcester; if this is so, then the ten torteaux may serve to remind us that it is to Giffard more than to any one man we owe it that the Bishoprick of Worcester survived the perils that then surrounded it. His work has never been properly appreciated; it is the fashion among the historians of the See of Worcester to represent him as a proud prelate, glorying in show and state, extravagant, extortionate. Such is the view of the last historians of the diocese: "The thirty-four years" of his episcopate," they say, "are a long record of almost incessant
"litigation, a quarrelsome and haughty spirit involved him in
"disputes with almost every one whom he had to do with, an extraordinary
"force of will carried him through many harassing suits,
"often to a triumphant issue, in spite of weakly health, and in the
"face of almost overwhelming influences arrayed against him. [1]"
Such a statement is wholly to misrepresent both the man and his work. It is true he was involved in disputes with every one with whom he came into contact, but to raise those disputes he had been sent to Worcester. He was there to shew the nominees of the rebel Cantilupe that Evesham had settled that the Crown was and intended to be "over all persons, and in all causes, as well ecclesiastical as civil, supreme"; that the minister of the Crown did not wear the sword in vain, that all he had to deal with, whether great or small, ecclesiastic or lay, must "submit or demit". In spite of feeble health, in spite of overwhelming influence, he taught and the county learnt this lesson from him. It is said that a good man struggling against difficulties is a spectacle worthy of the gods. Giffard may not have been what we at the present day call a good man, but he not only struggled with, he triumphed over the difficulties he met with, because he followed out the apostolic precept, "Be strong". His Register is his own account of how he "quitted himself like a man", alike in his faults and in his failures, in his trials and in his triumphs.

[1] Diocesan Histories, Worcester, p. 81.


The Register is the Bishop's record of the Bishop's acts. It is fortunate that there are two other authorities for the history of the Diocese, or rather for part of it, during the period covered by the Register, one or other of which help to clear up many things. The Annales Wigorniae, the Annals of the Priory of Worcester, are perfect for the years of Giffard's episcopate, and give the history of the time from the point of view of the Worcester Monastery. As a document for the general history of the county the Annals cannot compare with Giffard's Register either in interest or importance. They are largely taken from a Winchester MS., combined with extracts from Mathew of Westminster. Mr. Luard, the editor of the Annales Monastici in the Rolls Series, of which the Worcester Annals form part, considers that the Worcester MS. from 1285 is an original composition [1]. Its importance in connection with Giffard's Register is that by its aid we get the view of both sides in several of the great contests in which the Bishop was engaged, for instance the case of his contests with the Priory. An abstract of both is given side by side in the Appendix, so as to furnish a full version of the history of the Diocese during this period [2]. The other authority is the letters of Archbishop Peckham, also published in the Rolls Series [3], giving that prelate's version of his disputes with Giffard, a version not always identical with that in the Bishop's Register.

Before stating what Bishop Giffard did, some account of him and his family should be given.

The Giffard family claimed descent from Osbert Giffard, a Norman who obtained from the Conqueror a grant of the Manors of Brimpsfield in Gloucestershire and Sherrington in Wiltshire. Frequent entries as to Brimpsfield are found in the Register. The Giffards were therefore to some extent connected with the Diocese; the head of the family during the last part of the 13th century was John Lord Giffard of Brimpsfield, a soldier who took an active part in the wars of Henry III. and Edward I. His father, Elias Giffard, was one of the Barons who fought against John. It was said, with what truth is uncertain [4], that although the males of the family

[1] Annales Monastici, Vol. IV. xxxix. Rolls Series.
[2] Appendix II.
[3] Registrum Epistolarum Fratris Johannis Peckham Archiepiscopi Cantuariensis. Rolls Series, 3 vols.
[4] In a patent to Hugh Giffard he is spoken of qui est de familia nostra. Godwin says of Godfrey, rep sanguine propinquus. Sir R.C. Hoare says this could only mean an illegitimate connection. Hist. Wiltshire, I. 200.


contended against John in the field, the females did not contend against him in the castle, and that the Bishop's grandfather, Osbert, was a natural son of John by one of the ladies of the family. The precise relationship between Elias and Osbert Giffard is not easy to trace, but some relationship existed. Osbert's son, Hugh Giffard, married an heiress, Sibilla, the daughter of Walter de Cormeilles, a feudal ward of Henry III. For this offence Hugh had to pay a fine to the Crown and to find security for its payment. The sureties he found were William, Earl of Salisbury, Hugh de Mortimer, and Walter de Clifford.

At first the Giffard family were opposed to the Crown. John Lord Giffard succeeded his father in 1248; he was then sixteen. The Queen had the guardianship of his lands until he was of age. Her, or her officer's management of his estates probably disgusted Lord Giffard with the Court, as he attached himself to de Montfort. In the early part of the Barons' war up to the battle of Lewes Giffard fought actively for the rebel Barons. It was he who in 1268 captured Peter de Aqua Bella, the alien Bishop of Hereford, and besieged Prince Edward at Gloucester. He was one of those excommunicated by the Archbishop Boniface in 1264. It was he who, when Governor of Kenilworth Castle, by a brilliant feat of arms took Warwick Castle and made the Earl and Countess prisoners. At Lewes in the early part of the battle he was obliged to surrender to the King's party, but regained his liberty, renewed the fight, and in the later part of the battle captured William de la Zouche. He claimed Zouche's ransom for himself. De Montfort disputed this claim, thereupon Giffard left the Barons and joined Gilbert Clare, Earl of Gloucester. It is said it was by Giffard's means that the attempt in 1265 to patch up an agreement between Clare and de Montfort failed, as Giffard possessed, so far as any one possessed, some influence with that wayward turncoat. He followed Clare to Evesham and there fought hard for the Crown; for his services on that day his past misdeeds were forgotten and he was received into the King's favour. From that time onward he was one of his most trusted servants.

Hugh Giffard and his wife Sibilla had certainly four children, if not more [1]. Like Lord Giffard, Hugh leant to the Barons'

[1] In the Register there are mentioned Walter, Archbishop of York, Godfrey, Bishop of Worcester, Sir William Giffard, pp. 55, 355, J., Abbess of Wilton, Bishop's sister, Reg. 72. The Bishop's nephews, John of Evereux, and Sir H,


side, but died before the quarrel became acute. In 1235 Hugh Giffard was made Constable of the Tower of London. In 1237 he acted as a Justice; a fine is still extant that was levied before him. He subsequently filled some place in Prince Edward's household, as payments were made to him for the expenses of the Prince; the last mention of him is in 1242, the 26th Henry III. Between that date and 1256 he died, for in that year in a writ giving Sibilla Giffard leave to lodge in the Castle of Oxford, and use the Mill below it during the King's pleasure, she is described as a widow. She died before 1279, as in Giffard's Register it appears that she was buried at Boyton in the diocese of Salisbury, and that a chantry was founded there in that year by Bishop Godfrey in which a Mass was daily said for her, her husband, their parents, and issue [2].

Walter, the eldest son, helped on the family fortunes. A letter from Adam de Marisco recommending him to the consideration of the Vice-Chancellor at Oxford shews that even then he was not without influence. He took orders, became a Canon, Archdeacon of Wells, and one of the Papal Chaplains. Up to this time he seems to have leant to the side of the Barons. In May, 1264, he was elected Bishop of Bath and Wells. As the Archbishop, Boniface was beyond the seas, Giffard went abroad for consecration; this he received on the 4th January, 1265, in Notre Dame, Paris, from that Peter de Aqua Bella, Bishop of Hereford, whom Lord Giffard had taken prisoner. The Barons so detested this Bishop that they resented Giffard accepting consecration from him; to shew their anger they pillaged his manors and lands. As injuries to his property had made Lord Giffard a Royalist, so similar injuries made his kinsman Walter one of the strongest of the Court party. From this time he became the most trusted of the King's followers. At Boniface's order he excommunicated de Montfort, and on the 18th August, 1265, on Cantilupe being deprived of the Lord Chancellorship, it

Babynton, Reg. 261. In his will Giffard speaks of his sister Mabel, abbess of Shaftesbury; his nieces, Agnes Giffard, Margaret Aucher, Sibilla Acton, and Sibilla de Bodaringham; his nephews, Henry Aucher, Richard Aucher, John Giffard, and Simon de Crombe. This last appears only to have married a niece, Reg. 548. Sir Richard Hoare says there was another brother, Alexander. Hist. of Wiltshire, I. 200. See post, Appendix III.

[1] Issue Rolls, iii. 15, 18, 29, 30.
[2] Reg. 119.


was given to him as a reward for past, and perhaps as an inducement for future, loyalty.

As Bishop of Bath and Wells Walter was able to do something for his family. His younger brother Godfrey had already taken minor orders. Walter did not hesitate to provide for his brother by Church preferment. He made Godfrey a Canon of Wells, Rector of Mells, Rector of the greater mediety of Attleborough, in Norfolk, and Archdeacon of Barnstaple, an office he held from 1265-1267. It cannot, therefore, be said that Godfrey failed to receive his share of Episcopal patronage. Godfrey was also made Chancellor of the Exchequer, special permission being given him to appoint a substitute to do the work. In August, 1266, Walter Giffard was appointed one of the arbitrators to draw up the Award of Kenilworth, settling the position of the "exheredati", as the rebels were called. In October of that year Clement IV. proved he had not forgotten his Chaplain; he "provided" Walter with the Archbishoprick of York, which had been vacant since the death of Archbishop Ludham in 1265. Walter thereupon resigned the Chancellorship; by his influence his successor in the office was his brother Godfrey. As if this was not enough, in the next year Walter made his brother Archdeacon of York and Rector of Adlingfleet. Remembering these facts it is perhaps surprising to find in Godfrey's Register his holy horror against pluralities [1]. He was not the only person who held that view; the Yorkshire clergy protested against Godfrey's appointment as archdeacon, alleging he was not only in minor orders, but also deficient in learning. It is possible both these charges were true; the first was a matter of fact that would hardly have been asserted if it was not the case; the second was a matter of opinion on which it is difficult to say anything; it was again urged against Godfrey by no less a person than Archbishop Boniface. One matter in the Register possibly tends to support it. One of the scribes who made up the Register gives the texts of some of the Bishop's sermons for the nine years between 1282 and 1291. He is recorded as preaching 86 times; the texts of most of the sermons are given. Of these one from Proverbs xxv. 4, "Take away the dross from the silver", Airier rubiginem, &c., was preached four times: on the

[1] Reg. 41.


visitation in 1284, at St. Mark's, Bristol, at Llanthony, at Tewkesbury, and Winchcombe. On the same visitation another sermon, with the text from Baruch iii. 35, "When he called the stars they said, Here we be", Stella. vocatae sunt, &c., was preached four times, at Bristol, Gloucester, Cirencester, and Pershore. For nuns at their visitation the favourite sermon was from Ecclesiasticus vii. 24, "Hast thou daughters ? have a care of their bodies, and shew not thyself cheerful towards them", Filiae tibi sunt serve, &c. This was preached four times, to the nuns at Bristol, Worcester, Cookhill, and Wroxhall. It may, however, have been laziness, not ignorance, that led to this repetition of discourses.

It does not appear when Godfrey took Priest's Orders, but it must have been in or before 1268. His employment, so far, had been much more that of a statesman than of a priest, more civil than ecclesiastical. This side of his work is strongly shewn in the way he subsequently administered the Diocese. Although he held at least four benefices Godfrey seems never to have resided on any of them, and to have done little, if any, parochial work, but otherwise his training was good. As Archdeacon, first of Barnstaple and then of York, he had learnt something of administrative work. As Chancellor of the Exchequer he had learnt how to raise money. As Lord Chancellor he had learnt the necessity of the supremacy of the Law "over all persons and in all causes as well ecclesiastical as civil". Godfrey therefore had had exceptional knowledge of what was required at that date for such a see as Worcester. He possessed other qualifications. His personal connection with the diocese, his relations with the Cliffords, his known loyalty, all the more to be relied upon now that loyalty was the winning side, made him a predestinated Bishop.

His appointment as Bishop did not please the Primate, Archbishop Boniface, who had revived the old feud, whether the Archbishop of York might carry his cross erect in the Province of Canterbury; this had led to an appeal to Rome, and a coolness between the two Archbishops. But in spite of the Primate's objections Giffard was elected by the Worcester monks. The Winchester MS. says:- "Item Magister Godifridus Giffard domini regis cancellarius in episcopum Wigornie' electus est i".

[1] An. Wig., iv. 458.


Probably Royal influence, possibly the fact of the new Bishop being related to Lord Giffard of Brimpsfield, so to some extent a local man, sufficed to obtain their concurrence. But election was one thing, confirmation another. Archbishop Boni-face refused to confirm Godfrey's appointment, on the ground that he did not possess sufficient learning for the place. To us it seems curious that the Lord Chancellor, the keeper of the King's conscience, the first subject in the realm after the Archbishop himself, while possessing enough learning to be Chancellor, should not possess enough to be a Bishop. Doubtless it was only an archiepiscopal way of expressing that the brother of a man who was engaged in fighting an appeal at Rome against the Archbishop was not an acceptable person to become one of that Archbishop's suffragans. This difficulty was got over by Archbishop Walter's influence at Rome; the handsome gratifications he was then giving at the Papal Court in the matter of his appeal were sufficient to soften the heart of Pope Clement IV., and obtain the confirmation of Godfrey's appointment. The temporalities were handed over to him on the 13th June, 1268. On the 8th June the King granted to " Godfrey, the elect of Worcester, our Chancellor, license to enclose with a ditch and a wall with lime and stone, and to build, fortify, and crenelate his castle of Hartlebury [1]. "On the 23rd September, 1268, Giffard was consecrated at Canterbury by Archbishop Boniface. His Register begins on the Thursday after the feast of St. Michael in that year, and on Christmas Day, 1268, he was enthroned in his Cathedral at Worcester.

It was no bed of roses to which the new Bishop was sent. A strong administrator was wanted; the work would prove the strength or weakness of whoever undertook it. The diocese was a hotbed of treason. Every place, every office was filled with rebels. The lay lords were of doubtful loyalty, the Welsh were ready to invade the country at the shortest notice, and on the slightest pretext. The temporal arm was at this time as much if not more needed than the spiritual; Giffard combined the two. Hugh, Archdeacon of Gloucester, one of the Cantilupes, was given leave to retire abroad to study theology [2]; the same need of study

[1] Lib. Alb. Episc. Wig., f. 45 b, quoted by Thomas, App. p. 27.
[2] Reg. 3.


was impressed upon a number of ecclesiastics, and the advantages of Paris or some other foreign University were pointed out to them. To the lay lords the blessings arising out of the Crusades were enlarged on to such an extent that the celebrated "Red Earl", Gilbert de Clare, took the Cross. The monasteries were visited and corrected. At Bristol was the Hospital of St. Mark of Billeswike, a foundation of Hugh de Gournai, whose daughter had married William de Cantilupe, the brother of the late Bishop; the hospital was visited, the Master resigned [1]. The reason stated was on account of old age and weakness of body. As he made room for a new Master, appointed by Giffard, this reason was as good as any other. The Clares were shewn that the Bishop did not intend to admit their rights without question; on a vacancy occurring in the Church of North Cerney, their title to it was investigated [2]; so that they might see that the Bishop intended to be supreme, and that even they were not to act as they pleased. William Beauchamp had died in 1268. Being subject to the Bishop's jurisdiction his goods were at once sequestrated, but on his son William Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, doing homage to the Bishop at Bredon the sequestration was removed. Throughout the diocese the Bishop's hand was felt alike by laymen and ecclesiastics; it soon became clear to all that a power had arisen there determined to enforce the observance of the law, and who cared for no one in carrying it out.

While Giffard was engaged in pacifying his Diocese in 1270 Archbishop Boniface died abroad. The "London Annalist [3]" says, "it was to the great joy of all England that about St. Margaret's day that useless minister of the Church of Canterbury, Boniface, died". The King desired that as one Chancellor had become Bishop of Worcester, so another Chancellor, Robert Burnell, should be the new Archbishop; but the Canterbury monks refused to obey the King and elected their own Prior, Adam de Chillendon. The Pope declined to sanction this election, and appointed as Archbishop a Dominican Friar, Robert Kilwardby. This vacancy in the See of Canterbury lasted over two years, from the 18th July, 1270, to February, 1273, and during that time the Giffards took care that the Archbishop of York should as far as possible exercise

[1] Reg. 19.
[2] Reg. 21.
[3] Annals Londiniensis, in Chronicles of the reigns of Edward I. and II. (Rolls Series),vol. I. p. 51.


jurisdiction in the Southern Province; for instance, Thomas of Berkely, Subdeacon of the Diocese of Worcester, was convicted by secular judgment of stealing the ornaments of the Church of Overbury. He was degraded by the Bishop of Worcester in the presence and with the concurrence of Walter, Archbishop of York [1]. Walter Giffard also took some part in the institution of Stephen de Pierce as Prior of Deerhurst: an entry in the Register contains a certificate of his as to this ceremony [2]. In Giffard's Register there is an appointment, dated August, 1271, by the Bishop of Winchester as Sub-dean of Canterbury, and five other bishops, including Giffard, of three proctors at the Roman Court to act for them in the matters between them and the Chapter of Canterbury, and brother Geoffrey de Rumenhale, monk, who had made himself Official of the Court of Canterbury, on behalf of the Prior and Chapter of the Church of Canterbury, the See being vacant. This was the result of a meeting of the Bishops at Reading, who disputed the jurisdiction of the Canterbury Chapter on a vacancy in the See of Canterbury; on this point the Canterbury monks appealed to Rome [3].

On the 12th December, 1271, Henry III. died; at his funeral the Earl of Gloucester and the Archbishop of York swore allegiance to Prince Edward. A Parliament was held, in which the Archbishop of York took the leading part; probably owing to this Godfrey was at once employed on important business. On the 19th January, 1273, there is an answer by Robert, Archbishop elect of Canterbury, and eleven of his Suffragans, including Worcester, to the Pope's Nuncios as to granting a tithe for two years as an aid to the King 4. On the 26th February, 1273, Kilwardby was consecrated Archbishop at Canterbury, one of the officiating bishops being the Bishop of Worcester.

In 1272 Godfrey was sent with Richard Gravesend, Bishop of Lincoln, to arrange matters with Llewellyn. Walter Giffard, to whom the Great Seal had been delivered in 1272, was one of the Council to govern until Edward's return, and it was doubtless this that secured Godfrey being sent to meet Edward on his way back from. the Holy Land. He could leave with safety as his vigorous administration had caused things in his Diocese to quiet

[1] Reg. 46.
[2] Reg. 38.
[3] Reg. 47.
[4] Reg. 51.


down. In the beginning of 1273, probably owing to the York incident, for Giffard's Register is silent as to it, Archbishop Kilwardby visited the Worcester Diocese [1]; this being over, Giffard was able to accompany Nicholas of Ely, Bishop of Winchester, and Walter Bromescomb, Bishop of Exeter, to France to meet Edward on his return from the Holy Land.

The Register gives an account of his journey [2]. On the feast of the Invention of the Holy Cross Giffard left the Diocese, going to a Manor of his own (Ichull in Hampshire). On the following Thursday he came to London. Left on the Sunday, reached Canterbury on the Monday, was at Dover on the 2nd of the Ides of May, and crossed the sea to Whitsand, under Cape Grisnez, then the port for England. At Dover he executed an instrument, giving his brother the Archbishop power to collate to all benefices for him during his absence [3]. Godfrey next appears at Nogent-sur-Seine, where he was on the Ides of June: he probably found travelling expensive, for he borrowed 4o marks from two Florentine merchants [4].

Giffard was back in England in September, as he wrote from Ichull on the 2nd, the morrow of St. Giles, requesting that accommodation should be secured for him during the coming Council at Lyons near the city, and if possible in the island of the Blessed Mary called St. Barbe. A store of ten doles of wine and 100s. worth of hay and fuel were to be provided [5].

Edward was crowned on the 18th day of August, 1274. Archbishop Walter, although present at the Coronation, would take no part in it on account of his quarrel with Kilwardby.

Giffard was summoned to attend a Council called by the Archbishop to meet at the New Temple on the morrow of St. Denis. He was also appointed one of a Commission who were to investigate the grievances of the Oxford Scholars. The Archbishop had written a monition that the Scholars should go to Oxford not armed for fight but armed for study.

It is not clear if Godfrey attended the Council of Lyons; it was held towards the middle of May, 1274, on May 16 (the 17th of the Kalends of June he was at Blockley, and appears to have stayed in the Diocese the rest of the summer). In July a dispute between the Bishop and Philip de Stoke as to the Manor of Hembury

[1] An. Wig., iv. 465.
[2] Reg. 56.
[3] Reg. 57.
[4] Ib.
[5] Ib.


was tried by wager of battle [1]; the Bishop's champion was victorious. In October the Prior of Worcester, William of Cirencester, having died, the Bishop appointed Richard de Feckenham to succeed him [2]. In the spring of 1275 Giffard was ill ; he wrote in February to the Archbishop of Canterbury appointing a Proctor to act for him in the collection of a tithe for the Holy Land, he being unable to act from his infirmity [3], probably one of his attacks of gout.

Diocesan matters were not neglected, certain reforms in the Cistercian House of Hayles had been ordered on the Bishop's visitation in 1274; the Abbot was not inclined to carry them out, so in March, 1275, the Bishop ordered him to be excommunicated [4]. Like all the other Canterbury suffragans, Giffard refused to be present at Merton on Palm Sunday, when Burnell the Chancellor was consecrated Bishop of Bath and Wells [5].

It has been stated that the Bishop had a sister whose initial J. is only given; she became a nun. At this date, 1275, she was Abbess of Wilton; there is a letter from Giffard interceding on her behalf with the Archbishop for Benedict, the steward ,of the Wilton Convent [6]. In the month of May, Giffard caused notices to be given of a grand service he held on Sunday after Ascension Day in Worcester Cathedral, setting out the great benefits that were to be gained by taking the Cross [7]. Giffard had the virtue of practising what he preached, for then or at some future time he took the Cross. In his will he laments that he was not able to send a knight in his place, and leaves his executors £50 to pay the cost of doing so.

So far things had gone fairly smoothly with Giffard ; he was now about to begin a series of fights which continued during the rest of his episcopate. The first was with William Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick. This nobleman, the representative of the family of Urso d'Abitot, the Sheriff under William I, held a good deal of land in different parts of the county, especially in the Bishop's great Hundred of Oswaldeslowe. Urso's family became extinct in the male line, and the heiress married a Beauchamp. The father of this Earl William had still further advanced the fortunes of the family by marrying Isabel Maudit, the heiress of

[1] An. Wig. iv. 467.
[2] Reg. 62.
[3] Reg. 66.
[4] Reg. 67.
[5] Reg. 70.
[6] Reg. 72.
[7] Reg. 73.


the Earls of Warwick; so that this William, the first Earl of Warwick of the Beauchamp family, had become one of the most powerful laymen in the Diocese. To add to the difficulties, he held no less than 15 Knight's fees of the Bishop [1]. A dispute arose between the Bishop and the Earl as to the rights of the Bishop's officers over the Earl's lands in the Hundred of Oswaldeslowe. The Bishop claimed that in his Hundred he was supreme; the Earl claimed that even if the Bishop was, he, the Earl, had the usual feudal rights there, and could exercise his feudal prerogatives independently of the Bishop or his officers. The Bishop thereupon took proceedings against the Earl in the King's Court for the injuries done to him and his Church. This litigation as to the respective rights of the Bishop and the Earl in the Hundreds of Oswaldeslowe in Worcestershire and Pachelowe in Warwickshire went on in one form or other during the rest of the Earl's life.

In 1275 the See of Hereford became vacant, and the elect of Hereford was that Thomas de Cantilupe whom, when Archdeacon of Gloucester, in the first year of his episcopate Giffard had induced to go abroad to study theology. He studied to some purpose. He returned to the Diocese, became Vicar of Dodderhill, Bishop of Hereford, and a few years later "that shining jewel" St. Thomas of Hereford. Giffard refused the Archbishop's invitation to assist at his Consecration, but sent Gilbert de Heywood, the Rector of Otindon, to make his excuses [2].

In this year an event happened which had some influence on the future history of the Diocese. Simon de Montfort left several children, among others a son, Aimery de Montfort, and a daughter, Eleanor. Simon had arranged that Eleanor should marry the Welsh Prince, Llewellyn. She is described by the Winchester annalist as "juvencula elegantissima". On Simon's death she went into a nunnery at Montargis, where she remained till 1275 or 1276. Her brother Aimery, who was in minor orders and a Papal Chaplain, determined to take her to Wales to carry out the marriage. Off the Scilly Islands the vessel with the lady, her brother and two Welsh Dominicans was seized by four English ships, and taken into Bristol.

[1] Reg. 470.
[2] Reg. 84.


Aimery was at once put in confinement, first at Corfe Castle, and then at Shirburn. The lady was sent to Windsor, and kept as one of the Queen's household. This detention of Eleanor de Montfort was one of the causes put forward by Llewellyn for refusing to attend Parliament.

The King was in France during 1275; Archbishop Walter acting as one of the guardians of the realm during his absence.

In 1276 Giffard held another visitation of the Religious Houses in his Diocese, which resulted in his ordering the Abbot of Cirencester to remove the Prior, who, among other vices, was said "to have squandered the goods of the Church in a bestial manner [1]" The Prior of Llanthony was ordered to correct various abuses in his house, such as allowing laymen to come into the house to feast. Giffard also directed his Archdeacon to inquire into some 18 matters, one of which, a most fruitful cause of discord, was to ascertain the names of all rectors who had obtained ecclesiastical benefices after the Council of Lyons, and to what orders they were ordained. That Council required all rectors to take Priest's Orders within two years or forfeit their benefices [2].

The quarrel betwen the Bishop and the Earl of Warwick proceeded on other than mere legal points. The Earl was led to believe that his father had not been really buried at Worcester; he accordingly came there, caused the grave in the Cathedral to be opened; there he found his father's body, which he recognised by certain marks on it [3]. For this outrage the Bishop at once excommunicated him. In October the King came to Worcester on his way to Evesham.

In 1277 Giffard again tried reforming the Religious Houses: he ordered his Official to enquire into their state - if they were decayed in spiritual and temporal things by the negligence of their heads [4]. The Welsh war, which after Edward's expedition to Wales ended in Llewellyn's submission, occupied most of the year. Llewellyn came, when peace was made, to London, and after his return to Wales Eleanor de Montfort was to be sent to him [5].

In the autumn of the year the Minister General of the Franciscans, "Brother Jeromy", as the Register calls the celebrated

[1] Reg. 87.
[2] Reg. 90.
[3] An Wig. 471.
[4] Reg. 92.
[5] An. Wig. 473.


Jerome of Ascoli, afterwards Pope Nicholas IV., wrote from Paris to the Bishop, asking if he would be admitted as a Brother of the Order [1]. The reply does not appear, but either then or afterwards Giffard became a Minorite Friar. Possibly at this time he had other matters which more urgently required his attention. In 1278 he was appointed a Justice in Eyre for Herefordshire, Hertfordshire and Kent.

In this year the Bishop began his quarrels with the Worcester monastery. The Prior forbade the Sacrist attending to the Bishop's business, giving as a reason that certain new statutes made by the General Chapter of the Benedictine order forbade the Sacrist doing it [2]. The Bishop at once wrote to the Prior stating that the statutes were unreasonable, and directed the sacrist for the future to obey his orders. Giffard also ordered his Official to proceed with his enquiries as to religious persons and religous houses who had "damnably committed enormities against their rules", and to correct them [3]. One of these offenders was the Augustine Canons of Bristol. The Bishop found the services in their House were neglected, and that the Abbot was not sufficiently instructed to propound the Word of God [4].

Another dispute arose this year with one of the most powerful of the laity of the Diocese, the Earl of Gloucester. The Bishop of Hereford, Thomas de Cantilupe, alleged that the Earl was encroaching on his manors of Colwall and Eastnor: the matter drifted into the King's Court. It looked at one time that it would have to be decided by combat, but the Justices, Sir Ralph de Hengham, afterwards Archdeacon of Worcester, and Sir Walter de Helyun, summoned a jury on the spot, who decided in favour of the Bishop of Hereford. It was agreed that the Earl should make a ditch to prevent the deer straying from Malvern Chase into the Hereford Manors. But the parties forgot that to make this ditch it would be necessary to go on land of the See of Worcester, so interfering with its rights. Giffard at once forbade any such interference by Earl or Judge, so a contest began between him and the Clares, which lasted till 1290 [5].

[1] Reg. 94.
[2] Reg. 96. The Bishop seems to have had the right to appoint and remove the sacrist. See Reg. 123.
[3] Reg. 100.
[4] Ibid.
[5] Swinfield Roll, Webb's Introduction, p. xxiv. Camden Soc. Reg. 361.
An. Wig. iv. 494, 505.


Edward again came to Worcester in October this year, and on the feast of St. Edward, the marriage of Llewellyn, the Welsh Prince, and Eleanor de Montfort was celebrated there. The King could at times be generous; on this occasion he paid the expenses of the wedding.

There were, however, more important matters than weddings to occupy the Bishop. Except in his quarrels with the Giffards, Archbishop Kilwardby was not an over active Archbishop. He certainly failed to carry out what the Papal Court wanted. A more diligent instrument was required. Pope Nicholas III. considered that the Papal interests would be better served if a new Archbishop went to Canterbury. So Kilwardby was made a Cardinal probably on condition he resigned the A rchbishoprick. He resigned, and died the same year. The King was again most desirous that his Chancellor, Burnell, the Bishop of Bath and Wells, should fill the vacancy, and his pressure procured Burnell's election from the Canterbury monks. But it was not to hand over Canterbury to the nominee of the English King that Nicholas III. had got rid of Kilwardby; he had his agent ready to do his work, and certainly not prayers, and in this case not bribes, would move him ; that agent was the Minorite Friar, John Peckham. He was consecrated at Rome by the Pope himself on the 19th February, 1279, set off at once to England, where he arrived in May; in the Register there is a letter dated at Eltham, the Ides of June [1], from Giffard, congratulating the new Archbishop on his accession to the See. It may be doubted if for Giffard it was really a matter for congratulation.

Whether it was from the litigation with the Earl of Gloucester or some other cause, Giffard continued his monastic reforms by correcting the Abbey of Tewkesbury, the great House of the Clares, the chief charges against these monks being gluttony and drunkenness, the Bishop pointing out that "they should eat to live, not live to eat [2]". The Hospital of St. Mark, Billeswick, also fell under the Bishop's censure ; they were founded to feed 100 poor every day, and this they "damnably omitted to do [3]".

The Bishop sustained a great loss in 1279 by the death of his brother Walter, the Archbishop, who died at York on the 22nd

[1] p. 108.
[2] pp. 104, 106.
[3] p. 104.


April, heavily in debt ; there are numerous references to his will and his affairs in the Register. In some respects the loss of his brother improved the Bishop s position, but on the other hand it left him to fight his battles alone, and perhaps led him-to secure allies both in England and in Rome in the coming contests with Peckham as to the powers of the See of Canterbury by becoming a Franciscan. One fact is characteristic : Edward on the Archbishop's death wrote a letter to Godfrey [1], as one of the executors, saying he was in want of money and asking for a loan. The executors seem to have considered it politic to make it.

In some respects Peckham was of a like frame of mind to Giffard ; he was a lover of strict order, and was determined that law should be enforced. One of his early acts was to hold in July, 1279, a Council at Reading [2]. The Statutes made there are entered in the Register ; the most important was the one enforcing the provision of the Council of Lyons as to persons holding benefices being in full orders. It does not appear from the Register whether Giffard was present; probably he was, as a Charter confirming the rights of the Scholars of Oxford [3], a matter into which Giffard had held an enquiry, was made at this Council.

Giffard was now occupied with a long dispute [4] as to the execution by the Constable of the Castle of Bristol, Peter de la Mare, of a fugitive who had fled for Sanctuary to the Church of St. Philip and St. James, Bristol, and had been taken from it by the Constable and imprisoned in the Castle. At last it was agreed that the offenders would be pardoned if they would go on the Crusade or pay some one to go in their place.

If Giffard was at the Reading Council he was hardly loyal to his colleagues. They had ordered in July that the decrees of the Council of Lyons as to Benefices should be carried out; in the autumn Giffard wrote a letter to the Pope pointing out the unsuitableness of the English Church to have a strict application in it of the decrees of the Lyons Council [5], especially those as to pluralities and to beneficed clergy being in Priest's Orders.

It has been already stated that Giffard was invited to become a Franciscan, and that at some period he did so; but he did not neglect the other orders, this year he is found in close alliance with

[1] p. 115.
[2] p. 109.
[3] p. 110.
[4] Ibid.
[5] p. 116.


the Dominicans, being the Conservator of the privileges of their order. In October he wrote to the Official of the Archdiocese of York, calling himself "the Conservator of the privileges in England granted by the Pope to the Friars Preachers [1]", saying that these rights had been encroached upon at Scarborough.

It was not only to Giffard as executor of his brother that the King wrote for money, he wrote on the 15th November desiring him, as Bishop, to have a meeting of his clergy and to ask them, having regard to the great expense to which the King had been put by the Welsh and French Wars [2], to "shew him their courtesy", a request which Giffard does not seem to have heartily supported.

In 1280 Peckham and Giffard first differed. The Vicar of the Churches of Blockley and Tetbury, Gregory de Caerwent, died at Rome; the Pope claimed the right to fill up the vacancy, and made over his right to Peckham, who wrote to Giffard ordering him to collate one of Peckham's Chaplains, Henry, to Tetbury, and Philip de Crofta to Blockley [3]. Giffard ordered both to be collated, but not without some grumbling. A question then arose as to Chipping Norton, on the construction of the Constitution of the Council of Reading as to lapse. Peckham appointed his own man, and wrote to Giffard a long and somewhat apologetic letter saying why he had done so [4]. This was followed up by a dispute as to Chipping Campden. The Rector, Edmund Mortimer, a nephew of Sir Hugh Mortimer, was not in Priest's Orders [5]; he had held the living for two years without taking them as required by the Council of Lyons - indeed it would appear he was not in Orders at all. Acting on Peckham's instructions, Giffard deprived him and appointed a priest, Adam de Avebury, who was duly collated. Edmund Mortimer refused to give up the church, so Giffard requested Peckham to move in the matter. Peckham was in a difficulty: he did not want to offend the Mortimers, he did not want to quarrel with his suffragan, so he inclined to a policy of inactivity. This did not suit Giffard; his rights had been attacked - he cared not by whom, he must vindicate them; he at once began proceedings in the Arches Court against Mortimer. The Archbishop tried to restrain Giffard; writing on

[1] p. 116.
[2] p. 118.
[3] pp. 120, 121.
[4] Peck. Register, I. 158.
[5] p.114.


the 13th March, 1282 [1], that he had ordered the Dean of Arches to stay all further proceedings in the Campden matter until the meeting of Parliament.

Without the Campden affair Giffard had plenty to do; his reforms in the religious houses had to be carried out. This was not easy in the cells of the foreign religious houses that were in the Diocese. After the Conquest, Normans had made grants to Norman abbeys, with the result that there were certain small religious houses offshoots of and subject to some great foreign monastery; thus at Deerhurst there was a cell to the great French Abbey of St. Denis, at Astley a cell to St. Taurinus of Evereux, and at Wotton a cell to the Benedictine Abbey of Couches. At Wotton there was a quarrel between the Prior and one of his monks, with the result that they came to blows. Giffard asserted his right to preserve order, and sent the Wotton Prior, Peter de Altaribus, back to his own monastery of Couches [2].

Like Giffard, Peckham was desirous of enforcing his jurisdiction. Whether in their attempts to do it the Archbishop's officials really exceeded their legal rights it is difficult to say. But the Bishop of Hereford, Thomas de Cantilupe, complained of the encroachments on the rights of the Canterbury suffragans by. the Archbishop's officials, who compelled various clerics and laymen, subjects of the Bishop, to answer in the Archbishop's instead of the Bishops' court. As Cantilupe could get no redress from the Archbishop, he appealed to Rome [3], and asked support in his fight from the other Canterbury suffragans. On the 2nd Kalends of May, 1282, Giffard wrote to Cantilupe, supporting him in his resistance. This led the Archbishop to enforce his jurisdiction in the Worcester Diocese [4], whereupon Giffard required the Archbishop to desist from these grievances; as the Archbishop failed to do so, Giffard appealed to Rome, alleging that he alone in the Province of Canterbury dared to acknowledge these things, thereby ignoring the Bishop of Hereford. He also said that Peckham set aside the mandates of the Holy See. Peckham resented Giffard's action. To test his obedience he ordered Giffard to exeommunicate the Bishop of Hereford, as having in contempt of his oath, made on the horns of the altar of St. Thomas [5], impugned the authority of the Church of

[1] I. Peck., 314.
[2] p. 133.
[3] p. 145.
[4] p. 147.
[5] p. 149.


Canterbury. This Giffard refused to do, as he considered the case of the Bishop of Hereford the same as his own; so he appealed against this order of the Archbishop as an interference with the liberties of his suffragans. Giffard also wrote to Peckham, remonstrating in strong terms at his conduct, especially for citing the parties in a suit with the Prior of Llanthony as to the presentation to the church of Wenrich, to appear before him, instead of allowing Giffard to determine it. Peckham wrote back, 11 May, 1282, asserting his right to hear the case, which was an appeal by the Llanthony Prior [1], telling Giffard plainly that he was not observing his oath of obedience to the rights of the Church of Canterbury [2]; that he, Peckham, was not to be thus frightened; that though Giffard had sent special messengers to the Roman Court as to the rights of the Worcester Church, he, Peckham, "invoking the aid of Christ, and relying on the merits of the Saints, the patrons of the Church of Canterbury, trusted to overcome the wiles of the Bishop, who in thus acting against the Church of Canterbury was periling his soul [3]".

A better example than this correspondence, of ecclesiastical epistles between great Church dignitaries in the 13th century, it would be difficult to find. The fiery zeal of Giffard ready to do anything for the rights of his see is well met by the cool, calm, cutting contempt of the great Franciscan. Giffard at once united with Hereford against Canterbury, and sent to that Bishop for help. On the 18th Kalends of June further articles of appeal to Rome were drawn up by Giffard; they were sealed in the Chapel of the Blessed Virgin at Worcester, in the presence of the Dean and Sub-dean of Hereford, as well as the Worcester witnesses.

Although in the midst of these contests, possibly because he was in the midst of them, and wanted to keep on good terms with his own monks, Giffard, in 1281, took part in a great religious function at Worcester, the new paving of the Cathedral, the first stone of which he laid.

Pope Nicholas III. had died in 1280 without carrying out his policy of having Aimery de Montfort released. His successor, Martin IV., pressed on the same policy, and was most desirous of

[1] I. Peck., p. 355.
[2] p. 150.
[3] An. Wig. 479.


obtaining that release. Some instructions as to this seem to have been given Peckham; the precise reasons do not appear; it is said it was because de Montfort was a Papal chaplain, but it was clearly something more than that. So important did the Pope consider it that one of his chaplains, Reymond Aggerii, was sent over with a special Bull to procure the release. Reymond reached England in December, 1281 [1]; he appears to have had some consultation with Peckham [2], to whom and to whose suffragans the Pope had written on the subject. The result was that Peckham ordered the Bishop of London to summon the Canterbury suffragans to meet on 5th February, 1281 [3], at a council, to consult on de Montfort's liberation. So important did Reymond consider the adhesion of Giffard, that he came down to Worcester in January, 1282 [4], to secure it. For some reason Giffard declined to attend the Council, but sent two proctors. The result of the conference was that Peckham wrote on the 7th February to Edward asking the King to assent to de Montfort's release [5]. The Bishop of London had a conversation with the King, resulting in his promise that the matter should be considered by Parliament on the 2nd April [6]. Burnell, the Chancellor, wrote to Peckham [7] that the King would allow de Montfort to come to London. De Montfort was brought there, released, handed over to the care of Reymond, and taken to France. On the 23rd April Peckham wrote to the Pope informing him of this. The Nuncio took Aimery to Rome. He renounced the Priesthood, became a soldier, and died [8].

In 1282 the Bishop of Hereford, Thomas Cantilupe, who had gone to Rome to push forward his appeal against Peckham, died at Orvieto. His body was boiled, the flesh taken from his bones, the bones brought to England, and deposited in Hereford Cathedral.

Giffard meanwhile had more than enough to occupy even him. In 1282 the Welsh Prince, David, had stormed Hawarden Castle, and war had consequently broken out with the Welsh. A letter from the King, dated the 24th May 9, called on Giffard to have the force he was bound to furnish by service ready at once to set out with the King in his expedition against the Welsh.

[1] p. 139.
[2] See Peckham Register, I. 230 and 256.
[3] p. 140.
[4] p. 139.
[5] Peck. Reg., I. 287.
[6] Peck. Reg. I. 297.
[7] Ibid. 325.
[8] Rishanger, p. 99.
[9] p. 151.


Giffard's force was considerable; he held 15 Knight's fees, so his contingent must have furnished an important part of the Royal forces. Giffard hardly knew which way to turn. He wrote to the Bishop of Hereford [1] on the subject of the Bishop's visit to Rome, telling him that "the King had collected a multitude of those who were bound to render military service, dividing them into three armies. The first, under the King's own command, had marched to Ruthin; the second was commanded by the King's brother, Edmund, Earl of Lancaster; and the third by O. de Grandisson, against the multitude of men who dwelt in eastern parts. The armies were strong enough to meet the enemy in whatever part they might be led". Among his varied gifts Giffard did not include that of prophecy, for the result shewed that, strong as the three royal armies might be, they were no match for the Welsh. Giffard was full of the Welsh war. He wrote in September excusing himself from attending the enthronement of the new Bishop of Winchester, John of Pontoise [2], on account of the King's presence, and that of his kinsmen and friends going and returning from parts of Wales. Among them was probably the Archbishop, who tried with small success to make peace between the King and Llewellyn.

As if the Welsh war was not enough to occupy Giffard, he had to undertake one of the most serious controversies of his life, that with Richard Ware, Abbot of Westminster.

One of the largest ecclesiastical landowners in Worcestershire was the great Abbey of St. Peter's, Westminster. In some way, it is not clear in what, a large part of the property of the Abbey of Pershore had come into the King's hands, about the time of the foundation of Westminster. These lands Edward the Confessor gave to his own Abbey. The inconvenience was felt that there was no house on the Abbey estates, so in 1085 [3] a monastery, the Priory of Great Malvern, was erected by Westminster on its Worcester lands. As a cell of a Royal Abbey, Malvern claimed all the rights of a Royal Abbey, one of which was freedom from Episcopal visitation. In this the Bishops of Worcester had never acquiesced, and so far as precedent went, they could prove that over and over again they had visited Malvern in the same way as the other religious

[1] p. 156.
[2] p. 157.
[3] Ann. Wig., 373.


houses in the Diocese. Possibly, if Giffard had confined himself to visiting, nothing more would have been heard of it. On the 2nd September, 1282, in pursuance of notice, he went to Malvern to visit the Monastery. The Prior at that time was William de Ledbury, who after making every deduction for the heated and exaggerated language of ecclesiastical abuse, seems hardly to have been an ideal Prior. The Worcester annals say the visitation was in consequence of the complaint of the monks [1], but it would rather appear it was in the ordinary course of the Bishop's visitation, as just before he had visited Pershore, and just after he visited Worcester. The Malvern monks assembled in their Chapter House, Giffard preached to them; his text was, "I will come and descend upon you", and he did so [2]. The Prior was accused by the monks of various excesses and enormities. It was alleged that in the farms and granges of the Priory he kept no less than 7 mistresses, on whom he wasted the goods of the Priory, so the monks starved while the Prior and his ladies feasted. It is not quite clear what was the proper course to take in such a case, probably to represent the facts to the Abbot of Westminster. It is clear Giffard felt he was in a difficulty, so proceeded with caution. He heard the case against the Prior, gave no immediate decision, but returned to his Palace at Kempsey [3]. While there his hand was forced. A few days after the visitation, while at dinner, he was disturbed by the sudden arrival of four monks from Malvern, bearing furthur complaints against the Prior. This was too much for Giffard, his anger outran his discretion; he went at once to Malvern, deposed the Prior, who fled from the Priory, and the Worcester annalist states, added to his crimes by turning apostate. What followed, or what action the Abbot of Westminster took, does not very clearly appear. Some of the Malvern monks were excommunicated [4] by Giffard for contumacy, but were soon after released. Giffard claimed the temporalities of Malvern, while the Priory was vacant, but a number of the monks refused to allow his claim; this, he said, was contumacy, so he promptly excommunicated* them for impeding his jurisdietion. The monks expelled the Bishop's officer; this led to more excommunications. A new Prior was elected, the nephew of the

[1] An. Wig., 484.
[2] p. 164.
[3] An. 484.
[4] p. 165.


Worcester Archdeacon, Cardinal Hugh of Evesham. The Abbot of Westminster now made his first move: on the new Prior, William de Wykewane, coming to him for confirmation he put him in prison. Incited by Giffard, Peckham, on the 26th October, 1282, wrote to the Abbot ordering him to liberate the Prior-elect of Great Malvern. The Abbot, however, did nothing. In December, Peckham wrote to Giffard that he intended to visit the diocese. In February, 1283, he came. He went to Malvern, and after having preached to the monks in the Chapter House, formally claimed the right to visit the Priory; two of the monks as proctors for the Abbot of Westminster as formally denied his right [1], alleging that Malvern was privileged, and that neither the Archbishop nor the Bishop of Worcester had any jurisdiction there. The Archbishop fixed a day for them to prove their alleged exemption, and went with the Bishop to Wyke. The same night he wrote to his official, ordering him at once to go to Westminster and inspect any records there that shewed Malvern was exempt from visitation. The Malvern monks failed to prove to Peckham's satisfaction that they were exempt, so he passed sentence on the Prior and certain monks of Great Malvern for contumacy, and wrote to Giffard, on the 23rd March [3], ordering him to excommunicate the Prior and monks of Great Malvern in pursuance of his sentence. The Malvern monks were not much the worse for the Archbishop's order, or for Giffard's excommunication. Ledbury went back to Malvern, and things went on much as usual. In May, Peckham again wrote to Giffard [4] ordering further excommunications; in June he directed the excommunications to be repeated [5], and, what was a more practical step, the pensions of the monks to be sequestrated. Peckham, however, shewed some signs of yielding; he gave power to absolve those who had incurred excommunication by associating with Prior Ledbury and others of the Malvern monks. The Abbot of Westminster appealed to Rome against the Archbishop's sentence, but Giffard considered the appeal to be no stay of proceedings, and ordered his two Archdeacons to go on excommunicating [6]. Abbot Ware, on his side, kept the Prior-elect, William de Wykewane, in prison and loaded him with fetters.

So the matter rested. Meanwhile the relations between Giffard

[1] p. 171.
[2] p. 170. Peck. Reg. 516.
[3] Ibid. 527.
[4] Ibid. 540.
[5] Ibid. 568.
[6] p. 175.


and Peckham became less friendly. Giffard complained that the servants of the Archbishop's Commissaries had insulted his, the Bishop's, tenants [1]. This the Commissaries denied. The Archbishop required Giffard to take steps against certain clergymen of the Diocese, including the Vicars of St. Peter's Worcester, Hampton and Broadway [2], who had not obeyed the decrees of the Council of Lyons. The Bishop's appeal against the Archbishop was still going on. Giffard was informed by his Proctor at Rome that he would soon receive a Papal Bull at which he would rejoice [3]. All this tended to make the Archbishop leave Giffard to fight out his own battles. Giffard did not know what to do; he wrote to Burnell, the Bishop of Bath and Wells, who, as Chancellor, was high in the King's favour, asking his advice, and begging he would induce the King to interfere [4]. Giffard's irritation brought on an attack of gout. He says he has been laid up at Bredon for eight days with it, but hopes soon to be better. Probably irritation from the gout led Giffard to write to the Abbot of Westminster saying what he thought of him [5]; the Abbot's reply, stating that the allegations in Giffard's letter were untrue, could not have calmed Giffard's irritation, for he went further; he cited the Abbot to appear in the Worcester court to answer for contumacy. Worse was in store. Giffard had placed a bailiff in charge of the revenues of Malvern. The Bishop of Bath and Wells, in accordance with Giffard's request, brought the matter before Edward. The King thought there was money to be made, so he directed the Sheriff of Worcestershire to go to the Priory, turn out Giffard's bailiffs and take possession of all the revenues, manors and appurtenances for the King [6]. This brought matters to a crisis; even Giffard did not dare to withstand the King's officers, acting under the King's express order. So he reappointed his bailiff, Henry de Wynton, merely to keep the spiritualities of the Priory, and ordered him not to touch the temporalities which were claimed by the King, a claim the Bishop did not now intend to dispute as the King was so occupied in warfare [7]. Edward was not satisfied; he sent to the Sheriff ordering him to restore the Priory to William de Ledbury, now

[1] p. 173.
[2] p. 174.
[3] p. 177.
[4] p. 178.
[5] p. 179.
[6] p. 181.
[7] p. 182.


Prior of the same. In some way the Sheriff took Giffard's part, and did not fully carry out his orders; for this he was fined loos., and told if he did not fully execute the writ he would be heavily fined. The King followed this up by a letter to Giffard [1], stating that Westminster and its dependencies were immediately subject to the Apostolic See, and no one could exercise jurisdiction therein; that Giffard, in having done so, had violated the rights of Westminster; he was therefore ordered to cease from molestation and restore the Priory to its original state. Still Giffard was not silenced; he sent a petition to the King asking that the Abbot of Westminster be ordered to release the Prior-elect of Malvern, and that the Bishops of Worcester might have the spiritualities and temporalities of Malvern on a vacancy, as a remedy for the injuries he had suffered. Giffard having tried the Bishop of Bath and Wells and failed, had resort to another man who had great influence with the King, Anthony Bek, the Archdeacon of Durham; he sent two of his chaplains asking his help, and wrote another letter to the Bishop of Bath and Wells. In spite of Edward's order Giffard continued to press on his claims. In December, 1282, he placed all town monasteries, priories, chapels and churches of the Abbot of Westminster under an interdict. Burnell wrote to the King pointing out that the Abbot of Westminster had incurred the sentence of excommunication, but the Abbot being Lord High Treasurer of England, the Bishop had not published the sentence [2]; lest he should be thought neglectful, as the Most High was no respecter of persons, he had asked Burnell what to do. Burnell suggests the matter should be brought before Parliament when it met at Gloucester in January. Giffard's gout continued; he was summoned to Northampton to a convocation touching Llewellyn, son of Griffin, and the Welsh rebels, but he excused himself on account of his infirmity. The appeal to the King met with some success, for a writ dated 16th March, 1284 [3], summoned the Bishop to appear before the King at Montgomery as to the dispute with the Abbot of Westminster. In April Giffard wrote to Peckham that he could not attend him in London as requested, as he had to appear before

[1] p. 182.
[2] p. 186.
[3] p. 595.


the King at Montgomery [1]. The Bishop gave notice that he intended to visit Malvern by himself or his deputies, but considered it best to send a deputy. The Pope at last moved in the appeal. He appointed the Priors of Chertsey and St. Frideswide, Oxford, and the Precentor of Wells, to hear the appeal and to confirm the Bishop's sentence against the Prior of Malvern [2] so far as was reasonable. The two Priors, however, did not like the task, so they appointed a Canon of Wells to act in their place, the Court thus consisting of the Dean, Precentor, and a Canon of Wells. They confirmed the sentence against William de Ledbury [3], which was again formally pronounced. So far Giffard was successful, but the King did not allow him a complete triumph. The parties were compelled to arrive at a compromise. Letters Apostolic were produced to Giffard declaring that the Abbey of Westminster was exempt from all diocesan law and jurisdiction as a Royal Abbey, and that this exemption extended to all its cells and priories, including Malvern [4]. On the strength of the Pope's Letter Giffard acknowledged the exemption. He agreed to absolve Ledbury and all the Malvern monks from the sentences of excommunication, suspension and interdict. The Abbot of Westminster agreed that the Prior of Malvern should grant to Giffard the Manor of Knightwick to repay him the costs which he had incurred in the affair. The settlement was approved by the King and carried out. It seems to have been the work of Burnell, his name stands first among the witnesses to the grant. Even now the controversy was not finished. Peckham was no party to it, and took offence at it [5]; writing to Giffard he required full information as to the agreement made by the Bishop and the Abbot of Westminster as to the Priory of Malvern, he being informed it was simoniacal. Giffard's reply to this is in the Register [6]; it must have satisfied Peckham, as the matter was allowed to drop and the grant became binding. So ended this great fight, one of the most instructive bits of ecclesiastical hstory of the time. It is admitted on all sides that

[1] p. 196.
[2] p. 202.
[3] p. 210.
[4] p. 219.
[5] Peck. Reg. 643.
[6] p. 228.


William de Ledbury was quite unfit to be Prior, but sooner than his privileges should be violated or his jurisdiction invaded the Abbot of Westminster allowed a man who competed with Solomon in the number of his concubines, who starved the monastery to maintain them, to remain Prior, and employed all the power and influence of the most powerful and influential abbey in England to maintain this old reprobate in his place. It is true that some time after, in 1287, Ledbury was deposed, but this does not affect the case. Edward's action in the matter is a good instance of the motives that dictated his conduct. If by taking either side he could make money he would take that side, but if there was no money to be made, the dispute had better be ended as soon as possible. Giffard fought, as he always did, for the rights of the See of Worcester, 'against King, Abbot and Prior; as long as he maintained those rights he did not care. Peckham was the only one who came out of the dispute with credit. He did not regard his quarrel with Giffard, but took his side, supported his suffragan, and was not afraid even to question the peace the King had patched up, if that peace was, as he believed it to be, wrong. The compromise was ultimately approved by Pope Honorius IV. [1] after an enquiry into its provisions by the Abbots of Waltham, London and Abingdon.

While this dispute as to Malvern was going on Giffard had a number of minor fights proceeding: a somewhat similar contest to Malvern, as to his right to visit the Austin Canons at Warwick, the question with the Mortimers as to the presentation to Campden, a constant series of small disputes with the Archbishop as to the limits of their respective jurisdictions, and that constantly recurring question, the enforcing the orders of the Council of Lyons. There was also the matter which brought Giffard into disfavour with the King, the Archbishop and the Pope, his resistance, as far as he could resist, to the constant and increasing demands that each of them made for money.

The next thing that engaged Giffard's attention was the appropriation of Cleeve towards his household expenses. He alleged that on account of the number of persons going to Wales and his expenses in shewing hospitality he was at a great loss,

[1] p. 274.


and to recoup himself proposed to appropriate the revenues of the rectory of Cleeve [1]. It has rather the appearance that this was one of the terms on which the Malvern settlement was brought about, for that settlement was confirmed by a grant of Edward dated at Acton Burnell, and it was from Acton Burnel at the same time Edward wrote to the Pope, Martin IV. [1], asking that Giffard might, on account of the great losses he had sustained in the Welsh rebellion, be allowed to appropriate the revenues of this church. A little later Edward wrote again, alleging as a reason for the appropriation the sterility of the land with which the Bishopric is endowed [2], and the concourse of rich and poor going to the Bishop, as his Bishopric is between England and Wales. It must not be forgotten that Edward himself was no infrequent guest of Giffard's, and was personally interested in the Bishop keeping a good table.

The unrest between Giffard and Peckham still continued. In 1284, Giffard wrote to the Bishop of Lincoln [3], pointing out the necessity for his support, as if the Archbishop went on it might be Lincoln's turn next. He also wrote to the Bishop of London, proposing a Council of Bishops should be held to settle his grievances with Canterbury; and sent similar letters to the Bishops of Bath, Exeter, Norwich and St. David's. The contest seems to have caused some scandal; it is clear that someone determined to stop it. Possibly it may have been the Cardinal Hugh of Evesham, the Archdeacon of Worcester, who was at this time in correspondence with Peckham on Worcester affairs [4]; but whoever it was, a modus vivendi was brought about, and in April, 1284, Giffard wrote to the Prior and Chapter of Worcester [5] that all causes of dispute between him and the Archbishop were at an end. Giffard also wrote to the Archbishop, sending him a stole and a ring, and stating that when Peckham came to Worcester he would bring out the fatted calf - a rather doubtful compliment, comparing the Archbishop to the Prodigal son. Peckham did not take it in that light, for he wrote back thanking Giffard for his presents and declaring his friendship for him [6].

In 1285 an attempt was made by a writ of Quo Warranto

[1] p. 222.
[2] p. 223.
[3] p. 225.
[4] Peck. Reg., 676.
[5] p. 227.
[6] p. 229. Peck. Reg., p. 722.


to question the Bishop's jurisdiction as to the assize of Bread and Ale markets and free warren, which he exercised in the Hundred of Pachelowe [1], in Warwickshire. The Bishop was successful in establishing the rights he claimed, rights which were far less extensive than those he claimed in Oswaldeslowe. Giffard was also mixed up with the dispute between the clergy and the King which led to the Statute Circumspecte Agatis [2]. Seventeen articles relating to interference with the Bishop's courts by the King's judges, with the King's reply, and the Bishop's replication, are given in the Register, and also the petition by Peckham and his suffragans, including Giffard, to the King, pointing out the grievances from which they suffered by the King's courts continually issuing writs of prohibition [2]. A small quarrel arose between Giffard and the Priory of Kenilworth as to the Bishop's right to visit certain churches belonging to that monastery. Here Giffard maintained his right [3]. In 1286 the Bishop had to arrange a private family scandal [4]; his cousin, Sir Osbert Giffard, induced two nuns from the Abbey of Wilton, Alice Russel and Alice Giffard, to leave the convent and live with him; they were sent back with Osbert's consent, and the Bishop of Salisbury ordered the Abbess to receive them as sisters that had been lost and were found, but pronounced a severe penance on Osbert. Matters seem to have gone more smoothly during 1285 and 1286, as no great dispute is mentioned. During 1286 gout prevented Giffard attending a meeting of the bishops [5], and also the consecration of John Kirby, the Bishop of Ely. The meeting of the bishops was an important one [6], the matters they had to consider being "the liberty of the Church, repetitions of visitations, errors lately condemned, special prayer for the King, if to be left off or not, as to arrest of clerks, excess of royal exactions, abuse of confession, and covetousness of archdeacons". Giffard now entered on a long and troublesome fight with his own monks, the Worcester monastery, as to the Church of Westbury [7]. The origin of the dispute is not very clear, but it seems that Giffard's object was to make some of the best livings in the Diocese prebends of Westbury, a collegiate church already possessing

[1] p. 253.
[2] p. 274.
[3] p. 275.
[4] p. 278.
[5] p. 295.
[6] p. 298.
[7] p. 302.


prebends, and to which prebends the Bishop nominated. The result of this attempt would be that the Bishop would withdraw the livings he made prebendal from the patronage of the See, and in effect make them subject to his own disposal, thereby securing for the Bishop's nominees the largest share of the best livings in the Diocese. It was a part, and a very important part, of his scheme of making the bishop supreme. The following are some of the benefices he proposed to make prebends of Westbury:- Kempsey, Bredon, Blockley, Fladbury. The Worcester House was at once in arms at this strengthening of the Episcopal power at their expense. The contest became acute in 1288. The Bishop had made his nephew, John of Evereux, or Devereux, Archdeacon of Gloucester, on the death of Robert de Fangefos in 1287. In September, 1288, the Bishop held an Ordination at Westbury [1]. When it came to the part of the ceremony where the candidates for orders were presented to the Bishop, the Precentor of Worcester stepped forward and called the names; the Archdeacon, however, set the Precentor aside, asserting that he, and he alone, had the right to do this; on the Precentor demurring, the Archdeacon promptly ejected him from the church. This, like most other cases, was a question of money, the fees going to the person who called over the names. Having regard to the large numbers ordained at some of Giffard's ordinations, these were considerable, and it therefore became a question of importance, if these belonged to the Worcester monastery or to the Gloucester Archdeacon. Probably in strictness the Archdeacon was right, but it had been the custom in the Worcester Diocese for the Precentor to call out the names and receive the fees for the Worcester House. The monks at once appealed in support of their rights. Giffard met this by appropriating the churches on the Episcopal Manors as prebends to Westbury. This deprived the Worcester House, who acted in the place of the Bishop during the vacancy of the See, of the right of filling up any vacancy in these Churches that might then occur, thus further affecting the rights of the Worcester House. The monks in return refused to allow the Bishop to receive the profession of the monks during the appeal

[1] p. 320.


of the Worcester Church for its rights. The Bishop thereupon visited their monastery; some negotiations followed, and according to the account of the monks (the Bishop's Register is silent here) Giffard gave way, allowing the rights of the Worcester Church to be whatever they had been before the Precentor was expelled from Westbury. Peace was patched up between them, possibly because the Worcester Prior, Richard de Feckenham, was ill. He died at the end of 1288, and on New Year's Day, 1289, Giffard assisted at his funeral [1]. Philip Aubyn, the new Prior, resumed the contest. The monks said that Giffard took the Chapel of Grafton from them illegally, that they had to go to law to recover it, which they did at great cost [2]. The Monastery procured a Bull from the Pope against the appropriation of the Westbury prebends, but not being legally sealed, the judges, the Abbots of Reading and Wigmore and the Wells Precentor would not act on it. Giffard thereupon got a letter from the King enjoining the monks to confirm the Westbury prebends. He used other means. There was a standing feud between the Worcester monks and the Minorite friars. A Worcester citizen, H. Poche, died; he desired to be buried in the Franciscan cemetery, but the monks carried off the body and buried it in theirs. Giffard had become a Franciscan, so was bound to side with them against the monks; he did this under the order of Peckham, also a Franciscan, who determined not to allow the monks' wickedness to pass unpunished, as he would not and could not allow the wrongs of the friars to pass unredressed. If Giffard had done nothing else, by becoming a Franciscan he had secured the Archbishop on his side in the Westbury fight. The second Papal Bull, duly sealed, arrived on the 3rd February, when it was to have been considered; the Dean of Evesham did not attend. On it coming before the King in Council, the monks stated their case. The King, as might be expected, was in favour of the Churches being made prebendal, for it increased the power of the Bishop, besides giving him the patronage on a vacancy of the See. The Council were against it, they did not desire to give the Bishop the power of doing at Worcester what had been done at Lincoln, filling up the prebends with foreigners. Gilbert de Clare, who was

[1] p. 325.
[2] An. Wig. 498.


not desirous of putting more power into the Bishop's hands, argued against the churches being made prebendal. The churches, he said, were part of the Bishop's barony. As the barony could not be changed, neither could the churches. No decision was arrived at. Giffard went on appropriating churches to Westbury [1]. In September he appropriated Bredon; next year Kempsey, and gave it to his nephew, John of Evereux [2]. The Bishop also made the monks feel his hand could fall heavily. The Archbishop ordered that Poche's body should be dug up and handed over to the friars, if it had been the deceased's wish that they should have it. The Bishop went personally, held the inquiry, and later visited the Priory. On a visitation the House visited had to keep the visitor and his retinue. By one of the decrees of the Lateran Council, a bishop ought not to have on such an occasion more than a limited number of attendants. Giffard came with 140 horsemen. He stayed three days, and left on the fourth in anger because the monks would not agree to the churches being made prebends of Westbury. Giffard went on in spite of the disapproval of the monks. A peace was patched up between them. In 1292 they unanimously resolved that every year after the Bishop's death they would feed thirteen poor persons, on his anniversary [3]. Whether it was to hasten the opportunity of feeding the poor does not appear, but in 1294, when the Bishop was laid up with gout at Hartlebury, the then Prior, Philip Aubyn, sent over two monks, Thomas of Hindlip and Thomas of Wick, to serve him with a citation to appear in the Court of the Archbishop, to answer about the Prebends and other enormities. A partial hearing of the case took place in the Arches Court in 1295 and 1296, witnesses both for the Prior and Bishop being heard. In 1297 the Court decided in the Bishop's favour on all points [4]. The monks gave notice of appeal against the sentence, but the controversy seems to have ended there. This was the last of the great fights in which Giffard was engaged, and it established his power. He had now fought and triumphed over first the rebels, both clerical and lay, then the religious houses, then the barons in the claim to assert what he

[1] p. 336.
[2] p. 343.
[3] p. 432.
[4] p. 492.


said were illegal rights, then the Archbishop, who he said oppressed his suffragans, and now he established the right of so managing the appointments iu the Diocese that the whole power drifted into the hands of the Bishop. He had quarrels all his life, but from 1297 he had far fewer. From this date Giffard's register is far more a record of formal acts than anything else. There were quarrels, but the Bishop was more often judge and mediator than party, and neither from the register nor from the monastic annals does any real dispute appear to have arisen as to his authority or jurisdiction. The Bishop's health began to break up: all his life he had been liable to sharp attacks of gout. After 1296 he does not appear to have ordained, John of Monmouth, the Bishop of Llandaff, acting for him. Giffard took some part with Archbishop Winchelsey and the other Bishops in the struggles which resulted in the Confirmatio Cartarum; the confirmation and pardon of the Earls is set out in the Register [1]. He also joined in the protest to the Court of Rome against taxation. He became unable to go round his Diocese, so summoned his clergy to meet him at Hartlebury to discuss matters, instead of deciding such matters himself on his progress through the Diocese. Questions which he would have permitted no one to discuss with him now became the subject of discussion. In 1300 John, Bishop of Llandaff, was appointed not only to ordain but also to confirm. In June, 1300, Giffard began his last visitation: on St. Barnabas' Day he visited the Worcester Priory, on the following Monday the clergy and people. The Archbishop Winchelsey had announced his intention of visiting the Diocese. Giffard wrote to his official asking, having regard to this, would it be wise to make known the faults he found out on his visitation [2]. The Earl of Clare wrote ordering the deer in arrear, due to the Bishop for the ditch on Malvern Hill, to be delivered the next fawning season. In August the Bishop was impeded by infirmity of body from visiting the Church of Worcester. A touch of the old spirit was, however, shewn by the Bishop excommunicating the Prior, Sub-prior, Sacrist and others of the Priory of St. Oswald, Gloucester, who refused to admit the Bishop of Llandaff, when appointed

[1] pp. 489, 490.
[2] p. 526.


to ordain by Giffard, and also on the Bishop receiving notice of the Archbishop's intention to visit the Diocese sending him a formal protest against the visitation [1]. In spite of the protest the Archbishop made his visitation. On the 2nd March, 1301, he arrived in Worcester, preached in the Chapter House; on the same day he went out to Wick to see the Bishop, who was at his palace there ill and infirm. What passed between them does not appear, but on the next day the Archbishop returned to Worcester, personally visited the Prior, and sent his clerk to visit the monks. The Royal Charter as to the Forest perambulation was read in public. The monks complained to the Archbishop of Giffard's treatment of them, they handed in a written statement of thirty-six articles containing all their grievances against him, from their first dispute up to the date of the visitation. Giffard put in a reply denying some and explaining away others of the charges. Winchelsey was not impressed with the Worcester monks; he waited till the 17th March and then gave his decision. The Worcester Annalist calls it a day of visitation "dies tribulationis et increputionis dies iste [2]"; not without reason, for the Archbishop deposed the Sub-prior, Precentor and Chamberlain, and forbade the third Prior, Sacrist and Pittanciary to go outside the Priory for a year. Probably this his last, and in some respects his greatest, victory was dearer to Giffard than the honour of entertaining the Archbishop at his palace.

In April the Bishop's health failed further, so he appointed the Bishop of Llandaff to exercise all episcopal duties for him in the Diocese of Worcester, and wrote to the Archdeacons, Deans and other ecclesiastical persons acquainting them with what he had done. He ordered all his Bailiffs and officers on his manors to receive the Bishop of Llandaff as they would receive himself. This was almost his last act as Bishop. His enemies, and they were numerous, had no generosity; when in May the King's Judges came to Worcester the excommunicated monks of St. Oswald's, Gloucester, appeared before them, and complained that " in that year the Bishop had done them so much evil that they had to be shortened in their food, and so the greater part of the convent had incurred various illnesses".

[1] pp. 540, 541.
[2] An. Wig. iv. 549.


Giffard had one more triumph. In July, 1301 [1], Simon de Wyre, the Prior of Worcester, on account of feebleness of body and infirmity of old age, retired from being Prior; evidently to spite the Bishop, he sent his resignation not to Giffard but to Winchelsey. The Archbishop was loyal to his suffragan; he would not accept the resignation, but compelled the Prior to make it to Giffard. The monks named seven of their number out of whom the Bishop was to select the new Prior. The seven attended in the Parish Church of Hartlebury; the Bishop would not go but sent his Commissary to appoint, out of the seven selected, John de Wyke, the Sub-prior, to be the new Prior of Worcester.

Giffard's Register ends somewhat dramatically in the middle of the entry as to this, the record of his complete supremacy over his most rebellious religious house. The Archbishop came to Worcester and installed the new Prior; and, what must have gladdened Giffard's heart, the Archbishop took advantage of his opportunity and visited, in spite of all that had passed, and without the smallest resistance or question, the Priory of Great Malvern. The Worcester Monks again made further charges to the Archbishop against Giffard, but nothing came of them. Having won his victory, Giffard could afford to be generous. The last act recorded of him is the appropriation of the Church of Dodderhill to the use of the Worcester monks.

On the 20th January the new Prior of Worcester, John de Wyke, was instituted as vicar of Dodderhill. Four days later, on Friday the 24th January, the Bishop having, according to the Worcester Annalist [2], completed an episcopate of 33 years, 4 months, and 14 days, circa completorium spiritum reddidit creatori, and then for the first time during that period the body of Giffard was at rest.

The Register contains so many matters relating to the history of the Diocese during these 33 eventful years that even at the risk of repetition it will be well to give, under separate heads, some account of the work that was done. This account is by no means exhaustive, it only indicates the lines on which the administration of the Diocese was carried on. For the details on any

[1] p. 547.
[2] An. Wig. 551.


point the Register itself must be consulted. The heads under which it is tried to group the entries are :-

1. The Administration of the Diocese.
2. The External Influences.
3. The Religious Houses.
4. The Parishes and the Clergy.
5. The Ritual and Services.
6. The Judicial Work.
7. Miscellaneous.


The Diocese was divided into two Archdeaconries, those of Worcester and Gloucester. Worcester comprised so much of the counties of Worcester and Warwick as were within the Diocese, and Gloucester the part of that county to the east of the Severn, thus leaving out the Forest of Dean, and the small part to the west of the river Leadon.

The Archdeaconries were divided into rural deaneries; Worcester was made up of those of Worcester, Powick, Pershore, Kidderminster, Wyche, Warwick, Kineton, Blockley, and Evesham. Gloucester had ten: Campden, Stow, Cirencester, Fairford, Winchcombe, Stonehouse, Hawkesbury, Bristol, Dursley, and Gloucester.

In the Worcester Archdeaconry, one rural deanery, that of Evesham, sometimes called the Deanery of "the Vale", claimed to be exempt. The Abbey of Evesham declared that the Bishop had no rights and no jurisdiction there; this the Bishop denied. The matter was about to be decided by the Papal Court in John's reign, but the kingdom from John's refusal to obey the Pope was put under an interdict, so the litigation was stopped, and never renewed. The Evesham Chronicle gives an account of the proceedings at Rome. An agreement was afterwards carried out, which is mentioned in the register [1] as to what rights the Bishop should exercise over the Vale churches. But the Evesham Deanery remained a peculiar until they were abolished in 1851 [2]. In the Gloucester Archdeaconry there was a district known as the jurisdiction of Bibury, within which the Bishop was said to

[1] p. 9.
[2] By an order in Council of 3rd Feb., 1851, made under the Statute 6 and 7 Will. IV. c. 77.


have no authority. The exempt monasteries also claimed to be free from the Bishop's control, but with these exceptions his jurisdiction extended over the whole of his Diocese. The jurisdiction was exercised through the Archdeacon and his official, who often acted through the Rural Deans. In some cases the Bishop acted directly through the Rural Dean, but the strict form was for the Bishop to direct the Archdeacon to take the necessary steps to carry out his order, and the Archdeacon, either by his official or through the Rural Dean, did so. There does not seem to be any list of the persons who filled the office of Rural Dean, there are some names, but nothing like a complete list; no attempt has been here made to give any account of them.

With the Archdeacons it is different, the lists are complete. During Giffard's episcopate there were four Archdeacons of Worcester:-

Robert de Asthall, 1261-1275. Hugh of Evesham, Cardinal of St. Laurence, 1275-1287 Ralph de Hengham, 1287-1288. Francis de Neapoli, Cardinal of Sancta Lucia, 1288-1312.

There does not appear to be much known of Robert de Asthall, or Easthale; he was an executor of Bishop Cantilupe's will [1]. Hugh of Evesham was a more celebrated man; his fame was more in healing the body than the soul; he was one of the most celebrated physicians of the day. He is mentioned in the Register [2] in June, 1275, soon after his appointment as Archdeacon, as having leave to go abroad for a year to study. He returned to the Diocese, and in 1280 he was invited by the Pope to go to Rome to give his opinion on some medical question, he was appointed as his physician by Pope Nicholas IV. and subsequently made Cardinal of St. Lawrence in Lucina. Though Archdeacon of Worcester, holder of prebends in England, and Rector of Spofforth, Yorkshire, he spent the remainder of his days at Rome [3]. He seems to have had considerable influence there; not only was he Archdeacon of Worcester, but he also acted as Proctor for the Archbishop of York; and "the Cardinal of England" (cardinals

[1] Reg. p. 26.
[2] p. 74.
[3] There is, however, in the register a curious entry in 1282: "Letter of absolution for Hugh de Evesham, Priest, pronounced by Robert de Placetis, who calls himself a canon of the Church of the Blessed Mary of Warwick". p. 153.


Anglie [1], as he was called, to some extent managed English affairs at the Papal Court. In a letter from Giffard's agent at Rome, A. de Fileby [2], who was Archdeacon of Shrewsbury, giving an account of his expenses on Giffard's behalf, there is an item of 30 marks paid to the English Cardinal, who it is said spoke to the Pope on the Bishop's business. The Cardinal's Archidiaconal functions were carried on by his Proctor. In the Register there is an entry [3] in 1285 of a commission from him appointing John, called Blondel, clerk, to be the Proctor of Hugh, Cardinal Priest of St. Lawrence in Lucina, Archdeacon of Worcester. This plan was one that would commend itself to Giffard, as the Proctor of an absent Archdeacon would hardly dare to refuse obedience to the orders of a present Bishop. If anything was wanted at Rome, he was written to at once. Previously to this Giffard had had a paid agent at Rome. The Archdeacon's residing there saved the cost of this, as the Archdeacon looked after the rights of Worcester. It shews Giffard was not wanting in worldly knowledge, for this plan was distinctly to his advantage. The Cardinal was not a man to be slighted; when Giffard deposed the Prior of Malvern, Led-bury, the new Prior he persuaded the monks to elect, William de Wyckewan, was the nephew of the Archdeacon. It will be remembered that the Abbot of Westminster kept the new Prior in prison [4]. Giffard wrote to the Archdeacon two letters describing - his nephew's state, and urging him to obtain his release [5]. It is quite possible that it was the influence of the Archdeacon that made Pope Honorius IV. take Giffard's part in the struggle. There is a letter from Queen Eleanor to the King, urging him to interfere and procure Wykewan's liberation, Por ce qe cell Willame est neveu le Cardinal nus voudrioms volenters eider a sa deliverance [6]. The Cardinal wrote to Peckham asking why he had not taken proceedings against the Abbot of Westminster for imprisoning his nephew. Peckham writes an evasive and apologetic reply [7]. Cardinal Hugh died suddenly in 1287, the Worcester Annals say he was poisoned [8].

Whether it was from his experience of the law as Lord Chancellor

[1] "Cardinalis Anglie" seems to have been more than a mere description. A seal of Cardinal Beaufort has for its legend, Sigillum armorum Hassid miseracione divina cardinalis Anglie& episcopi Wygotos.- Archaelogia, xxxiv. p. 444.
[2] Reg. 292.
[3] Ib. 266.
[4] p. 199.
[5] pp. 189, 201.
[6] Peckham Reg. 749.
[7] Ib. 676.
[8] An, Wig. 494.


or for some other reason is not clear, but to succeed him Giffard appointed a lawyer, one of the King's Judges, Ralph de Hengham, the Archdeacon of Worcester. Hengham first appears on the Register in 1269; he was already a Judge, and was licensed to take a plea of attaint between the Prior of Kenilworth and one William [1]. In 1279 he was instituted to the prebendal church of Morton, in the Diocese of Worcester [2]. He subsequently appears as one of the King's Judges holding an assize in Worcester. In 1286 there is a letter to him as to an informality in appointing to a benefice [3]. He became Archdeacon in October, 1287; where he is described as Ralph de Hengham, Clerk, Justice of our Lord the King, and is appointed to the Archdeaconry of Worcester, vacant by the death of Hugh, Cardinal Priest of St. Lawrence. Hengham acted as both Judge and Archdeacon. It is not quite clear whether there was not something special in the form of his appointment, for when the Archdeaconry of Gloucester became vacant in 1288 and the Bishop appointed his nephew, John of Evereux, to it, the entry in the Register as to John's collation [4] expressly states that he was collated under the same form, word for word, as Ralph de Hengham, justice of our Lord the King, had been, when he was made Archdeacon of Worcester. It may be this was stated with a view to the contest as to calling over the names of the candidates for Orders, to shew that Giffard had not given his nephew any new rights, so was not trying to stretch his power. Possibly Hengham found the combined duties of Archdeacon and Judge too much for him, as he only acted as Archdeacon for a year, resigning in 1288. In February of that year he presented Thomas Beauchamp to a portion in the church of St. Nicholas, Warwick, he having the right to present on account of holding as Archdeacon a prebend in St. Mary's, Warwick, to which the right of patronage was annexed [5]. It does not appear why he resigned, but the Worcester Annals contain a hint that the resignation was arranged between Giffard and the Pope. Either Hengham would not do what Giffard wanted, or Giffard considered an Archdeacon residing at Rome was better for the Diocese than one residing at Worcester. The Worcester Annals state, " Deinde donationem factam de Archidiaconatu Wygorniae sede Romana vacante revocavit quia illam Dominus Papa

[1] p. 31.
[2] p. 118.
[3] p. 297.
[4] p. 343.
[5] p. 317.


infirmavit [1]". Whatever was the reason Hengham resigned, he does not cease to appear on the Register. He was a friend of Giffard's, and the Bishop did not desert his friends when they got into difficulties. In 1290 Hengham was removed from his office of Judge, and fined, it is said, for altering a record. There is a good deal of uncertainty about what his precise offence was, but it involved his dismissal from the Bench. Giffard took his part, gave him the living of Fairford [2], and made him a Canon of Warwick. The appointment seems to have been resented ; it was attacked on the ground that Hengham was a pluralist. The Bishop did not deny this, but said he expected to receive a dispensation from Rome authorizing Hengham to hold two benefices [3].

It is questionable if the dispensation arrived, for in 1300 the point as to Hengham being a pluralist was discussed at a Diocesan Synod. But he had in this year been restored to the Bench, being summoned with the other Judges to the Parliament of March, 1300, and sent the following month to perambulate the forests of Essex, Buckingham, and Oxford; in 1301 he was made Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, an office he held to his death in 1309. The Synod evidently recognised that Hengham was on the road to promotion; they resolved, "That as he was of the King's Council it was not expedient to interfere with him [4]". In the articles the Worcester monks presented to Archbishop Winchelsey against Giffard, his conduct to Hengham is made a matter of charge against him [5]. This persistent persecution would shew that Hengham was a friend of Giffard's, and possibly that while Archdeacon his hand had fallen on the Worcester monks.

The new Archdeacon was Francis de Neapoli. The name of Neapoli frequently appears in the Register in connection with the Papal Court. Bernard de Neapoli was the Pope's Secretary, and Giffard's agent says that he gave him 100s. in a purse. In another letter, another agent of Giffard's says that nothing could be done at the Papal Court without first securing Bernard's help. To shew this, the agent says he obtained an interview with the Pope, and read the Bishop's petition to him; the Pope said he would consider it, but nothing resulted from the Pope's consideration,

[1] An. Wig. 496.
[2] p. 493.
[3] p. 550.
[4] p. 516.
[5] p. 550.


so the agent again saw Bernard, who told him the matter required "a quickener". The agent then paid £200 into the Pope's chamber and 40 marks to Bernard himself, and the matter proceeded. It does not appear what was the preeise relationship between Bernard and Francis de Neapoli; both were attached to the Papal Court, Francis being a Papal chaplain and notary. On Hengham's resignation, Francis was selected by the Pope to be Archdeacon of Worcester. The fact of Giffard giving up his right, the right of the Bishop of Worcester to nominate his own Archdeacon, is in itself a suspicious circumstance; as Giffard never surrendered the rights of his See without a struggle, and never gave up anything for nothing. The further fact that this appointment was made in the middle of the fight between the Bishop and the Priory of Worcester as to the right of calling over the names of candidates at the Ordinations, a right which the Precentor of the Priory and the Archdeacon of Gloucester both claimed, and an appeal on which was then pending, may have induced the Bishop to consent to the Worcester Archdeaconry being given to a Papal nominee, especially as the Bishop was a Minorite and the Pope, Nicholas IV., was the former General of that order. Whatever the reason, the Pope collated to the Archdeaconry Francis de Neapoli [1], and the Bishop ordered Nigel, Rector of Dursley, to induct the new Archdeacon as his proxy into his place. He held the Archdeaconry for 24 years, but never visited the Diocese, always acted by his proxy. The " Worcester Annals " say [2]: -" Sexto idus Januarii procurator domini Francisci, Archidiaconi Wygorniae installatus fuit post vesperas per Nigellum le Waleys". Pope Nicholas IV., in 1290, granted to Francis de Neapoli, Archdeacon of Worcester, and Notary of the Pope, leave to receive the procuration for visitations in his Archdeaconry by his Vicar or official, thus making the personal presence of the Archdeacon in the Diocese unnecessary [3]. With an absentee Archdeacon of Worcester, with his chaplain and nephew Archdeacon of Gloucester, Giffard felt he need not fear opposition to anything he did or wanted done. Francis de Neapoli does not make any great appearance in the Register. The Archdeacon of Westminster [4], as conservator of the privileges of the Cluniacs, ordered him to annul the excommunication

[1] Reg. 323.
[2] p. 496.
[3] p. 356.
[4] p. 449.


by the Bishop of Worcester of the late Archdeacon of Westminster, procured by the Dudley monks. In 1297 the Archdeacon's official acted for him in a case of pluralities [1]. The Archdeacon farmed the archdeaconry to the Worcester monks at a fixed sum a year, first for one year [2], afterwards for five years [3], so that except as a receiver of money from the Diocese, his connection with it was slight.

Francis de Neapoli was subsequently made a Cardinal, and occupied at Rome much the same position as Cardinal Hugh had done, being the means of communication with the Pope for the Worcester authorities. During the vacancy on the death of Giffard the Worcester Prior wrote to him urging him to do what he could to obtain the Papal sanction to the election of the monks' nominee, John de Sancto Germano [4]. The Prior added a note about the rent the Monastery paid the Archdeacon. In a letter from the Prior's agent at Rome it would seem that the Archdeacon, like Bernard, required "a quickener" at times. The agent says "he had handed the Prior's petition to the Archdeacon, who had promised to promote it. He had done nothing yet, although he has been many times urged to it, and he must now be urged not by words but by presents, as is usual [5]". The Worcester Monastery, like all tenants, wanted a reduction of rent. This the Archdeacon refused to give, saying others would give more rent than they did. The agent still pressed him, but found him very hard to deal with touching the rent. From this it will be seen that as long as the Archdeacon had his rents and fees regularly paid he was not likely to give much trouble, and Giffard most probably found that so far as he was concerned an Italian Archdeacon was not an unmixed evil, especially when he was paid by the monks and saved the Bishop the cost of a paid agent at Rome. The Archdeaconry of Gloucester was held first by the following:-

Hugh de Cantilupe, 1256-1284.
Hugh de Fangefos, 1284-1287.
John of Evereux (de Eboricis or Devereux), 1288-1298.
Walter de Burdon, 1298-1300.

Hugh de Cantilupe has been already mentioned; how he was

[1] p. 487.
[2] An. Wig. 502.
[3] Ib.
[4] Sede Vacante Register, 18.
[5] Ib. 41.


sent abroad by Giffard, returned, became vicar of Dodderhill, Bishop of Hereford, and St. Thomas. Of Hugh de Fangefos but little is known beyond the fact that he was buried in Worcester Cathedral. John of Evereux was the son of the Bishop's sister, Matilda, whose husband, D'Evereux, was killed at Evesham, and Giffard provided for his nephew in the Church. While Subdeacon he was appointed, in 1284, Rector of Kempsey, ordained Deacon in 1285, Priest in 1286, and made Archdeacon of Gloucester in 1288 [1]. He was the Archdeacon who raised the question of the right to call out the names of the ordination candidates at Westbury and Bromsgrove, but it should be said in his favour that at the Westbury ordination a number of the candidates for Subdeacon were ordained to the title of the Archdeacon of Gloucester, and as to these he would probably have had the right he claimed for all. Except this great fight his tenure of the Archdeaconry appears to have been colourless, that is, he allowed Giffard to do as he liked.

John of Evereux held the Archdeaconry with other preferments for ten years. It does not appear why he resigned it. His successor, Walter de Burdon, was installed as Archdeacon by the Prior of Worcester in May, 1298. As far as appears the selection was not one that promoted peace; Burdon had a will of his own, and did not do whatever Giffard ordered, so at once a contest occurred, and the Archdeacon appealed to the Court of Arches against Giffard's acts. But the Archdeacon does not seem to have had the strength of will to fight Giffard, although he was getting infirm. In 1299 he formally renounced all his appeals against the Bishop [2]. This did not content Giffard, for in June, 1300, he obtained from the Archdeacon in the chapel of the Palace at Bredon a formal declaration of obedience, which is entered on the Register [3]. The Worcester monks espoused the Archdeacon's cause; in the charges against Giffard which they made to Archbishop Winchelsey, they mention some matters which seemed to have been the subject of dispute between Giffard and Burdon, - that Giffard caused the Rectors in the Gloucester Arch-deaconry to be inducted by others than the Archdeacon, although such induction belonged to the Archdeacon. This was again a question of fees; the person who inducted receiving the fees for

[1] pp. 249, 255, 343.
[2] p. 513.
[3] p. 526.


induction. Giffard declared that the Bishop or the person appointed by him always made the induction. Why this should be so in the Gloucester Archdeaconry and not in the Worcester it is difficult to say. But from the Register it appears that the Bishop's contention was correct. Giffard was also charged with taking two parts of the fees paid to the Gloucester Archdeacon, except those received for contumacies and procurations. He replied he was entitled to them as of right. He also alleged that he and his official alone and not the Archdeacon were the persons to correct any offence of any religious person in the Diocese. It was also said Giffard interfered when the chancels of churches were not repaired, a matter which lay wholly within the jurisdiction of the Archdeacon. This Giffard did not deny, but said he only interfered when he made a visitation, when he was bound to point out. all defects [1].

The articles are instructive as shewing what were the respective jurisdictions of the Bishop and the Archdeacon. There seems little doubt that Giffard extended his jurisdiction to its utmost limits, it may be questioned whether he did not exceed it; but the point of interest is whether the Bishop's assertion that the rights of the Archdeacon varied in the two Archdeaconries is correct; if it is, how the variation came about is a matter of interest. It must be remembered that for ten years, while his nephew held the Archdeaconry, Giffard had done much as he liked, and probably the officials had stretched their jurisdiction. It is difficult to imagine a more favourable opportunity for the Bishop to extend his power than when one Archdeacon was a permanent absentee, and the other a near relation whose prosperity depended on the Bishop's favour. There is no list of the Archdeacon's officials, nor are all their names even known. So far as appears from the Register the work of the Archdeacons during Giffard's episcopate was not of an exceptional kind, except that possibly there were more numerous and more repeated excommunications than were usual. For instance, in 1269 the Bishop wrote to certain Rural Deans complaining that "certain sons of iniquity" have usurped the liberties of the Worcester

[1] p. 551.


church [1]. He orders them to restrain the delinquents by ecclesiastical censure. In the quarrel with the Malvern monks the Archdeacons were kept busy, as excommunication followed excommunication - it may be doubted if this very frequent use of these powers may not have caused them to have less terror than if they had not so frequently been used.

Offences against ecclesiastical law were dealt with in the Bishops' Courts, and this whether the offenders were ecclesiastics or laymen. The Register contains an account of one case that is a good instance how the infringement of ecclesiastical law or ecclesiastical rights was treated. The Constable of the Castle of Bristol in 1279 was Peter de la Mare 1. A fugitive to the Church of St. Philip and St. James, Bristol, was in the churchyard, the Constable ordered him to be arrested, put his hand on him and had him removed to the Castle [2]. After being imprisoned there he was beheaded. A breach of Sanctuary was a very grave crime, so grave that the Bishop himself presided over a court held in the Cathedral at Worcester to enquire into it. The Constable was brought before the Bishop; he did not deny the fact that the man was arrested in the churchyard, but said he did it for the general good. The Bishop ordered the body to be dug up, restored with the head to the church, and buried in the churchyard from which it was taken living. A procession was to be formed from the church of the Friars Minors to the church of St. Philip and St. James; all concerned in the outrage were to go, on four market-days in four weeks, in their shirts and breeches only, their heads uncovered, their feet bare, and at the door of the church receive discipline from Priests specially appointed for the purpose. Peter de la Mare was also to endow a priest to say Mass for the deceased, to erect a stone cross at which one hundred poor were to be fed, and receive Id. each every year at the said Peter's cost. If, however, he went or sent sufficient men to the Crusades nothing more was to be exacted. It was doubtless in those days a grave offence to violate the privilege of Sanctuary, but the sentence was severe. The matter, however, did not end here. Some of the people appear to have gone to the body of the deceased William de Lay as if he was a saint, saying he was a martyr, and some verses were written about him.

[1] p. 5.
[2] p. 110.


These were ordered to be strictly restrained. When Peter de la Mare was fitly penitent he was to be absolved from his excommunication.

The Register shews how the great ecclesiastical weapon excommunication was used. It was not a mere form, as it meant a serious disability if it was enforced, for the excommunicated person had no rights, and it was an offence involving excommunication for any one to have anything to do with him. Although a person might incur excommunication, yet it does not appear the sentence was often if ever enforced until it had been actually pronounced against the individual; for instance, all who refused to pay tithes were by such refusal excommunicated, but a person who did not pay had to be personally excommunicated before he incurred the penalties.

The entries on the Register of excommunication are of several kinds:-

(1) Those which are inserted as an instance of the Papal power, such as the excommunication of the Greek Emperors, which thus appears:- "Memorandum, that on the 15th December, 1281, the Pope excommunicated Palliolus, calling himself Emperor of the Greeks [1]". This could not possibly concern the dwellers in the Worcester Diocese, except by way of example.

(2) Another class was that of general excommunication by the ecclesiastical laws, such as of persons who were disobedient, conspirators, incontinent [2].

(3) Another class were the violators of the liberties of the Church of Worcester, who were to be proclaimed from time to time as excommunicate [3].

When any one did violate these liberties the Bishop declined to hear him or grant him any favour until he obtained absolution. Thus Richard Pere, of Alcester [4], violated the liberties of the Church of Worcester, and so involved himself in the sentence of excommunication pronounced against violators of the liberties of that church. The Bishop refused to hear him in his auditory or to allow him to obtain any favour from the Bishop's official until he made satisfaction to God and the Church for his faults, and obtained absolution. Absolution meant, amongst other things, payment of fees, and

[1] p. 474.
[2] p. 472.
[3] p. 505.
[4] p. 506.


the fees were an important item of revenue, so that it is not surprising to find that wherever it could be enforced absolution was required.

(4) Another example of a general excommunication appears on the Register [1],- the greater excommunication pronounced by Archbishop Winchelsey and his suffragans against all who infringed the great charter of liberties granted by the King of England, by deed, word, counsel, or favour. This formed one of the articles that the Archbishop and his suffragans asked the Pope to confirm.

(5) Another class were those relating to some particular Act, such as the excommunication pronounced in 1298 [2] by Oliver Sutton, Bishop of Lincoln, against all those who were authors of or in favour of rebaptizing a boy at Banbury; and that in 1275, against certain Jews in Bristol [3] who committed iniquitous insults, blasphemies, and injuries upon the most holy body of our Saviour; and upon the chaplain of the Church of St. Peter of Bristol, while administering the Eucharist to a sick person in the Jewish quarter of Bristol.

The excommunications were not confined to those who offended against the offices of the Church. Hayles was a great Cistercian abbey, and as such claimed to be exempt from the Bishop and his jurisdiction. Giffard did not admit the claim, and after visiting it sent orders to the abbot to correct various matters. This the abbot neglected to do, therefore Giffard ordered the Rural Dean of Campden [4] to go to Winchcombe, and with the incumbents of Winchcombe, Stanway, Toddington (the parish in which Hayles was), and Temple Guiting, on the next Sunday and between Masses excommunicate all those who should pay obventions, oblations and tithes to the abbot or his accomplices, or who should carry bodies to Hayles for burial.

The Malvern case has already been mentioned; here there was something like universal excommunication. Giffard, Peckham, and the Pope all thundered forth their sentences against the monks, and with some effect, for not only the monks were excommunicated, but all who had anything to do with them, to such an extent that Sir Walter Beauchamp [5] was ordered not to pay his tithes, and all persons were to refuse to supply the monks with food. The

[1] p. 490.
[2] p. 507.
[3] p. 71.
[4] p. 67.
[5] p. 210.


King [1] on this thought it time to interfere, and wrote to the Sheriff of Gloucester, stating that the monks were prevented buying food and obtaining nourishment for their bodies, he therefore ordered him to proclaim in the County Court that all might communicate with the Prior and his servants for buying and selling victuals. This is a remarkable instance of the assertion of the royal right to interfere in ecclesiastical matters, even in the case of Archiepiscopal excommunication.

Instances of excommunication abound in the Register; they all shew how keen the Bishop and his officials were in enforcing the rights of the Church. It is true that in some cases the excommunication was merely formal, and not enforced; especially when the persons excommunicated were some of the religious. In the case of St. Oswald's Priory, Gloucester, the Prior, Sub- prior, sacrist, precentor, cellarer, and other the elders of the Priory [2], were all excommunicated because they would not admit the Bishop of Llandaff to celebrate orders in their chapel, when commissioned to do so by the Bishop of Worcester. St. Oswald's claimed to be a Royal Chapel, and, as such, exempt from the Bishop's jurisdiction. A petition is entered in the Register asking the Bishop to confirm these sentences of excommunication. Here the excommunication was obviously only a mode of trying the question as to whether the Priory was or was not within the Bishop's jurisdiction. If the excommunication was really enforced the consequences were serious. An excommunicated person was to be shunned as if he had the plague; he was liable to be imprisoned in the King's prison [3], and also in the Bishop's, and it is not quite clear if the King could release a prisoner from the Bishop's prison; but there are, however, several instances of the King ordering the Sheriff to release a prisoner from the King's prison if the only reason he was detained was excommunication. Had the remedy been confined to purely ecclesiastical matters there would have been little to be said, but it extended to other things. A person was cited in the Bishop's or Archdeacon's Court; he did not attend. This was called contumacy; the penalty for being contumacious was excommunication. Sir Robert de Meysi [4] refused to pay tithes, and forbade the parishioners of servile condition to offer up anything at the altar. He was cited, and as he did not

[1] p. 211.
[2] p. 532.
[3] p. 154.
[4] p. 140.


appear, excommunication followed. To such an extent did the extension of the jurisdiction of the Ecclesiastical Courts go, that an attempt was made to restrain it by the statute Circumspect, Agatis. This seems to have hit Giffard. A portion of the writ, and the articles of the Bishops against the King, with the King's reply, and the answer of the Bishops, are set out in the Register [1]. The replies there given are of great interest as they are more numerous, and contain other matters than those which are found elsewhere. They are followed by the Petition of Peckham and his Suffragans, complaining of the way the King's Courts had encroached by prohibition on the jurisdiction of the Ecclesiastical Courts; and by articles on the statutes pointing out the matters in them which are prejudicial to the Church. It therefore seems fairly clear that in the Worcester Diocese the Ecclesiastical Courts had been in full operation, and the restrietion of jurisdiction not merely affected the dignity but also the revenue of the Bishop and his officers.

It was the same reason, arising from the same causes - loss of dignity and loss of fees - that made Giffard quarrel with Peckham. It seems likely that the Archbishop's officials finding that their jurisdiction, and so their income, was lessened by the Statutes regulating the cases to be heard in the ecclesiastical courts, tried to extend their jurisdiction to cases which had before been dealt with locally. This further loss of business and income excited the wrath of the Canterbury Suffragans. The Bishop of Hereford was the first to complain. He persuaded Giffard to join with him in resisting what they called the Archbishop's encroachments. The great point was whether the Archbishop had original jurisdiction over persons residing outside his own Diocese, or whether his jurisdiction as to these was not only appellate. A case of divorce in which the parties resided at Warwick arose, and the Archbishop appointed a delegate to hear it in the first instance [2]. Giffard insisted that the only jurisdiction the Archbishop had was on an appeal from his (Giffard's) sentence, and that the delegate could not hear the case until he (Giffard) had decided it. Matrimonial suits and suits as to wills formed a large part of the business of the Bishop's Court. If the Arehbishop could take them

[1] pp. 272, 273, 274.
[2] p. 148.


away it would have inflicted a great loss on the Bishops and their officials, especially as the cases that would be taken would probably be those of the persons who could pay best. But the cases in the Bishop's Court were not confined to matrimonial suits and wills, any infringement of the law ecclesiastical was dealt with. Two men who did not observe the fasts of the quatuor temporum [1], but ate meat contrary to the warning of the parish priest, were proceeded against. A layman was sued for incontinency [2] and, "according to the custom of the kingdom", imprisoned. Cases of reconciliation when blood had been shed in ehurches, as in the Cathedral at Worcester in 1292 [3], which caused the Bishop to order that no one should join in the Pentecostal procession with a sword or other kind of arm, were dealt with. In another case in 1300, when a disturbance took place in the churchyard at Kineton about certain offerings at a cross, it was decided that there had been no effusion of blood, so no reconciliation was needed [4].

There are various instances of the Bishop exercising a right he claimed of fixing the date of the Assizes. In 1269 he gave a general direction that no Assizes should be held in Advent or Lent [5]. In 1285 the Bishop wrote to the Judges that by ancient custom [6] it was lawful for no secular Judge, in times not permitted by the Canon, to take any Assizes except by ecclesiastieal authority, yet considering the losses which might occur by the congregating of persons at the eyre, leave was given to take all manner of Assizes at Warwick up to Quinquagesima Sunday. But this he subsequently revoked on account of the vehement outcry, and because it was likely to create a prejudice [7]. In 1286 the Bishop gave leave to deliver the prisoners at Bristol, although it was Lent [8].

The right of the Bishop to have any convieted clergy handed over to him was frequently exercised. In 1275 a commission to the Rural Dean of Worcester [9] authorised him to demand all clerks condemned by justices itinerant and others. A special demand was made the same year for John, son of Peter de Worcester, who had been convicted [10]. In one instance, that of a Sub- deacon stealing the ornaments of the church at Overbury [11], the conviction by the secular court seems to have been acted upon and the offender deprived; but he was only in minor orders, a Sub-deacon. As a rule the persons

[1] p. 215.
[2] p. 72.
[3] p. 422.
[4] p. 536.
[5] p. 30.
[6] p. 251.
[7] p. 252.
[8] p. 278.
[9] p. 73.
[10] p. 74.
[11] p. 46.


convicted were admitted to purgation, as in the case of Reginald de Bureford, formerly accused of theft, and imprisoned for two years at Gloucester [1]. In some cases the Bishop proceeded without waiting for the secular court, as in the case of Ralph de Camme, a clerk suspected of homicide; his accusers were to be publicly called, and if no one appeared the official was to proceed to purgation [2]. The King objected to this course, in 1292 there is a letter from him to the Bishop forbidding him to take purgation of clerks who are detained in his prison whose crimes are notorious, but as to others he may take purgation [3].

It must not be supposed that this notice completes all the points relating to the administration of the diocese that are mentioned in the Register, almost every page contains some reference to the Bishop's jurisdiction, how it was enforced and how restrained. To us much of it looks like the worst form of tyranny, but it must be borne in mind that in the thirteenth century the only local courts were the Manorial and the Bishops'; they administered some sort of law, they did to some extent preserve order, and they had one virtue that covers much of their shortcomings, when the Dioeese was presided over by a strong man like Giffard, who cared not who the offender was, baron or abbot, serf or cleric, rough justice was done; if any offended against the law, or rather against the Bishop's ideas of right and wrong, he would probably be convicted in the Bishop's Court.


It cannot be said that Giffard, or, indeed, any Bishop, had a free hand in administering his Diocese. There were always external influences, whieh must have interfered to some considerable extent with a Bishop's work. The chief of these were the King, the Pope, and the Archbishop, but in addition to these there was another which had a considerable effect, the Religious Orders. The Register shews elearly cases of continued interference from each of these sources; the King required some one to be excommunieated or to be provided for, the Bishop was written to and ordered to do one or the other as the ease required. The Pope wanted some provision made for a favourite or to receive

[1] p. 264.
[2] p. 318.
[3] p. 410.


some money; he wrote to the Bishop telling him to appoint his nominee, or send the money. The Archbishop wanted changes made in the services of the Church or in the customs of the Diocese; he wrote ordering the changes to be carried out. The Friars Minors, of which body Giffard was a member, expected him to side with them through good and evil for the sake of their common order. Traces of all these various influences, as well as others, are clearly to be seen in the account the Register gives of Giffard's work, and it is only fair this should be estimated in considering that work, as it is obvious that at times Giffard had, much as he disliked it, to submit to outside pressure. It will be well to give some instances of each of these influences.

First that of the King. Although during the first four years of Giffard's episcopate Henry III. was king, yet practically the real power was always in the hands of Prince Edward, and Giffard may be regarded as a typical specimen of the Edwardian Bishop. Usually Giffard was a most loyal subject, and Edward as a rule really had a regard for him. In 1285, in a letter from the King to Bernard de Neapoli, he speaks of Giffard as his secretary [1]. Still at times Giffard was opposed to the King, but these instances all fall within two distinct classes: (a) When the Crown interfered with the rights of the See of Worcester; (b) When the Crown tried to exact a larger sum of money than usual.

Edward does not appear in the Register in a favourable light; his one great idea, it may be said his only idea, was to find out what money he could raise from the Bishop and Clergy. He did not care what he did provided it resulted in money. In this connection Giffard appears rather in the character of an Episcopal Hampden, resisting alike the attempted exactions of both King and Pope. There are several letters from Edward to the Bishop relating to money, such as on 3 June, 1279 [2], when the King writes desiring Giffard to excommunicate all those who detain any of the goods of the Jews which belonged to the Crown. On the 27th August, 1279 [3], Giffard's brother, the Archbishop of York, having died earlier in the year [4], Edward writes asking the Bishop, as one of the Executors, to lend him money; the security he puts forward being his well-beloved Clerk, Anthony Beck. In Novem-

[1] p. 258.
[2] p. 103.
[3] p. 115.
[4] 21 April, 1279.


ber, 1279 [1], the King writes again to Giffard telling him to call the Clergy of the Diocese of Worcester together and ask them if on account of his great expenses in the Welsh and French wars they will "shew him their courtesy".

In January, 1282, Edward writes again, urging the Bishop to make prompt payment of the 15th from the goods of the Clergy [2].

Later in the same year [3] the King wrote calling on Giffard to have the force he was bound to furnish ready to march against the Welsh, and at a later date Giffard is directed to have his forces ready to march with the King to journey to Scotland [4]. Other instances could be given [5]. It seems clear that Edward regarded the Bishops, or at least the Bishop of Worcester, as a source of income. It can hardly be wondered at that if, in addition to continually borrowing money, the King tried to compel payment of monies, even the most loyal would resist. It is probably some such reason as that led to the careful and elaborate entries in Giffard's Register of the legislation against arbitary taxation, the reference to the passing of the Statute Confirmatio cartarum, and the curse against the breakers of the charter. There was also another matter to which allusion is made in the Register. Edward always looked with longing eyes to the large sums the Pope's collectors sent out of England for different purposes. During the Welsh wars, being greatly pressed for money, he ordered his officers to seize all that had been collected for the crusade. The Archbishop was furious, so was the Pope, Martin IV. He wrote very strongly to Peckham, who lectured the King to such an extent that the money when any had been taken was returned [6]. At Worcester the King's officer could find no money to take. In Giffard's Register a Papal Bull is inserted excommunicating all those who should take the money the Pope's collector had got together [7]. Peckham's anger is curious but natural, for his Register shews that he did not always consider that money collected for the crusades could not be applied to other purposes. Soon after his consecration he wrote to Pope Nicholas III. asking that he might be lent 5,000 marks out of the money collected for the erusades wherewith to pay his debts [8].

[1] p. 118.
[2] p. 141.
[3] p. 151.
[4] p. 467.
[5] p. 485.
[6] II. Peck. Reg. 635.
[7] p. 360.
[8] I. Peck. Reg. 17.


Edward clearly regarded himself as superior over the Bishop and his officers, this is shewn by such cases as that in 1292[1], when the King wrote to Giffard forbidding him to take purgation of clerks whose crimes were notorious; and there is another letter to the Archbishop, forbidding him to grant purgation to Robert de Lawarn, a clerk, accused of theft and homicide, and in the gaol at Worcester [2]. This shews that the King by no means admitted the rights of purgation the Bishop claimed for the clerks.

It is difficult to say if a Commission, in 1298, by the King to Adam de Crokedaikes and Robert de Knyghtlee, with one clerk and one religious man, to inquire into grievances caused by goods being taken in churches, was done with or without the Bishop's sanction, if not it was rather a strong step [3].

In some cases however Edward recognised the Bishop's rights; in 1297 he wrote to Giffard asking him to license the Prior and Convent of Worcester to appropriate the church of Droitwich [4].

In 1286 Edward wrote to the Bishop ordering him to cause Masses to be said throughout his Diocese for the repose of the soul of Alexander I., King of Scotland. It must have been deemed urgent, as two copies of the letters appear on the Register [5]. A Bull from Pope Martin IV. [6] gave power to the Bishops of Worcester and Bangor to absolve all persons excommunicated who had killed monks or clergy during the Baron's war or the Welsh war. This Bull Edward enclosed in a letter to the Bishop and ordered him to carry it out.

It will thus be seen that the King took an active part in administration, and that the royal influence was a faetor that had to be reckoned with. As has been said, at the time of the statute Circumspecte Agatis and at the time of the Confirmatio cartarum Giffard, acting with the other Bishops, was opposed to the King, but this seems to have been anything but a personal question. Giffard was too much a man after Edward's own heart for any quarrel between them, and when Giffard was seeking to obtain that which he had so set his heart upon, the appropriation of the revenues of Bishop Cleeve to the use of his table, he had no stronger supporter than the King. The King wrote himself to Pope

[1] p. 410.
[2] p. 408.
[3] p. 497.
[4] p. 483.
[5] p. 284.
[6] p. 248.


Martin [1], urging that on account of the sterility of the lands with which the Bishoprick of Worcester is endowed, the concourse of rich and poor going to the Bishop, because the Bishoprick is between England and Wales, and because the Bishop comes from the nobility, is of good repute and of great literary ability, his request should be granted. Edward also wrote [2] in the same terms to the English Cardinal, and persuaded the Queen to write in a like strain to the Bishop of Tusculum. After a good deal of difficulty and the outlay of much money the Bishop carried his point. In 1291 he received a Bull sanctioning the appropriation [3].

Possibly of greater importance than the influence exerted on the Diocese by Edward was that of the Pope. During Giffard's episcopate there were no less than 11 Popes, and they considered it their duty to shew their authority by interfering in English Diocesan affairs. Their great mode of interference was in enforcing the payment of so much a day for their legate's expenses, and so much for Peter's Pence, or procurations, or whatever might then be sought. A large proportion of the Papal Bulls entered in Giffard's Register refer to these subjects. For instance, in 1272 Pope Gregory IV. wrote directing all ecclesiastics to provide a sum of 8s. a day for his chaplain, Reymond de Nogeriis, while going to, dwelling in, or returning from England [4]. Pope Gregory IV. also wrote on the subject of Peter's Pence and its arrears. Worcester was in arrears to the extent of 410 5s. Lincoln, Winchester, Salisbury, and York were the only others that reached double figures.

Indulgences were granted at Rome to individuals, and the Pope wrote to the Bishop to carry them out. Thus an indulgence was granted to Thomas de Rossilione, clerk of the Earl of Savoy, on account of infirmity and age and the valuable advice he gave the Earl, that he might take the profits of the living without residing [5]. The Pope's Chaplain, Tedisius, a Canon of Beauvais, was given the living of Ombersley; he was allowed to take the profits and not reside [6]. Tedisius seems to have had as a curate at Ombersley, W. de Chirington, whose presence there aroused Giffard's anger, as there is a declaration on the Register that neither by the authority of any Bishop, nor the Pope, nor the Archbishop of Canterbury, nor of Giffard himself, had Chirington any right to be there [7]. Subsequently

[1] p. 223.
[2] p. 224.
[3] p. 396.
[4] p. 52.
[5] p. 66.
[6] p. 107.
[7] p. 284.


there is a letter from Giffard to the Cardinal, Dean of St. Nicholas in Carcere Tulliano, the Archdeacon of Woreester, Francis de Neapoli, as to how Tedisius of Lavania obtained the same, and another to Tedisius ordering him to come to England [1]. The matter is obscure, as Ombersley was a living in the gift of Evesham, but the main features appear clear. The Papal legate came to eollect money for Rome, and seeing a good living vacant obtained it from the Pope, together with a dispensation to do nothing but take the profits. This Giffard resented, denied the right of the Curate to be there, and insisted on the holder coming to reside.

Pope Martin IV. ordered Giffard to excommunicate a cobbler of Upton, named Thomas de Shothebury, a layman who had laid violent hands on his rector, Walter Garini. No note of anything. being done appears on the Register; but as it appears that shortly after Pope Martin granted an indulgence to all those who went to the Cathedral Church of Worcester and prayed for the Bishop, the obvious conclusion is that the Bishop carried out the Pope's wishes [2].

The interferences which Giffard most resented were such as occurred at Mickleton. The Vicar, Nicholas de Chilbauton, went to Rome, and died there; at the request of the Worcester Archdeacon, Cardinal Hugh, the Pope gave it to Ralph de Oxonia [3]. If there was one thing Giffard disliked more than another, it was having his patronage interfered with. Here no resistance was possible, and Ralph de Oxonia was duly inducted [4]. Another matter which angered the Bishop was the Papal habit of giving dispensation for pluralities. A dispensation was given by the Pope to a sub-dean to hold livings in the Diocese of Worcester, Llandaff, and Canterbury. Dispensations for non-residence nominally to study theology were also given by the Pope [5]. Such interference in purely diocesan work must have been most trying; it would be almost impossible to maintain any standard as to pluralities and non-residence when at any time it was liable to be set aside by a higher power. It is difficult for us to realize what a thorn in the flesh the Pope must have been to a Bishop who, like Giffard, loved order and regularity and did his best to enforce them. To find the highest ecclesiastical authority setting its own rules aside and doing what it declared sinful and forbade others to do, must have

[1] p. 299.
[2] p. 134.
[3] p. 272.
[4] p. 276.
[5] p. 420.


been a source of weakness both to the Church and also to discipline. Yet we have to realize all this in considering how far the rule of the Diocese was affected by outside influence [1].

The King interfered mostly for money; the Pope, for money, and to provide for those for whom he thought some provision should be made; the Archbishop of Canterbury, because he had or claimed a right to supervise all ecclesiastical matters. Of the four Archbishops who were successively Giffard's Metropolitans, the two first, so far as the Register shews, hardly interfered at all. Boniface only appears there as having borrowed money from Giffard, which his executor paid; the receipt is entered in the Register [2]. Kilwardby only appears as joining with his suffragans, among whom was Giffard, in protesting against the Papal nuncios collecting money for the King's use, and ordering Giffard to make an excommunication [3]; but the next Archbishop made up for his predecessors' lack of interference. As far as both Peckham's and the Worcester Registers go, none of Giffard's correspondents were more constant in writing or more peremptory in their letters than Archbishop Peckham. During the thirteen years he held the Archbishoprick (1279-1292); he was continually writing and interfering. It is clear that his interference was often required, and in some cases, as in that of the Malvern Monks, it was to help Giffard, but no one during Peckham's episcopate could feel certain what direction would be taken by the Primate's next interference; all that was certain was he would interfere in some way. The correspondence begins in June, 1279, by a letter from Giffard congratulating Peckham on his accession to the See [4]. This was on his arrival in England. In July came the Reading Synod and its enforcement of the Decree of the Council of Lyons as to holders of benefices being in Priest's Orders [5], and the confirmation of Giffard's negotiations as to the Oxford scholars. In the next year Peckham first shewed what he was. The Vicar of Blockley and Tetbury had been to Rome and died there ; a custom had arisen that the Pope in such a case had a right to

[1] An instance of the interference of the Papal legate Ottobon will be found in a letter to the Chapter of Worcester on the death of Bishop Cantilupe in 1267, forbidding them to proceed with the election of a Bishop without his leave, and telling them that anything done contrary to his order would be void. See "English Historical Review," xv. 108, where the letter is printed. The original is in the Bodleian, Cod. Miscell. Laud., 645.
[2] p. 48.
[3] p. 82.
[4] p. 108.
[5] pp. 109, 110


fill up the vacant benefice. Instead of doing this himself, Pope Nicholas wrote to Peckham giving him the right to nominate to the livings. Peckham appointed one of his chaplains, Henry Rector of a Church in the City of London, to Tetbury, and Philip de Croft to Blockley [1], and wrote to Giffard informing him of this. Giffard did not like these appointments, but so far as Blockley went he accepted it, and Philip de Croft was duly inducted. As to Tetbury, he had a correspondence with Peckham, but it ended in Giffard giving way. Another difficulty arose about the Church of Chipping Norton, to which Peckham appointed, alleging the right to present had become his by lapse. The letter is almost apologetic in tone [2].

Peckham is next found making statutes as to nuns and pluralities [3]. There seem to have existed in the nunneries which Peckham visited customs that do not coincide with the usual ideas of conventual discipline. The Abbess of Romsey kept too many dogs, she also kept monkeys [4]. At Canterbury the nuns quarrelled. One of Peckham's rules was to do away with the Lady Abbess' guests. He provides how Complines are to be said if the Abbess has a party and cannot attend. She is to get rid of her friends as soon as she can and then go through the Office alone [5]. It is not fair to assume because a thing is forbidden therefore that it prevailed to any extent, otherwise a very startling picture might be drawn of life in a nunnery in 1284 from Peckham's injunctions to the Abbess of Wherwell [5].

Peckham was determined to enforce discipline. He objected to churches being appropriated to exempt Abbeys, as by that means all control over them was lost. To stop the practice he ordered the profits of each church to be sequestrated. The letters ordering this and Giffard's returns for Worcester are in the Register [6].

So far Giffard and Peckham got on fairly well. The Vicar of the Church of Chipping Campden was Edmund de Mortimer; he was not in Priest's Orders or in any orders at all. By the Council of Lyons his benefice was forfeited, so Giffard deprived him and collated Adam de Avebury to the living. Mortimer, however, declined to give up possession [7]. Giffard was furious, and wrote to Peckham begging him to make the Dean of the Arches move in the matter [8]. Peckham, however, was not inclined to

[1] pp. 120, 121.
[2] Peck. Reg. I. 158, 201.
[3] p. 134.
[4] Peck. Reg. II. 658.
[5] Ibid. 651.
[6] pp. 136, 138.
[7] p. 144.
[8] Peck. Reg. I. 158, 314.


quarrel with the Mortimers: he wrote to Giffard saying he had ordered the Dean of the Arches not to proceed until Parliament met [1].

Peckham's slackness angered Giffard; he was less likely to be pleased on receiving a letter from the Archbishop ordering him to pay up the arrears of procurations due to the Pope [2], and it was possibly this and his anger about Campden that led him to listen favourably to the Bishop of Hereford's complaints about Peckham, more especially as it seems that Peckham had made new rules as to his right to cite into his own courts persons who resided in his Suffragan's diocese, and had also extended his jurisdiction over sequestrations, wills, executors and absolutions. This all meant not only loss of dignity but loss of revenue to the Suffragans. None of them seemed to like it, but only two, Thomas Cantilupe, Bishop of Hereford, and Giffard, openly resisted [3]. The Register says that Giffard asked the Archbishop to desist, but the Archbishop refused; so Giffard appealed to Rome [3]. The Register mentions a case of divorce which should have been tried in Worcester but which went direct to the Court of Arches [4]. There was also a case of a dispute between the Prior of Llanthony and William de Chiltham [5], Priest, as to the Church of Wenrich, which was depending on Giffard's Court, but which the Archbishop transferred to the Court of Arches. He wrote to Giffard stating his reasons, and his letter is wide enough to claim the right to transfer any cases from Giffard's court to his [6]. Peckham ordered Giffard to excommunicate the Bishop of Hereford for impugning the authority of the Church of Canterbury; this Giffard refused to do [7]. Peckham then wrote to Giffard telling him that it was not without peril to his soul he was acting against the liberties of the Church of Canterbury [8]. Giffard appears to have considered that the Archbishop knew but little on this matter, for he went on with his appeal to Rome. Giffard was then ordered to excommunicate Llewellyn. It does not appear whether this was done, but Giffard ordered the officials of his two Archdeacons not to execute the mandates of Canterbury except in lawful cases [9]. Giffard had another weapon to use against the Archbishop. Soon after his appointment Peckham

[1] Peck. I. 314.
[2] p. 146.
[3] p. 147.
[4] p. 148.
[5] Peck. Reg. 528.
[6] Peck. Reg. I. 355.
[7] p. 149.
[8] p. 150.
[9] p. 154.


had tried to exert some authority over the Royal Chapels, but had not been successful. One of such Chapels was St. Oswald's at Gloucester. A dispute arose as to the Church of Marston Sicca. The Prior of St. Oswald's was appointed judge-delegate of the Pope to decide it. One of the parties obtained from the Prior a sentence of excommunication against the other. The Prior forbade Giffard to execute the sentence on the Abbot of Winchcombe [1].

Giffard saw that his dispute with Peckham did not tend to good government. He wrote to N. de Cnoul asking him to try to induce the Archbishop to cease molesting the Worcester Church [2]. But he went on sending petitions to Rome against the Archbishop as to his interference with pluralities in the Diocese and correcting the subjects of the Bishop. Peckham's reply was a citation to Giffard to appear and answer in the Court of Arches for his disobedience [3].

Peckham was one of the most zealous of the Franeiseans; notwithstanding he was Archbishop and had ceased to be the Provincial of the Order, he was still and so remained to his death the conservator privilegiorum ordinis minorum in Anglia a sede Apostolica deputatus. At this time Giffard became one of the Order. It may be only a coincidence; but from 1282 Peckham changed in his conduct to Giffard. He at once came to help him in his Malvern fight, and visited the Worcester Diocese. In 1283 he sent Giffard a list of Rectors who had forfeited their livings from not having taken Priest's Orders within a year after the Council of Lyons [4]:- The Rectors of St. Peter's, Worcester, Bunynton, Hampton Episcopi and Broadway; and afterwards wrote to Giffard giving him the collation to them [5]. He, however, warned Giffard as to the wickedness of his conduct towards the See of Canterbury. But Giffard was as stubborn as Peckham; he determined not to give way; he wrote to Oliver Sutton, the Bishop of Lincoln, setting out his grievances and saying it might be Lincoln's turn next [6]. He wrote to the Bishops of London, Lincoln, Bath, Exeter, Norwich and St. David's [7], telling them his wrongs, and proposing a Council. But he also wrote to H. de Lacey and N. de Knouvil asking them to promote peace between him and Canterbury. Probably all parties saw that it was well peace should be made, as the next letter from Giffard to the Worcester Prior told him that all causes

[1] p. 154.
[2] p. 155.
[3] p. 157.
[4] p. 174.
[5] p. 191.
[6] p. 225.
[7] p. 226.


of dispute between him and the Archbishop were ended [1]. Then came a letter from Giffard to Peckham sending him a stole and a ring; and one from Peckham to Giffard declaring his friendship for him [2].

So ended the great fight against Archiepiscopal interference. Even on his own shewing Giffard was frequently in the wrong. He, a Canterbury Suffragan, flatly refused to obey his Metropolitan on the ground that his orders were illegal; this, however, is what the Canterbury Suffragans always have said and still say when they dislike their Metropolitan's orders. The importance of the struggle lies in shewing how the different parties regarded matters. Peckham claimed an original jurisdiction in all matters, in fact to have the same jurisdiction in his Province that he had in his own Diocese. Giffard contended that outside the Diocese of Canterbury the Archbishop had only an appellate and not an original jurisdiction. It may be great presumption to say so, but it seems both were wrong. That the Archbishop had the right to some degree seems clear, the question is to what extent ? It seems from Giffard's Register that he claimed too much; on the other hand Giffard was wrong in saying the Canterbury jurisdiction was wholly appellate; in certain cases, such as when a person was a subject in two Dioceses, it was clearly original.

The correspondence between Peckham and Giffard becomes much less frequent after this. In 1287 Peckham wrote ordering Giffard not to allow the Archbishop of York to pass through the Diocese with his Cross erect, nor to let persons bow themselves to his benediction, or shew him any reverence [3]. This was one of the last flickers of the old dispute as to the jurisdiction of York in the Southern Province; at one time Giffard would himself have given this order. Peckham appears to have made another visitation of the Worcester Diocese, at which he found the Prior, Sub- prior, and others of St. Oswald's (Gloucester) contumacious, on the old question of the Royal Chapels being free from the Archbishop's jurisdiction, and ordered Giffard to excommunicate them [4].

The last correspondence between Peckham and Giffard is on a different subject. Peckham was, as has been said, a zealous Franciscan, Giffard wits also nominally a Franciscan; but he does

[1] p. 227.
[2] pp. 228, 229.
[3] p. 309. Peck. Reg. III. 945.
[4] p. 310.


not seem to have carried out all the rules of the Order, especially the one against possessing property. On Palm Sunday, 1290, Peckham wrote to Giffard pointing out the privileges of the Franciscans. He wrote again in July as to the dispute between the Worcester monks and the friars over the body of Poche, and as to William de Pershore, an apostate friar, who was to be treated as excommunicated [1]. He also sent orders to Giffard setting out all the privileges of the Friars Minors and the iniquity of the Worcester monks in violating these privileges [2], ordering them to restore the body of Poche in is days, or otherwise he would suspend the Prior. Giffard handed the order to the official of the Worcester Archdeacon, who read it to the Prior; the monks seem to have thought it best to obey, and handed over the body to those whom they call "mendaces patress [3]". It may well be that this correspondence as to the friars was carried on by Peckham as a Minorite to Giffard as a Minorite, and not as between Archbishop and Suffragan. It ends their correspondence, for the next year Peckham was dead. His successor, Winchelsey, was very friendly to Peckham; he visited him at Wick when ill, and took his part against the Worcester monks. Only one letter of his appears on the Register in 1298, directing Giffard to order prayers to be said throughout the Diocese on behalf of the King in his expedition to Scotland.

The whole of the relations between Giffard and the different Archbishops are important, not merely for the history of the Worcester Diocese, but for the history of England. They occurred at a time when the respective rights of each were becoming settled; the Bishops desired to be like the exempt Monasteries, subject to the Pope, and to him alone; the Archbishops desired to assert a power to a great degree independent of the Pope. The Archbishops failed for the time, that they did so was because men like Peckham were conspicuous by their absence from Canterbury. Had they succeeded, the future of English History might have been very different, and it is quite possible that the jurisdiction of the Archbishops might have arrested the separation from Rome. The last source of external influence on the Diocese which Giffard had to contend with were the religious orders. Their influence

[1] Peck. Reg. III. 971, 973, 974.
[2] pp. 372, 387.
[3] An. Wig. 504.


was more indirect than direct, but it was none the less powerful. The Diocese was a great Benedictine stronghold, and whatever might have been their quarrels among themselves, as a body, the Benedictines held together. One instance will shew that nothing was too small to be noticed. At Worcester the Bishop appointed the Sacristan of the Worcester Priory. Giffard had been in the habit of using the Sacrist as a sort of secretary [1]; this was brought before the Chapter of the Benedictines, and according to the Prior, the Sacrist was forbidden to do the Bishop's work any longer. Giffard was enraged at this, and expressed himself strongly, ordering the Sacrist to go on with his work. But the incident, trifling as it is, shews that the great Benedictine body would not allow any encroachment to be made on their rights.

It is possible, but it is only conjecture, that, finding the. Benedictines so strong, Giffard felt it necessary to do something to strengthen his position against them. Whether it was so or not the step he took certainly did improve his position, and secured him most valuable support in his fights with both the Malvern and Worcester monks. Giffard was a secular, and after the death of his brother the Archbishop stood practically alone. Before his brother's death overtures by the regulars had been made to him. In November, 1277, Brother Jerome of Ascoli, the great Minorite of the time, the Minister-general of the Order, afterwards Pope Nicholas IV., wrote to Giffard asking if he would be admitted to their Order [2]. So far as appears from the Register, no answer was then sent. In April, 1279, Archbishop Walter Giffard died, it is a curious coincidence that the same year the Franciscan Peckham became Archbishop of Canterbury. Whether one or both of these causes acted on Giffard does not appear, but in 1282, in the midst of his controversy with Peckham, and also with Malvern and Westminster, Giffard practically recognised the Franciscan power. There is a letter from Bonagratia, the then Minister-general of the Minorites to Giffard, receiving him into all the benefits of the Order [3]. The whole of the Franciscan influence, which was strongly opposed to the Benedictines, was now used on Giffard's behalf; his peace with Peckham, and the better terms they afterwards lived upon, shew what that influence was. It appears also to have been

[1] p. 96.
[p] p. 94.
[3] p. 156.


used on several occasions against the Worcester monks, notably in the case of Poche. With the Pope, the Archbishop, and the Bishop, all belonging to one Order, and that Order the most active and possibly the most influential of the time, it was not surprising that Giffard should have been able to maintain his power over the subjects of his Diocese.

Previously to becoming a Minorite Giffard had been in close alliance with the other great Mendicant Order, the Dominicans. It may have been the reason that, as Archbishop Kilwardby was a Dominican, Giffard did not become a Franciscan in 1277, but about that time he was appointed by the Pope Conservator of the privileges in England granted to the Friars Preachers [1]. The exact date when he was so appointed does not appear, but the title is first used in a letter of October, 1279, from Giffard to the official of the Dicoese of York, as to a complaint made by the Dominicans at Scarborough, who alleged that their privileges there were encroached upon. This dispute went on for some time, and various entries with regard to it appear both in Giffard's and Peckham's Registers [2]. In his capacity as Conservator of the Friars Preachers it appears from his Register that Giffard had disputes, or at least corresponded with, the officials of Exeter [3]; Wells, where there was a dispute over a dead body [4] between the Cistercians and the Dominicans, as to its interment, like the disputes at Worcester; St. David's, when the Vicar of Haverfordwest impeded the Dominicans in hearing confessions and preaching [5]; and Ely, where the friars alleged the Vicar of Wisbeach had injured them [6]. There are also two communications from Rome: one from Pope Innocent V. in 1285 [7], setting out the privileges which belong to the Dominicans; the other from Pope Innocent, ordering Giffard as conservator of the privileges of the Friars Preachers not to allow them to be molested [8]. No case of injury to the Dominicans in the Worcester Diocese occurs in either Giffard's or Peckham's Registers. It is obvious that being in close alliance with the two great orders of Friars, as protector of the one and as a member of the other, Giffard possessed most powerful allies, and probably the knowledge of this not only sustained him in his fights, but made his opponents less eager to fight with him. It may be impossible to get at the real secret history of the thirteenth

[1] p. 116.
[2] p. 126.
[3] p. 241.
[4] p, 257.
[5] p. 374.
[6] p. 499.
[7] p. 272.
[8] p. 475.


century, but it is not unlikely that at least, so far as the Worcester Diocese is concerned, it was part of the struggle between the old monastic orders there represented mainly by the Benedictines, and the new departure, the Friars, represented by a Bishop who at once combined the two positions of conservator of the Dominican privileges and a member of the Franciscan Order. It may well be that it was a bit of Benedictine sarcasm that when the two great Franciscan lights, Pope Nicholas IV., Jerome of Ascoli whom they called their sun, and Peckham, whom they termed their moon, died in the same year, 1292, that the Worcester Annalist, more in joy than in sorrow, wrote in the Worcester Annals:-

" Sol obscuratur sub terra tuna moratur Ordo turbatur stellarum lux bebetatur [1]".

Each of the monastic orders had a protector of its privileges, who made it his business to interfere if their privileges were threatened. Thus in 1294 the Archdeacon of Westminster, as the Conservator of the privileges of the Cluniacs, ordered the Archdeacon of Worcester to annul the sentence of excommunication which the Bishop of Worcester had passed on the late Archdeacon of Westminster, at the instance of the monks of Dudley [2].

There was another external influence, the precise effect of which is very difficult to estimate, the alien priories. Several of the great French abbeys held land in the Diocese, some of them had cells here. To such abbeys as St. Denis great privileges attached, and it became a question what were the rights of the Bishops over these houses. The most important cells in the Worcester Diocese were Deerhurst, a cell to St. Denis, Astley, a cell to St. Taurinus of Evereux, and Wotton, a cell to Couches. The question was further complicated by those houses like Lyra, who, while possessing no cell, had ecclesiastical property here, as the advowson of Feckenham, and Cormeilles, who had that of Martley. The Cluniacs, who had a house at Dudley, were also always regarded as foreigners. That a considerable influence was exerted by these foreign houses is clear, but it is very difficult to say to what extent, Giffard asserted and maintained a certain control

[1] An. Wig. 511.
[2] p. 449.


over them, more than would have been expected. If the account of the behaviour of the monks at Wotton is to be taken as a fair specimen of the internal conduct of the alien Houses, they did not reach a high level; but it must always be remembered that the discipline in a cell was laxer than that in the mother house; the favourite Cistercian saying, "Sooner than do it I would go back to Citeaux", is strong evidence of this. While, therefore, it is not easy to say exactly the effect these foreigners had on the Diocese, yet in considering the influence against which the Bishops had to contend they must be taken into account.


Giffard's Register gives a fairly complete list of the Religious Houses in the Diocese. These were of two kinds, Monasteries, which had their principal Houses within it, cells and daughter Houses to monasteries elsewhere, some of them being in England and some abroad. Most of the religious orders were found here, the most notable exceptions being the Carthusians and Gilbertines, no house of either of these orders existing in the Diocese. The most numerous Houses were Benedictine; all those that were rich and important belonged to that Order, and had existed from before the Conquest. All these Houses, so far as Worcestershire was concerned, were south of Feckenham Forest, many of them were on the Severn, probably serving as forts to guard the line of that river.

Two classes of Religious Houses caused the Bishop difficulty, the exempt monasteries and the alien houses. The Register furnishes instances of each. When Peckham called his Council at Reading in 1279 he summoned not only Bishops but also Abbots and Priors; the heads of those Houses who claimed to be free from episcopal visitation declined to attend. What the Bishop did or ordered to be done was no concern of theirs, as they were not subject to the Bishop's jurisdiction. Various Parish Churches had their revenues appropriated to these Monasteries, and the Archbishop asserted that though the Houses might be exempt from visitation the Churches were not. This was one of the points raised in the great Evesham case, but never decided. Peckham ordered the Bishop to sequestrate the revenues of all these churches [1].

[1] p. 136.


The return made to this sequestration gives a list of the exempt monasteries in the Diocese; they were the following [1]:-

1. Great Malvern, who claimed exemption as a daughter House to Westminster.

2. St. Mark of Billeswyk, Bristol.

3. Evesham, who claimed by Charters from the Pope and the Roman Court, and had in a suit between the Bishop of Worcester and the Evesham House upheld her claim.

4. Bordesley, a Cistercian House, and all Cistercian Houses claimed to be exempt from episcopal visitation.

5. Hayles, also a Cistercian House.

6. Halesowen, a Premonstratensian House.

7. St. Oswald's, Gloueester, who claimed to be a Royal Chapel, and so exempt from the Bishop's jurisdiction.

The alien Houses rested on somewhat different grounds. Some, like Deerhurst, claimed to be exempt from all episcopal visitation, as they had the same rights as the mother House, and she was exempt. Others only claimed that the local Bishop had no rights over them. In most cases a compromise was arrived at, and the Worcester Bishop exercised some sort of jurisdiction over the Houses in the Diocese. So far as can be learnt from Giffard's Register the jurisdiction was as follows:-

Deerhurst was a cell to the Royal Abbey of St Denis. An agreement had been made between Bishop Cantilupe and the Abbot of St. Denis in 1269 [2] that the Abbot should appoint one of his monks Prior of Deerhurst, and should present him to the Bishop by reason of his parochial cure and not by reason of the Priory. That obedience should be due from the Prior to the Bishop in all things saving the privileges of the Church of the Blessed Denis. That the Abbot, on notice to the Bishop, might at any time revoke the Prior's appointment. This arrangement or compromise Giffard confirmed, and it was usually acted upon; in several places in the Register there are entries of presentations by the Abbot of St. Denis, and admissions by Giffard to Deerhurst; in 1272 he instituted Robert de Ellebeof, a monk of St. Denis, to the Church and Priory of Deerhurst, at the presentation of Matthew, Abbot of St. Denis [3]. It should be noticed that on his

[1] p. 138.
[2] pp. 10, 37.
[3] p. 49.


first visitation the Deerhurst Prior refused Giffard admittance [1], and he required them to prove their right to exemption. This they did not do, for Giffard afterwards visited the Priory regularly, stayed there and preached there, and on one occasion received as a procuration a most beautiful cup, which was sent to Paris to be engraved [2]. At the other alien Houses the Bishop admitted the Prior, who took an oath of obedience to him as long as he remained in the Diocese. Thus at Astley the Bishop instituted the Prior, who was sent from Evereux. At Wotton a rather different course was followed. Giffard considered he had no right to deprive but only to send the Prior back to his House at Evereux, and this it appears was done [3]. Prior Peter, however, remained for some time at Wotton, whether as Prior or not does not appear; but some of his time was taken up in hunting, as there is a writ in 1283 to distrain his goods at the suit of the Queen for trespassing by hunting in the Forest of Feckenham [4]. Giffard made certain corrections in the rule at Wotton, possibly he considered that the right to visit implied the right to correct. In 1285 he wrote to the Abbot, St. Peter de Castellyon, of Couches [5], as to the appointment of a Prior and the rule of the House of Wotton; and a further letter, saying he was unwilling to proceed upon the business of presenting Roger de Palliaco to the Priory of Wotton, as John de Barqueto had made no formal resignation to him [6]. Possibly Giffard's difficulty arose from the fact that the new Prior that the Abbey of Couches had sent over for Wotton was that Roger who had caused the scandal with Peter de Altaribus. Giffard, however, overcame his scruples and subsequently instituted Prior Roger, stating it to be on the resignation of John de Barqueto and on the presentation of the Abbot of Couches [7]. But Giffard's training as a lawyer appears; he made the new Prior give him an indemnity for all claims that might be made against the Bishop for admitting Roger without having first received the resignation of the former Prior [8].

That Giffard exercised some kind of jurisdiction over the heads of the alien Houses is further shewn by his granting a dispensation to the Prior of Deerhurst to dwell in parts beyond the sea till

[1] p. 22.
[2] p. 380.
[3] p. 133.
[4] p. 172.
[5] p. 262.
[6] p. 265.
[7] p. 275.
[8] p. 276.


Easter, 1286 [1]; and by his sequestrating the goods of the Priory of Astley [1].

No accurate and complete list of the Religious Houses in the Diocese exists, and it is not easy to compile one, as some of the smaller cells have completely disappeared without leaving a trace of their existence. The Hospitals are also a matter of difficulty; most of the market towns seem to have had some sort of Hospital, although few if any signs are left. The following has been made out as a preliminary list mainly from Giffard's and the Sede Vacante Registers; it does not profess to be complete, especially with regard to the Hospitals and the Friaries.

I. Benedictines.
(a) Houses.
i. Monks.

Worcester, Evesham, Pershore.
Tewkesbury, St. Peter's, Gloucester,Winchcombe, Stanley, Alcester.

(b) Cells to English Houses.

Great Malvern (Westminster), Little Malvern (Worcester),

(c) Cells to Foreign Houses.

Beckford (St. Martin Jur Dive, Normandy). Astley (St. Taurinus, Evereux).
Deerhurst (St. Denis), Newent (Cormeilles). Wotton Waren (Couches).
Horsleigh (St. Martin de Troaz), afterwards to Brewerton in Somersetshire.

ii. Nunneries.

Westwood, daughter to Fontivraud, Bristol, St. Mary Magdalene, Wroxhall.

II. Canons Regular.
(a) Augustine.

Kenilworth, Warwick, Studley.
Gloucester (St. Oswald's), Llanthony, Cirencester, Bristol (St. Augustine's).

(b) Premonstratensian.

Halesowen, daughter House to Welbeck, Dodford, cell to Halsowen.

[1] p. 299.
[2] p. 123.


III. Cistercian.
i. Monks.

Bordesley. Hayles.

ii. Nunneries.

Whiston, Worcester.

The number of Friars' Houses is very uncertain, but there were at least the following:-

Worcester - Dominicans, Franciscans (2), Penitents (fratres saccati), Redemptionists.
Droitwich - Augustines.
Warwick - Dominicans, Carmelites.
Gloucester - Dominicans, Franciscans, Carmelites.
Bristol - Augustines, Carmelites, Dominicans, Franciscans.

Worcester - St. Wulstan's, St. Oswald's.
Warwick - St. John's, St. Martin's, St. Mary's.
Gloucester - St. Bartholomew's.
Bristol - St. Bartholomew's, St. James', St. Mark's (Billeswyk).
Berkely - Holy Trinity.
Lechlade - St. John's.

Collegiate Churches:-
Warwick, Stratford-on-Avon and Westbury.

Except the Houses of the Friars and the exempt Monasteries, all these were subject to the Bishop's visitation. His Register shews it was a right he did not allow to remain disused. He visited the larger Houses frequently; indeed his frequent visitations and the large number of attendants that accompanied him are the subject of some of the complaints against him, as the Houses visited had to take in at their own cost the visitor and his attendants. In one case, in 1290, the Worcester Monks say that the Bishop came with 140 horses, and with a great multitude of attendants visited them for three days, sleeping in the Prior's chamber [1]. The retinue that might be brought was fixed by the Lateran Council

[1] An. Wig. 504.


of 1179. A Bishop might have not more than 40 to 50 attendants. An Archdeacon 5 to 7.

The Table on the opposite page gives a list of Giffard's Visitations of the Religious Houses, as recorded in his Register.

From this table it will be seen that in no one year were all the Houses visited, and that so far as appears by the Register the visitations were very spasmodic; some years were allowed to elapse without any. In the thirty-four years of the Bishop's episcopate the Register records sixteen visitations. But it must be remembered that the Register shews that the list is not complete, it gives no mention of a visitation, but has long notices of articles made at it, as in the case of Cirencester and Llanthony in 1276. There is also the record of the Worcester Priory, which makes out that Giffard visited that House seven times, while his own register only records four made by himself, and one by the Archbishop.

In the table all the places for which Giffard had procurations are included, as it is difficult to separate those from which he received procuration as admitting his right to visit some of their churches, and those where he received procuration as an admission of his right to visit the House. Giffard could have had no right to visit Osney, but yet he got a procuration from it. In the 1300 visitation Brayles and Campden are mentioned, but it is not known what was the nature of the places visited, probably only the churches. Whether the scribe did not insert the cases where admission was refused, or whether it is the fact that no refusal took place, it is a little remarkable that only one refusal is mentioned, that on the first visitation at Deerhurst; but as it was visited without dispute on other occasions, the Prior must have waived his objection, or allowed the visitation only in respect of the Church.

On turning to the list of exempt Houses, or rather those that claimed to be exempt, out of the seven - Great Malvern, St. Mark's, Billeswyk, Evesham, Bordesley, Hayles, Halesowen and St. Oswald's, Gloucester [1], - four of them Giffard regularly visited: St. Mark's, Billeswyk, Bordesley, Hayles and Halesowen. There is an entry of what may have been a visitation of Great Malvern after the great quarrel, but it most likely refers to Little Malvern.

[1] p. 138.


 126812691275127612781281 128212831284128512891290 1291129212931300Notes.
AlcesterI       I       B
AstleyX     I   II    Cell to St. Taurinus
Beckford I         I    Cell to St. Barbara, Normandy
BordesleyI       I II    C
Brailes               I 
St. Augustine    I III  II   Canons
St. Bartholomew           I     
St. James       II  II    
St. Mark, Blilleswick       II   I   Hospital claimed to be exempt
St. Martin           I     
St. Mary Magdalen       II       Nuns
CookhillI       II I    Nuns
Cirencester III    I  I   ICanons
Deerhurst R    I I  I    Cell to St. Denis
DodfordI               Cell to Halesowen, Premonstratensian
Gloucester -
St. Peter        I  I   IB
St. Bartholomew           I     
Guiting I    I I  II    
HalesowenI     I I II    Premonstratensian
Hayles IW   I I    I  Cistercian
Horsley       II   III Cell to Brewerton, Somersetshire
Kingswood       I   IIII  
Llanthony   I    I  I    Canons
Lechlade        I  I   I 
Malvern, Great      I I       B Cell to Westminster
Malvern, Little      I I       B Cell to Worcester
Osney       I
PinleyI       I  I I INuns
PershoreI     I I II     
Stanley        I  I II  
StudleyI       I  I III 
Tewkesbury I  I   I  I   IB
St. MaryI       I  I    Canons
Hospital of St. JohnI
St. SepulchreI          I  I  
WroxhallI          I I INuns
WoottonI    I  I  I   ICell to Couches
Winchcombe I    I I  I   IB
Priory      I I  I I IB
St. Wolstan           I    Hospital
Wystons      I I       Cistercian Nuns

B = Benedictine. C = Cistercian. R = Refused. W = Wrote. X = Prevented going.


Evesham Giffard never attempted to visit, nor the Royal Chapel of St. Oswald, Gloucester; but he did not respect the claims of the Premonstratensians or Cistercians to be exempt. The cells of the Foreign Houses - Wotton, Astley, Newent, and Beckford - he visited without objection. There is no record of his visiting the Cluniac House of Dudley.

That the visitations were not merely formal is clearly seen from the Register. At Cirencester, in 1276, Giffard set out the faults of the Prior: he was a drunkard, negligent in spiritual and temporal matters, he had the vice of carnal affection, he spent the revenues of the House among his kinsmen and kinswomen, he pledged the credit of the Church for alien debts, and squandered the goods in a bestial manner [1].

At Llanthony in the same year the Bishop found the Prior was seldom present at Matins, the sacred vessels and ornaments of the Church were pledged to creditors, laymen were brought in to eat with the brethren, the remains of the goods were disposed of, the brethren wandered about the town, the monks had feasts in the house built on the Weir. The Cellarer was ordered to be removed and a more cautious one appointed, the sick were badly looked after. If they did not obey the Bishop they would receive severe punishment, and he would not fear the greater nor the less, so that the punishment of one should be the fear of the many [2].

At St. Augustine's, Bristol, very much the same state of things existed. The Abbey was dilapidated, the services neglected, the Abbot was not sufficiently instructed to propound the Word of God [3]. Giffard ordered the monks to abstain from slander and filthy speaking, the Abbot from scolding the Monks before and after dinner. The Abbot had too large a household, which he was ordered to reduce; and certain of the officers were to be removed.

It is somewhat remarkable that the three great Houses of Austen Canons in the Dioeese had departed from their first estate, and were all ordered to reform; either the Canons' discipline had become very relaxed, or Giffard had some reason for being stricter with them than with the other Orders. But it must be noticed that at the same visitation some of the Benedictine Houses suffered

[1] p. 86.
[2] p. 87.
[3] p. 101.


from the same faults as the Canons. Thus the great House of Tewkesbury was ordered to reform, their chief vices seem to have been gluttony and drunkenness; the Bishop impressed on them that "they should eat to live, not live to eat [1]". But it must not be forgotten, that here Giffard and their patron, the Earl of Gloucester, were not always on the best of terms.

At St. Mark's, Billeswyk, Giffard found that the object of the House was to feed ioo poor people every day, but "that for four years it had been damnably omitted [2]". This was a house that claimed to be exempt, and it may be this was the reason Giffard was so strong on its shortcomings.

Whether the Prior of Llanthony carried out the Bishop's corrections does not appear; it is to be supposed, as no record of his excommunication is to be found, that he did. But either that or something else caused a disturbance there, and Giffard's holy horror was roused at the action of one of the monks who got the Prior's finger into his mouth and, like a dog, bit it with his teeth [3]. The monk was sentenced to be put in chains and starved till he was penitent.

Horsley came also under Giffard's censure; they had ceased to be hospitable and charitable, alleging that they had no money, that the mother House took so much from them they could do nothing. At an early date Giffard allowed the Prior and Monks to leave the House for a time and reside at the mother House, on account of the losses they had sustained in the war [4]. Later Giffard writes to the Prior of Brewerton, the mother House, telling him not to take from Horsley more than was justly due [5]. As this was an order to a House outside the Diocese and to a person over whom Giffard had no jurisdiction, it was a fairly strong exercise of authority, especially as he was protesting at this time against Peckham extending his jurisdiction.

In 1284 Giffard visited again St. Augustine's, Bristol, and found his reforms had been carried out, as everything was in order, except that the Abbot lived on his manor away from the house [6]. At St. Mark's, Bristol, there were still many enormities and transgressions. Pershore also required correction; they did not apply themselves sufficiently to the divine offices, the seculars were ad-

[1] p 104.
[2] Ib.
[3] p. 182.
[4] p. 46.
[5] p. 216.
[6] p. 233.


mitted by the cloister door, whereby a stumbling-block was prepared for those contemplating Christ [1].

The nuns of Cookhill were ordered not to go out of the cloister, unless compelled by necessity, and not to wander about the town [2].

The brothers and sisters of the Hospital of St. John, Lechlade, also required correction. The Bishop found that discipline was not observed, nor was uniformity in dress or in its colour, or in food and drink; the dress of the sisters was not in accordance with decency. The sin of gluttony which so prevailed among them must be stopped, and neither brothers nor sisters were to be absent for eating or drinking [3].

The Worcester Monks also fell short of the Bishop's standard. They borrowed money, got rid of their property, and kept their accounts badly. The Bishop says that they went out "wandering and leading Harriers [4]."

The monks give a different account; they say [5], "On the feast of St. John ante port Latin, the Bishop, thinking about what I cannot imagine, wrote that he would come next day and treat with us about important business relating to our affairs, and he came. By the intercession of Robert Burnel, Bishop of Bath, the Chancellor, he revoked our statutes which he had ordered us to obey under the pain of excommunication; and it was agreed that for the sake of peace all differences up to the end of October should be considered ended, whereupon we confirmed the agreement between the Bishop and Gilbert, Earl of Gloucester, as to the Malvern ditch, by which the Bishop was to have two deer on the eve of the Assumption and two on Christmas eve every year, and the Priory was to have them if the See was vacant".

The Bishop insisted that his corrections should be enforced. As has been said, Hayles was a Cistercian Abbey, but the Bishop visited it with scant courtesy ; the Abbot declined to carry out the proposed reforms. The Rural Deans of Worcester, Gloucester, Campden, Winchcombe and Stowa, were sent to certify if the corrections had or had not been made [6], and finding they had not, the Abbot was excommunicated; but it is not clear if the excommunication was on account of the corrections or of a quarrel

[1] p. 242.
[2] p. 267.
[3] p. 391.
[4] p. 392.
[5] An. Wig. 505.
[6] pp. 66, 67.


between the Abbot and the Rector of Dydbok', as to burials [1]. Shortly after, obviously to see if the corrections were carried out, Giffard wrote announcing his intention of visiting the Abbey [2].

Astley was an alien cell; it is not apparent what were the precise rights the Bishop had over it, whatever they were he, for some cause which does not appear, enforced his jurisdiction and sequestrated its goods [3].

It was not always safe to be the bearer of the Bishop's orders for corrections. Among other places that, in Giffard's opinion, needed reform was St. Sepulchre's, Warwick. The Bishop ordered the Prior of the House to be removed; on one of the monks producing the order for his removal, the Prior laid violent hands on him and put him in prison in chains; then the Prior and the other monks divided the prisoner's garments and goods among them [4]. It is needless to say excommunication followed at once.

The most interesting case, as shewing the internal monastic life of those days, arose out of a quarrel among the monks at Wotton [5], between the Prior, Peter de Altaribus, and one of the monks, Roger. The Vicar of Wotton was called in to stop the disturbance. On arriving he met the Prior coming out, and found Roger sitting down with his nose bleeding. The Prior said that Roger made his nose bleed with his finger; Roger alleged his nose bled because the Prior had hit him on it. The Prior alleged that Roger bit his finger, so he hit him. Roger had or said he had some money, and accused the Prior of stealing it; the Prior retorted that Roger spent it on ladies both here and in France. Roger replied, "Excommunicated man, you lie". Roger went up towards the Dormitory, but the Prior, who was on the stairs above him, said that he should not come into the Dormitory; Roger said he would, and on his attempting to do so the Prior hit him on the head with the keys. There was some dispute as to which struck first, but the Prior admitted hitting Roger on the nose. The witnesses said they could not understand what was said (probably the two monks talked in French). The whole scene - the two excited Frenchmen, talking and quarrelling; the one saying the other was a "leprous clown", the other retaliating that he was " excommunicated", ending by the Prior hitting the monk

[1] p. 67.
[2] p. 78.
[3] p. 122.
[4] p. 126.
[5] p. 129.


over the head with the keys, is a curious picture of convent life. But Roger was not satisfied with accusing the Prior of assault, he accused him also of making away with the property of the house: alleging that he pawned a chalice of the Priory and sold it, that he made away with some of the vestments, that he manumitted a serf, that he let certain land at the nominal rent of a gilly flower that used to produce 3s. a year [1]. How far these charges were true there is no means of knowing, but it was often said by the discontented monks against their head, that the Prior wasted the goods sometimes not without foundation; as in the case of Lech-lade, when, in 1300, after an inquiry, it was found that the Prior had alienated various lands and goods of the house, released a hermitage in the forest of Wychwood from its servitude, and alienated the library and certain ornaments [2].

There are other entries as to the different religious houses that are of interest. Some of the houses appear to have been very poor indeed. Giffard in a letter to Nicholas of Ely, Bishop of Winchester in 1275, says they all were so [3]. He requests the Bishop to recall Brother Ralph de Dreyms, a monk of the Monastery of St. Swithin, Winchester, who had gone to reside at the Monastery of St. Peter's, Gloucester, because the monasteries in the Diocese of Worcester " scarcely had sufficient for the maintenance of their own brethren and the reception of guests". The nuns at Whiston, near Worcester, were always a matter of Giffard's solicitude, on account of their poverty; he asked the Papal Nuncios not to tax them as they were so poor [4], but the Nuncios had no care how poor the Houses were, as long as they could get some money out of them. A few years after, this nunnery asked one of Giffard's successors leave to elect a prioress practically without paying the fees, alleging that if they had to do so their poverty was such that they would be compelled to get the money to use means to the scandal of womanhood, and the discredit of religion, but they desired if possible to save the honour of religion and the frailty of the female sex [5]. What may be the precise meaning of these words it is difficult to say, their obvious meaning is quite impossible; the Cistercians had always a habit of using exaggerated language. Giffard recognised the poverty of these

[1] p. 132.
[2] p. 537.
[3] p. 71.
[4] p. 78.
[5] Sede Vacante Register, p. 113. Worcester Historical Society's publications.


nuns, he ordered his bailiff to give them one quarter of corn, one of barley, and half a mark wherewith to buy herrings [1].

Other religious Houses complained of their poverty, one, St. Oswald's, Gloucester, ascribed it as due to Giffard and his persecution of them. As a Royal foundation claiming to be exempt from visitation and opposing him in every way, Giffard's hand doubtless fell heavily upon them, but their allegations before the Judges of Assize in 1301 [2], that Giffard had done them so much evil that year, causing them to be so shortened that the greater part of the convent had incurred various illnesses, is clearly an exaggeration. All Giffard had done was to excommunicate them for not allowing the Bishop of Llandaff, when acting for him, to ordain in their chapel, but Giffard must have been gratified at their unsolicited testimony to the effect of his great remedy, excommunication. In one case, that of Horsley, it is said that on account of the Barons' war the priory had become so poor that the Bishop allowed the Prior to reside at the mother- house, in the Diocese of Bath and Wells, instead of at the cell at Horsley [3].

The most interesting of all the cases of the monastic dealings of Giffard are those with the,Worcester Priory, because the Register gives the Bishop's view, the Annales Wigorniae, the monks'. From the Register it is made to appear that Giffard was a great benefactor to the House, that the monks so appreciated his goodness and kindness that they inscribed his name in their Martyrology [4]. From the Annales it is made to appear that he was the great persecutor of the House. How the monks hated him is perhaps best shewn in the articles they presented against him to Archbishop Winchelsey in 1301, wherein all the complaints of 3o years were embodied and pressed against the Bishop [5]. Nothing was too small to be included, even the crockery his retainers broke on one visitation [6], to the great damage of the House, is alleged as one of the Bishop's crimes. Possibly the Prior and Chapter in the thirteenth century knew what they were doing when they tried their utmost to prevent the Bishop living too near his Cathedral.

There are the details of numerous elections of the heads of the

[1] p. 231.
[2] p. 543.
[3] p. 46.
[4] p. 432.
[5] p. 547.
[6] p. 551.


different religious Houses, in some cases several for the same House, during Giffard's Episcopate, but they do not present any very special feature. Worcester, Alcester, Cirencester, Tewkesbury, Gloucester, and others, all had to elect new heads, as a rule Giffard approved the selection of the House.

One religious foundation, possibly a large Chantry [1] was, if not instituted by Giffard, at all events reconstituted by him; a body of Priests were set apart for the services of the Carnarie, a mortuary chapel at the Cathedral, endowed with lands at Hembury in the Salt Marsh [2], and the Church of St. Helen, Worcester, appropriated to them; they were to have the profits, after paying the vicar loos. for himself and the clerk. Giffard also founded, or sanctioned the founding and endowing of the Hospital of the Holy Cross, Stratford-on-Avon, of which he was patron [3]. He ordered the Bailiffs of Stratford to maintain, protect, and defend the Hospital and its possessions whenever so required by the master.

There are numerous entries in the Register which shew the struggles which went on between the old orders the monks, and the new, the Friars, and between the Friars and the secular clergy. One Thomas de Gloucester in 1269 was ordered to do penance; he was to give a candle and ten pounds of wax to the Church of Worcester to make satisfaction to John the priest, who had been imprisoned, to do no injury to any religious persons or clerks, to obey canonical mandates, and to pay certain sums of money to the Friars Minors and the Friars Preachers; naturally the monks were disgusted at only getting a candle and wax when the Friars got cash. In 1285 the Bishop wrote to William de Gynsborough, the vicar of the Friars Minors, asking him to appoint Robert de Crull to be reader in the Convent at Worcester [5]. Gynsborough was Giffard's successor as bishop. In the same year a Papal Bull setting out all the privileges of the Dominicans, of which the Bishop was guardian, appears in the Register [6].

The Annales Wigornie shew in several ways how bitter was the feeling between the Benedictines and the Friars; one was the objection of the Benedictines to the Friars hearing confessions and preaching. There is a rather spiteful entry of a friar at Hereford

[1] p. 424.
[2] p. 308.
[3] p. 36.
[4] p. 35.
[5] p. 263.
[6] p. 272.


disclosing what was told him in confession and who was in consequence killed [1].

The Worcester Annals say that in 1300 Boniface VIII. ordered that neither Franciscans nor Dominicans were to preach in Parish Churches without the leave of the Rectors [2]. Peckham had previousiy written to Giffard strongly enforcing the right of the Friars [3], and also sent a letter quoting the Bull of Alexander IV. giving the Friars Minors the right to hear confessions and visit nunneries. No trace of such a Bull appears in the Register, as it should have done. Archbishop Winchelsey, however, not wishing "to plough with an ox and an ass", gave leave to sixteen friars to preach and hear confessions in his Diocese.

Both in Peckham's and Giffard's Register there is a good deal about an apostate Franciscan, William de Pershore, who was to be denounced as excommunicated [4]. In the Worcester Annals the death in Kent of a Robert le Porsore is mentioned as having been wickedly murdered, and whose life it had pleased God to declare righteous by many miracles [5]. It is just possible that the excommunicated Franciscan who could be killed with impunity became a Benedictine Saint.

A number of other points as to the religious life of the time are brought out by the Register, space only allows one rather exceptional one to be mentioned. Archbishop Winchelsey wrote to the Prior of Little Malvern a rather indignant letter that one Simon called Chamberlayne, who had entered the Little Malvern House, been a monk there for two years, and became a professed Benedictine, withdrew himself, returned to the world and married [6]. The Archbishop states that this was to the prejudice of Simon's brother, and requires to know the date when Simon entered the monastery, and if he was admitted after probation and at what time. The fact of a man becoming professed in religion made him incapable of having heirs, he was deemed dead. The Prior says Simon entered as a novice in 1289, remained as a novice till next September, then protested he was not professed in our religion or in any other, that as he retired without being professed during the year of his probation, there was no right or power to recall him.

[1] An. Wig. 513.
[2] p. 545.
[3] pp. 371, 372.
[4] p. 372.
[5] An. Wig. p. 550.
[6] p. 499.


This did not end the matter. A writ was issued against the Bishop to ascertain if Simon de Chamberlayne was or was not professed [1]. The brother, Henry Chamberlayne, appealed against the Bishop's conclusion that he was not professed [2]. A certificate was produced that while Simon wore the habit of a monk at Little Malvern he was promoted to the order of Sub- deacon [3]. Nothing more appears. One of the entries to some extent explains why so much importance was attached to the case. Walter Beauchamp was the moving spirit, and for some reason did not desire that the younger brother, Henry, should be displaced by the elder Simon, who was supposed to have become dead to the world.

Although in some cases Giffard's conduct to the Religious Houses may have been arbitrary, yet a strong hand was necessary to preserve discipline; that such a hand was needed, the corrections that Giffard ordered after his visitations clearly shew. His ideas as to the Religious Houses are well exemplified by three entries in the Register. The first in 1278 [4], when he ordered his official to enquire concerning religious persons and Religious Houses that had damnably committed enormities against their rules, and to correct them. The second, in 1277 [5], when Giffard ordered his official to enquire concerning the Religious Houses in the City and Diocese of Worcester, decayed in spiritual and temporal things by the negligence of their heads. And the third gives Giffard's own idea as to the power he possessed, for he states in one of his petitions of appeal to the Court of Rome [6], "That all Monasteries and Churches in the Diocese of Worcester are in the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Worcester". This was obviously contrary to fact, but it is quite in accord with Giffard's principles, for he always assumed he had jurisdiction, and acted accordingly.


The record of an Episcopate of 33 years of necessity gives a considerable insight into the paroehial history of the Diocese. The mere filling up the vacancies in the parish churches forms an important part of their history; but the Register of Giffard does

[1] p. 503.
[2] p. 504.
[3] p. 505.
[4] p. 100.
[5] p. 92.
[6] p. 209.


more than this, it gives a list of the Churches that were rebuilt during this time, the Chantries, Hermitages and Oratories that were founded, the Altars that were consecrated. It also gives some idea of the condition of the clergy and the far-reaching effect of the canon of the Council of Lyons, in 1274, that all beneficed clergy should be in Priest's Orders. It tells a good deal as to the patronage of the Diocese, how it was distributed and exercised; and gives indications of various causes which had their effect on the local country clergy.

No less than some 445 parishes arc dealt with; of these the patronage of 203 was in ecclesiastical and of 242 in other hands. The lay patronage was almost always that of the landowners, the lords of the place where the church was situated. An examination of the presentations throws a curious light on the state of the parochial clergy. The number of minors the lay lords presented was large, but the number of persons not in orders was larger.

Residence was supposed to be compulsory; but numerous licences for non- residence were granted; they are of interest, as are the reasons why they were granted. The usual one stated is "for study".

From the Register and from other sources it may be taken that there were about 500 benefices in the Diocese; assuming that each of these had not only a Rector or Vicar but also a curate, this would give employment for about 1,000 persons. There were about 30 Chantries, which would require 50 more, and an addition must be made for Chaplains at private Houses. When all this is done it would seem that the number of secular Priests required could not have exceeded 1,500 at the most. In the ordination lists only the names of the seculars ordained are given, and these amount to about 5,00o; assuming, which is not the case, that each person appears three times in the list as Sub-deacon, Deacon, and Priest, the number is considerably in excess of the need. How did they find employment, or rather, how did they live ? The Register gives some indication as to what was then thought to be a living clerical wage, but it gives no indieation how this large body of men - and having regard to the scanty population of the time it was a very large body - who did not find preferment were employed or what they did.

During Giffard's episcopate he must at the very least have ordained


over 2,500 persons. The Register gives no names before 1282, but from 1282 to 1302, twenty years, he ordained just under 5,000. If for the fourteen years before, 2,000 be taken as the number - and it is a low estimate - it makes the number ordained at the rate of about 230 a year, that is over 70 persons. If the population then is compared with the population now, and the percentage of persons ordained compared with the present percentage, it will be realised what a large number took Orders. It is often said that these persons took Minor Orders only, so as to get the benefit of clergy: but here this was not so; the figures shew that the majority of those who took Sub-deacon's Orders passed on to the Orders of Deacon and of Priest: 1,900 sub-deacons, 1,500 deacons, 1,800 priests. Whatever may be the real explanation of the fact, it must have had a marked effect upon the life of the times. The list of ordinations in the Register is imperfect: for the first fourteen years of the Register, 1268-1282, there is no direct record of any ordination at all. In 1268 the Bishop ordered all Rectors and Vicars not in Priest's Orders to attend and receive the same at Christmas [1]. In 1270 a newly appointed Canon of Warwick agreed to attend the next celebration of Orders [2]. In 1275 Walter de Mapham is stated to have been ordained sub-deacon [3], but for this period there is not any further entry beyond the mentions which are made that the Bishop celebrated Orders; no names are given. It is not until 1282 that the entry runs: "On Saturday quatuor temporum next after the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, the Lord Bishop celebrated his general Orders, as well secular as regular, in the Cathedral Church of Worcester, whereof the names of the seculars are these [4]". From this date the names of the seculars are always given, the names of the regulars never. The number of ordinations Giffard held is remarkable - over 50 are recorded; the places where they were held were not only in the Diocese but also outside it. In fact, as far as the Register goes, one of the great Episcopal objects appears to have been to hold Ordinations as frequently as possible.

The following table gives the usual Ordinations mentioned in the Register; some few casual ones, where only one or two persons were ordained, have been omitted.

[1] p. 13.
[2] p. 30.
[3] p. 75.
[4] p. 157.


Page.Date.Place.By Whom.Accolyte. Sub-deacon.DeaconPriestTotal.
1571282WorcesterBp. Giffard 139127120386
1731283""  257
204"Campden" 10510996320
224"Wick Episcopi" 1348
220 Alvechurch"  369
2301284Westbury on Trym" 3317
237"Northleach" 12293118333
2591285London"  112
268"Worcester" 566034150
276"Alvechurch" 41 5
2811286Wythindon" 1113
288"Stratford on Avon" 484343134
294"Henbury in the Salt Marsh" 36615
316 1288Alvechurch" 16613
320"Westbury" 234753133
324"Worcester" 12238
3271289Wythingdon"  2114
328"Bredon" 2  2
330"Roucester" 2  2
331"Worcester" 20313889
338"Weston under Edge" 14 5
""Wythindon" 4138
346""" 63514
348""" 3339
3501291Bredon" 25613
352"Bromsgrove" 25234391
3571289Blockley" 581023
3661290""  336
374"Stratford-on-Avon" 1457975299
3831291Bredon" 39315
384""" 1214
3921291Bredon"  213
396"Campden" 190166100456
407"Ichull" 2  2
409"Blockley" 3238
4121292Worcester" 278 121 399
425"Weston" 361120
4301293Hartlebury" 9192856
434"Henbury" 465069165
4391294Blockley" 11122245
446"Hilingdon" 24713
451"Wick Episcopi" 4011213165
4571295Kempsey" 10010089289
4641296Henbury" 294246117
475"[1]" 23[1]118132273
4841297KempseyJohn, Bishop of Liandaff 26412
5001298Westbury" 197  197
509"Worcester" 14212863
5201300"" 10080114294
532"Gloucester" 597365197

[1] Imperfect.


As has been said, the explanation that is often given to account for the numbers ordained, that the persons only took Minor Orders so as to escape from serfdom, is not borne out by the Register; the number of those ordained as Sub-deacon and to the two other grades of Deacon and Priest shews that the majority of persons went on to the higher Orders. Possibly the decrees of the Council of Lyons, that no one not in Priest's Orders should hold a benefice, may have compelled many to take Priest's Orders who would not otherwise have done so; as in 1283, out of six persons ordained Priests five were Rectors: the Rector of St. Andrew's, Worcester, the Rector of Elmley Lovet, the Rector of Broadway, the Rector of Knightwick, and the Rector of Aldrington [1]. But even this does not account for the number of persons ordained, especially as it must have been common knowledge that only a very small proportion of them could expect clerical preferment. It was this knowledge, if they had no other means of support, the Bishop who ordained them had to support them, which made the enquiries into the title of each of the candidates to be ordained so stringent. Patrimony is stated over and over again as the title for ordination, nothing else is mentioned. In one case, in 1291, the title of the first 132 Sub-deacons is given at length and of the next 58 it is stated, "All these are promoted by the title of patrimony to the Order of Sub-deacon [2]".

What patrimony was considered to be sufficient varied in different Dioceses. There is a case in the Year Books of the 4oth Edward III. where the value of a benefice is said to be 6 marks. In the Durham Register a pension of 5 marks was given to a Priest until the Bishop could provide him with a living [3]. In the Worcester Sede Vacante Register the value of the patrimony is given in certain cases: the lowest mentioned is 30s., and 40s. is the more usual [4]. In Giffard's endowment of the Carnarie Chapel there is some indication of what he thought enough. He provides that the master was to have 100s., and the others 25 marks for victuals, and 20s. for shoes and raiment [5]. If 40s. was the qualification it would serve to shew that the clergy were in an independent position, 40s. being the qualification at a later date as a voter for a Knight of the Shire.

[1] p. 220.
[2] p. 400.
[3] Registrum Palatinum Dunelmensi (Rolls Series), III., lxxxviii.
[4] p. 153, Worcestershire Hist. Society edition.
[5] p. 308.


Another point the names of the clergy bring out very clearly is that they were, with very few exceptions, drawn from the Diocese, and were all local men. All or nearly all the surnames are place-names, most of them places in the Diocese. Sometimes a clear indication of the class to which the person belongs is given: as Walter the weaver of St. Michael's, John the fuller of Bromsgrove, Adam le Espicer of Campden, Walter the smith of Bernynton, Adam the tanner, John called the miller of Broadway [1]. But even where these do not occur the place-name suggests that the person was a local man, and the amount of the patrimony fixes his class, the yeoman class of the county. Out of all the 5,000 names hardly one appears to belong to the upper classes. It may be that Worcestershire was an exceptional case from the large amount of Church lands in it; the tenants of the Church would naturally desire their children to be connected with it, and this may in some way account both for the number and position of those taking Orders. As far as the names of the regulars are given they seem drawn from the same class, the sons of tenants on the Church lands. Here it is true other names, sometimes those of foreigners, appear; but the broad rule is the same as with the seculars, that the ranks of both the regular and secular clergy in the thirteenth century were mainly recruited from those who owned or worked on the land.

The next question is how far were they educated. On Giffard's register no less than 55 licences to incumbents to leave their livings for the purpose of study appear; of these some 20 are to study abroad. There are no means of judging how far these licences really represent a desire to study, or were merely a desire of change. That a considerable number of the parochial clergy went to Rome seems clear, from the fact of the Pope filling up the livings of those who died there. It would have been expected that the Pope would have carried out the decrees of his own Councils, and only appointed to a benefice a person who by a decree of a Council was fully qualified to hold it; but this was not the case. In spite of the Council of Lyons, some of the persons appointed by the Pope were not in Priest's Orders. When the Pope set the example of deviating from the rule, he did not

[1] pp. 413, 415, 416, 417, 464, 502.


Whether the portions of the vicars were sufficient ?

The absence of any enquiries as to criminous clerks leads to the belief that there were few, if any, especially as at a later date, when the Bishop met his clergy at Hartlebury in 1300, cases of offences by clerks were expressly named as a subject for enquiry; for instance, Ralph de Vasto Prato, the Rector of Wydindon, was found to be illegitimate, or as it is put, "to have a defect in his birth [1]"; one of the questions was if he was to be deprived [2]; an incorrigible brother of the Hospital of St. John of Warwick was to be seen to ascertain if he was acting of his free will or under compulsion [3]. The question whether the Rector of Heythrop [Ethrop] should be deprived, being an alien, was ordered to be heard judicially [4]; the case of the Rector of Broadway, Peter, who sent his pregnant concubine to the Priest of the Parish Church of Astley, was to be considered [5]. These entries seem to prove ghat what ecclesiastical offences there were these synods dealt with, and if none are mentioned it is because there were none to mention. Two cases show how strict was Giffard's discipline over the clergy. Robert of Great Malvern obtained Orders from an alien Bishop [6], that is, he being a subject of Giffard's diocese was ordained by another Bishop, without letters dimissory. The Bishop granted him a dispensation for this. A monk of Little Malvern celebrated Mass upon an unconsecrated altar. Giffard wrote to the Prior of Little Malvern, ordering that the offender should be suspended from the Priestly office for a month [7].

A more serious case was that of William le Roper, a deacon who occupied the Church of St. Werburgh, Bristol [8]. After he had undertaken the cure he contracted matrimony with Christina Troye, otherwise Joan de Bristol, a woman still living in 1301. Giffard at once, with the sanction of his Court, deprived him, and the Abbot of Keynsham, who was the patron, presented a priest named Adam de Souweye to the benefice; but the deacon refused to give up, so Giffard wrote to the Archbishop of Canterbury asking for help. As pointed out by the Bishop of Salisbury, marriage was probably considered an offence, while concubinage "sine scandalo" was condoned after Langton's decree of 1222 [9].

[1] p. 505.
[2] p. 516.
[3] Ib.
[4] Ib.
[5] p. 517.
[6] p. 71.
[7] p. 323.
[8] p. 544.
[9] See Wordsworth's Ministry of Grace, p. 234.


A great deal as to the state of the parochial clergy is to be learnt by a close study of the Register. It would make this Introduction too long to go into the detailed points of interest which are raised; for instance, such a matter as in what cases "manual obedience" to the Bishop was required, and when not. William de Timberhangle was admitted to the Church of Churchull, next Kidderminster [1], but not instituted until he made manual obedience to the Bishop. Manual obedience was only required in certain cases, but sometimes it was required both of parochial clergy and others as well. In 1298 William Bonyn, the Prior of Beckford, was appointed Proctor of the Prior and convent of St. Barbara in the Diocese of Lisieux, to administer the goods of the said Priory in England [2]. He was made to swear canonical manual obedience to the Cathedral Church of Worcester, and the Bishops presiding in the same. But no such oath appears to have been required for the Proctors either of Lyra or St. Taurinus.

Another matter is worth notice, in what parishes and under what circumstances were there parochical chaplains. In 1280, William, Rector of Hartlebury, presented Walter, parochial chaplain of the same place, as vicar, and he was duly instituted [3]. Other points might be mentioned, such as the provision for old and infirm rectors, the enforced presentation to livings by the Pope, or some outside authority, the letting livings to farm [4]. All these, however, must be passed over.

This notice of the parochial clergy may be well concluded with a list of the churches and altars which Giffard consecrated or dedicated, and the Chantries, Hermitages, Private Chapels, and cases of reconciliation given in the Register.

As to churches.- In June, 1269, Giffard dedicated the Church of Hampton Meisy [5]; in October he consecrated the Church of Stanway and the Church of Wike in honour of St. Lawrence the Martyr [6]; the Church of Hartlebury [7] in November; the Church of Ombersley in honour of St. Andrew [8]; and the Chapel of Stone, in the parish of Chaddesly Corbett, in honour of the Blessed Mary [8]; in 1270 [9] he ordered the Chancel of Henbury in the Salt Marsh to be rebuilt. There then seems to have been a pause in church build-

[1] p. 496.
[2] p. 505.
[3] p. 823.
[4] p. 30.
[5] p. 22.
[6] p. 27.
[7] p. 28.
[8] p. 30.
[9] p. 43.


Reconciliations.- Of these but few are mentioned. In 1284 the Bishop reconciled the chapel of St. Werburgh of Henbury in the Salt Marsh, and preached from Psalm xcii. v. 5, "Holiness becometh thy house for ever [1]". In 1290 he reconciled the churchyard of Colne Monachorum [2], and also the church of Cowley Monachorum [3]. It appears from the Annales Wigornia [4]", and the proclamation against carrying arms at Pentecostal processions in the Cathedral [5], that it had to be reconciled in consequence of blood being shed in it in 1292. In 1300 the vicar of Kyneton was assaulted in his churchyard, but as the Bishop's commissary decided there had been no actual effusion of blood, no reconciliation was required [6]. There is no allusion to it in the Register, but it appears from Harleian MS. 3763, that the church of Evesham was reconciled in 1295 by Anian, Bishop of Bangor. The cause that rendered this necessary is not stated.

The institutions to the different livings give the names of the incumbents and patrons of the various parishes for the time covered by the Register. Except as to the few mentioned in the Annales Wigornia of the livings belonging to the Worcester Priory, the Register is almost the only source from whence this very important part of the parochial history of the county ean now be obtained. In Appendix No. IV. all these institutions, collations and admissions are arranged in alphabetical order, both from the Register and the Annales; so that there will be found there as complete a list of the Incumbents of the Worcestershire parishes in the last quarter of the thirteenth century as it is possible to get from these sources. There is a good deal to be learnt from them as to the state of the parochial clergy, who were Englishmen, who foreigners, who were seculars, who were regulars, who resided, and who were absentees. It may be the result of such a study will be to establish that the parochial clergy in the diocese were a very different class of men from what has usually been considered the case. At all events the information is of value if it is desired to know what thirteenth- century Worcestershire really was.

[1] p. 232.
[2] p. 343.
[3] p. 344.
[4] p. 509.
[5] p. 422.
[6] p. 536.



The Register contains a trace - it cannot be said to be anything more - that Giffard's zeal for uniformity and supremacy extended not merely to enforcing his authority over all persons in the Diocese, but also to the establishment of uniformity in the forms used in the religious services. Probably no Diocese in England had a greater diversity in its ritual than Worcester. This was due to several causes:-

1. To the existence of old Benedictine Houses, which had their own uses fixed before any general one was adopted.

2. To the existence of exempt Houses such as Evesham, which, free from episcopal visitation, continued to carry on or modify their use in accordance with their own customs and ideas.

3. To the existence of the cells to foreign Religious Houses, which possibly might employ either the use or some of the customs that were in force in the foreign House to which they were cells.

Most of the Religious Houses in the Diocese were Benedictine; even if the Cistercians and other Orders had, the Benedictine Houses had not any common monastic Missal. It is a point on which opinions differ, and it seems that the Benedictines used the Psalter of St. Benedict, but for the Mass the Missal of the Diocese in which their House was situated, if there was such a Missal. In the Worcester Diocese it is most doubtful if any such distinctive Missal or any Missal of a distinct use existed.

Although connected with Gloucestershire, as has been already pointed out, Giffard's chief connection was with Wiltshire. At Boyton his mother was buried, and at Boyton, of which he was the Lord of the Manor, he entered into an arrangement with the Bishop of Salisbury (Wickhampton) as to the services that were to be said at the Chantry he founded there. By a deed dated 16 December, 1279 [1], it was agreed between Giffard, as Lord of the Manor of Boyton, and the Bishop of Salisbury, that Giffard should present a person in Priest's Orders to the Bishop as Rector, and also three other fit men in Priest's Orders who should be paid yearly two marks for mending the garments and other necessaries; that they should all be of holy conversation,

[1] p. 119. See the deed printed at length in Sarum Charters and Documents (Rolls Series), 1901, p. 356.


dwelling under one roof; they should enter the Church with black copes and surplices, praising God according to the use (secundum nostrce ecdesice cathedralis) of the Church of Salisbury, and with services for the dead, singing the canonical hours. They were to celebrate four Masses daily; one of the day, one of the Blessed Virgin with music, two for the Bishop of Salisbury, Hugh Giffard, and Sibilla his wife, whose body lies there buried, and their issue and parents, and all who rest in Christ.

The use of "our Cathedral Church" here mentioned is the celebrated Sarum use, which is said to have been introduced into England by St. Osmund, who died in 1099. The precise date of its introduction is not known. Prior to the Conquest, or at least after the Council of Cloveshoo, A.D. 747, to the Conquest, the English Service-books were nominally Roman, but with certain local (Gallican and Celtic) elements. After the Conquest various local revisions were introduced, of which the most important was that of Salisbury, to which a permanent form was given by Bishop Richard Poore while he held the office of Dean, circa A.D. 1210; a later recension of the use was made in 1246, after which the Sarum use became the standard one, but its adoption in the different dioceses was very partial [1], as the conservative tendency of a religious House would lead it to retain its old Service-books as long as possible. In the Worcester Diocese Tewkesbury had adopted the Sarum use in the thirteenth century, as appears by the Cambridge MS. [2], while Winchcombe retained the Gregorian, it is believed, until the Reformation. Evesham seems to have had its own peculiar form: in some parts it is Sarum, but there is a strong infusion of York, which was Gregorian, and also a resemblance to some of the customs of the Norman Houses. These may be from the Sarum customs, as St. Osmund was a Norman, and Thomas, Archbishop of York, had been Treasurer of the Church of Bayeux, and seems to have worked with St. Osmund [3]; or possibly from the Norman Houses who had cells and owned lands in the Worcester diocese. It is quite possible that it is from one or other, or both of these

[1] In the Diocese of London the old use of St. Paul's was not displaced, and the Sarum use adopted until 1414. Pro. Soc. Ant. Lond., xiv. 118.
[2] Cambridge University Library, Gg. iii. 21.
[3] See Memoir of Henry Bradshaw, London, 1888, pp. 282, 283.


that the peculiar Evesham forms originate; for instance, in the Rubric for the festival of the Purification, which provides that at Mass the celebrant should always place the candle on his right hand, both in the procession and the Mass, until after the offering, when he transferred it to his left [1]. This custom, which is peculiar, was used at the Norman Benedictine House of Lyra, and in a modified form at Bec. Again in the Ash Wednesday service the Evesham rite follows not any of the ceremonials in any of the English uses, but is more like that of the Norman Benedictine Abbey of St. Pierre sur Dive, in the Diocese of Seez, which, as well as Lyra, had property in the Worcester Diocese.

Giffard resolved to get rid of all these different uses, and to enforce as far as possible the Sarum as the only use in his Diocese. This he tried to do in two ways:- (i.) When a religious House had new statutes or ordinances, he made one of the ordinances provide that it should have its Service-books according to the Sarum use. For instance, in 1268 new ordinances were made for St. Mark's, Billeswick; these ordinances were submitted to Giffard for confirmation; among them is the following: "In fastings and other observances they (the brethren of the Hospital) shall have the same masses and rites as the brethren of the Hospital of Lechlade, except that in saying the divine offices, which they are bound to do, they shall do so according to the consuetudinary and ordinal of Sarum. If any bodies are left for sepulture it shall be lawful for the Chaplain to meet the same in the habit of the Hospital and with their more solemn apparel, according to the use of Sarum, so that they do not use the said habit elsewhere or otherwise than in the choir [2]".

This entry apparently points to two things: first that at the Hospital at Lechlade the Sarum use was not employed; and secondly, that before these ordinances the Sarum use had not been used at St. Mark's, but that they had followed the use employed at Lechlade. Whether this is or is not the right interpretation, these statutes are an instance how the Sarum use was introduced into the religious Houses. When new statutes were made they had to be approved by the Bishop. One of the ordinances Giffard insist

[1] See "Officium Ecclesiasticum abbatum secundum usum Eveshamensis Monasterii." H. Bradshaw Society, p. 191.
[2] p. 16.


upon was that the services should be conducted according to the use of Sarum. This view is borne out by the fact that, as far as appears, Winchcombe after the Conquest never had any new statutes, and Winchcombe never employed the Sarum use.

(ii.) A somewhat similar method was adopted in the Parish Churches. The Church of Westbury-on-Trym was one that Giffard did his best to make prebendal. In 1270 he made an order that the Church should be provided with new vestments, ornaments, and service-books. The order as to the service- books directs that there shall be provided "three antiphoners, three psalters, two graduals, two tropers, and one ordinal according to the use of Sarum [1]". Whatever may have been the use that was in force in the Church before, when new service-books were required the Bishop took care that such books should be of the Sarum use. That is, the same process that was applied to the Monastic Houses was also applied to the Parish Churches. Whenever any new books were necessary they were required to be according to the use of Sarum. As new books were needed front time to time, this method must have led to the Sarum use becoming general in the Parish Churches over which the Bishop had control.

One other point as to Service-books may be mentioned. An entry in 1292 [2] speaks of the Martyrologium of the Worcester Monastery, and gives a good instance how that work was compiled.

"On the feast of Pentecost, 1292, the Prior and Convent of Worcester, considering the various things both spiritual and temporal bestowed upon them by the Bishop, granted with unanimous consent, that every year after the death of the Bishop they would feed 13 poor persons on the day of his anniversary. And that this may be observed inviolate the present writing is noted in the Martyrology of the Monastery [3]". The Martyrology was read daily in the Chapter House, after Prime. Each large Monastic House had its own, but it does not appear to have been one of the books that Parish Churches were bound to get. In the Worcester Diocese there was no one form in use throughout the Diocese. The basis of all of them was the Roman

[1] p. 42.
[2] p. 432.
[3] Ibid.


Martyrology, but with the addition of some local saints. There is some evidence to shew that the Worcester Martyrology followed Sarum, for in a manuscript in the Worcester Cathedral Library [1], on an inserted leaf, is the following memorandum:- "Iste domus hebunt martilogiu cu dirige cu meichi in eis obierint scilicet Glostonia Rameseya, Abyndonia Westmonasteriu et Burgo Sti Petri Malmesbury, Wenlok, MOster Sti Remigii Femensis. Muttely habebit Martilogiu sine dirige. Et iste domus hebut dirige sine martilogio vz Radyngia, Gloucestri[a], Teukeshuria, Eveshamia, Wynchelcombe, Persora, Malvernia Major, Malvernia Minor".

The Houses that used both Martyrology and Dirige included Westminster and Abingdon; the Service-books used at these were according to the Sarum use, so that probably it would follow that the Martyrology was the same, and if so, this at first sight shews that the Worcester Martyrology was Sarum.

There are a number of other points of interest to which this entry gives rise, but they lie outside this introduction, with this exception, that it indicates that the cells did not employ the same Service-books as their Mother Houses. Great Malvern was a cell to Westminster, but it did not have the same Martyrology; Little Malvern was a cell to Worcester, yet did not have the same Martyrology. Tewkesbury in its Service-books followed the Sarum use. Evesham and Winchcombe did not, they each had their own Martyrology, so that the statement in the first part of the memorandum that the Worcester Martyrology was the same as that of Westminster and Abingdon does not necessarily shew it was Sarum.

In the churches not subject to the Bishop the Sarum use could not be enforced, but in all those religious Houses and Churches where he had jurisdiction, Giffard did his best to enforce the use of Sarum. That it was not used in the Churches not subject to the Bishop seems clear from the case of Hanley Castle, which was a church belonging to the Norman Abbey of

[1] Worcester Cathedral MS, 160, fol. 120. The memorandum is written on a leaf inserted with others, apparently in the 15th century, although possibly in the 14th. The vellum has been used previously and the original writing erased; an initial letter which remains appears to be of the 12th century; on the reverse is a hymn from the "Office for the feast of the visitation". "Gaudet chorus fideleum'. See an account of this MS. in Freere's Winchester Troper. p xxx. n. 2, Henry Bradshaw.


Lyra. A service-book used in the parish church of Hanley Castle has survived, and is now in the Cambridge University Library. This contains some peculiar observances, some of which appear in the Evesham book. Whatever they may be, and from whatever source they are derived, they are not Sarum. They may be from Lyra. If this view is correct, the question as to the Service-books used in the exempt Churches such as those in the Deanery of Evesham becomes of very great interest, and still more what was the form of Service in the Churches attached to the alien Houses. This is, however, a question outside this introduction, except so far as raised by the notices mentioned in the Register.

No wonder, with all this confusion as to the different Service-books employed in the Diocese, a lover of uniformity like Giffard should desire to reduce them to a common form, and a strong adherent of Salisbury would try that that one form should be the Sarum use. In this, however, it seems that Giffard was not successful.


In some of the ordinances both for the Religious Houses and the Churches mention is made as to the Services. In the ordinance as to Billeswick [1] it is provided that every morning the three Chaplains and six Clerks shall celebrate three Masses: (1) The Mass for the day; (2) the Mass for the Blessed Virgin; (3) the Mass for the dead. These were compulsory, and were celebrated daily. Then other Chaplains celebrated other Masses which do not appear to have been in daily use - a Mass for the living; a Mass for deceased benefactors. As to these last the Master had a discretion as to which should be said and which left unsaid.

At the Chantry Giffard founded at Boyton there were to be four Masses daily [2]:- (1) of the day; (2) of the Blessed Virgin, with music (3) for the Bishops of Salisbury; and (4) for Hugh Giffard. and Sabina, his wife, who was buried there, their issue, parents, and all those at rest in Christ. The Rector was to have a Deacon and a Sub-deacon to assist him in the Services.

At the Carnarie Chapel near the Cathedral, for which

[1] p. 15.
[2] p. 120.


Giffard issued new ordinances [1], it was provided there should be six priests, one of whom should be Master of the Service for the dead. There had previously been only five. The Master was to find lights, ornaments, books, and necessaries.

The number of Masses said in the different Churches necessarily varied. It was between the Masses that the notice of what was very common during Giffard's episcopate, a sentence of excommunication, was read out [2]. The Bishop's order to the Dean of Campden to excommunicate the Abbot of Hayles expressly directs the sentence of excommunication to be read out between the Masses. This does not appear to have been the usual place in the service for giving out notices, as in 1275, the Bishop, when directing all the- priests of the Parish Churches in Worcester, and for two leagues round, to give notice of a sermon Giffard intended to preach at the Cathedral on the benefit of the Crusade, orders the notice to be given before reading the Holy Gospel or after, as may be expedient [3].

The obligation of Priests to say the daily Office is recognised in a provision for the Rector of Winchcombe, who had become too old to work; the Abbot of Winchcombe was to receive the profits of the living [4]. The Rector was to retire into the abbey, have food, nourishment, raiment, shoes, bedclothes, wine, an honest chamber, and a clerk with whom he can say the canonical hours.

There are several cases of special prayers being offered for special purposes: for the King and for his success in the Welsh and Scotch Wars. When Edward was successful against the Welsh, Giffard, obviously with a thank-offering in view, wrote to congratulate him on his victories, saying he could not fail to succeed as he had the prayers of St. Wulstan [5]. For Giffard himself and to all those who went to the Cathedral Church at Worcester and prayed for him, Pope Martin IV. granted an indulgence [6]. For the repose of the soul of the King of Scotland [7], for the Church and King, the Bishop gave directions [8] that prayers were to be said, - daily at Mass, when the celebrant should say, Pax domini, etc., immediately before the Agnus Dei, with prostration

[1] p. 308.
[2] p. 67.
[3] p. 73.
[4] p. 86.
[5] p. 2.
[6] p. 134.
[7] p. 284.
[8] p. 276.


and devotion of the Clergy and people in low tones, and that there should be chanted the Psalm ad to levavi, &c., for preserving the state of the Church and of the King, these being accompanied by prayers and petitions.

There is a curious entry as to the rights of the different members of the Worcester House at a funeral. It is entitled, "The mode of receiving the horse coming with the funeral of any one to the Church of Worcester [1]". It states, "Of old time it was ordained in the presence of the Bishop, and the Prior, and the Clerks of the Bishop in the Chapter at Worcester, that if a war-horse, or palfrey, or gold should be brought with the body of the deceased, they should belong to the Prior. If a draft-horse or a mare, it should belong to the Sacristan. If vair, or badger skin, or arms, they should belong to the chamberlain; but all other clothes should belong to the Sacristan. If clothes or towels, they should belong to the fraterer. If utensils, to the cellarer. If the testator should direct differently by his will, the will should stand. If anything be left, the Chapter should have two parts, and the third should belong to the Sacristan. These rules refer to free men, not monks. If monks, the Prior should have all things, except a vigil be made. The Sacristan shall find all things necessary for a vigil, and the Prior shall pay him 22d. Of countrymen all things belong to the Sacristan".

This arrangement of the perquisites of burials clearly shows why the monks fought so hard over the right of funerals at their Church. The passage as to wills is interesting, as it gives the reason for what has survived to our own day, the directions in the will where the body is to be buried, and as to the funeral. All these rules only apply if no directions are given by the deceased.

Several instances have already been given of penances of the severer kind: how the penitent was to be beaten and marched round the town, as in the case of the breach of sanctuary at Bristol [2], and the abduction of the nuns by Sir Osbert Giffard from the Convent at Wilton [3]. One of a milder form may be mentioned. Two men and two women who had communicated with William de Ledbury, the disreputable Malvern Prior [4], were excommunicated

[1] p. 307.
[2] p. 110.
[3] p. 278.
[4] p. 184.


for doing so. They were subsequently absolved; but had first to do penance, following the procession in the Cathedral Church of Worcester for three Sundays barefoot, in tunics and uncovered heads, with two Priests or more publishing their deeds before the people.

Giffard made ample provision for enforcing the duty of penance. In 1292 four penitentiaries were appointed, two for each Archdeaconry [1]: for the Worcester Archdeaconry, the Rector of St. Peter the Less of Worcester and Richard, the Priest of the Parish of Tewkesbury; for the Gloucester Archdeaconry, the Rector of Tetbury and Brother Andrew de Pentecost of the Order of Preachers, dwelling at Bristol. Subsequently a fifth was added, Brother Robert Mendecort, Canon of Chiltham.

There is some mention in the Register of special services, but not many.

As has been said, Giffard consecrated altars at Hanley Castle, Redmarley, and Blockley. But the most important would be when the monks of Llanthony had their High altar consecrated by John, Bishop of Llandaff [2]. As the old House of Llanthony was in the Llandaff Diocese, the monks might have thought, they had a right to go to that Bishop. The fact that the monks of Wotton had leave to have their altar consecrated by any Catholic bishop [3] may point to the fact of the presence of some Norman Bishop here from Lisieux, the mother house, which was in that country.

The reconciliation services have already been mentioned. The question in all the cases was whether blood was actually shed in the church; if so a reconciliation service was necessary. In 1200 a question arose if one was required in the churchyard at Kyneton; but as, after enquiry, it was found no blood was actually shed in the churchyard, no reconciliation was deemed necessary [4]. The great case was when in 1292 there was blood shed in the Cathedral: two rival processions met and fought, and blood was spilt. The Worcester Annalist says [5] the monks at first innocently went on with the service, believing blood had not fallen on the pavement, but when it was found it had, the Church was closed until the Bishop reconciled it. This led to an order by the Bishop, that in consequence of the recent disturbing and

[1] p. 426.
[2] p. 70.
[3] p. 70.
[4] p. 536.
[5] An. Wr.


drawing of blood in the Cathedral Church of Worcester, all incumbents of Churches and Chapels should give out for four Sundays before the Feast of Pentecost that no one should join in the Pentecostal procession with a sword or other kind of arms [1].

There is in the Register what is probably a mistake of the scribe, otherwise it is a very difficult entry to explain. In 1289 the Bishop was on a visitation; he came to Tewkesbury, and it is said that there fecit officium festi diei Parassav'; this would mean he said the Office for the Feast of Good Friday! But it is hard to believe any clerical scribe could make such a blunder as to call Good Friday a feast. If it is not a mistake, it is very difficult to say what this feast was. The text of the sermon, a very appropriate Good Friday text, was from 1 Maccabees i. 42: Secundum gloriam ejus multiplicata est ignominia ejus [2].

A dispute arose between the Rector of the Church and the Rector of the Schools of St. Nicholas', Worcester [3]. The Feast of St. Nicholas was kept with some state in the Church of St. Nicholas, and the scholars from the schools came with candles. Both the Rector of the Church and the Rector of the Schools claimed to be entitled to the remains of the candles and wax. The Bishop made an ordinance settling the matter.

There is in the Register mention of certain confirmations that Giffard held; but no general record of confirmations. In 1300, when Giffard's health was failing, he gave the Bishop of Llandaff a commission authorising him, amongst other things, to confirm children [4]. In 1298 the Bishop of Lincoln had excommunicated all those who had been authors or favourers of re-baptizing a boy at Banbury [5]. It may be the two entries have some connection with each other.

Only one other matter as to services should be noticed. A question arose admitting that, although prima facie Marriages, Baptisms and Churchings should be said in the Parish Church only, and not in the parochial Chapels, if they had been said in the Chapels could the Rectors afterwards refuse to allow them to be said there, and insist on them only being said in the Church [6]? This case, like all the others, was one of fees; should they go to the Rector or the Chaplain ? Giffard decided, if they had been once accustomed

[1] p. 422.
[2] p. 328.
[3] p. 395.
[4] p. 517.
[5] p. 507.
[6] p. 11.


to be said in the Chapel, the right could not be afterwards withdrawn. The case arose at Kempsey; the inhabitants of Norton Chapelry had had Baptisms, Marriages and Churchings in the Chapel there; the Rector wanted to discontinue them; Giffard decided he could not do so, as the parishioners possessed the custom they could not have it taken from them; he further ordered that Mass should be celebrated in the Chapel at Norton on every Sunday and Feast Day. The rule being that it was to be so said in Parish Churches, but this did not necessarily extend to parochial Chapels.


There are a few entries as to vestments in the Register which are of interest.

In the order for vestments and ornaments for Westbury-onTrym, already mentioned [1], it is ordered by Giffard that there shall be six vestments with apparels of silk, to wit, three for festivals, three for Sundays, and three embroidered (aurifrigiatce) copes of silk. Six blessed linen palls (six palls linea benedicta), two frontals, one of silk for double feasts (ad testa duplicia); one pix of ivory, or a cup of silver hanging above the altar under a Jock (sub serura), in which the Eucharist is to be placed; two processional candlesticks of brass or pewter; four banners of silk .... eight surplices; four phials (phiole); two competent basons of silver or brass; three towels; one offertory (offertorium) of silk for the paten; one lantern (lucerna) to carry before the Eucharist to the sick. All these things were to be kept for ever in the Church, instead of the insufficient vases or ornaments then in the Church. As Westbury was a large prebendal Church these vestments and ornaments are probably more than would be required in an ordinary Parish Church, but they give some idea of what would be the maximum of the Church furniture necessary for Parish Churches.

In 1283 Giffard desired to renew the ornaments of the Church of Hilingdon [2], a Church which was really the Chapel to his London house; he accordingly presented to it the following: "One chasuble of red samite; a tunic and dalmatic of the same suit, one cloth of gold elaborately woven, for a frontal; one mitre and sandals of

[1] p. 42.
[2] p. 208.


silk' and a pillow likewise of silk. These all to be in perpetual memory of the Bishop of Worcester".

The vestments for the religious in several of the Houses are prescribed in some of the ordinances. At St. Mark's, Billeswyke [1] the habit of the hospital is spoken of, as also the more solemn apparel according to the use of Sarum, which was only to be used in the choir; no details are given as to what this was. The usual dress for ministering seems to have been, for the scholars black copes and surpliees, for the lay brethren, the same dress as the brethren of Lechlade, but with the distinctive badge of St. Mark's, a white cross and a red shield with three white geese; this was only to be fixed on the gown of those who had passed their year of probation, when they had become professed. In the House, the Master and Chaplain alone were to wear black eloaks (mantilis) with black amess having the badge of the House; out of the House, black copes with the badge.

Black copes and surplices seem to have been the usual habit for the members of Houses of this class. In the ordinance for the Chapel of the Carnarie at Worcester Giffard, writing in 1285 to the Keeper and other Priests appointed to perform divine obsequies there, says that as it is convenient that those serving in one place should wear the same habit, the Master and Priests on going to the Carnarie to perform the offices, in going, remaining, and returning should wear black copes in public with surplices below [2]. In 1287 Giffard made new ordinanees for the Carnarie Chapel, and endowed it for six Priests, who were to attend the services in black copes and surplices [3].

Giffard's ordinance for his Chantry at Boyton also prescribed black copes and surpliees for the Priests [4].

There seems to have been some difficulty in getting the prescribed dress worn in the religious Houses in 1291 [5]. Among the "corrections" for the Hospital of St. John, Lechlade, was one requiring that there should be uniformity in dress and in the colour of the same among the brethren, and that the dress of the sisters should be in accordance with decency". What the ideas of decency were is shown by an entry with regard to the nuns of Pynley [6]. Giffard wrote to them in 1284, giving them a dispensation to use linen

[1] p. 16.
[2] p. 255.
[3] p. 308.
[4] p. 119.
[5] p. 391.
[6] p. 249.


rochets if they were not girded over their rochets (ita quod super ilia rocheta non cingantur). This prohibition being against a nun wearing anything that should show her figure.

It would appear, from an order of Giffard in 1275 [1], that every parish Priest was required to have a cope and surplice, and the parish a banner; the order was for the parish Priests of the Churehes in Worcester, and for two miles round, to attend on a Sunday in June, 1275, at the Cathedral to hear a sermon from the Bishop on the spiritual benefits derived from taking the Cross. The Priests were to attend attired in their copes and surpliees, carrying the banner of the Cross.

Incidentally the cost, and probably the excessive cost, of an orphrey is given. The Bishop's agent, Fileby, in his bill of disbursements at Rome, among the charges for presents he gave to the Papal secretary, Bernard de Neapoli, he includes 30s. for an orphrey [2].

There is another entry as to Church services deserving notice [3]. In 1274 there is a letter from the Bishop to Thomas, Rector of the Church of Bisley, handing over to him the property assigned for the maintenance of divine service et organ' of praise in the Chapel of the Blessed Mary of that Church. It would be interesting to know what is the precise meaning of organ' here. It is obviously something that was specially endowed; it may possibly mean organs, but it would be most exceptional, as the case of an organ in a Parish Church at that date would be very rare; more likely it means part-singing, and that the endowment was for the maintenance and keeping up a proper choir; whichever way it is taken, either as an endowment for an organ or as endowment of the part-singers, it is a somewhat unusual state of things at that date.

Another passage shews that in some cases there were quire-screens with lofts in the churches. When in 1284 the Bishop conseerated the Church of the Dominicans at Gloueester, he is said to have preached in pulpito [4].


The Register is not the record of the Judicial work of the Bishop or his officials, so that it forms no true return as to that work.

[1] p. 73.
[2] p. 292.
[3] p. 64.
[4] p. 235.


Only a few entries as to a very small part of it are, from some cause or the other, mentioned. These may be grouped under three heads: (1) Wills and testamentary work; (2) Marriages; (3) Questions of legitimacy.

(2.) By far the most numerous and interesting are the early wills, some twenty of which are entered on the Register. The process seems to have been that, on the death of any one who had any property, the Bishop's officers at once took possession under a sequestration. So that if a man had property in several dioceses, the officials, the sequestrators, of each Bishop took possession of the property in their dioeese. This led to great inconvenience, so the rule at last grew up that if a man had property in several Dioceses the Court of the Archbishop, not of the Diocesan Bishop, had jurisdiction; this led to frequent controversies between the Canterbury and the local officials as to who had the right to administer an estate.

The wills only relate to personal estates; there was not any power to leave lands by will till the reign of Henry VIII., so that as personal property in those days was small, the will gives but little idea as to the real position of the testator. They are interesting as showing how little personal property even the greatest noble of those days possessed. Nearly all contain gifts to religious bodies. It will be remembered that one of the great privileges of the Friars was to grant absolution to the dying; a careful perusal of the wills and the religious gifts gives a clue as to whether the deceased's death was attended by a wandering Friar or by his parish Priest. Although it does not follow if there is a gift to the Friars as well as to the Parish Church that the parish Priest was not in attendance, yet when there is no gift to the Parish Church and gifts to the Friars, it is fairly certain that for some reason or the other the deceased's death-bed was attended by a Friar.

The religious gifts are also of importanee from two other points of view; they prove the existence of religious houses of which there is no other mention; for instance, Giffard's Register is silent as to the nunnery at Westwood, and if it was left to the Register it might fairly be inferred that that nunnery did not exist before 1300, as it is not mentioned in it. Being a daughter house to Fontevraud it would be exempt from visitation, and being very small and poor there would be nothing to bring it under the Bishop's notice. But


the wills record legacies to the nuns of Westwood. One is found in that of William Beauchamp [1], in 1268, which proves its existence at that time, and gives a date before which it must have been founded. The same may be said of several other of the religious Houses.

The other point is that as the earlier wills in Giffard's Register contain usually no mention of the place where the deceased wanted to be buried, the contest as to burials for the sake of the fees and offerings at the tombs had not as yet arisen between the parish Priests and the old Monastic Orders on the one hand, and the Friars on the other. As soon as these disputes arose, and it was laid down that the wishes of the deceased as expressed in his will were to prevail, whether the will was made by the parish Priest or by a Friar, an expression of the testator's wishes, or of the wishes of the maker of the will, became almost a common form, thus giving a further due as to who was the person who made any particular will.

Giffard's Register contains the wills of 20 persons, dealing with their personal estate. The inquisitions post mortem of some of these are extant and have been published, and these read together with the will shew what property the deceased really possessed.

The first will on the Register is that of William Beauchamp, Jan., 1268 [2]. This was probably prepared by a Franciscan, as the testator desired his body to be buried in the Franciscan Church at Worcester, presumably the church which stood in Friar Street, near where the old city gaol now stands; the other Franciscan Church being later in date. The will also shews that the Franciscan Church was outside the City, as a legacy is left to a Chaplain to perform divine service "in my chapel without the City of Worcester, near the Friars Minors". The legacy to the Friars Minors of Worcester was 40s., while the Franciscans, Dominicans and Carmelites of Gloucester only got a mark each.

There is an entry in the Register of the will of Beatrice, the widow of Richard, King of the Romans [3]. Hayles Abbey was probably the cause of this being entered here.

The will of Roger de Clifford, made 1st November, 1284, was obviously not prepared by a Friar, as it is silent as to them or their

[1] p. 3.
[2] p. 7.
[3] p. 91.


houses [1]. It is most likely the work of a Cistercian monk, who also was the parish Priest of Dore. The nuns of the House of Westwood again came in for a legacy. The £100 for the Chaplain to say Masses for the testator's soul is a larger legacy than usual for this purpose. That and the legacy of £20 to Reginald, the clerk, gives rise to the idea that the will proeeeds from Dore.

There is an entry of the fact that administration of the will of Walter Marescall [2] was granted to his executors.

Sir Anselm Gurney's will, in 1286, was probably made by a Dominican [3]. He is to be buried in the Church of the Friars Preachers at Bristol, and they are to have 40s., while the Franciscans only got half a mark, the Carmelites and the Trinitarians 2s.; even his own Hospital, of which he was patron, St. Mark's, Billeswyke, only received 20s. for his soul, one half of what the Dominicans secured. Certain parish churehes got a little, but none of the larger monasteries are mentioned.

The will of the Rector of Wydindon, in 1287, directs his body to be buried in the churchyard at Wydindon [4]. He leaves the Bishop his palfrey. To the Dominicans, Franciscans and Carmelites of Gloucester half a mark each; the rest of his goods are left in legacies. His two Chaplains got 2s. each, and the Chaplain of his Chapel a cope with a furred hood.

The will of Sir Nicholas de Mutthon', Knight [5], in 1291, is a very interesting document. It is hard to say who prepared it, possibly a Worcester Franciscan. The testator directs his body to be buried in the Chapel of the Blessed Mary of Bredon, but his heart is to be buried in the place of the Friars Minors at Worcester, and with his heart he gives £40 for the fabric of six altars in the same place. If the work of the Church means the building of the Church, as it would seem to do, this is one of the first recorded gifts to the repair or building of the Cathedral, the testator giving 4os. to it; he gives a legacy to the Clerk at Bredon of los., and also legacies to the works at the Chapels at Bredon and Mitton, and at the Churches of Kemmerton and Ripple, which would shew that all these churches were either being built or repaired at this time. He gives legacies to the Houses of Woreester and Tewkesbury, and to the Franciscans of Worcester, but not to the other

[1] p. 281.
[2] p. 285.
[3] p. 295.
[4] p. 312.
[5] p. 388.


Friars there; while he gives to the Dominicans, Franciscans and Carmelites of Gloucester and the Dominicans of Warwick. His gifts being confined to the Worcester Franciscans rather points to a Worcester Franeiscan being the draughtsman. His gifts are not confined to Religious Houses, no less than six bridges receiving legacies: among which are Nafford, Pershore and Tewkesbury towards Muche. It may be that this fixes the dates of the oldest parts of the present bridges of Pershore, Eckington, and the old Bridge at Tewkesbury.

The will of Hugh de Evesham is given, but this was a foreign production and has not been set out [1].

John de Wyg, called the son of Peter, made his will in 1292, the author was probably one of the Worcester monks [2]. He directs that he should be buried in the Cathedral, in the Lady Chapel, and leaves 8s. a year out of the rent of a house in the street of the Bakers for the use of the chantry of the Mass of the Blessed Mary of the same Church, and he begs the monks at the said Mass to say daily a collect for his soul. He leaves the Franciscans one mark for their table on the day of his burial. It appears that in the Church of St. Helen, Worcester, there were four Chapels, as there are legacies to each of the four Chaplains.

Sir Hugh de Plesset' directs that he should be buried in the conventual Church of Mussenden, next the monument of his father [3]. He gives a legacy to his Parish Priest, and legacies to the fabric of the Cathedral and of other churches, and to the Dominican, Franciscan, Augustinian and Carmelite Friars at Oxford.

Sir Giles de Berkeleye, in 1294, directed that he should be buried in the chancel of the Church of Little Malvern, before the image of St. Giles the Confessor [4]. His heart was to be buried in the chancel of the Church of St. Giles of Coberley. He left a legacy to the work of the Church at Coberley and to the Gloucester Friars. His vestments he left to the Chapel of the Blessed Mary of Eldersfield, and 6s. 8d. to the work of the Chapel.

There are other wills in the Register, but those that have been mentioned are sufficient to show what a large amount of local information is to be obtained by a study of the old wills. Much of the information contained in them is to be found nowhere else,

[1] p. 406.
[2] p. 422.
[3] p. 423.
[4] p. 449.


they are, therefore, some of the most important documents for local history. When it is remembered that the earliest wills now extant in the Worcester Registry are not before the 14th century, these of the 13th which are found here, and it is believed here only, show the importance of the Register for local history.

On an intestacy the Bishop became entitled to take all the goods of the intestate. The Vicar of Tysoe died intestate in 1279. A sequestrator was at once appointed, and ordered by the Bishop to take the fruits and goods of the Church [1].

The jurisdiction as to wills was always a point on which the Bishop felt much jealousy, and whieh was most carefully guarded. This is seen from the instructions given to the Archdeacons in 1276. They were to enquire into four articles related to these matters: as to the goods of those dying intestate, as to the executors of wills not proved and the disposal of residuary estates, as to administration by executors, and as to executors refusing to act [2]. It was the attempt of the Archbishop's officials in trying to get a good deal of the testamentary business from the Bishop's Court to their own that was one of the chief grounds of quarrel between Giffard and Peckham. In 1300, at the close of his episcopate, among the matters to be treated of by the Synod at Hartlebury were the proof of wills and the number of travelling apparitors through the Diocese who had the proving of wills [3].

(2.) The matrimonial disputes recorded in the Register are few. It will be enough to mention the following; the first, in 1275, shows one form of the Bishop's jurisdiction [4]. The Bishop ordered the Dean of Worcester that as Christiana Atte Woode was not obedient to her husband, the Dean should warn her and induce her to be so in all lawful and honest matters and treat him with wifely affection, otherwise she was to be cited to appear before the Bishop's official at the Sessions of the Consistory of Worcester.

In 1278, the Bishop wrote to the King's Judges that Henry Fown had abducted Agnes, the wife of Sir James de Etyndon, Knight; had lived with her for five years, and refused to get rid of her, notwithstanding many warnings; that he continued to keep her until she died in his unlawful embraces: so the Bishop had placed

[1] p. 105.
[2] p. 90.
[3] p. 514.
[4] p. 76.


him under the greater excommunication [1]. Whatever Fown's guilt may have been, it seems rather hard that he was to be excommunicated [2], because he would not abandon the woman who lived with him. The complaint shews the offence of abduction was increased by Fown continuing to keep the lady.

In 1279 Henrica de Hammesden brought an action against Sir Andrew de Englesfeud [3], alleging he had contracted marriage with her, and asking that he might be adjudged her husband. Sir Andrew stated that at the time of the alleged marriage he was in the order of sub-deacon. This seems to have been admitted, so the alleged marriage was declared void, and that Henrica might marry another.

This case is remarkable as it seems to lay down that a person in orders was legally incapable of contracting marriage; even if he duly went through the marriage ceremony it was no marriage. Possibly the marriage was one of the class that was voidable but not actually void, and although an ecclesiastical offence would not have been annulled unless it had been brought into Court, and if it had not been annulled in the life of the parties, would have been treated afterwards as valid [4]. It appears that Englesfeud was Vicar of Strensham, and was afterwards specially absolved for all he had done by the Arehdeacon of London [5].

A case between Sir Elias de Hanville and Amice de Weston establishes that no religious ceremony was then required to make a valid marriage. Sir Nicholas, the girl's father, declared he knew of no impediment to the marriage. Amice said, on the journey from Northampton to Wodestok, Elias said to her "I, Elias, accept thee, Amice, for my wife"; she replied, "I, Amice, accept thee, Elias for my husband". An exchange of pledges followed. There was no compulsion or conditions. Elias said the words were first spoken without the house of certain nuns, and repeated on the journey from Northampton to Wodestok [6].

The great case on marriage which the Bishop heard was that of William, the son of Lord Warren de Monte Caniso, who was married to Amy, widow of Sir John de Hull; it was alleged that they lived together without being married. The Bishop ordered the

[1] p. 95.
[2] p. 98.
[3] p. 109.
[4] See Wordsworth's Ministry of Grace, p. 236.
[5] p. 114.
[6] p. 110.


parties to be cited to appear before him. William appeared, but Amy had died in child-birth. Witnesses were called. Thomas de Wychio, Priest, of Hill Croome, said he asked, in the presence of witnesses, "Sir William, do you wish to have the Lady Amy, widow of Sir Thomas de Hull, as your lawful wife?" and he answered, "I wish to have the Lady Amy as my lawful wife"; and that the lady was asked the same question and answered in the same way. Sir William took the lady by the hand and said: "I, William, son of Warren de Monte Caniso, accept thee, Lady Amy, as my lawful wife, and to this I give thee my faith", and she answered in like manner. William was dressed in black camlet, and Amy in a robe of murry colour. After they had contracted matrimony they went into church, where matrimony was solemnized, and the Mass of the Holy Trinity celebrated, and it was all done in the morning before sunrise [1]. Amy continued his wife till her death, and was buried as his wife at the Friars Minors, London; that they had one child, Dionisia de Monte Caniso. On these facts Giffard pronounced that they were legally married.

This account is of interest, as it shows that a marriage at the Church door was considered good, and that the religious ceremony that followed was not necessary to establish the marriage.

Walter de Beauchamp married Alice de Tovy; the parties were within the fourth degree of consanguinity, so could not legally marry. Giffard held that as at the time of the contract they were ignorant of any impediment existing to the marriage, in spite of the fact that they were within the prohibited degrees, the marriage was valid and the issue legitimate [2].

An order in 1291 was made by the Bishop against Sir William le Poer for payment of alimony to his wife, Lady Margaret, whom he did not treat with marital affection. If he took her back and treated her with proper affection the alimony was to cease [3].

(3.) Questions as to legitimacy were important not only as affecting the succession to land, but also because a person who was illegitimate could hold no Church preferment without a dispensation. If he was instituted to a living it was treated as being vacant. A letter from the Bishop in 1295 [4] to Peter de Escot, to whom Giffard appears to have promised the living

[1] p. 358.
[2] p. 367.
[3] p. 394.
[4] p. 451.


of Blockley, shews this. The Bishop reproached Escot for not revealing his secret that he was illegitimate, because if the Bishop, not knowing this, had given him Blockley and the Pope had discovered it, the Pope would have treated Blockley as vacant and put in his own nominee. But Giffard was not to escape so easily. Escot died at Rome; he was treated as Rector, and Pope Boniface VIII. at once filled up the living by putting in Bartholomew de Ferentino [1].

The most remarkable suit as to legitimacy was in 1300 [2]. Ella de Sor was married to one Richard Beyngham and she pretended to be pregnant. Richard Richemon and Ida de Partunhale knowing she was not so, to help her to pass off a supposititious child, went to Banbury and there bought a boy for 12d., a loaf of bread, and a dish of bacon; they brought the boy back with them and had it baptized as Ella's son. They alleged they did not know he had been already baptized at Banbury. On Richard Beyngham's death the boy was supposed to be his heir, and as the custody of the heir of lands was profitable, the Abbot of Forde claimed that Beyngham held his manors from him, and that he was entitled to the guardianship. He accordingly carried off the boy and kept him. One John Matraveris also claimed to be the Feudal lord, and sued the Abbot in the King's Courts as to the custody of the boy. Meanwhile proceedings were taken in Giffard's Court as to the boy's legitimacy, and in these proceedings Richard and Ida confessed who the boy was and how they got possession of him. Unfortunately there is nothing to show the end of this rather romantic case or what became of the purchased boy, except that the Bishop of Lincoln excommunicated all the parties for rebaptizing the boy [3].

From these extracts it will be seen what a very important jurisdiction was exercised by the Bishop over various matters, and that such jurisdiction, used as Giffard doubtless used it, must have greatly tended to exalt the position and power of the See of Worcester.


There are eertain entries in the Register which do not fall under any of the above headings, but yet are of considerable interest, to which attention should be called.

[1] p. 463.
[2] p. 538.
[3] p. 507.


In two instances the Bishop is asked either to contribute to a shrine for a Saint or to assist in getting a person made a Saint. The first was in 1269, when the alms of the faithful were requested for a new shrine for St. Richard of Chichester [1], who was canonized by Pope Urban IV. in 1262. The costs of the canonization were some 1,000 marks, and it is not improbable that the collections went to this as well as to the Shrine. As St. Richard was a Worcestershire man it was not unnatural that the county should be asked to contribute. The other case was that of Robert Grossetete, Bishop of Lincoln, in 1286 [2]. Attempts which met with but little success had been made from time to time to induce the Pope to canonize Grossetete. In 1286 the attempt was renewed, and Giffard was asked to join in the petition. It does not appear if he did so or not. The petition was not successful, although supported by the Archbishop of York, the Bishops of Worcester and St. David's, and eight Abbots.

There are several instances of penances that were imposed, which show that at that time penance was no trifling matter. Thomas de Gloucester [3] was ordered - it does not appear what for - to do penance by making an oblation of one candle and two pounds of wax, at the least, to the Church of Worcester, to make satisfaction to John the Priest, formerly imprisoned, to do no injury to religious persons or elerks, to obey canonical mandates, and to pay certain monies to Roger Canock, the Friars Minors and the Friars Preachers.

One of the Llanthony monks [4] put the Prior's finger into his mouth and, like a dog, bit it with his teeth, drawing blood. The Bishop wrote and ordered the monk to be put in prison with iron chains, and to have bread, indifferent ale, pottage and a pittance of meat or fish (to go without every sixth day) until he should become penitent.

The most remarkable case is that, in 1285 [5], of the Bishop's relation, Sir Osbert Giffard. "In the silence of the night" he ravished and abducted two nuns, Alice Russel and Alice Giffard, from the Convent of Wilton, where the Bishop's sister was at one time, and it seems at this time Abbess [6]. Sir Osbert came

[1] p. 23.
[2] p. 298.
[3] p. 35.
[4] p. 182.
[5] p. 278.
[6] This appears from the fact that J. Giffard was Abbess of Wilton in 1281, and in 1287 she refused to pay certain monies left for the performance of the obit of Robert de Hertford, and had to be threatened with the greater excommunication before she paid. Sarum Charters (Rolls Series), p. 326.


to the Bishop of Salisbury and acknowledged his fault, and asked for absolution and healthful punishment. He was ordered first to restore the sisters, and then make all satisfaction he could to the Abbess and Convent. On Ash Wednesday the crime was to be solemnly published before the clergy and people. Osbert was to be taken with the other penitents to the door of the church, and there, with uncovered head, bare feet and in mourning raiment, beaten with sticks round the church on three solemn days. He was also to be beaten through the Market of Salisbury on three Tuesdays. It was to be repeated through the Market of Wylton on three other Tuesdays, and in the Church and Market of Amesbury, three times in each; in the same way and times as at Shaftesbury. He was not henceforth to wear a cloak of lamb's wool, gilt spurs, the girdle of a Knight, or any horse trappings unless the King gave him the right to do so. He was also to take a journey to the Holy Land, and serve there for three years. It must be admitted that the Bishop of Salisbury had a very proper idea of what "healthful punishment" meant. The Bishop of Salisbury's [1] (William de la Corner) letter to the Abbess is a curious one: he first puts on the Archbishop and the other Bishops the responsibility of having absolved Sir Osbert, who, he says, came penitently to London (it does just suggest the idea that Sir Osbert was not unwilling to get rid of the two ladies, one of them a relation); that the Bishop had ordered Sir Osbert to restore without delay the sisters he had ravished and abducted, together with all goods withdrawn, and be reconciled to the Abbess and Convent, making all possible satisfaction so that the Abbess might deign to admit the said sisters to the discipline of their Order and favourably treat them. The Bishop adds that the sisters should be joyfully admitted as sisters who were lost and by the grace of God are found.

The Abbess of Wilton was the sister of the Bishop of Worcester; it is not quite clear what relation either this Sir Osbert Giffard or Alice Giffard, the runaway nun, was to him or to the Abbess. It must have been quite a family party when the nuns were brought back to Wilton, and one cannot but feel sorry for

[1] p. 279.


Osbert at his interview with the Abbess, and still more so for the two unfortunate nuns who were to receive the discipline of their Order, that of St. Benedict. It may well be that the "healthful punishment" that Sir Osbert received was more endurable than the discipline of the unfortunate nuns.

There are some transactions that sound strangely to us. As feudal lord the Bishop was entitled to the wardship and marriage of his feudal tenants. In 1273 the Bishop sold for two marks the wardship and marriage of the heir of William de Stoke, who held lands of the Bishop in the Manor of Henbury in the Salt Marsh, to Nicholas de Wodeford, a Canon of the Church of Westbury [1].

John de Senlu desired to give Agnes Caperun, who was a nun, certain lands in his Manor of Clifton for her life; the grant is expressed to be made for the benefit of his own soul and of the souls of his wife and children [2]. The grant was made in the Bishop's presence; he confirmed it and wrote to Agnes informing her of it, and also to the Dean of Bristol authorizing him to visit the nun whenever she wanted to see him. So far as it appears there was no reason why the nun should be endowed, and the grant is curious as an instance of the gift being to the individual nun and not to the convent of which she was a member.

There are several cases of manumissions by the Bishop of serfs on his manors [3].

The Bishop looked strictly after his feudal rights. Sir Henry de Penebrugg [4] held certain lands of the Bishop and certain lands of the King on the Welsh border: the part in England was subject to the incidents of feudal tenure, the part in Wales was not. The Bishop contended that the land in England was held from him, the land in Wales from the King. The King's Council decided that the Bishop's land was in Wales. Giffard petitioned the King to have the decision reversed.

Another case was that of Sir John de Walton [5]: he died, leaving as his heiress a daughter, Matilda, who became entitled to the lands of Walter d'Escales; these seem to have been held of Walter. the Archbishop of York, and Godfrey beeame entitled to them as his heir. Godfrey made over the manor to Burnell, the Bishop

[1] p. 54.
[2] p. 63.
[3] p. 64.
[4] p. 135.
[5] p. 137.


of Bath and Wells, on Burnell entering into a bond to marry Matilda to such one of the sons of Hugh Burnell, the brother of Robert Burnell, who should be his heir or the heir of Sir Robert de Escales. The Bishop promised if Matilda did not marry either, she should marry no one else without his consent.

Certain persons at Comberton turned the Priest there out of his house, and one who had sought sanctuary in the Church out of the churchyard, and took them to prison in Worcester [1]. The Bishop ordered that the persons who did this should go barefooted in their breeches and shirts with their heads uncovered, and be publicly beaten by the Deans of Worcester, Gloucester, Bristol, Pershore and Warwick through the markets of each of those places.

In 1283 the servants of Sir Henry Hubant were cited to appear in the Bishop's Court, for not observing the fasts of the quatuor temporum, and eating meat contrary to the warning of the Parish Priest [2].

The Bishop in 1284 wrote to the King that Thomas de Weyland, to whom the King had given the marriage of Hugh de Neville, had promised the Bishop not to marry the boy to his daughter or any one else without the Bishop's leave [3].

In 1285 Giffard wrote to the Pope asking for a dispensation to enable J. Giffard, a powerful nobleman of his diocese, to marry Margaret Neville, of like gentle birth, but who were within the third or fourth degree of kinship [4]. The Bishop does not add that the intended bridegroom, Lord Giffard of Brimpsfield, was a relative of his own. Giffard appointed the Archdeacon of Shrewsbury his proctor in the matter, and authorised him to pledge the Bishop and his church up to £100, but he took care to get a bond from Lord Giffard to recoup any outlay [5].

In 1286 the Bishop sold for ten marks to Christina Werkesbury the wardship and marriage of Robert, son and heir of William de Werkesbury, and of his sisters, in case Robert died under age [6].

In 1287 the Bishop wrote to one of his clerks asking him not to consult with a person who, against the Bishop's orders, retained possession of a church, unless he desired to incur the vice of ingratitude [7]. On account of this sin the Bishop revoked the

[1] p. 190.
[2] p. 215.
[3] p. 247.
[4] p. 258.
[5] p. 259.
[6] p. 283.
[7] p. 306.


annexation of the Church of Budebroke to the prebend in St. Mary's, Warwick.

Another curious order was, if a certain woman who then suffered under an evil disease obtained the sacrament of baptism and remained in the Catholic faith till the present sickness should seize her, she was not to be denied ecclesiastical burial [1].

Giffard granted to the Archbishop of York the homage and service of Sir Hugh de Babington, who had married Giffard's niece [2].

For a Franciscan who could have no property, an entry in 1289 reads rather curiously. At Lady-day the Bishop took to farm for five years a piece of land called the Dole, at Henbury [3]. He also bought up the common rights at Wasthull [4], so that no one but the Bishop of Worcester should have common there.

One curious service appears. The holding of certain lands at Upcote entailed on the tenant the duty of carrying the Bishop's writs in the Diocese, in other words becoming his process server [5].

The most interesting part of the miscellaneous entries is the correspondence which Giffard kept up with all sorts and conditions of men. It shews that he must have spent much of his time in writing letters. They are of all kinds; some are purely business, such as those giving his officers directions as to instituting a priest, pronouncing an excommunication, hearing a case. Others again are on public affairs, excuses why the Bishop cannot attend at some function to which he was invited, such as a Synod of the Bishops or a meeting of Parliament. The King was a fairly frequent correspondent, but he always wanted Giffard to do something questionable: for instance, in 1278 Edward writes to Giffard asking him to confer the orders of Deacon and Priest upon brother Nicholas de Schreveleck, brother of the Hospital of St. John, without the east gate of Oxford, although he is not of the Bishop's Diocese [6]. Of course Giffard ought not to have ordained him, it was an infraction of the rights of the Bishop of Lincoln to do so; but the King had some private reason for wanting it done, what does not appear; his excuse to Giffard is ingenious. The hospital of St. John is the King's free chapel, where, as in other free chapels of the King throughout the kingdom, the Diocesan ought not to exercise jurisdiction, so the King asks Giffard.

[1] p. 313.
[2] p. 314.
[3] p. 327.
[4] p. 329.
[5] p. 348.
[6] p. 137.


Another letter from the King in the same year desired Giffard to excommunicate all those who detained goods of the Jews which ought to belong to the Crown [1].

While Giffard was always ready to fight, he also was always ready to bring pressure to bear on the other side to end the fight In the middle of his quarrel with Peckham, there are letters asking that his correspondent would use his influence with the Archbishop to make him cease to molest the Church of Worcester and the subjects of the diocese [2]. In his dispute with Malvern, there are letters to the Lord Chancellor Burnell and to Anthony Bek asking them to use their influence with the King to interfere [3]. There are also letters to the Bishop of Lincoln and other clergy to unite all the Canterbury suffragans in resistance to the Archbishop [4]. Giffard never lacked courage; he wrote to the Nuncio as he would to any one else, complaining that his commissary was a stirrer up of discord, and asking that another might be sent [5]. Perhaps the most curious letters were from the Bishop's agent in Rome. In 1286, when his agent, John de Butterleye, was pressing all his influence by entreaties and bribes at Rome to get Cleeve [6] appropriated to the use of the Bishop's table, and also to persuade the Pope to settle the Westbury prebends, Butterleye wrote for money. "We shall have to give", he says, "the lesser officials at the least £160, therefore please send me quickly £200 if you can by letter of the merchants, so that at the latest the said money may be with me within three weeks after the feast of Christmas. The persons above said believe for certain that I have the aforesaid money in my hands to be paid them immediately the said businesses shall be passed, and if anything is known to the contrary it will not be a little to the peril of your affairs and to me. I will let you know how the money has been spent, and if your businesses shall not be effected all the money shall be restored to you, except what I have expended in presents and jewels". Obviously at that date business at Rome was a ready-money business and it was by no means cheap to get matters done there.

Giffard's reply [7] deserves careful reading: "As to the Church of Cleeve to be granted for us only we do not care for this, as

[1] p. 103.
[2] p. 155.
[3] pp. 178, 183, 186.
[4] p. 225.
[5] p. 254.
[6] p. 302.
[7] Ibid.


we desire rather the perpetual honour of our Church of Worcester than our own temporary profit". This sounds well, but as the ground for appropriating Cleeve for the cost of his table was the great expense he had incurred personally, it must not be taken too literally. "We do not", he goes on, "care to expend £200 of silver besides the money handed to you .... we are unwilling in any case to exceed the sum of money given you at your departure, and that afterwards delivered to you by the hands of the merchants, for we do not intend to burden our Church with debt. If you do not succeed, you are to come back to England and return the money after deducting your expenses. As to your promotion, we have conferred upon you the Chureh of Badmynton, which is vacant and worth 40 marks, and the Chaplain of Sedgeberrow has been inducted in your name".

It will not be necessary to give further extracts from the Bishop's correspondence, but the letters are worth reading, and should be read by any one who desires to form an opinion of Giffard, what he was, and how great was his business capacity.

The miscellaneous matter contains various entries relating to public affairs which are of interest. Some of these may be mentioned. Those of most frequent occurrence are the attempts to raise money by the nuncios of the Pope sent over for the purpose. These nuncios not only collected money, but had to be paid by the Clergy so much a day while here for their living and expenses. Letters continually appear from them complaining of the difficulty they found in getting paid. It was not merely the small persons, the parochial clergy, who did not pay, but also the great religious Houses. In 1282, Geoffrey, Canon of Cambray, who was then acting as Nuncio, wrote to Giffard complaining he could not get paid his procurations, and enclosing a list of defaulters [1]. These included the Houses of Worcester, St. Augustine of Bristol, St. Mark, St. James, Kingswood, Llanthony, St. Peter of Gloucester, St. Oswald, Horsley, Stanley, Deerhurst, Cirencester, Tewkesbury, Hayles, Winchcombe, Pershore, Evesham, Great Malvern, Warwick, St. Sepulchre and St. Mary, Alcester, Bordesley, Little Malvern, Studley, Westwood, and Cookhill. In fact, except Wotton and Beckford, almost all the religious Houses in the diocese. None of

[1] p. 145.


these, he says, had paid the last year, and many were in arrears for the preceding year. If the Nuncio could not get his own moneys, he was not more successful in getting them for other people. A list is entered in the Register, in 1282 [1] of those who had not paid the tithe for the Holy Land, and here again it is the great religious Houses who are in default, and who seem to have preferred to keep the money and brave the excommunication both of Nuncio and Bishop rather than pay it. The return is as follows, it gives the income of the Houses, and forms an interesting basis for a comparison with their incomes as given in Pope Nicholas' Valor, which was made a few years later.

The Abbot and the Convent of Evesham, taxed according to the oath taken by Brother John Bagard, their Proctor, 1,000 marks, owe £48 6s. 3 1/2d., for each of the six years for which the tithe was granted. The Abbot of St. Augustine, Bristol, not taxed, sworn at £210 13s. 7d., owes for the first year £5 18s. 1 3/4d. and for every of the other five years 55s. 3 3/4d,. The Warden of St. Mark's, Bristol, not taxed or sworn, he says his goods are worth by the year £20 4s. 8d., he owes 40s. 5 1/2d. for each of the six years. The Abbot of Cirencester, not taxed, sworn at £500, owes for the first year £12 9s. 1 1/4d., and for every other of the five years £9 5s. 8d. The Abbot of Tewkesbury, not taxed, sworn at £394 10s. 6d., owes for the first year £13 3s. 7d., and for each of the other five years £12 4s. 0 1/2d. The Prior of Worcester, not taxed, sworn at £214 5s. 0d., owes 39s. 4d. for each of the first five years, and for the sixth he owes £6 6s. 9 1/2d. The Prior of Llanthony, not taxed, sworn at £101 19s. 6d., owes £4 2s. 0 1/2d. for each of the six years. The Prior of Great Malvern, not taxed, sworn at £75 2s. 4d., owes £4 2s. 3d. for each of the six years.

Several of the Houses are not mentioned, of those that are, Evesham is the richest, then come Cirencester, Tewkesbury, Worcester, and St. Augustine, Bristol. The influence of the Houses in the diocese was certainly not fixed by their income, for both Worcester and Tewkesbury were more important Houses than Cirencester.

It was not only against taxation for the Pope, or purposes sanctioned by the Pope, that Giffard protested. If the Register

[1] p. 143.


is to be trusted, he took a somewhat active part in the struggle which ended in the confirmation of the Great Charter.

In 1296, there is a letter from the Archbishop Winchelsey to Giffard desiring to consult with him as to the subsidy to be paid by the Clergy to the King [1].

On the 15th May the King ordered the Bishop to have the force he was bound to find by the service [2] due from him, with horses and arms, at London on Sunday after the octave of St. John the Baptist, ready to be transported to parts beyond the seas.

There is also entered at the same place on the Register [2] a copy of a letter from the Clergy of France to the Pope touching the giving of aid by the Clergy to secular Princes, and the reply of Pope Boniface VIII. to it.

Then comes a little later [3] the celebrated petition de tallagio non concedendo, from the Archbishops, Bishops, Earls, Barons, and all the commonalty to the King as to military service and tallage due to the King, and the confirmation by Edward I. of the great Charter, and the Charter of the forest at Ghent, 5th November, 25 Edward I. [4], the celebrated confirmatio cartarum, 25 Edward I. c. 1. This is followed [5] by the letter from Edward I. pardoning Humphrey de Bohun, Earl of Hereford and Oxford, and Constable of England, and Roger Bigot, Earl of Norfolk and Marshal of England, for disobedience in time of war, dated the same day at Ghent; the pardon to the earls, who when told they would have to go abroad or hang, replied they would neither go nor hang. Then follow articles sent to the Court of Rome by the Archbishop [6] and his suffragans, for themselves and the Clergy of the province of Canterbury, by Anselm de Estri and Hamo de Gateleye, their proctors. These seven articles ask:-

First that the Pope would appoint some one to act for him in England, when access to Rome is dangerous on account of the war between England and France.

Moderation of the last taxation by the Bishops of Winchester and Lincoln.

Moderation in the procurations of the Cardinal Nuncios. Revocation of the mandates to Geoffrey de Vezano, Nuncio of the Apostolic See, as to intestate's goods and Peter's Pence.

[1] p. 480.
[2] p. 485.
[3] p. 487.
[4] p. 489.
[5] p. 490.
[6] Ibid.


The fifth and sixth are that the Clergy of England may be excused, because having heard that the army of the Scots has entered England and consumed the eountry without regard to age, sex, churches and ecclesiastical persons, in consideration of which danger the Prelates and Clergy have granted a tenth of these goods according to the taxation of Norwich, and that the sentence of the greater excommunication pronounced by the Archbishop of Canterbury and his suffragans against all those who infringe the great charter of liberties, granted by the King of England by deed, word, counsel or favour may be confirmed.

This sentence of excommunication by Archbishop Winchelsey, which Pope Boniface VIII. is here asked to eonfirm, is set out in full in the Statute Roll, and is printed in some of the editions of the Statutes at large.

This confirmation by Edward I. of the Charter, which is made so much of by Hallam and most other constitutional writers, is here set out as completely as anywhere, so far as documents go, and seems not to have been noticed by any writer. As a contemporary record of the struggle it is of importance. It does not, however, appear what was the precise part Giffard took in it. Humphrey de Bohun was an old acquaintance of Giffard's: in 1275 the Bishop had granted him a dispensation to eat meat on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays during Lent [1].

Another matter of public interest in which Giffard, as appears from his register, took some part, was the proceedings which led to the statute called from the first words of the writ issued under it, Circumspecte agatis, 13 Edw. I. 1, st. 4. The temporal courts had for a long time contended that the ecclesiastical courts were exceeding their jurisdiction by trying cases that properly belonged to the King's Courts, so the King's Bench was in the habit of issuing prohibitions to the judges and officials of the ecclesiastical courts, directing them to take no further proceedings in such suits. This the Bishops resented, as it meant a loss of income, as well as a loss of dignity, and Articles were presented by the Bishops to the King complaining of his Judges: a copy of these articles is contained in the Register [2], with the answers to them [3] on the King's behalf. The

[1] p. 68.
[2] p. 273.
[3] It is believed that this is the only place where they appear in the precise form they are given here. Wilkins has them from this entry, Concilia. II also Haddan and Stubbs, I.


Bishops drew up a replication to these replies as to what matters were properly cognizable by temporal and ecclesiastical courts [1]. As they stand in the Register they differ from all other copies both in number and in detail; while they relate to the statute Circumspecte agatis, at least to the subjeet of it, they contain other matters as well as those usually printed or included in those Artieles. They are followed in the Register by two curious entries, (1) a petition from Peckham and his suffragans as to the grievances done to the Church in the province of Canterbury by the King's Courts; and (2) Artieles upon the statutes of the King lately enacted which seem to be prejudicial to the Church [2].

In the interest of constitutional history it would be worth while to have these documents, which it is believed only exist here in this form, printed at length, if only to ensure their permanent preservation.

Through the whole of the Register there are entries which reflect the history of the time, and shew how the Diocese was affected by the general history. In 1268 there was a synod in London, when the question of those who, during the Barons' war, had taken any church property was considered, and their excommunication resolved upon [3]. The Legate Ottobon, afterwards Pope Adrian V., pronounced sentence on all who presumed to burn, or take anything from the House, Manors, Granges, Lands, &c., of Archbishops, Bishops, Abbots, Priors, Rectors, Vicars, and other ecclesiastical persons. This sentence is entered at length on the Register.

The popularity of the Crusades, or rather of taking the Cross, is shown by a series of entries about 1275 as to persons becoming crusaders. It seems to have been a way of escaping from all difficulties. For instance, the exeeutors of the will of Henry Pope, of Campden, were greatly troubled by the widow, who pressed for accounts. They preferred to assume the Cross; having done this, the Bishop wrote directing that the widow was to be restrained from troubling them further [4].

The arrears of Peter's pence caused trouble [5]. Pope Gregory X. wrote giving a list of arrears and requesting payment. The sums were:-

[1] p. 274.
[2] Ibid.
[3] p. 22.
[4] p. 73.
[5] p. 57.


£ s. d.
Diocese of Canterbury 7 18 0
" London . 16 10 0
" Rochester 5 12 0
" Norwich 21 10 0
" Ely 5 0 0
" Lincoln 42 0 0
" Chichester 8 0 0
" Winchester 17 6 8
" Exeter 9 5 0
" Worcester 10 5 0
" Hereford 6 0 0
" Bath 11 5 0
" Salisbury 17 0 0
" Coventry 10 5 0
" York 11 10 0

In the Sede Vacante Register [1] there is an account of how much was received from the different Rural Deaneries in each archdeaconry in the Diocese. Worcester was then liable for £14 15s. 8 1/2d., less £1 19s. 7d., or £13 16s. 1 1/2d.; Gloucester, £17 15s. 3d., less 14s., or £17 1s. 3d., a total of £30 17s. 4 1/2d. The total is there given as £34 2s. 7 1/2d., and it is said the Bishop out of that paid to the Court of Rome yearly £10 5s., and there accrued to the Bishop every year from the said Peter's Pence, £24 7s. 7 1/2d. [2] So the Bishop does not seem to have regarded Peter's Pence with so much jealousy as he did other taxes. That the sum the Pope got from the Worcester Diocese did not exceed £10 a year appears from another entry as well as this. On 10th May, 1273, Giffard gave the nuncio, Raymond de Nogeriis, a bond for £25 for five years' arrears of Peter's Pence [3].

In 1282 [4], when the Welsh war broke out, Edward went down to Wales. On the 24th May he was at Hartlebury Castle, and then called upon Giffard to have his force ready, which he was bound by service to furnish the King for his expedition against the Welsh. An entry in the Register gives some idea of what the force was [5]. It is entitled The Service made to Henry, King of

[1] p. 33. Worcestershire Hist. Society's Edition.
[2] Sede Vacante Register, 34.
[3] p. 54.
[4] p. 151.
[5] p. 410.


England, in the 29th year of his reign (1244). John de Weyvill, Henry de Murdak, and John Bindet, Knights for the Bishop of Worcester, did not acknowledge how much they owed.

This is followed by a list of the Knight's fees the Bishop held. He claimed 56 Knight's fees, but in several cases the holder denied that they owed all those claimed; for instance, the Bishop claimed that the Earl of Gloucester owed 74 fees, but the Earl only admitted one. The Bishop claimed 74 from Humphrey de Bohun, he only admitted four. Still whatever was the precise number, the Bishop's force was considerable, and was by far the largest that any of the King's tenants in Worcestershire could put into the field in respect of lands in the county.

In 1282 an assembly was called to meet at Northampton as to Llewellyn, the son of Griffin, and the Welsh rebels [1]. Edward had been at Rhuddlan since the 22nd November, 1282; he wrote to Peckham ordering him to call this meeting. Peckham when at Hereford on his way back from trying to make peace with the Welsh wrote to Richard Gravesend, Bishop of London, who issued the summonses for it. Giffard wrote excusing himself from going on account of infirmity of his body, probably gout, but sent the Archdeacon of Gloucester as one of his proctors.

There is a curious entry giving directions as to raising money for the Welsh war, both in the way of raising it, and the persons from whom it was to be raised [2]. It is headed: "Mode of taxing the corn, and upon what persons". All were to be taxed, but burgesses and merchants, but these things were to be exempted, treasure, horse furniture, harness, armour, beds, robes, utensils, bed coverings, geese, capons, hens, wine, ale, and victuals. The goods of the Hospitallers, Templars, Cistercians, Gilbertines, and Premonstratensians were not to be taxed, but the goods of their tenants, both free and villein, were to be. Goods of lepers, if ruled by lepers, were not; if ruled by Priors or Masters they were. Edmund, brother of the King, the Earl of Gloucester, the Earl of Hereford, the Earl Warren, the Earl of Warwick, the Earl Marshal, John Giffard, and John de Sancto Johanne, and the other magnates who were in the expedition of the King in Wales were not to be taxed, nor were their towns. The goods of the Archbishops, Bishops, and religious

[1] p. 187.
[2] p. 194.


persons were not to be taxed, but their freemen and villeins were to be. Burgesses and merchants who gave aid to the King, whose names would be found in the writings under the seal of John de Kyrkeby, were not to be taxed for the present. The taxation was to be according to the true value of the goods which were in the granges, stacks and granaries, from the Friday after the octave of St. Hilary, it Edward I.; all beasts of burden were to be taxed, but only those who had goods to the value of half a mark were to be called upon to pay.

This was followed by another set of instructions [1], setting out how the thirtieth of all movable goods granted by the community of the kingdom to the King for the expenses of his expedition into Wales was to be raised. A jury were to enquire concerning every one's movable goods or lay fee, those who had lately given aid were to be excepted, those who would not swear to the value of their goods were to be reported.

The King was in Wales, and summoned Giffard to appear before him at Montgomery to answer about the dispute with Malvern [2]. This Giffard used as a reason for not attending a meeting of the Bishops in London [3], writing to Peckham as an excuse that he had to attend the King at Montgomery. It is not clear if Giffard went to Montgomery or not, but in July he wrote to Edward I. congratulating him on his successes over the Welsh, and attributing them to the intercession of the Blessed Mary, St. Oswald, and St. Wulstan, special patrons of Worcester [4] a rather broad hint for donations for the Worcester Church. Giffard was summoned to attend another convocation of the Clergy in London in October, touching a subsidy to the King [5]. As no letter apologizing for non-attendance appears in the Register, most likely he went. Among the matters to be considered were as to a convocation of the Clergy of the diocese of Worcester for granting a subsidy to the King, aecording to a mandate of the Archbishop of Canterbury [6].

Gifford wrote to the King as to the trial of David, the brother of Llewellyn, and as to Malvern [7].

Probably the letter pleased Edward, for early in December

[1] p. 196.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Ibid.
[4] p. 203.
[5] p. 211.
[6] p. 213.
[7] p. 212.


1284, he wrote to Pope Martin IV. [1], asking that on account of the losses incurred by Giffard in the late Welsh rebellion, the Church of Bishops Cleeve might be appropriated to his table, and followed it up by a further letter saying that on account of the concourse of rich and poor going to the Bishop, as the Bishoprick was between England and Wales, the revenue of Cleeve should be appropriated to his use [2].

Giffard and Anian, Bishop of Bangor, were appointed by Pope Martin IV. to absolve those who, in the war between Llewellyn, Prince of Wales, David his brother, and Edward I., committed homicide of religious persons and secular clerks [3]. The King wrote from Aber in Snowdon to Giffard, forwarding the Bull and desiring him to execute it, after taking counsel with Walter de Bathonia,

Giffard wrote to the Bishop of Chichester ordering him to publish the Bull in his diocese.

In 1285 there is a writ to the Sheriff of Worcester, and also to the Sheriffs of Warwick, Gloucester, Wilts, Hants, Somerset, and Hereford, to levy 40s. upon Giffard for scutage for the King's army in Wales [4]. The Bishop must therefore have had lands in each of these counties. He did not pay, and the writs were followed by others to enforce payment [5]. It does not appear if they were successful, but the next year there is a writ to Giffard to pay the arrears of the 20th and 15th granted to the King [6]. This procedure caused opposition among the Clergy, who, as well as Giffard, probably received writs, for among the matters the Bishops were to deliberate upon were as to the excess of Royal exactions, and as to fifteenths and twentieths [7].

In 1287 there is a writ from the King to the Sheriff of Warwick, forbidding all markets and fairs to be held in the county, and ordering all corn and victuals to be taken to Hereford and there sold to the King's faithful peers, lest for want of victuals the expedition into Wales be retarded [8]; the writ is dated at Gloucester, 10th July, 15 Edward I., and tested by Edmund, Earl of Cornwall. It will be remembered that Edward, being greatly pressed for money in 1289, on his way back from Wales, seized the money that had been collected for the Crusades. There is no mention in the

[1] p. 222.
[2] p. 223.
[3] p. 248.
[4] p. 265.
[5] p. 267.
[6] p. 292.
[7] p. 298.
[8] p. 313.


Register of this directly, but a Bull of Pope Nicholas IV. is set out against those who collected money for the Crusades and then converted it to their own use [1].

This is the last entry as to the Welsh war; if the Register is to be believed, it was a serious drain on the Worcester diocese both in men and supplies. There is nothing very direct upon the subject, but if these entries are compared with what is known from other sources the result will be seen. The remarkable thing is how long the war dragged on; a desultory war with the Welsh continued long after peace was nominally made, and was perhaps a greater drain than even the regular war.

The next subject is the Gascony war. It used to be said that whenever Mr. Pitt intended to levy new taxes he first advised the King to order a day of humiliation; he seems to have copied Edward I. On the 16th June, 1294 [2], the King wrote to Giffard asking for the prayers of the Clergy and people of the diocese for the army in Gascony. On the 19th August he wrote again to the Bishop, saying that he proposed to call the Prelates and Clergy of the kingdom together on the feast of St. Matthew, to treat of the remedy touching Gascony. A polite way of saying that he wanted a subsidy. In 1295 the Bishop received his summons [3] to provide the service which was due, with horses and arms at London on the Sunday after the octave of St. John the Baptist. This summons and the refusal of the Earls to go has already been mentioned.

For the Scotch war the entries begin in the same way. In 1298 Archbishop Winchelsey wrote to Giffard, asking for his prayers on behalf of the King in his expedition to Scotland [4].

Next year is a memorandum of the sums paid at different times to the King for the repulse of the Scots [5]. And, in 1300, there is a letter from the King calling upon the Bishop to have what service is due from him at Carlisle, with horses and arms, to repel the Seots, on the feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist [6].

There are various other matters deserving notice in the Register, but enough has been mentioned to chew the importance of the

[1] p. 360.
[2] p. 443.
[3] p. 467.
[4] p. 493.
[5] p. 513.
[6] p. 519.


Book, both for local and general history during the last quarter of the 13th century. No one can read it without feeling some interest in the man whose acts it records, who at a critical time in the history of the diocese not merely upheld but extended the rights of the See of Worcester. During the twelve centuries that See is said to have existed, among the l00 persons who are alleged to have been its Bishops, none stand out more clearly than Godfrey Giffard. This is not because he was a saint like Oswald or Wulstan, a martyr like Latimer or Hooper, a conspirator to murder like Orleton or Gigli, a consecrated courtier like the 17th-century Bishops, a respectable nonentity like those of the 18th. It is because that among all the occupants of the See none possessed to the same extent as he did a definite policy, with the virtue of sacrificing everything, both spiritual and temporal, to carry that policy into effect, which was to preserve and maintain the rights of the See of Worcester. In this he was successful after a series of conflicts with Legates and Archbishops, with Abbots and Barons, with ecclesiastics and laymen, in spite of spiritual weakness in high places, in spite of want of support from those on whose support he was entitled to calculate, in spite of opposition from his own people. How well he did his work is shown by the abuse that, even to our own day, has been heaped upon him. It is said he was quarrelsome; so he was, for he never allowed the smallest infringement of the rights of the See of Worcester to pass unnoticed and if possible unpunished. That he was proud; so he was, but he could say with truth-

"I have a right to be,
When men who are not afraid of God fear me".

That he was extravagant; so he was, for a Minorite Friar could possess no property, not even a Breviary; but his extravagance was in spending his money to uphold and maintain the rights of his See. As his detractors never read his Register, so they never realized what was the man nor what was his work. With all his faults, in spite of his lack of many episcopal virtues, Giffard was one of the great, possibly the greatest of the Worcester Bishops. His vices and his virtues were alike those of his age. That age had many vices, but it had one countervailing virtue, it was not ruled by men possessed with either feebleness or weakness. The


rulers might be, they often were, guilty of vices and crimes, in some instances numberless and atrocious, but they never lacked in courage, in force of character, in power of will. To such men much has to be forgiven and forgotten. Among such men English History can shew few finer examples than Godfrey, Bishop of Worcester.

LINCOLN'S INN, 1st Feb., 1902.

Return to top of page

URL of this page: http://www.melocki.org.uk/registers/1268_Giffard_Introduction.html

Copyright notice:
All pages at http://www.melocki.org.uk
are Copyright Mel Lockie 2021.
All rights reserved.
For a detailed copyright policy see: Conditions of Use.