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[p. 199]

[p. 201] The Papal Chancery and English Documents in the Fourteenth and Early Fifteenth Centuries*

The provisional title of this lecture was ‚The influence of the papal chancery and papal documents on English documents…‘ It has, however, emerged that to speak of ‚influence‘ in this context would be imprecise and unhelpful. The term places the emphasis on the source rather than the recipient, on the influencer rather than the influenced. This seems rather inappropriate, since we are here concerned not with the papacy attempting to impose diplomatic practices or forms in England, but with Englishmen freely borrowing from papal sources.1 Even once we have abandoned ‚influence‘, the investigation of the extent to which English documents were indebted to the papal chancery and to the documents which emanated from it is fraught with difficulties. If we find identical or similar features in English and papal documents, is this the result of a common education or culture or is it rather the result of one category of documents borrowing from the other? If the latter, are English documents borrowing from papal or vice versa? If we conclude that it is the English side which is doing the borrowing, is it direct or indirect (for instance, mediated through another chancery)?2 If it is direct, is the source original papal documents (perhaps preserved in the borrower’s archives) or copies of them or texts as transmitted by formularies or canon law collections, or a combination of [p. 202] these?3 It is rarely possible to answer such questions. Attempting to do so is not made any easier by the fact that there is virtually no secondary literature on the subject.4 The following remarks are therefore provisional and tentative.

Ample materials existed in England for someone who wished to familiarise himself with the characteristics of papal documents. The popes issued innumerable letters for English beneficiaries and addressees, while the royal archives, monasteries and other ecclesiastical institutions possessed large collections of papal documents.5 And papal documents were frequently copied – onto single sheets (often in the form of notarial instruments) and into cartularies and registers.6 Englishmen were able to consult treatises on the ars dictaminis and formularies which had the express aim of providing instruction and models for those wishing to compose documents. Such works served to transmit the forms and practices of the papal curia.7 The period under discussion, moreover, saw very frequent contacts between the papacy and England; and the residence of the popes at Avignon in the fourteenth century made for especially close relations. Throughout the period, diplomatic representatives of the royal government and petitioners and their agents visited the curia.8

It is in the context of Anglo-papal relations that we may first of all look for papal features in English documents. The petitions that were submitted for papal favours had to be framed in accordance with the style of the [p. 203] papal curia; otherwise it was likely that they would be rejected. Probably the majority of those submitted by English petitioners were not composed in England, but rather drawn up by proctors and other men with the requisite expertise at the curia. A petitioner who wished to employ a proctor to act for him in the curia – and it was advisable to do so because of the proctor’s familiarity with the ways and the rules of the curia – needed to issue a formal letter of appointment or procuratorium. If the petitioner remained in England, the procuratorium needed to be drawn up there, but its form had to be such as to satisfy the curia and in particular the auditor litterarum contradictarum.9 English procuratoria survive occasionally in the original and more commonly as copies in episcopal registers. Their terms sometimes resemble those of the procuratoria given in the formulary of John of Bologna, who came to England with John Pecham, when the latter was appointed archbishop of Canterbury in 1279.10 One of the aims of this work was to provide materials whereby the judicial practices of the papal curia could be followed in the court of Canterbury.11

The popes for their part sent legates, envoys and tax-collectors to England. There is no study, systematic or otherwise, of the documents that they issued in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, and it is difficult to generalise about their diplomatic features.12 The impression I have from those documents which I have examined is that in the earlier part of the fourteenth century they did not greatly differ in their formulae and external appearance from English documents, and that they were engrossed by English scribes. This applies, for instance, to documents issued by the following papal collectors: Geoffrey of Vezzano, in 1296,13 William Testa, [p. 204] in 1313,14 Bernard Sistre, in 1341,15 Raymond Pelegrini, in 1347–1348,16 and Hugh Pelegrini, in 1351.17 On the other hand, in the later part of the Avignon period, during the Schism and subsequently, it seems to have been commoner for documents issued by envoys and collectors to follow curial patterns in their script and dictamen. Thus, letters of Lucas de Tholomeis de Senis, chamberlain of the envoy Nicholas Capocii, cardinal priest of S. Vitale, in 1357, and of John de Obizzis, papal envoy and collector, in 1425 and 1427 are written in hands of the papal curia.18 A long letter of Lawrence de Riciis, bishop of Ancona and papal envoy in England, dated 1 August 1407, absolving Thomas Esch, monk of Durham Cathedral Priory, from the sentence of greater excommunication, is curial in both phraseology and script.19 Yet none of these letters were dated according to the pope’s pontifical year. On the other hand, a letter issued in 1381 by the papal envoy Pileus de Prata, cardinal priest of S. Prassede, in favour of the university of Cambridge is dated according to the pontifical year. As with papal documents, the scribe wrote his name (Gherardus) on the plica. The letter was endorsed with an R. This may be a registration mark, which would show that Pileus kept a register of his acts while in England.20

The period under discussion saw the proliferation of documents drawn up and authenticated by notaries public appointed by papal authority. Notaries public, licensed by papal or imperial authority, first appear in England in the second half of the thirteenth century.21 In the fourteenth century they acquired a prominent position in ecclesiastical [p. 205] administration.22 From the reign of Edward II, such notaries had a monopoly of notarial activity, for that king forbad notaries public by imperial authority to exercise their functions in England. Notaries public introduced into England some of the features of continental, and in particular, Italian notarial instruments.23 We cannot see them as the medium through which the features of papal documents were to a great extent introduced into England. However, occasionally a notary employed a script modelled on that of the papal chancery. This applies, for instance, to an instrument written in 1303 by Thomas de Seleby, notary public by imperial authority of the diocese of York, although Thomas’ d has a much shorter ascender than that generally used in the papal chancery.24

It is clear that relations between England and the papal curia were close and that papal documents were readily available in England. There was therefore ample opportunity for Englishmen to draw on papal documents. We must now consider how far Englishmen took advantage of this and actually drew on papal documents. We shall concentrate on royal and episcopal documents, as prima facie these seem more likely to have borrowed from papal documents than, say, baronial, communal or private documents. The most pervasive aspect of the influence of the papal chancery on royal documents is probably stylistic. It is well known that papal documents could be written in rhythmical prose – the cursus curiae Romanae –, that in the twelfth century the cursus was revived at the papal court and rules concerning its use codified, and that it spread to other chanceries, ecclesiastical and secular. As one might expect, in England it was used above all in letters to the Roman court and in other diplomatic correspondence.25 Particular attention was paid to the wording of the arenga. The frequent use of the cursus is first apparent in English royal documents in the reign of Edward I. It continued to be employed under his successors; Noel Denholm-Young regarded the reign of Edward III as its high-point.26 A treatise by Richard of Bury, the Philobiblon, completed in 1345, [p. 206] scrupulously observes it.27 Richard was in the service of Edward III before he came to the throne and during his reign rose to become keeper of the privy seal, treasurer, chancellor and bishop of Durham.28 No doubt papal documents, especially those with more elaborate texts, served to some extent as a model for clerks in the royal service; but they were not the only, or even the main, source. Continental treatises concerning the ars dictaminis seem to have been widely available. In addition there were formularies compiled by Englishmen containing papal and other documents, which would be of use to someone wishing to employ the cursus.29 One such formulary is also the work of Richard de Bury. Richard would have had access to many of the letters in it as a clerk in the royal service.30

Many treatises and formularies were compiled by or for notaries public. As well as being employed in ecclesiastical administration, notaries public served the royal government, particularly in diplomatic and ecclesiastical business. Among them was John Thoresby who by 1336 was acting as notary in the royal chancery; he dealt with much of the diplomatic correspondence. John de Branketre appears as notary in chancery in 1355, and he held this position for twenty years. He seems to have had general responsibility for the diplomatic correspondence. Soon after his appointment he was sent on a mission to the papal court at Avignon. After his return to England he made use of the cursive script of the curia (from 1356 to 1359). Various innovations deriving from continental documents can be attributed to him. The formula which headed certain treaties, Ad perpetuam memoriam rei geste, calls to mind the phrase Ad perpetuam rei memoriam in the superscriptio of papal solemn letters and some charters of the king of France.31 He dated documents according to the ‚Christmas style‘, that is with the new year beginning on 25 December. This was the style of the Roman curia, and it contrasts with the ‚style of the Annunciation‘ and the ‚style of Easter‘ followed in the English and French royal chanceries [p. 207] respectively.32 This is a welcome and rare case when borrowings can be associated with an identifiable individual.

Other phrases which occur in English royal documents may derive from papal documents. Already under Henry III and frequently from Edward I’s reign, we find the phrase de gratia nostra speciali;33 but this is a commonplace in the language of the chanceries of medieval rulers. Edward III responded to a petition of Roger Maudit with the words Nos supplicationi eiusdem Rogeri in hac parte favorabiliter annuentes,34 echoing the language of numerous papal letters. In a papal letter, the phrase motu proprio meant that the favour, at least in theory, was bestowed not in response to a petition but at the pope’s own wish. The expression ex certa scientia indicated, again at least in theory, that the grant derived from the pope’s own knowledge of the circumstances; in other words, it could not be impugned on the grounds of the information in the petition being incorrect.35 The two phrases were combined in letters of Henry IV and later kings in the form ex mero motu et certa scientia nostris (or similar words).36 A more profound example of papal influence occurs under Henry IV. A statute ordered that in petitions to the king for grants of land, offices, annuities and the like the value of what was requested should be specified. It further ordered that previous grants by the king or his predecessors to the petitioner should be mentioned. Similar rules had long existed for petitions to the pope for provisions to ecclesiastical benefices: the petitioner had to [p. 208] specify the annual value of the benefice and any benefices that he already held. There can be little doubt that the English practice derives from the papal.37 In both chanceries, the letters issued on the basis of such petitions reproduced the information in the petitions about the value of the grant and about earlier grants. In papal letters the information about benefices already held was included in the non obstante clauses, which listed a whole range of possible legal obstacles to the provision; it was to take effect notwithstanding these. The non obstante clauses in English royal grants, although they were less elaborate and lengthy, had a similar purpose. In the clauses’ standard form, achieved during the reign of Henry VI, the grant was to be regarded as valid even though the value of what was requested and of previous grants was not specified and notwithstanding any other reason: …aut aliqua materia sive causa seu aliquibus statutis sive ordinationibus in contrarium factis sive editis non obstante.38 The parallel passage in papal letters of provision reads: non obstantibus…et qualibet alia dicte [scil. apostolice] sedis indulgentia generali vel speciali cuiuscunque tenoris existat, per quam presentibus non expressam vel totaliter non insertam effectus huiusmodi gratie impediri valeat quomodolibet vel differri et de qua cuiusque toto tenore habenda sit in nostris litteris mentio specialis.39

It has further been suggested that the system of petitioning the Crown which arose in the late thirteenth and early fourteenth century took its inspiration from papal practice.40 The Antiqua rhetorica of Boncompagno da Signa, completed by 1215, states that petitions to the emperor or to kings can be composed on the basis of petitions to the pope, replacing the words vestre sanctitati by imperiali vel regali maiestati vel celsitudini seu clementie.41 These phrases or similar ones are occasionally found in petitions to the king of England; for instance, Supplicant Regie Majestati Abbas & Conventus de Hales…, or Significa[n]t Regie Majestati Abbas et Conventus [p. 209] de Bona Requie in Minori Britannia42 The response to a petition to the pope began with Fiat (if the petition was granted by the pope) or Concessum (if it was granted by the vice-chancellor).43 The same words were sometimes used in granting petitions to the king of England; for instance, Fiat ei breve de Cancellaria or Fiat breve collectoribus sicud prius.44

The practice of petitioning the ruler in England and at the papal curia had other points in common. It is noteworthy, for instance, that in neither system were the petitions dated. The terminology employed in some English petitions may derive from petitions to the pope, but this cannot apply to more than a small proportion of the former. English petitions were less uniform than papal petitions, although in the course of the fourteenth century their terms became more regular.45 There is no real evidence that the procedure followed in England was modelled on the procedure of the papal chancery. There were in fact fundamental differences in procedure. While in the papal chancery petitions were invariably addressed to the pope, in England for no obvious reason some were addressed to the king and others to the king and council. In the course of the fourteenth century other addressees appear.46 At the papal court, prior to the pontificate of Eugenius IV (1431–1447) only the pope or the head of the chancery, the vice-chancellor, could grant a petition for a papal letter.47 In England the king and the chancellor likewise granted petitions, but here again there was greater variety. Ministers were empowered to grant petitions which fell within their own administrative sphere. Petitions were commonly presented in parliament. Generally those from individuals were handed to special receivers, and triers (or auditors) were appointed to decide on them. The procedure with petitions associated with or presented by the commons as a whole was different.48 It is also worth noting that the [p. 210] registration or enrolment of petitions is found as early as 1305 in England, but not until later in the century in the papal curia (its introduction has been variously assigned to the pontificates of John XXII, Benedict XII or Clement VI).49

There seems little reason to suppose that English royal documents were substantially modelled on documents emanating from the papal curia. It is quite possible that, if researches of the type pursued by Geoffrey Barraclough for the reign of Henry III were extended to later periods, new instances of borrowing would be found.50 However, it seems doubtful if the general picture would change fundamentally. If this is so, the question arises of why borrowing was not more widespread. To answer this question, we must bear in mind certain characteristics of the machinery of royal government in England and in particular of the arrangements for producing documents. It was relatively bureaucratic and impersonal. There was a tendency for administrative departments to become independent of the direct control of the king and the royal household and, rather than follow the itinerant court, to acquire a stable home. The chancery, for instance, under Edward I remained mainly at Westminster, and after 1337 it rarely left Westminster or London.51 There was a multiplicity of royal seals, a multiplicity of means of authorising the issue of documents, and a multiplicity of chanceries and writing offices. Papal administration, on the other hand, had more the character of household administration. It was to a greater extent subject to the ruler’s personal control; and it was itinerant, although this is less evident during the Avignon period than in the thirteenth century and during the Great Schism. The arrangements for issuing papal documents in the chancery and elsewhere seem to have been less bureaucratic, less elaborate and less sophisticated than the corresponding English institutions. One would hardly expect them to have been a major model for English royal documents.

Episcopal documents may seem a more promising field than royal documents in which to look for borrowing from papal documents. However, in investigating the question one is hampered by the virtual absence of studies of episcopal chanceries and of the diplomatic of episcopal documents [p. 211] after 1250.52 I shall make some preliminary observations, which will almost certainly require correction and amplification if someone were to undertake a more systematic exploration of printed sources and to extend the investigation to unpublished sources.

As in the case of royal documents, the rules of the cursus curiae Romanae were often observed in episcopal chanceries; for instance, many letters of John Pecham, archbishop of Canterbury from 1279 to 1292, show careful adherence to these rules.53 Episcopal clerks doubtless made use of treatises on the ars dictaminis which were in circulation in England.54 And there were numerous formularies and letter-books compiled by or for those involved in ecclesiastical administration and containing copies of papal letters along with other materials.55

In the late thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, it seems to have been fairly common for episcopal documents to echo, or even reproduce, the wording of papal documents. The phrase ad perpetuam memoriam rei geste which follows the greeting in some letters of William Bateman, bishop of Norwich from 1344 to 1355, derives from the phrase ad perpetuam rei memoriam in the superscriptio of papal litterae solemnes.56 To ascertain the origin of the arengae used in episcopal documents is difficult, for rather [p. 212] than being inspired by papal letters they might derive from rhetorical treatises or similar works. A standard arenga, reminiscent in a general way of papal arengae, was used in letters concerning the appropriation of parish churches to religious houses issued by Wolstan de Bransford, bishop of Worcester from 1339 to 1349: Pastoralis officii solicitudo continua requirit, et mentem nostram velut cotidiana instancia stimulat et inducit, ut illis potissime sub iugo regularis observancie constitutis, nostre liberalitatis dexteram uberius extendamus, quibus iuxta status sui decenciam proprie non suppetunt facultates.57 The arengae, but not the rest of the text, of collations to ecclesiastical benefices by Richard de Kellawe, bishop of Durham, are similar to papal letters of provision.58 The arenga beginning Licet is de in an indulgence issued by the same bishop closely follows the papal arenga with this incipit.59

In the case of both papal and episcopal letters concerning appropriations, the wording of the narratio varied according to the terms of the petition to which the letter was a response. However, in episcopal documents it could be very reminiscent of papal documents. This applies, for instance, to a letter of 1381 of Alexander Neville, archbishop of York, for the priory of Burscough: Exhibita nobis religiosorum virorum prioris et conventus monasterii de Burscogh’ ordinis sancti Augustini Lich[efeldensis] dioc[esis] peticio continebat quod ipsorum monasterium per mortalitatum pestes que in illis partibus viguerunt, temporum maliciam et alias causas notorias et manifestas in suis redditibus et proventibus fuit et est quamplurimum diminutum et adeo manifeste paupertatis onere depressum quod ad ipsorum religiosorum sustentationem et supportacionem onerum eis necessario incumbencium ipsius monasterii non sufficiunt facultates nec sufficere poterunt in futuro nisi eis de vehementis subvencionis extrinseco remedio misericorditer [p. 213] sit provisum;…60 As was already the case in the late twelfth century, the narratio and certain other sections of episcopal documents concerning judicial matters were modelled on papal letters of justice. A letter of Archbishop Pecham of 1282, for instance, begins: Sua nobis Andreas et Simon, filii magistri Omeri de Cant’ petitione monstraverunt, calling to mind countless papal letters of justice.61

Similarly the phraseology of episcopal indulgences frequently resembled that of papal indulgences.62 The dispositio of an indulgence of 1326 issued by Adam Orleton, bishop of Hereford, reads: omnibus… de peccatis suis vere contritis, penitentibus, et confessis, qui ad Capellam de Aldersworthe, Wygorniensis diocesis, causa devocionis accesserint, ac devote predictam gloriosam Virginem ibidem salutaverint, ipsiusque luminari coram summo altari in eadem Capella noviter adjuncto manus adiutrices porrexerint, necnon pro pace sancte ecclesie et tranquillitate regni Anglie oracionem Dominicam cum Salutacione Angelica dixerint mente pia, x dies de injuncta sibi penitencia misericorditer relaxamus.63 This may be compared with the dispositio of a papal indulgence: omnibus vere penitentibus et confessis qui…ecclesiam prefatam devote visitaverint annuatim et ad huiusmodi conservationem manus porrexerint adiutrices, singulis videlicet festivitatum et celebritatis duos annos, et totidem quadragenis octavarum vero ac sex dierum predictorum diebus quibus dictam ecclesiam visitaverint et manus porrexerint (ut prefertur) adiutrices, centum dies de iniunctis eis penitentiis misericorditer relaxamus.64 Very close to the language of the papal chancery is the dispositio of a commission of Archbishop Pecham: Quocirca discretioni vestre committimus et mandamus quatinus, vocatis qui fuerint vocandi, audiatis causam et eam auctoritate nostra cum celeritate qua decet fine debito [p. 214] terminetis, facientes quod decreveritis per censuram ecclesiasticam firmiter observari.65

English episcopal documents appear to have taken over particular clauses from papal letters of justice and other types of papal letters.66 Simon Langham, archbishop of Canterbury, in 1367 addressed a commission to the dean of St Paul’s, London, de cujus circumspeccione fidelitate et industria plenam in Domino fiduciam optinemus.67 Of greater interest than the merely verbal similarity in this instance is when episcopal usage suggests common administrative thinking or practice. This may be the case with a dispensation issued by Archbishop Langham ex certa sciencia et nostra speciali gracia.68 The instruction in papal letters to the executor to inform the pope of what he had done in response to the pope’s mandate also had its counterpart in episcopal documents.69

One question which arises is whether documents emanating from particular bishops or sees borrowed more from papal documents than did others. It seems that the metropolitan see of Canterbury was prominent in this respect,70 especially under Archbishop Pecham, who was resident lector at the Roman curia from 1277 until he was provided to the see of Canterbury in 1279. He brought with him to England an Italian notary public, John of Bologna, and his pontificate represents the beginnings of the regular employment of notaries public in the English church.71

The contents of episcopal documents were often similar to those of papal documents. It would therefore not be surprising if episcopal documents were more indebted to papal documents than were other types of documents produced in England, and indeed this may well be the case. However, one could adduce numerous cases of episcopal documents not [p. 215] following papal models, even when their contents were similar; for instance, Richard de Kellawe, bishop of Durham, issued a licence to choose a confessor and commissions to judges to hear certain cases which bear little resemblance to their papal equivalents apart from one or two standard clauses.72 By the fourteenth century, the high-point of episcopal borrowing from papal documents had passed.73 As far as the external features of episcopal documents are concerned, I have found no evidence that they were indebted to papal documents. This contrasts with the twelfth century.74 It is probable that in the later Middle Ages, as earlier, the form of episcopal documents owed more to royal than to papal documents. Indeed, the general impression remains that the debt of English documents, both ecclesiastical and secular, to papal documents was rather limited. Documents produced in England typically had a general address and took the form of a simple notification without an arenga (Noverit univeritas vestra nos recepisse…, Sciant presentes et futuri quod nos…, Noveritis me dedisse, concessisse et hoc presenti scripto meo confirmasse…, etc., etc.).75 The forms of royal writs, episcopal documents, private charters and other documents were doubtless so well established in England that Englishmen felt little need or wish to modify them in accordance with papal practices.

In the circumstances it may be more fruitful to ask what mutual borrowing is discernible between papal and English documents rather than to confine one’s attention to borrowing in only one direction.76 Here I can only suggest a few possible avenues of further enquiry. Clement V, prior to being elected pope in 1305, was a clerk of Edward I and archbishop of Bordeaux.77 Did his pontificate see any Gascon or English influence on papal documents? Other questions which arise are how the popes came to produce letters sealed with the wax seal (instead of the leaden bulla), letters in the vernacular, and autograph letters. The first reference to a papal letter sealed with the wax seal comes from 1265, but its terms suggest that [p. 216] its use was already quite well established.78 For England the first satisfactory evidence of the use of a small seal (in this case the privy seal) comes much earlier, the reign of Richard I (1189–1199).79 The earliest known papal letter in the vernacular is in French and dates from the pontificate of Gregory XI (1370–1378).80 Most European rulers were issuing documents in the vernacular long before this.81 The earliest reference to autograph papal letters known to me is in 1344, when Clement VI stated that he had written three times in this way to King Edward III.82 Edward III, however, had already written to John XXII in his own hand, as he was later to do to Innocent VI.83 The evidence does not suggest that the papacy was especially precocious in the techniques of its diplomatic correspondence. It would be rash to ascribe any of the practices mentioned to a specific model and, if one were looking for a model, English documents would not be the first place to look. It is, however, reasonable to suppose that the diplomatic correspondence received by a European ruler, including the pope, could serve as a model for his own letters.

A further consideration needs to be borne in mind in investigating similarities between one type of document and another or between one chancery and another. Different administrations and courts in the later Middle Ages were confronted to a certain extent by similar problems; for instance, how to respond to large numbers of petitions when there was no satisfactory means of checking the reliability of what was asserted in them, or how to preserve the confidentiality of private or diplomatic documents. [p. 217] We may sometimes be concerned not so much with one institution borrowing from another as with parallel responses to comparable circumstances.84 This may well be the explanation for any similarities in the practice of petitioning the pope and the English crown.85 Another example may be given. In the fourteenth century and later, papal letters were registered by copying them into separate quires, which were only bound into volumes at a later date. This greatly facilitated arranging the registers by subject, for it was possible to register letters concerning particular subjects in particular quires.86 Episcopal registers in England were often compiled in a similar way.87 It is more likely that the English and papal practices arose simply from administrative convenience than from the one borrowing from the other. Administrative convenience, no doubt, lay behind Clement V’s decision at the beginning of his pontificate (1305) to issue a letter under his seal as archbishop of Bordeaux, his former office,88 and behind Edward II’s use at the beginning of his reign (1307) of the privy seal that he had used before his accession.89 Although these events are close in date, we cannot assume that the English royal chancery was copying the papal.

I would conclude this introductory paper by suggesting that the comparative study of papal and English documents in the period after 1300 merits our attention, but that it should take place in the context of the study of parallel developments in papal and English administration.

* I am very grateful to Pierre Chaplais for his assistance in preparing this article and to Stacy Boldrick, Barrie Dobson, Michael Haren, William Noel and Nicholas Vincent for their advice on particular points.
1 See O. Guyotjeannin, L’influence pontificale sur les actes épiscopaux français (Provinces ecclésiastiques de Reims, Sens et Rouen, XIe–XIIe siècles), in: L’église de France et la papauté (Xe–XIIIe siècle), ed. R. Grosse (Bonn, 1993), pp. 83–101, at p. 101: ‚Moins que de diffusion, la diplomatique comparée incite donc à parler de réception. En cela, elle demande de connaître avant tout le destinataire.‘ Cf. G. Barraclough, Public Notaries and the Papal Curia: a Calendar and a Study of a Formularium notariorum curie from the early years of the fourteenth century (British School at Rome, 1934), p. 31 n. 3. For a trenchant and convincing critique of the use of the term ‚influence‘ by art historians, see M. Baxandall, Patterns of Intention: on the Historical Explanation of Pictures (New Haven and London, 1985), pp. 58–62.
2 Cf. Guyotjeannin, L’influence pontificale, p. 86.
3 For an interesting example of transmission through a canonistic collection see G.E. Gaspary, The deposition of Richard II and the canon law, in: Proceedings of the Second International Congress of Medieval Canon Law, ed. S. Kuttner and J.J. Ryan (Vatican City, 1965), pp. 189–206; O. Hageneder, Die Übernahme kanonistischer Rechtsformen im Norden, in: Kommunikation und Mobilität im Mittelalter: Begegnungen zwischen dem Süden und der Mitte Europas (11.–14. Jahrhundert), ed. S. de Rachewiltz and J. Riedmann (Sigmaringen, 1995), pp. 249–260, at pp. 258–60.
4 The only publication specifically concerned with the issue known to me is C.G. Crump, Eo quod expressa mentio, etc., in: H.W.C. Davis (ed.), Essays in History presented to R.L. Poole (Oxford, 1927), pp. 30–45.
5 See W. Holtzmann, Papsturkunden in England (Abhandlungen der Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen, Phil.-hist. Klasse, Neue Folge 25, Dritte Folge 14–15, 33, 1930–1952), I, i, pp. 3–27; C.R. Cheney, Some features of surviving original papal letters in England, in: Annali della Scuola Speciale per Archivisti e Bibliotecari dell’Università di Roma 12 (1972), pp. 1–25, at p. 4; P.N.R. Zutshi, Original Papal Letters in England, 1305–1415 (Index Actorum Romanorum Pontificum ab Innocentio III ad Martinum V electum 5, 1990), pp. xi ff.
6 See G.R.C. Davis, Medieval Cartularies of Great Britain: a Short Catalogue (London, 1958); P. Hoskin, Medieval cartularies of Great Britain: amendments and additions to the Davis catalogue, in: Monastic Research Bulletin 2 (1996), pp. 1–12.
7 See below, notes 28–31.
8 See P.N.R. Zutshi, Proctors acting for English petitioners in the chancery of the Avignon popes, in: Journal of Ecclesiastical History 35 (1984), pp. 15–29.
9 See P. Herde, Ranshofener Urkundenstudien: eine Petition an Papst Klemens IV. und zwei verfälschte Diplome Heinrichs III., in: ZbLG 24 (1961), pp. 183–228, at pp. 185–195; idem, Beiträge zum päpstlichen Kanzlei- und Urkundenwesen im 13. Jahrhundert (Kallmünz Opf., 21967), pp. 126, 130–131; W. Stelzer, Niederaltaicher Prokuratorien: zur Geschichte der Impetrationsvollmachten für die päpstliche Kurie im 13. Jahrhundert, in: MIÖG 77 (1969), pp. 291–313.
10 See Briefsteller und formelbücher des eilften bis vierzehnten jahrhunderts, ed. L. Rockinger (München, 1863–1864), ii, pp. 605 ff.
11 Ibid., pp. 711–712.
12 For the earlier period see The Letters and Charters of Cardinal Guala Bicchieri, Papal Legate in England, 1216–1218, ed. N. Vincent (Canterbury and York Society, 1996), pp. lxxxiv ff., and Professor Sayers’ contribution to the present volume.
13 Worcester Cathedral Library, Dean and Chapter Muniments B 1621b. For Geoffrey of Vezzano see W.E. Lunt, Financial Relations of the Papacy with England to 1327 (Cambridge, Mass., 1939), especially pp. 161–164, 341–344, 452–454, 510–512, 546–549, 584–587.
14 Public Record Office, E135/24/36; Oxford, New College Archives 13884 (Writtle Charter 400) (and cf. New Palaeographical Society: Facsimiles of Ancient Manuscripts, etc., ed. E. M. Thompson etc., 1st Ser., ii (London, 1903–1912), plate 197c). See Lunt, Financial Relations to 1327, especially pp. 165–166, 488–493, 577–581, 584–588.
15 Cambridge, King’s College Archives, WOW 517. See W.E. Lunt, Financial Relations of the Papacy with England, 1327–1534 (Cambridge, Mass., 1962), especially pp. 4–5, 527 ff., 693–694.
16 Public Record Office, SC1/40/30–36. See Lunt, Financial Relations, 1327–1534, especially pp. 5–6, 694.
17 Cambridge, King’s College Archives, WOW 395. See Lunt, Financial Relations, 1327–1534, especially pp. 5–6, 706.
18 Cambridge, King’s College Archives, WOW 326, 356, 357. See Lunt, Financial Relations, 1327–1534, especially pp. 431, 651–656, 704.
19 Durham Dean and Chapter Muniments, Loc. III no. 19.
20 P.N.R. Zutshi, Some inedited papal documents relating to the university of Cambridge in the fourteenth century, in: Archivum Historiae Pontificiae 26 (1988), pp. 393–409, at pp. 396–399, 406. The letters of Raymond Pelegrini (see above n. 17) also display an R which is probably a registration mark.
21 C.R. Cheney, Notaries Public in England in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries (Oxford, 1972), ch. 2.
22 Ibid., ch. 4; P. Zutshi, Notaries public in England in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, in: Historia Instituciones Documentos 23 (1996), pp. 421–33.
23 Cheney, Notaries public, ch. 7.
24 Durham, Dean and Chapter Muniments, 2.8. Pont. 1. v.; Cheney, Notaries public, pp. 103–4. For the hand of the notary John de Branketre, see below n. 32.
25 N. Denholm-Young, The cursus in England, in his Collected Papers (Cardiff, 1969), pp. 42–73; The Liber epistolaris of Richard de Bury, ed. N. Denholm-Young (Roxburghe Club, 1950), pp. xxvi–xxvii; P. Chaplais, English dipomatic documents to the end of Edward III’s reign, in: The Study of Medieval Records: Essays in honour of Kathleen Major, ed. D. A. Bullough and R.L. Storey (Oxford, 1971), pp. 22–56, at pp. 47–48; idem, English Medieval Diplomatic Practice (London, 1975–1982), I, i, pp. 20–21, 36–37; ii, pp. 452–454.
26 Denholm-Young, The cursus in England, pp. 56, 58–60.
27 Ibid., p. 61.
28 N. Denholm-Young, Richard de Bury (1287–1345) and the Liber epistolaris, in: his Collected Papers (Cardiff, 1969), pp. 1–41; A.B. Emden, A Biographical Register of the University of Oxford to A. D. 1500 (Oxford, 1957–1959), i, pp. 323–326.
29 Denholm-Young, The cursus in England, pp. 52–55, 61–71. See also below n. 56.
30 The Liber epistolaris of Richard de Bury, ed. Denholm-Young; Denholm-Young, Richard de Bury.
31 P. Chaplais, Master John de Branketre and the office of notary in Chancery, 1355–1375, in: Journal of the Society of Archivists 4 (1971), pp. 169–199, at pp. 172–87; idem, English Medieval Diplomatic Practice, II, p. 29. Cf. more generally, and more speculatively, M. B. Parkes, English Cursive Bookhands, 1250–1500 (London, 1979), p. xix.
32 Chaplais, Master John de Branketre, pp. 187–188, with a list of documents dated according to the Christmas style on pp. 193–196. Nos 5–8 and 27 are dated expressly selonc le cours de leglise de Rome (or a similar expression). See also Chaplais, English Medieval Diplomatic Practice, II, nos 26, 31.
33 For Henry III see The Charters of Norwich Cathedral Priory, i, ed. B. Dodwell (Pipe Roll Society N.S. 40 for 1965–1966, published 1974), p. 49, no. 87. For Edward I see Rôles Gascons, ed. Ch. Bémont (Paris, 1900–1906), ii, nos 20, 142, 344, 1047; iii, nos 1857, 1868, 1917, 1918, 1957, 1997, 2108, 2174, 2177, 2190, etc.
34 Ancient Petitions relating to Northumberland, ed. C. M. Fraser (Surtees Society 176 for 1961, published 1966), pp. 174–175 (1331).
35 On this term see O. Hageneder, Probleme des päpstlichen Kirchenregiments im hohen Mittelalter (Ex certa scientia, non obstante, Registerführung), in: Lectiones Eruditorum Extraneorum in Facultate Philosophica Universitatis Carolinae Pragensis factae 4 (1995), pp. 49–77, at pp. 68 ff.; idem, Kanonisches Recht, Papsturkunde und Herrscherurkunde: Überlegungen zu einer vergleichenden Diplomatik am Beispiel der Urkunden Friedrichs III., in: AD 42 (1996), pp. 419–443, especially pp. 425 ff.
36 Crump, Eo quod expresso mentio, pp. 32, 34; A Formula Book of English Official Historical Documents, ed. H. Hall (Cambridge, 1908–1909), i, pp. 31, 61; H. Hall, Studies in English Official Historical Documents (Cambridge, 1908), p. 237; H.C. Maxwell Lyte, Historical Notes on the Use of the Great Seal of England (London, 1926), pp. 154, 196; H. Bresslau, Internationale Beziehungen im Urkundenwesen des Mittelalters, in: Archiv für Urkundenwesen 6 (1916–1918), pp. 19–76, at p. 38 n. 4.
37 Crump, Eo quod expressa mentio, pp. 30–36.
38 Ibid., p. 38. For the earlier appearance of such a clause in a different context, see G. Barraclough, The English royal chancery and the papal chancery in the reign of Henry III, in: MIÖG 62 (1954), pp. 365–378, at pp. 373–374.
39 J. Lenzenweger (ed.), Acta Pataviensia Austriaca, iii (Vienna, 1996), Formulare 5a, 5b, 6, 6a, 7, 7a, 7b, 8, 8a, 9, 9a, 9b, 10 (with minor variations in phrasing).
40 L. Ehrlich, Proceedings against the Crown (1216–1377) (Oxford, 1921), especially pp. 94–95. On the other hand, J.F. Baldwin, The King’s Council in England during the Middle Ages (Oxford, 1913), pp. 281–282, regards the English system as indigenous.
41 Briefsteller und formelbücher, ed. Rockinger, i, p. 154: Forma conponendi petitiones que imperatori et regibus porriguntur sumi possunt de forma peticionum summi pontificis per industriam prouidi oratoris. Nam ubi dicitur vestre significat sanctitati, dicatur imperiali vel regali maiestati, vel celsitudini seu clementie. Ehrlich, Proceedings against the Crown, p. 94, draws attention to this passage. On Boncompagno see Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani (Rome, 1960 ff.), xi, pp. 720–725.
42 Rotuli Parliamentorum, i (n.p., n.d.), pp. 10–11, no. 49; p. 12, no. 54 (1278).
43 H. Bresslau, Handbuch der Urkundenlehre für Deutschland und Italien (Berlin, 21912–1931), ii, pp. 104–5, 108–109.
44 Rotuli Parliamentorum, i, p. 12, no. 57 (1278); Ancient Petitions relating to Northumberland, ed. Fraser, p. 164.
45 A. R. Myers, Parliamentary petitions in the fifteenth century, in: EHR 52 (1937), pp. 385–404, 590–613, at pp. 386–387. Maxwell Lyte, Historical Notes on the Use of the Great Seal, pp. 147 ff., shows that in the fourteenth century there was no ‚uniform system of signifying the king’s approval of petitions‘.
46 See Rotuli parliamentorum Anglie hactenus inediti 1279–1373, ed. H.G. Richardson and G. O. Sayles (Camden Third Series 51, 1935); Myers, Parliamentary petitions, pp. 398–9.
47 See Bresslau, Urkundenlehre, ii, pp. 104–109.
48 Baldwin, King’s Council, pp. 322 ff.; Ehrlich, Proceedings against the Crown, pp. 83 ff.; Maxwell Lyte, Historical Notes on the Use of the Great Seal, pp. 192 ff., 200 ff.; Myers, Parliamentary petitions; D. Rayner, Forms and machinery of the commune petition in the fourteenth century, in: EHR 56 (1941), pp. 198–233, 549–70; A. L. Brown, The authorization of letters under the great seal, in: Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research, 37 (1964), pp. 125–155.
49 Memoranda de Parliamento: Records of the Parliament holden at Westminster … (A. D. 1305), ed. F.W. Maitland (Rolls Series, 1893), pp. lxiii–lxiv; E. Göller, Zur Entstehung der Supplikenregister, in: Römische Quartalschrift 19 (1905), pp. 194–196; Bresslau, Urkundenlehre, ii, pp. 12–14; B. Katterbach, Inventario dei registri delle suppliche (Vatican City, 1932), pp. x–xi.
50 Barraclough, The English royal chancery.
51 B. Wilkinson, The Chancery under Edward III (Manchester, 1929), pp. 94–97.
52 Even the introductions to editions of episcopal registers rarely discuss bishops’ chanceries. A notable exception is The Register of Thomas Langley, Bishop of Durham, ed. R. L. Storey, i (Surtees Society 164 for 1949, published 1956), pp. xiii ff. The classic study down to 1250 is C.R. Cheney, English Bishops’ Chanceries, 1100–1250 (Manchester, 1950). For comparisons with papal documents see ibid., pp. 46, 52–53, 58–81, 83–87, 97–98. See also Guillotjeannin, L’influence pontificale, and Professor Sayers’ contribution to the present volume.
53 Denholm-Young, The cursus in England, p. 56; Registrum epistolarum fratris Johannis Peckham, archiepiscopi Cantuariensis, ed. C. T. Martin (Rolls Series, 1882–1885).
54 See above n. 30.
55 See Denholm-Young, The cursus in England, pp. 48–55, 61–71; Cheney, Notaries public, pp. 47–49; idem, Law and letters in fourteenth-century Durham: a study of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, MS. 450, in: Bulletin of the John Rylands Library 55 (1972), pp. 60–85; R.M. Haines, The compilation of a late-fourteenth-century precedent book – Register Brian 2, in: Studies in Church History 11 (1975), pp. 173–185; J. Taylor, Letters and letter collections in England, 1300–1420, in: Nottingham Medieval Studies, 24 (1980), pp. 57–70; D. M. Owen, The Medieval Canon Law: Teaching, Literature and Transmission (Cambridge, 1990), pp. 30–42; Zutshi, Notaries public, pp. 430–431; W. A. Pantin, English monastic letter-books, in: Historical Essays in honour of James Tait, ed. J. G. Edwards, V. H. Galbraith and E. F. Jacob (Manchester, 1933), pp. 201–222. For a formulary of the audientia litterarum contradictarum (that is, of papal letters of justice) which seems to have come to Canterbury in the late fourteenth century, see P. Herde, Audientia litterarum contradictarum: Untersuchungen über die päpstlichen Justizbriefe und die päpstliche Delegationsgerichtsbarkeit vom 13. bis zum Beginn des 16. Jahrhunderts (Tübingen, 1970), i, pp. 98–103.
56 Chaplais, English Medieval Diplomatic Practice, II, no. 29. Cf. above n. 32. In 1437 John Snawdon requested that the bishop of Durham register ad perpetuam rei memoriam letters creating him a notary public: Register of Thomas Langley, ed. Storey, i, p. xxxvi n. 5.
57 R. M. Haines, The Administration of the Diocese of Worcester in the first half of the fourteenth century (London, 1965), p. 240 n. 3. Cf. O. Hageneder, Papsturkunde und Bischofsurkunde (11.–13. Jh.), in: Die Diplomatik der Bischofsurkunde vor 1250 (Innsbruck, 1995), pp. 39–63, at p. 40.
58 E.g., Literarum scientia et honesta conversatio, mores et merita probitatis, necnon alia virtutum dona, quibus personam tuam multipliciter novimus insignitam, nos excitant et inducunt affectu te prosequi gratioso: Registrum Palatinum Dunelmense: the Register of Richard de Kellawe, ed. T. Duffus Hardy (Rolls Series, 1873–1878), i, p. 71 (1311). See also ibid., pp. 59–60, 132, 248–249. Cf. Barraclough, Public Notaries, p. 31 n. 5. It is worth noting that episcopal collations appear in the formulary of notaries public at the curia published by Barraclough (see ibid., pp. 30–32, 166–174), as do other types of episcopal document.
59 Registrum Palatinum Dunelmense, ed. Duffus Hardy, i, p. 192 (1312). For further arengae used in indulgences, see ibid., pp. 201, 249.
60 A. N. Webb, An Edition of the Cartulary of Burscough Priory (Chetham Society 3rd Ser. 18, 1970), p. 169. For another example of a narratio, see Registrum Palatinum Dunelmense, ed. Duffus Hardy, i, p. 95, beginning Petitio tua, nobis exhibita, continebat quod… (1311).
61 The Register of John Pecham, Archbishop of Canterbury, ed. D. Douie, ii (Canterbury and York Society, 1968), p. 167. Cf. Herde, Audientia litterarum contradictarum, ii, passim.
62 Cf. Cheney, English Bishops’ Chanceries, pp. 76–77; Hageneder, Papsturkunde und Bischofsurkunde, p. 47.
63 Registrum Ade de Orleton, episcopi Herefordensis, ed. A. T. Bannister (Canterbury and York Society, 1908), p. 347. For an episcopal indulgence with different phraseology, see Formulare Anglicanum, ed. T. Madox (London, 1702), p. 321.
64 Reading, Berkshire Record Office: D/EX133 Z1 (Zutshi, Original Papal Letters in England, p. 211, no. 416). See also Die päpstlichen Kanzleiordnungen von 1200–1500, ed. M. Tangl (Innsbruck, 1894), pp. 330–331.
65 Register of Pecham, ii, ed. Douie, p. 179. Cf. Register of Pecham, i, ed. F. N. Davies and others (Canterbury and York Society, 1908), p. 32: Causam que…vertitur super sepultura quam dicti parochiani apud dictam capellam habere, debere et habuisse, jam ab antiquo se asserunt, vobis auctoritate presentium committimus audiendam et fine debito terminandam. For comparable forms of papal letters of justice, see Herde, Audientia litterarum contradictarum, ii, p. 712 (index s.v. audire).
66 This also occurred in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries: Hageneder, Papsturkunde und Bischofsurkunde, p. 43.
67 Registrum Simonis de Langham, Cantuariensis archiepiscopi, ed. A. C. Wood (Canterbury and York Society, 1956), p. 161. See also Registrum Palatinum Dunelmense, ed. Duffus Hardy, i, p. 268.
68 Registrum Simonis de Langham, ed. Wood, p. 183.
69 E.g., Herde, Audientia litterarum contradictarum, ii, p. 74; Registrum Ade de Orleton, episcopi Herefordensis, ed. A. T. Bannister (Canterbury and York Society, 1908), ii, p. 154, with the clause Quid autem feceritis, etc.
70 Cf. Hageneder, Papsturkunde und Bischofsurkunde, p. 40.
71 Cheney, Notaries Public, pp. 26 ff., 153–4.
72 Registrum Palatinum Dunelmense, ed. Duffus Hardy, i, pp. 186–187, 267–268; iv, p. 411.
73 Cf. Hageneder, Papsturkunde und Bischofsurkunde, p. 47.
74 Cheney, English Bishops’ Chanceries, especially pp. 52–53.
75 Cf. ibid., p. 97.
76 Jean Favier, on the other hand, believes that the papal administration was not in a position to borrow from elsewhere: Traits généraux et traits spécifiques de l’administration pontificale, in: Aux origines de l’état moderne: le fonctionnement administratif de la papauté d’Avignon (Collection de l’École française de Rome 138, 1990), pp. 1–4, at p. 2.
77 J.H. Denton, Pope Clement V’s early career as a royal clerk, in: EHR 83 (1968), pp. 303–14; P.N.R. Zutshi, The letters of the Avignon popes (1305–1378): a source for the study of Anglo-papal relations and English ecclesiastical history, in: England and her Neighbours: Essays in honour of Pierre Chaplais, ed. M. Jones and M. Vale (London, 1989), pp. 259–275, at pp. 263–265.
78 P. Zutshi, The political and administrative correspondence of the Avignon popes, 1305–1378: a contribution to papal diplomatic, in: Aux origines de l’état moderne: le fonctionnement administratif de la papauté d’Avignon (Collection de l’École française de Rome 138, 1990), pp. 371–384, at p. 374. Gregory VII wrote to Robert Guiscard in 1081: Dubitavimus hic sigillum plumbeum ponere, ne, si illud inimici caperent, de eo falsitatem aliquam facerent (Das Register Gregors VII., ed. E. Caspar (MGH Epp. Selectae 2, 1923), ii, p. 598); and the same pope wrote to Robert count of Flanders: Plumbeo sigillo idcirco signari litteras istas noluimus, ne, si forte caperentur ab impiis, eodem sigillo posset falsitatis quippiam fieri (Monumenta Gregoriana, ed. P. Jaffé (Bibliotheca Rerum Germanicarum 2, 1865), p. 568). These letters must have either been sealed with a wax seal or been left unsealed. A. Giry, who drew attention to these passages in his Manuel de diplomatique (Paris, 1925), p. 681 n. 2, inclined to the latter view.
79 P. Chaplais, English Royal Documents, King John-Henry VI (Oxford, 1971), pp. 23–24.
80 Zutshi, The political and administrative correspondence of the Avignon popes, p. 378.
81 John XXII complained in 1323 about receiving a letter in French from Charles IV, king of France, but this was on the grounds that he could not understand it. For this extraordinary claim see Chaplais, English Medieval Diplomatic Practice, I, i, p. 21 n. 126.
82 Zutshi, The political and administrative correspondence of the Avignon popes, p. 381. It should be stressed that I am here concerned with documents written entirely in the hand of the pope or king, not with autograph subscriptions to papal or royal documents.
83 Chaplais, English Medieval Diplomatic Practice, I, i, p. 20.
84 Cf. B. Wilkinson, The Chancery under Edward III, p. xxix and n. 4.
85 See above nn. 41–50.
86 See F. Bock, Einführung in das Registerwesen des avignonesischen Papsttums (QFIAB 31, 1941, Ergbd.), pp. 1–36.
87 See D.M. Smith, Guide to Bishops’ Registers of England and Wales (Royal Historical Society, 1981), pp. x–xi; R.M. Haines, The Administration of the Diocese of Worcester, pp. 3–9; Registrum Simonis de Sudbiria, episcopi Londoniensis, ed. R.C. Fowler and C. Jenkins (Canterbury and York Society, 1927–38), ii, pp. xiv–xv; The Registers of Roger Martival, Bishop of Salisbury, ed. K. Edwards and others (Canterbury and York Society, 1959–75), i, pp. ix–xi; iv, pp. ix–xiii, xxiii–xxix; The Register of Henry Chichele, Archbishop of Canterbury, ed. E. F. Jacob (Canterbury and York Society, 1943–1947), i, pp. xiv–xvi.
88 Acta Pontificum, ed. G. Battelli (Vatican City, 21965), no. 21: Et quia bullam nondum habebamus papalem, sigillo quo utebamur dum immediate Burdegalensi archiepiscopatui preessemus, presentes fecimus litteras sigillari. Cf. a letter to Edward I from Raymond de Got, written shortly after his elevation to the cardinalate, which took place on 15 December 1305: quia sigillum cardinalatus nostri nondum habebamus, sigillo nostro quo utebamur dum eramus in minoribus constituti presentes litteras fecimus sigillari (Public Record Office, SC1/33/95).
89 Maxwell Lyte, Historical Notes on the Use of the Great Seal, p. 41, referring to letters patent sub privato sigillo nostro quo utebamur antequam regni gubernacula suscepimus.