HIST 371 Lecture Outline (Fall 2016 – Week 11)






Medieval helpdesk (Norwegian, with English subtitles; 2:39 min.):

Becket (1964; 2:28:19 min.):
(Henry II tells Becket he is to be archbishop: 53-56 min.; Becket’s investiture: 1:00-1:05 min.; church courts v. royal courts: 1:07-1:11 min.; Becket excommunicates Lord Gilbert: 1:29-1:35 min.)

Gregorian chant:

Circumdederunt me (2:26 min.):

Pange lingua (2:58 min.):


Bartlett, England under the Norman and Angevin Kings, pp. 377-382 (clerks and parish), 387-402 (bishops)

Carlin and Crouch, Lost Letters of Medieval Life, pp. 79-84 (Documents 17-18), 175-184 (Documents 54-57), pp. 245-247 (Document 79)

Glossary for Magna Carta (useful generally for legal terminology of early 13th-century England)


The Angevin “Empire”:

Henry III’s territories:

Medieval England and Wales:

Wales and the Marches in the Thirteenth Century:

Map of England by Matthew Paris

Table of ecclesiastical organization in England:

  • Pope
    • Archbishop of Canterbury
      • Bishops
        • Archdeacons
          • Deans
            • Parish clergy
              (priest, chaplains)
    • Archbishop of York
      • Bishops
        • Archdeacons
          • Deans
            • Parish clergy
              (priest, chaplains)

Terms and topics:

Secular clergy: ordained men who are not members of a religious order
Regular clergy: male members of a religious order, such as Benedictine monks or Franciscan friars (regula = rule, e.g., Rule of St. Benedict)


Minor orders (could marry): cantor, doorkeeper, lector, exorcist, acolyte
Major orders (could not marry): subdeacon, deacon, priest, bishop
Clerks not in orders merely wore the tonsure (shaved crown of head)

Only bishops could ordain clergy to minor or major orders (ordination = one of the 7 sacraments)

Advowson (ecclesiastical benefice owned by an impropriator, who had the right to present the next incumbent to it)

Tithes (one-tenth of annual agricultural produce or income owed by all parishioners to support their parish priest.
Greater tithes = grain, hay, hops, and wood; lesser tithes = wool, milk, livestock, and cash)

Parish clergy:

Rector (impropriator [advowson-owner] or parish priest who could claim both greater and lesser tithes, and was responsible for the maintenance of the chancel [east end] of the parish church)

Vicar (parish priest who could claim only lesser tithes)

Curate (stipendiary priest who served the cure of souls of a parish in place of the rector or vicar, who paid him a salary but no share of the tithes)

Chaplain (deacon or priest who was employed by a wealthy lay or ecclesiastical household, or by a guild or other institution, to assist in spiritual or pastoral duties)

Cathedrals (17):

7 secular cathedrals: chapter = canons, headed by a dean; each canon was endowed with a prebend; canons could pay a vicar to perform their duties
10 monastic cathedrals: chapter = monks, headed by a prior

Suffragan bishops (deputy-bishops)

Officials (specialists in canon law who were deputized by bishops and archdeacons to preside over their courts and conduct investigations)

Papal legate (pope’s emissary with full powers to act in the pope’s name; 1216-21 first Guala, then Pandulf, were papal legates)

Cardinal (since mid 11th cent., deacon or priest appointed at least nominally to a church in Rome and to serve as papal elector)



Magister Leoninus (fl. 1150s-?1201): Gloria in excelsis deo (5:41 min.):


Robert Bartlett, Inside the Medieval Mind:

Power (Part 4 of 6; 9:58 minutes; start at 4:40- end, King John)

Sex (Episode 2, 58:41 min.):
37:45- 42:49 min.: canon law and sex;
42:50-45:48 min.: church courts and sex
45:49-47:35 min.: clerical incontinence and pornography
47:36-48:27 min.: brothels
48:28-54:12 min.: homosexuality

Giotto: St. Francis receiving the stigmata, c. 1295-1300 (4:35 min.):


Bartlett, England under the Norman and Angevin Kings, pp. 402-412 (kingly power and priestly power)

Carlin and Crouch, Lost Letters of Medieval Life, pp. 225-233 (Documents 71-73)

King John taxes the clergy; the arrival of the friars in England; the Interdict, from Roger of Wendover’s Flowers of History:

Investiture controversy (church vs lay rulers over lay control of elections to church offices, etc.)
3 key issues: control of church appointments; nature of church property; demarcation of judicial powers

Simony (buying and selling of church office: illegal but widespread)

Interdict (closure of churches and ban on all services and sacraments throughout the country, except for baptism, absolution, and extreme unction)

Excommunication (expulsion of an individual from all Christian worship, sacraments, communion, and community; at death, an excommunicate faces eternal damnation)

Prelates were considered barons by the king; pastors by the Church

Gratian’s Decretum (c. 1140) led to development of canon law; further clarified by Gregory IX’s Decretals (1234)

Parish churches:
Had font and cemetery
Received income from offerings, endowments, and tithes (on produce, newborn livestock, and cash income)

Dispute between John and church over election of Stephen Langton as archbishop of Canterbury:
flight of Langton and Canterbury monks to France
24 March 1208 Interdict of England pronounced by order of Pope Innocent III (only sacraments allowed = baptism, confession, and extreme unction)
autumn 1209 Innocent III excommunicates John
most bishops flee England; many sees already vacant; John seizes episcopal revenues
by end 1209 only 1 bishop remains in England
1213 John gives England to Innocent III and receives it back as the pope’s vassal; John’s excommunication lifted; Stephen Langton returns to England
1214 Innocent III lifts the Interdict; John fills the empty sees with royal servants