1286-1296 (John Romanus) York (Province). Archbishop.

The register of John Le Romeyn, lord archbishop of York, 1286-1296 (Volume 2) online

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M. L















The Seal of
Archbishop John Le Romeyn.






1286 — 1296.

Part II.




1296 — 1299.

Ipnblis^eb for t^£ ^orielg bg





At a Meeting of the Surtees Society, held in Durham
Castle, on Tuesday, June 7th, 1910, the Reverend J. M.
Marshall in the Chair —

It was ordered,

That the Register of Archbishop John le Romeyn be
edited for the Society by the Secretary.





Addenda et Corrigenda . .

The Register of archbishop John le Romeyn : —

Capitula Eboraci, Beverlaci, Suthwellie, et Ryponie,
ac de Capella

SpirituaUtas de Houeden et Alverton

Balhve cum prepositura Beverlacensi

Littere de episcopis suffraganeis

[ntrinseca de camera . .


Kalendarium de formis litterarum cursoriarum

The Register of archbishop Henry of Newark : —

Archidiaconatus Estridingie . .


Archidiaconatus Notinghamie

Spiritualitas de Houeden et Alverton

De episcopis suffraganeis

Ballive cum prepositura Beverlaci . .

Archidiaconatus Richemundie

Acta diversa

Diverse littere . .

Diverse littere ad curiam Romanam

Registrum sede vacante : —

Archidiaconatus Eboracensis

Archidiaconatus Estridingie . . '

Archidiaconatus Clivelandie . .

Archidiaconatus Notinghamie

Archidiaconatus Richemundie

Itinerary of archbishop Newark





•• 31


•• 134
•• 175
.. 179

. . 191

205, 221

. . 208

.. 232

.. 247

. . 248

. . 249

. . 269

. . 270

. . 289

. . 296

.• 307

.. 318

•• 323

.. 324

.. 327

. . 331

•• 333


John le Romeyn, Romayn, or Romanus, archbishop of
York, came of clerical stock, though in a somewhat irregular
way. His father, another John le Romeyn, was so inti-
mately associated with the church of York, that it will not
be out of place to give a brief sketch of his career. In the
foundation deed^ of a chantry in the minster, made some-
where between 1241 and 1252, when he was archdeacon of
Richmond, 2 a little information is given of his parentage.
At this chantry, founded against the altar of St. Andrew,
which stood over against the north-west pillar of the lantern
of the minster, which he himself had built, and near St.
William's tomb, prayer was to be made for the souls of king
Richard i, John and Mary, the founder's parents, and for
Cincius his priest.^ After his death the patronage was to
belong to the dean and chapter. The priest celebrating this
chantry was not to be one of the vicars in the minster.
When he had sung the mass and the office for the dead he
was to be present in the choir in the minster at the canonical
hours, or at any rate high mass.* Endowments for this

^York Domesday, fo. 52, belong- When the treasurer's son the arch-
ing to the dean and chapter of York. bishop went to Rome in the spring
There is another grant in the same of 1292, the chronicler {Chronicon de
MS. (fo. 82),t'printedin the Histoyians Lanercost. i, 137) reports " a nobilio-
of the ChiiYch of York {Rolls Series, ribus Urbis et sibi attinentibus
iii, 152), of rather an earlier date. honorifice susceptus est," which
It is a grant by Romeyn of rents of looks as if he had come of good
13s Ad and 10s from land in Good- stock.

ramgate, York, and Garton, prob- *At the time of the dissolution of

ably Garton-on-the-Wolds, for keep- the chantries, in the reign of Edward

ing his obit. vi, the duties of the chaplain of the

2In the York Fabric Rolls (Surtees chantry of St. Andrew, founded by

Soc, XXXV, 276) the editor, in a archdeacon John le Romayn, were,

moment of forgetfulness, calls the besides praying for the souls named

founder archdeacon of York. above, " to be in the high quyer in

3A member of the important his habyte at dv-vyne service, redy

Roman family of the Cenci. The to rede.' and syng, and exercise at

name Cencio or Cinthio is primarily the high aulter at th' appoyntyng of

connected with the house of th' officers. The same chaunterye

Frangipani. Cinchius the Roman, a is wythyn the said church. The

subdeacon, was prebendarv of necessitie thereof is for the mayn-

Rugmere in St. Paul's Cathedral in tennance of Goddes service, and the

1232 (Hennessey's Novum Repertor- same is observyd and kept ac-

ium, p. 47). For more information cordyngly [Yorkshire Chantry Sur-

about him see Fasti Ebor., i, 328«. veys\Suxt. Soc, xci)„ i, 23). The


chantry were made in no niggardly spirit. In York, five
rentcharges were given, namely, 20s from land he had bought
in Buthimi of the prebend of Strensale, held by him of Roger
de Sexdecimvallibus and Luke ; 22s paid him by Robert the
cook, for a house which had belonged to Geoffrey Brun ; one
mark from land in Bleykestret, held of him by Lenier^ and
his brother ; and 40^ and 32^ in Walmegate from the prebend
of Fridaythorpe, held by Philip the carter and Nicholas
Welpe's daughter. He also gave half a carucate of land in
Fridaythorpe as well as 3s rent and a windmill there, with
land with the houses on it in Barkaregate bought of Arnald
the priest. He further deposited sixty marks in the minster
treasury for the purchase of other lands. 2

Doubts were cast on his legitimacy, apparently without
reason, as in 1224 he had letters from the pope,^ declaring
that John Romanus, canon of York, was legitimate, he having
lost both parents when of tender age, and there having been
some uncertainty about his birth.

Names of a couple of other of his relatives are on record.
A nephew, Denis, in 1240 resigned all claim to the church of
Stanford-on-Avon (Northants.), which was in the patronage
of Selby Abbey ;* and another nephew, James Judici, was
pardoned in 1255 at the instance of Matthew Hanibal, a
Roman proconsul, for the rape of a woman at Wyvestowe,
now Westow, near Malton, on condition that he made peace

incumbent, who was meanly and Henry of Devon {Devoiiiensis),

learned and of honest conversation clerks. This grant was not fully

and qualities, had for singing Our ratified when John le Romeyn the

Lady mass in the same church to the son had an inquisition ad quod

yearly value of 9li 13s (Ibid., ii, 437). danipnuni taken in 1284 ( Yorkshire

^Perhaps Lemer. Inquisitions, ii, 18), and in conse-

^At the time this chantry was quence of the favourable finding a

dissolved, it was only worth Ali Is licence for the alienation in mort-

\\\d (loc. cit.). The witnesses, main of the houses in Gutherumgate

of whose names the initials only are was granted, the object being the

given in the case of dignities, were : maintenance of the anniversary of

— William or Walter de Kirkham, Master John le Romeyn, sometime

the dean, Simon of Evesham, the treasurer of the church of York

precentor, Robert Haget, the [Cal. Pat. Rolls, 1281-1292, p. 136).

treasurer, John Blund, the chancel- Even this does not seem to have

lor, Laurence of Lincoln, archdeacon been etfectual, as in 1298 the vicars

of York, Simon de sancto Egidio, the of St. Peter's, York, had licence to

subdean, canons of York, Thomas retain this property, then be-

the baker (pistor), Jeremy, Adam de queathcd to them by the will of the

Vestibulo, Elias, vicars (of the archbishop himself (Ibid., 1292-

church) of York, William the parson 1301, p. 352).

of Beryngham (now Barningham), ^Cal. of Papal Letters, i, 100.

Richard the parson of Askham, *Rotuli Roherti Grosseteste, episcopi

John de Hesel, Richard de Aquila Lincolnicnsis. p. 182.


with her, or stood his trial if any one wished to proceed
against him.i

The earhest mention of the elder John le Romeyn occurs
on Nov. 23, 1218, when, already a canon of York, he was
appointed one of the commissioners to report about Robert
de Lelleia, clerk, of the diocese of York, who had three wives
and had publicly pleaded cases of bloodshedding in a secular
court, taking no notice of church censures, and had presumed
to hold the church of Tadcaster and many others with cure
of souls. 2 It seems probable Le Romeyn may have come
over in the train of Walo or Pandulph, who were papal legates
in England at the end of the reign of John and the beginning
of that of his successor. In 1228 he was presented by the
king to the church of Hampsthwaite (Hamethweit), which
must have been of considerable value as it was charged with
a pension of lOOs in favour of Henry de Essex, clerk. ^ Later
in the same year on the institution of the subdeanery of
York it was collated to him.*

The subdean must have been regarded as a man whose
favour was worth courting, probably on account of his being
able, through his Italian connections, to influence members
of the Curia. It was for this reason, very likely, that the
archbishop in 1236 granted him a pension of twenty marks a
year from his treasury until he should be provided to some-
thing better.^ His next piece of preferment was the arch-
deaconry of Richmond, in which he succeeded Robert Haget
in 1 241. 6 On attaining this dignity the archdeacon must
have vacated the subdeanery, which at this time was held
by Master Simon of St. Giles {de sancto Egidio)J The
archdeacon managed further to enrich himself by obtaining
possession of the treasurership at York. This must have
been about 1249. On St. Matthew's day (Sept. 21) in that

^Cal. of Patent Rolls, 1247-1258, nostrae," who must be a different

p. 16. Another possible relative was person from the York dignitary

Adam, son of William, called the (Baluzii Misc. (ed.Ma.nsi), i, 211).

Roman, who was presented to the ^C. P. L., i, 59.

church of Kirby Misperton in 1254 ^Cal. of Charter Rolls, 1225-1232,

by Thomas the abbot and convent p. 174. and Gray's Register, p. 33.

of St. Mary's, York, according to *Le Neve's Fasti, iii, 127, and

the ordination made by Mr. J. Reg. Gray, p. 28w, and Reg. Joh.

(Romanus), treasurer of York Romani, i, 205, where the date is

(Gray's Register (Surtees Soc, lvi), incorrectly given as 1229 instead of

p. 120;z). There is a letter from pope 1228.

Innocent iv, dated at Lyons, kal. ^Reg. Gray, p. 75.

Aug., 6th year (Aug. 1, 1248) ad- ^Ibid.,^^. 191,252.

dressed to " Johanni dicto Romano ''Ibid., p. 191.
clerico, scrip toii pcenitentiariae


year it was still held by Robert Haget, the archdeacon's
predecessor at Richmond,^ and according to the Registrum
Alburn^ le Romeyn enjoyed that dignity in the same year.
This accumulation of benefices seems to have caused trouble,
as in 1255 he, as treasurer, although in possession of a
dispensation from a previous pope to hold the arch-
deaconry together with his other benefices, had a further
dispensation to retain the treasurership, having resigned
the archdeaconry.^ This resignation must have taken
place between May, 1249, when as archdeacon he had a grant
of the church of Bolton-le-Sands from John, abbot of the
monastery of St. Martin at Sees, in Normandy, and March
16, 1253-4, when William, archdeacon of Richmond, occurs
as a witness to a deed of archbishop Gray about land in
Goodramgate.* Nothing more seems to be recorded about
him. He must have died towards the end of 1255, for on Jan.
2, 1256, the king granted to his clerk, John Mansel, provost
of Beverley, the treasurership of the church of York
with the prebend annexed thereto, void by the death of John
le Romeyn, and in the king's gift by reason of the voidance
of the archbishopric on the death of archbishop Gray.^

During his long life, for he must have been sixty at least
when he died, he had managed to amass very considerable
wealth. Matthew Paris^ characterizes him as avaricious
and cantankerous {cavillosus). In another place Paris'^ draws
a fuller and even more unfavourable picture of the treasurer.
He terms him one of the most avaricious of men, crammed
{saginatus) with rents and treasures. For nearly fifty years
he had devoted himself to heaping up riches, and though the
chief or one of the chief canons of York, he had, like a
wicked spy, discovered a way of unlocking the English
treasury {ar chain Anglice) and of inciting the Romans to gape
in a greedier way than common after the rents and treasures
of this country, whether legally or illegally. This extortion
by the foreign clergy provoked reprisals. In the North,
Robert de Thweng of Kilton Castle, near Saltburn, under the
noni-de-guerre of Will Wither, acted as leader of bands which

^Reg. Gray, p. 261 n. in- Kendal. The deed itself is un-

2Reg. Album, fo. 33, quoted in Le dated, but was probably executed

Neve's Fasti, iii, 159. about this time (7fcj6?., p. 111).

3C. P. L., i, 319. ^Cal. Pat. Rolls, 1247-1258, p. 455.

^Reg. Gray, pp. 204m, 272«. Arch- ^Chronica Majora (Rolls Series),

bishop Gray in 1252 confirmed a v, 534.

consolidation by archdeacon John ''Ibid., p. 544.
le Romeyn of the church of Kirliby-


went about the country in 1231 destroying the crops of the
foreign intruders, who, in fear of their hves, hid themselves
Uke thieves. John le Romeyn, then a canon of York, had to
conceal himself in the minster, expecting to have his head cut
off.i Other evidence confirms the unfavourable view taken
of Romeyn's character by Matthew Paris. His corres-
pondence with Robert Grosseteste, bishop of Lincoln, which
Canon Raine from insufficient knowledge thought redounded
to his credit, really shews him in a very discreditable light.
In one case^ the bishop had to refuse leave to the subdean of
York to let his church of Chalgrove in Oxfordshire, ^ although
his request was backed up by the papal nuncio. The other case
was that of a nephew whose illiteracy was so gross the bishop
was unable to institute him to the church of Stanford.*

Le Romeyn, however, had some sterling qualities. His
frequent employment by the Curia^ is a testimony to his
business capacity, and the important posts he held cannot
have been entirely due to favouritism. He was not without
gratitude to the church from which he derived his great
wealth. Stubbs^ is our authority for attributing to him the
building of the north transept of the Minster and the
lantern tower, together with a great part of the hospital of
St. Leonard. Not only did he do this at his own cost, but in
1234 he got a grant from the king of forty oaks from the
forest of Knaresborough and " Ockeden " for making a
belfry {berefridum) in which to hang the minster bells. '^ The
north transept still remains a monument of his munificence,
but the central tower has been refaced or destroyed. By his
will he endowed twelve beds for men and women in St.
Leonard's hospital, York.^ It was probably for furthering
this purpose that he built the greater part of the infirmary of
that hospital, and so arranged it that the two sexes could live

Uhid., ii, 338. Canon Raine has, Boston (ecclesia sancti Botulfi in

by a slip of the pen, given a reference Holland) on the presentation of the

to Matthew of Westminster instead abbot and convent of St. Mary's,

of Matthew Paris {Gray's Register, York, and instituted in the person

p. 28n). of Richard the clerk, his proctor

^Grosseteste Epp. (Rolls Series), (Rot. H. de Wells, iii, 164).

p. 65. ^Grcsseteste Epp., p. 203; cf.

'More probable than Chalgrave Rot. Rob. Grosseteste, p. 182

(Beds.), which was appropriated to ^See the first volume of the Cal.

Dunstable priory quite early and a of Papal Letters passim.

vicarage ordained by bishop Hugh ^Hist. of the Church of York (Rolls

Welles about 1220 {Lib. Antiquus, Series), ii, 409.

ed. Gibbons, 22; cf. Rotuli H. de ^Cal. of Close Rolls. 1231-1234, p.

Welles, i, 188. iii, 3). About 1227 403.

Master John Romanus, subdean of ^Reg Romeyn, nos. 372, 391, 418.
York, was admitted to the church of



separately, Stubbs adds that in addition he did many
other acts of piety.i With the object of estabhshing an obit
in the minster he made a grant to the vicars there of 13s 4^
a year from land in Gutherumgate, lying next the messuages
of the prebends of South Newbald and Wistow^, payable by
the canons of those prebends ; and of los a year which Adam
de Sunderlathwyk had given him from land in Garton.
These rents were to be paid to the succentor and vice-
chancellor of the Minster,^

Of the parentage of his more illustrious son and namesake
on the female side we only have a contemptuous reference by
Henry Knighton,* who describes her as a waitingwoman
(pedissequa). The date of his birth is also not given. At
that time his father was still a subdeacon,^ and as in 1284 the
archbishop had held the church of Bolton-le-Sands for
over 33 years^ we may infer he was born about 1230. He
was educated at Oxford, and in after life looked back with
great regard to the place in which he had commenced his
studies.'^ From Oxford he proceeded to Paris, where in due
course he taught theology. ^ This probably accounts for his
owning a house in that city.^

He was still at the university, probably Paris, in 1256,
when he had a licence from the pope to pursue his studies for
five years, serving his church of Wallop in the diocese of
Winchester by a vicar. In the meantime he was not to be
compelled to take orders or reside. At the same time he had
a further indult to hold a benefice with cure of souls in
addition to Nether Wallop and Bolton. 10 This last is Bolton-
le-Sands where he must have succeeded his father, to whom it
was granted in 1249 ^^ right of his archdeaconry. 11

A dispensation from Honorius iv to Master John called

^Hist. of the Church of York, ii, 409.

^Susneubalde and Wyvestowe.

^Domesday Book, fo. 82, and
Registrum Magnum Album, iii, lid.
The witnesses are Roger the dean,
Geoffrey the precentor, William,
the treasurer, Walter, the arch-
deacon of the East Riding, Godard,
Erard, Robert de Arenis, Bernard,
Maurice, canons, Master John,
Walter, Ralph, chaplains, Walter
de Revestiario, Geoffrey Brito, John
de Norfolch, canons of the Chapel,
John de Burgo, Philip, Peter
Romanus, Geoffrey, William de
Jakelai, William de Insula, Nicho-

las, Robert, Thomas, Thomas the
clerk, Henry, Alan, William son of
William son of Nicholas, John de
Warthil, John de Stayngate, Walter
his brother, Thomas the Goldsmith,
William son of Herbert, Hugh son of
Arnald, Robert son of Swayn.

*Chro}iicon Henrici Knyghton.
(Rolls Series), i, 359.

^C.P.L., i, 451.

^Ihid., p. 484.

''Reg. Romeyn, no. 107.

^C.P.L., i, 451, 484.

^Reg. Romeyn, nos. 1457, 1495.

^'^C.P.L. i, 332.

"/?eg. Gray, p. 204«.


Romanus, precentor of Lincoln and canon of York, granted
on Feb. 5, 1285-6 (shortly before the pope confirmed his
election as archbishop), to retain his benefices with fruits
received, and to be promoted to the episcopal or archi-
episcopal dignity, gives the previous dispensations and
consequent preferments : —

(i) Dispensation on account of illegitimacy to be ordained
and hold benefices, but not a bishopric without special papal
licence. Granted by Otto of Montferrat, bishop of Porto,
when cardinal of St. Nicholas in Carcere.i On which
Romanus had the church of Bolton-in-Lonsdale.2 which he
held for 33 years.

(2) Licence from Innocent iv. (1243-1254), to hold the
church of Wallop, dioc. Winton {i.e., Nether Wallop, deanery
of Andover, afterwards appropriated to the sub-chanter and
vicars choral of York), which he held for 28 years.

(3) Dispensation from Alexander iv (1254-1261), to hold
the church of Melling, dioc. York, which he held for seven

(4) Dispensation from Gregor}^ x (1271-6) to hold the
chancellorship and prebend of Kelsey in Lincoln, on resigning
Melling : he held these for six years. Le Neve (ii, 92) notes
him as chancellor in 1275, and (ii, 196) as voiding the prebend
of Kelsey by accepting Nassington in 1258, which must be an
error for 1278.

(5) Licence from John xxi (1276-7) to be promoted to
episcopal dignity, and, on resigning the chancellorship and
prebend of Kelsey to accept the precentorship and prebend
of Nassington in Lincoln, together with the other above-
named churches (? Bolton and Wallop). Le Neve (ii, 83)
notes his tenure of the precentorship as from 1279, and
(ii, 191) notes him as prebendary of Nassington in 1284.

(6) Licence from Martin iv (1281-5) to retain the same
with the fruits received, and also to be promoted to the
archiepiscopal dignity.

^Oddo Candido or Bianco, of the ^He held Bolton and Wallop in
family of the Marquess of Montfer- 1256 {C.P.L., i, 332). April 12 (Good
rat, was created cardinal deacon of Friday), 1286. Custody of Nether
San Nicolo' in Carcere in 1227 and Wallop, committed to Richard de
bishop of Porto in 1244. He was Buris, on the pres. of Bogo (de
legate in England in 1237, when Clare), treasurer of York {Reg. of
this dispensation may have been John de Pontissara, bishop of Win-
grantedllCardella, Memorie Storiche chaster, p. 22). The treasurer of
de' Cardinali (Roma, 1792), i, 249). York was patron of this church,
If so, Romeyn must have been quite which was subsequently appro-
young, priated to the Bedern.


On his election to the see of York, some doubt was thrown
on the dispensation iitting him for the episcopal dignity. He
prayed Honorius iv to supph^ whatever defect there might be.
Honorins therefore granted the indult, considering that he
had taught theology at Paris for several years, and had given
proof of good hfe and approved morals. (C. P. L., i, 484).

The dates given above seem to indicate the following list
of preferments :

1252. Instituted to the church of Bolton-le-Sands.
1257. » » " Wallop.

C. 1265. „ ,, ,, Melhng.

C. 1272. Chancellor of Lincoln and Prebendary of North

C. 1278-9. Precentor of Lincoln and Prebendary of Nas-

On February 22, 1285-6, Honorius iv granted the arch-
bishop a faculty to give to some fit person the church of
Bolton-in-Lonsdale, although archbishop Wickwane and the
dean and chapter had ordered it, on his death or resignation,
to be united to the archdeaconry of Richmond {Cal. P. L.,
i, u. s.).

He also held at York the prebend of Warthill which had
been collated to him by archbishop Wickwane in December,
1279,1 which he held till he became archbishop.

Except that he was a professor of theology at Paris, very
little is known of him before he became archbishop. He was
in Paris in 1273, and on Friday before the Ascension in that
year (May 12) he wrote to the king informing him that he
had taken the attornment of John called Paris, the attorney
of Anthony de Camilla, canon of St. Paul's, London, in an
assize of novel disseisin which he was bringing before Robert
Fulconis, the king's justice, against Robert de Crevecur,
about a tenement in Checham.^

With the death of archbishop William Wickwane at
Pontigny in Burgundy, late in August, 1285, a new era
opened in Romeyn's life. The chapter of York^ made no
delay in their choice of a successor. On the morrow of St.
Simon and St. Jude (Oct. 29), in the same year they elected

^Reg. Wickwane, nos, 9, 10. news of archbishop Wickwane's

^P.R.O. Ancient Correspondence, death was brouglit by Master Thomas

XX, 42. of Grimston, archdeacon of Cleve-

3The day of the licence from the land, and Master Thomas de Hedon,

king to the dean and chapter to elect canons of York (C. P. R., 1281-1292,

is not given, but was probably sent p. 194).

out late in September, 1285. The


Romeyn as their archbishopi and the next day informed the
king of their choice. 2 No delay seems to have occurred in
sending the letter with this information to the king ; perhaps
it was conveyed by the archbishop himself, as on Nov. 15,
the king, then at Beaulieu, in Hampshire, signified to the
pope his assent to the election. ^ Authorized by this assent
Romeyn hastened to Rome.

On his arrival the pope, Honorius iv, (Giacomo Savelli),
ordered an examination to be made of his election, from
which it appears that four beneficiaries* and ten canons voted
for him, the other votes being dispersed, on which Master
John de Craucumbe, archdeacon of the East Riding, one of

Online Library1286-1296 (John Romanus) York (Province). ArchbishopThe register of John Le Romeyn, lord archbishop of York, 1286-1296 (Volume 2) → online text (page 1 of 47)