G. G. (George Gordon) Coulton.

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read and sing. The following actual examinations of priests will help
to illustrate these decrees and throw hght on the details of medieval
grammar teaching ; they should be compared with one of the extracts
later on from Grandisson's Register, and with St. Bonaventura's descrip-
tion of the parish clergy at this time (No. 160). No. 134 is from the
Register of St. Osmund, R.S. vol. I., p. 304, (Dean and Chapter Livings.)

134.— Cietical (^Bjcaminations.

CTS of the Chapter held by William, dean of
Salisbury, at Sonning, in the year of our Lord
1222, on the Friday next before the Feast of
St. Martin. . . . Vitalis, a priest, perpetual
vicar of Sonning, presented the chaplain [i.e.
curate] named Simon whom he has with him, and
whom he lately engaged until Michaelmas. This Simon,
examined as to his Orders, said that he was ordained

Clerical Examinations. 27 ^

subdeacon at Oxford by a certain Irish bishop named
Albin, then suffragan to the Bishop of Lincoln, from
whom also he received deacon's orders ; and those of
priest from Hugh [of Wells] now Bishop of Lincoln, four
years past. He was examined in the Gospel of the first
Sunday in Advent, and was found insufficient, and
unable to understand what he read. Again he was
tried in the Canon of the Mass, at the words Te igitur,
dementissime Pater, etc.* He knew not the case of
Te, nor by what Avord it was governed ; and when we
bade him look closely which could most fittingly
govern it, he replied : '' Pater, for He governeth all
things." We asked him what dementissime was, and
what case, and how declined ; he knew not. We asked
what demens was ; he knew not. Moreover, the said
Simon knew no difference between one antiphon and
another, nor the chant of the hymns, not even of the
hymn node surgentes, nor did he know by heart aught
of the service or psalter. Moreover, he said that it
seemed indecent that he should be examined before the
dean, since he was already in Holy Orders. We asked
him where he Avas when he received his priest's Orders :
he answ^ered that he had forgotten. He is amply
illiterate. [Sufficienter illiteratus est.']

Wokingham is served by Philip, a chaplain, who
hires that chapel on farm for ten marks, and the chapel
of Sandhurst for a mark, but he takes two marks from
the priest who is there. He was not examined, since
he is of approved life and good testimony. Where
ordained . . . [hiatus in MS.]

John of Hurst presented his chaplain, Richard by
name, born at Ross [? Rosam.] ... He is a youth, and
knoweth nothing. He saith that he received the sub-
diaconate at London, from Bishop William ; the
diaconate six years ago from Peter Bishop of Win-
chester ; and the priesthood that same year from
William bishop of Chester. Examined on the Advent

* The Canon is the most sacred part of the Mass, beginning with the
prayer which the priests are here asked to construe : " We therefore
humbly pray and beseech Thee, most merciful Father," etc., etc. The
whole Canon would occupy about a page and a half of this book in print.

272 A Medieval Garner.

collect Excita quaesumus Domine [Stir up we beseech
Thee, Lord] he said that he would answer naught of
this matter : likewise also when we tried him in the
Canon ; (for, after his priest had left the church first
after the examination, and had joined the rest, then all
fell to one accord that they would not answer ; yet
some, at the earnest instance of the Dean, answered
afterwards in detail.) Having been questioned after-
wards, he would not be examined at the end of the
Chapter and remained suspended [from his ofiice].

John of Arborfield presented his chaplain Reginald,
born at Windsor. He was, as he saith, ordained to the
subdiaconate at Salisbury, the diaconate and priest-
hood at Winchester, four years now past. Examined
in the prayer, " Excita,^' etc. and the passage of the
Canon Te igitur, etc. he utterly refused to answer.
Afterwards he came and offered himself for examina-
tion, and knew nothing, whether of reading or of

The chaplain of Sandhurst, John of Sherborne,
saith that he was ordained subdeacon at Chichester,
deacon at Winchester by the bishop Godfrey in Ireland.
. . . [hiatus in MS.], and hath now served the afore-
said chapel four years. Examined in the prayer Excita
and in Te igitur, he knew nothing to answer. Examined
in chant, in the Advent Sunday anthem Ad te levavi,
he could not chant it.

Again Vitalis, priest, presented for the chapel of
Ruscombe the priest Jordan, born at Shatton in
Dorset, ordamed subdeacon and deacon (as he saith)
at Salisbury by Bishop Herbert, and priest by the
Bishop of Rochester, Gilbert de Glanville, before the
General Interdict [of 1208]. Examined, like the rest,
in Excita and Te Igitur, he knew nothing. A book was
given him to chant from : he would not. We com-
manded Vitalis to find good chaplains for this place and
for Sonning, or the Dean will take the benefices into his
own hands.

At Arborfield also was an old man in the [priest's]
house named Richard Bullock, a priest of Reading ;
and when the Dean examined him whether he could see

Clerical Examinations. 273

and could pronounce the words completely, it was
found that he could not completely pronounce a single
word of the Gospel or the Canon.* Wherefore the
Dean bade John of Arborfield suffer him no longer to
minister in that chapel.

?^ * He need not have been illiterate ; lie was perhaps simply inarticu-
late ^vith age. It must be remembered that the Host cannot be efiec-
tually consecrated unless the four words Hoc est Corpus Meum are
fully and correctly pronounced.


From the Regestrum Visitationum of Odo Kigaldi, Archbishop of
Kouen, 1248-1275 (see preface to No. 139) ; pp. 787, 159, 173, 217,
332, 395.

135.— anotfter TBatcf).

N the year of our Lord 1252, at [our palace
of Mont] Ste-Catherine, (in the presence of
Masters William, Archdeacon of Eu and
Simon, Archdeacon of the French Vexin,
Master Peter, Official of Rouen and Canon of
Cambrai, William of Salomon ville and Stephen of Lorey
canons of Rouen ; Brothers Hardouin and Peter,
Friars Minor and our companions ; Masters Peter of
Aumale and Robert of St-Germain, William son of
Jordan, John Baston, William of Plassay, Everard,
and Stephen priest of Bleneau,) we examined John, a
priest presented to the church of Bernetot, in the
lessons for St. Cecilia's Day : Dixit Valerianus, etc.
Asked the signification of the words tertio miliario he
first answered " the third miler " \le tierz miller] and
afterwards " I know not." Item, when we asked how
transeuntihus was declined, he said hie et hoc transeunt.
Item, asked to decline transire, he said transio, transis,
transivi, transire, transiundi, transinndo, transiundmn
transimus, transior, transiris ; beyond which he would
say nothing more. Asked to parse omni he said it was

274 A Medieval Garner.

an adverb. Asked the signification of optime, he said
" much," and again " very." Examined in the word
conscius, what figure and species, he said " simple
figure* and primitive species." Asked to conjugate
perferam he did well as far as the supine, for which he
said perfertum, perfertu.

Again, he was examined at our bidding by Master
Simon, Archdeacon of the French Vexin, in the presence
of Stephen Gordian of the Friars Minor of Rouen, and
Nicholas of Haqueville, Master Baldwin, priest of
Dieppe and Dean of Christianity at Rouen, and Master
William Jordan, on the 31st of May, in the lower hall
next the chapel of our manor of Deville, upon the
exposition of the gospel for the Conversion of St. Paul :
Quia dilectissimi fratres annuam Beati Pauli, etc.
Asked the meaning of annuam he answered " annual " ;
asked again what " annual " was, he said " many
times " ; asked " how many times ? " he said " every
day." Again, having been examined as to the significa-
tion of these words : restat ut aliquid vobis de sancti
eivangelii lectione intimare studeamus. . . -t

For the rectory of Petiville there was presented to us
one Richard of Fontbois, priest, whom we rejected
because we found him insufficiently lettered, [insuffi-
cientis litteratureJ]

May 30, 1253, [at our manor of Deville]. On this
day, the Tuesday before Whitsunday, we examined
Geoffrey, a clerk, presented to the rectory of St. Richard
de Harcourt, on the Scripture words omnia autem

* He was wrong here : the examiners were driving at the fact that
conscius is a compound adjective : see Donatus. ed. H. Keil., p. 53.
The second answer is apparently right, meaning that the word was, in
modern terminology, of the 1st declension of adjectives.

t The rest of this passage is blank in the MS. It is evident that the
first examination left the Archbishop still uncertain ; and he may very
possibly have been driven to accept John even after this second ; it
was a serious matter to " plough " a priest who had been already passed
and ordained by another bishop, though the next paragraph shows us
that Odo did not shrink from this when necessary. It was this some-
what inconvenient zeal, together with his work side by side with St.
Bonaventura at the Council of Lyons, which earned him among his
contemporaries the surname of " the Pattern of Good Life."

Construing the Breviary. 275

aperta et nuda sunt eius oculis.* Asked what part of
speech aperta was, he answered " a noun " ; asked
whether it might be any other, he said " Yes, a parti-
ciple." Asked from what verb it came, he said from
the verb aperio, aperis, aperii, aperire, aperior, aperieris,
et cetera. Asked what compati was formed from, he
said from cum and pateo, pates, patui, patere, patendi,
patendo, patendum, passum, passu, pattens, passurus,
pateor, pateris, passus, patendus. Asked what pateo,
pates signified he said, " to open or to suffer." Asked
to parse absque he said " a conjunction " : asked of
what kind, he said " causal." Examined in chant, he
could sing nothing without solfeggio or note. We
therefore, both because of this his insufficiency, and
because after due inquisition he was found to be ill-
famed of incontinence and quarrelsomeness, thought
fit not to admit him to the said rectory. Those present
were Brother Osmund, Brother Walter de Mini^res,
Brother Roger his cousin, all Friars Minor, Ralph the
priest of Deville, Master Maur our physician ; Master
Peter of Aumale, Stephen, priest of Bleneau, and
Everard son of the Count, our clerks.

Nov. 20. 1253. This day, at Deville, was examined
William de Wardres, presented to the rectory of An-
court, in the lessons for the Feast of the Purification,
beginning ilia na^nque salus ; and he construed thus.
Ilia this is, salus salvation, generata engendered, de
Virgine Maria of the Virgin Mary, hoc est that is, die
the day, quadragesimo of the space of forty days,
Maria O thou Mary, genetrice mother, hodie to-day, ab
ipsa from her, deportata carried, ad templum to the
temple, ipsius of him, ut ipse that he, redemptor noster
our father, sit may be, presentatus presented, sic in
such a fashion, cum substancia nostre carnis in the
substance of our flesh, etiam further, adimplet he fills,
ipsam her. Being asked what this signified in French,
he said that he understood not the sense well. Asked

* " All things are naked and open unto the eyes of Him with Whom
we have to do." Note that this GeofErey was not yet a priest ; this
was one of those frequent cases where a clerk in lower Orders had been
presented to a benefice.

276 A Medieval Garner.

what part of speech is adimplet he said " A verb " and
conjugated it well. Asked what was the word urnis
which had been omitted, he answered " paps."* Again,
being asked to parse genetricis he said " noun " and
declined it thus :

N. hie genetrix

G. huius genetricis

D. huic genetrici

Ac. lianc genetricem

V. genetrix

Ab. ab hoc genetrice.

He said that it had no plural. Present at this examina-
tion : Master Simon, archdeacon of Eu, Stephen his
clerk, Masters Peter of Aumale and Hugh of Courtrai,
Canons of Rouen ; Sir Hugh the almoner and Everard
the lord Archbishop's clerk. [William is mentioned no
more in the Register, so we may hope that he passed.]
June 12. 1255. [At BondevUle] we examined
Geoffrey de Tonneville, clerk, presented to us by
Thomas de Pavilly, esquire, for the rectory of St. Mary
at Pavilly, who, beginning at the words Factus autem
cum filii Dei venissent quadam die (Job. II. 1.) when he
came to " circuivi terram et perambulavi, being asked to
decline circuivi replied circuo, circuis, circuivi, circuere,
circuendi, circuendo, circuendum, circuitum, circuitu,
circuens, circuiturus, circuor, circueris. Asked what
conjugation, answered " third." Asked to parse corarii
said " A preposition." Asked again to parse stetit he
said, " a verb." Asked how it was declined, said sto,
stas, steti, stare, standi, stando, standum, statum, statu,
stor, staris, status sum, stari. Asked to parse factum
said " a participle " ; asked of what tense, said " Past."
Asked of what signification, said " neuter, "f Asked
to derive it, said " from facio, fads.'''' Asked to conju-
gate it, replied facio, fads, feci, facere, faciendi, fadendo,
faciendum, factum, factu, faciens, facturus, fio, fis, factus

* There is very likely a slip here in Bonnin's transcription : ulnis
would mean " in her arms," and a reader who caught occasional glimpses
of the sense might well interpret this " at her breast."

■\ The words are " requisitus cuius significationis, respondit quod
neutri" (sic) significationis.

A Priest's Parsing. 277

sum, fieri, fictus, fiendus. Again, being examined in the
passage beginning Jurat Valerianus, he read very
badly [pessime] and construed thus : Valerianus,
Valerian, jurat swears, sponsus thou O spouse, prodere
to put forth, nulla nothing, detegere to discover. Ilia
ait, etc. [in the absence of further record, we may hope
that Geoffrey also satisfied the examiners.]

Feb. 22. 1258, [at Paris.] On this day we examined
one William, a priest, presented to us for the rectory of
Rothoirs, in the presence of [4 assessors] ; and he was
examined in a lesson from the book of Genesis, namely
Ade vero, etc. (Gen. II. 20.) Asked to construe and
expound it in the French tongue, he said thus : Ade
Adam, vero certainly, non inveniebatur did not find,
adjutor a helper, similis like, eius of him. Asked how
inmisit is conjugated, he said thus : Inmitto, -lis, -si,
-tere, -tendi -do -dum, inmittum-tu, inmisus, inmit-
tendus -tor-teris, inmisus -tendus. Again he construed :
Dominus our Lord inmisit sent soporem encevisseur*
in Adam . . . [hiatus]. Again, being asked to conju-
gate replevit he said thus : reppleo -pies, -vi -re, reppleendi
-do -dum, repletum -tu, replens, repleturus, repleor -ris,
-tus, repleendus. Again we made him divide repleendi,
and he said : Re-ple-en-di. Again, he was examined
in chant at the anthem Voca operarios, and knew not
how to chant.

March 13. 1258. An appeal [to the Pope] was lodged
against us by Master Nicholas of Conde, clerk and
proctor of the Abbot of Fecamp, in the name of that
Abbot and monastery ... to which appeal we thought
right not to defer, since the said Robert of Courcelles
[priest, presented by them to the living of All Saints,
Fecamp] was twice examined by our counsellors and
found to be insufficiently lettered, f

* Even Prof. Leon Cledat acknowledges himself unable to explain
this word ; it only seems certain that it does not mean sleej), which the
candidate should have said.

i This shows that these records of examinations in Odo's diary are
not exhaustive, since there is no other record of this Robert, unless the
following refers to him : " Oct. 2. 1257-8. We caused to be inspected
the enquiries made at our bidding by the dean of Valmont concerning

278 A Medieval Garner,

March 16. 1259-60 we examined Nicholas called
Quesnel, clerk, presented to us for the church of St.
Mary at Wynemerville, in the Lesson In principio
creavit Deus celum et terram (Gen. I. 1.) and he con-
strued : Deus God, creavit created [cria], celum the
heaven, et terram and the earth. We made him decline
Deus, which he did well enough except that, in the
accusative plural, he said " Deos or Dos.''^ Again we
asked him to parse inanis : he replied " a noun," and
yet he said that there were two parts of speech, and
declined it thus : Nom. hec inanis. Gen. huius inanis,
Dat. huic inani, according to the 3rd declension, except
that in the vocative plural he said inane ; he said
that inanis signified " an evil thing." He answered
fairly well concerning the accent of the middle syllable.
Then we asked him to parse ferehatur : he said it was a
verb, and translated it "he carried " : then he conju-
gated fero, fers, up to the supine, where he omitted
the supine, for he said there was none ;* for participles
he gave ferens, ferturus, and said that the verb was
neuter, and in the conjunctive mood, and past perfect.
Moreover he conjugated fairly well the word dixit.
Again he thus conjugated the verb fiat ; fio, fis, fui,
esse, fiendi-do-dum, factum-tu, fiens, facturus. We asked
him whether it had a passive, and he said : " No, for it
is neuter." We asked him the sense of the words et
vidit lucem quod esset bona, (Gen. I. 4) and he said " it
was a good thing to do." Again, he thus conjugated
the verb divisit : divido, dividis, divisi, dividere fairly
well until the passive, when he said divideor, divideris,
with a long middle syllable. We asked him which kind
[cuius generis'] it was ; he first said the third, and then
the fourth, saying that he knew the fourth because it

the life, morals, and conversation, etc., of Robert de Ros, priest, pre-
sented to us for the living of All Saints ; wherefrom it appears that the
said priest had received his sacerdotal Orders from an extraneous
bishop, without licence from his own bishop : therefore we would not
admit him to the aforesaid benefice."

* Or perhaps " did not say any " : the text runs " nullum dixit."

Appeal to the Pope. 279

made its genitive in i and its dative in 0.* Again, he
declined hie vesper according to the third declension,
and made the vocative o vespere. He would not chant,
and said that he knew nothing of chant.

At the same place and time he put forth the following
words : " Seemg that you, reverend Father, by the
Grace of God Archbishop of Rouen, will not admit me
Nicholas called Quesnel as rector of the church of St.
Mary at Wynemerville, or even confer the said benefice
upon me, because you think me insufficiently lettered,
although I Nicholas have been presented to the said
church by the true patron, and it is vacant and free ;
and because you would have your enquiry made into
the aforesaid matters, and especially concerning my
morals, honesty and life, and the truth and lawfulness
of the patronage was fully proved to you ; therefore I
the aforesaid Nicholas, feeling aggrieved herein, by
the authority and will of John called Quesnel, patron
of the said church, appeal in writing to the Apostolic
See, and pray that you will give and seal me letters
apostolic, which if you refuse to give and seal for me,
again I appeal in writing to the same Apostolic See,
submitting myself and the aforesaid church, by the
authority of the said patron, to the Pope's protection."
To which appeal we thought not fit to defer, seeing
that we found him in our examination to be of utterlj^
insufficiently learning, as for example he knew neither
to read competently, nor to construe, nor would he
chant. Present at the aforesaid examination and
appeal [here follow the names of five assessors. There
are no more entries on this subject ; the appeal probably
failed, for Odo was in high personal favour both with
St. Louis and with the Pope.]

* According to Donatus (Ed. Keil, p. 139) his answer is hopelessly
wrong from the first, as it certainly is at the last. But the examiners
do not seem always to have followed the terminology of Donatus.

28o A Medieval Garner.

Matthew Paris, Monk of St. Albans and Historiographer Royal to
Henry III., is unquestionably the greatest of the English medieval
chroniclers, and has few rivals in Europe during this period. He was a
man of many and various accomplishments — diplomatist, mathe-
matician, poet, theologian, and artist, though the best authorities
ascribe to other hands nearly all the beautiful drawings which illustrate
the MSS. of his works. Far more extracts would have been given here,
but that a complete translation of his Chronicle, uninspired but other-
■ft^se satisfactory, has been published in Bohn's Antiquarian Library.
He died in or about the year 1259.

136.— Cfte WmUztim 31^to.

N this year [1228] a certain archbishop of
Armenia came on a pilgrimage to England
that he might visit the relics of our English
saints and the holy places, as he had done m
other kingdoms. He showed letters from the
lord Pope commending his presence to men of religion
and prelates, that he might be received by them with
due reverence and honourably treated. Coming at
length to St. Albans that he might pray to the first
martyr of England, he was received with all reverence
by the abbot and brethren ; and, being somewhat
wayworn, he tarried awhile with us for refreshment of
himself and his men, during which time he enquired
much through his interpreters of the rites and religion
of this country and our manner of life, relating
still more marvellous things concerning the eastern
countries. . . . When we enquired of him, among other
things, of that Joseph of whom men often spake (who
was present at the Lord's Passion and spake with Him
and liveth still in proof of the Christian faith), asking
whether he had ever seen him or had heard aught of
him, then the archbishop answered and told us the
vv^hole story in order, and after him a certain knight of
Antioch, who was in his train and served as his inter-
preter (who also was known to a certain servant of
our abbot named Henry Spigurnel), expounding his
master's tale, said in the French tongue : " Well doth
my lord," said he, " know that man ; and, not long
before he set out on his journey to these western parts,

< ■« m-

ui SI';!

I— ci'SS

282 A Medieval Garner.

this same Joseph ate at my lord archbishop's table in
Armenia, whom my lord had oftentimes seen, and heard
his speech." When therefore we enquired of all that
had passed between our Lord Jesus Christ and this
same Joseph, he answered : "At the time of our
Lord's Passion, when He had been taken by the Jews
and brought into the judgment haU before Pilate the
governor, to be judged of him, the Jews constantly
accused Him ; but Pilate, finding in Him no cause of
death, said to them : ' Take ye Him and judge Him
according to your law.' Yet at length, when the
clamours of the Jews increased, Pilate released Barabbas
at their petition and delivered Jesus unto them to be
crucified. So when the Jews drew Jesus out of the
Judgment Hall, as He came to the door, then Cartaphilus
who was door-keeper of that hall and of Pontius Pilate,
as Jesus went through the door, smote Him in scorn
with his fist upon the back, and said mockingly :
' Hasten, Jesus ! Why tarriest Thou ? ' Jesus, there-
fore, looking round upon him with a stem eye and
threatening mien, said : ' I go, and thou shalt await
My return ' : as if He had said with the Evangelist :
' The Son of Man goeth indeed as it is written of Him,
but thou shalt await My second coming.' This
Cartaphilus, therefore, waiteth still according to the
Lord's word. At the time of the Passion he was about
thirty years old ; and ever, when he 's come once more
in process of time to the age of 100 years, he is seized as
with an incurable sickness and rapt into an ecstasy,
after which he recovereth and is brought to life agam
at that same age of thirty years which he had at our
Lord's Passion, so that he might say in truth with the
Psalmist : ' My youth shall be renewed like the eagle's.'
When therefore the Catholic Faith spread abroad after
the Lord's death, then was this same Cartaphilus
baptized by Ananias (who also baptized the Apostle
Paul), and was called by the name of Joseph. He
dwelleth oftentimes in both parts of Armenia and in
other eastern regions, living among bishops and other
prelates of the church, a man of holy conversation
and rehgion, of few and circumspect words, for he

The Wandering Jew. 283

saith nothing unless he be first asked by bishops and

men of reHgion, and then will he speak concerning all

things of old time and all that was done in our Lord's

Passion and Resurrection, and of the witnesses to the

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