Biography of Bishop Roger of Salisbury -1138

On 29 Sep 1102 Bishop Roger of Salisbury was appointed Bishop of Salisbury.

On 11 Aug 1107 Bishop Roger of Salisbury was consecrated Bishop of Salisbury.

Florence of Worcester Continuation. 1120. Ralph, archbishop of Canterbury, retựrned to England on Sunday the second of the nones [the 4th] of January; and on Sunday the second of the nones [the 4th] of April, at Westminster, he consecrated to the bishopric of Banger a venerable clerk named David, who was chosen by king Griffyth (age 65) and the clergy and people of Wales. At this consecration he was assisted by Richard, bishop of London, Robert, bishop of Lincoln, Roger of Salisbury, and Urban of Glamorgan (age 44).

Note. Bishop David the Scot was consecrated Bishop of Bangor.

Florence of Worcester Continuation. 1121. Pope Calixtus, assembling forces from all quarters, captured Maurice, surnamed Bourdin, already mentioned, who had been intruded by the emperor and his adherents into the papal see by the name of Gregory, and thrust him in disgrace, stripped of all he possessed, into a monastery; he having been a monk before. King Henry (age 53) led an army against the Welsh, and, taking hostages from them, reduced the whole of Wales under his dominion. A certain clerk, whose name was Gregory, an Irishman by birth, having been chosen by the king of Ireland, with the clergy and people, to fill the see of the city of Dublin, came over to England that he might be ordained, according to former custom, by the archbishop of Canterbury, the primate of England; whereupon, by the archbishop's command, Roger, bishop of Salisbury, conferred on him the orders of priest and deacon at his castle of Devizes [Map] on Saturday the eleventh of the calends of October [21st September]. He was ordained bishop on Sunday the sixth of the nones [the 2nd] of October at Lambeth by Ralph, archbishop of Canterbury; the following bishops, Richard of London, Roger of Salisbury, Robert of Lincoln, Everard of Norwich, and David of Bangor assisting at the consecration. The mother church at Tewkesbury was consecrated with great ceremony by Theowulf, bishop of Worcester, Richard, bishop of Hereford, Urban (age 45), bishop of Glamorgan, and the before-named Gregory, bishop of Durham, on Monday the ninth of the calends of November [24th October].

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1123. The while that the archbishop was out of the land, the king (age 55) gave the bishopric of Bath to the Queen's chancellor, whose name was Godfrey. He was born in Louvain. That was on the Annunciation of St. Mary, at Woodstock. Soon after this went the king (age 55) to Winchester, and was all Easter-tide there. And the while that he was there, gave he the bishopric of Lincoln to a clerk hight Alexander. He was nephew of the Bishop of Salisbury. This he did all for the love of the bishop.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1123. Then went the king (age 55) thence to Portsmouth, Hampshire [Map], and lay there all over Pentecost week. Then, as soon as he had a fair wind, he went over into Normandy; and meanwhile committed all England to the guidance and government of the Bishop Roger of Salisbury. Then was the king (age 55) all this year150 in Normandy. And much hostility arose betwixt him and his thanes; so that the Earl Waleram of Mellent (age 19), and Hamalric, and Hugh of Montfort (age 48), and William of Romare, and many others, went from him, and held their castles against him. And the king (age 55) strongly opposed them: and this same year he won of Waleram (age 19) his castle of Pont-Audemer, and of Hugh that of Montfort (age 48); and ever after, the longer he stayed, the better he sped.

Note 150. The writer means, "the remainder of this year"; for the feast of Pentecost was already past, before the king left England.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1123. About the same time departed the earl's (age 34) messengers149 in hostility from the king (age 55), reckless of his favour. During the same time came a legate from Rome, whose name was Henry. He was abbot of the monastery of St. John of Angeli; and he came after the Rome-scot. And he said to the king (age 55), that it was against right that men should set a clerk over monks; and therefore they had chosen an archbishop before in their chapter after right. But the king (age 55) would not undo it, for the love of the Bishop of Salisbury. Then went the archbishop, soon after this, to Canterbury; and was there received, though it was against their will; and he was there soon blessed to bishop by the Bishop of London, and the Bishop Ernulf of Rochester, and the Bishop William Girard of Winchester, and the Bishop Bernard of Wales, and the Bishop Roger of Salisbury. Then, early in Lent, went the archbishop to Rome, after his pall; and with him went the Bishop Bernard of Wales; and Sefred, Abbot of Glastonbury; and Anselm, Abbot of St. Edmund's bury; and John, Archdeacon of Canterbury; and Gifard, who was the king's (age 55) court-chaplain. At the same time went the Archbishop Thurstan of York (age 53) to Rome, through the behest of the pope, and came thither three days ere the Archbishop of Canterbury came, and was there received with much worship. Then came the Archbishop of Canterbury, and was there full seven nights ere they could come to a conference with the pope. That was, because the pope was made to understand that he had obtained the archbishopric against the monks of the minster, and against right. But that overcame Rome, which overcometh all the world; that is, gold and silver. And the pope softened, and gave him his pall. And the archbishop (of York) swore him subjection, in all those things, which the pope enjoined him, by the heads of St. Peter and St. Paul; and the pope then sent him home with his blessing.

Note 149. i.e. Of the Earl of Anjou (age 34).

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1123. Soon after this sent the king (age 55) his writ over all England, and bade all his bishops and his abbots and his thanes, that they should come to his wittenmoot on Candlemas day at Glocester [Map] to meet him: and they did so. When they were there gathered together, then the king (age 55) bade them, that they should choose for themselves an Archbishop of Canterbury, whomsoever they would, and he would confirm it. Then spoke the bishops among themselves, and said that they never more would have a man of the monastic order as archbishop over them. And they went all in a body to the king (age 55), and earnestly requested that they might choose from the clerical order whomsoever they would for archbishop. And the king (age 55) granted it to them. This was all concerted before, through the Bishop of Salisbury, and through the Bishop of Lincoln ere he was dead; for that they never loved the rule of monks, but were ever against monks and their rule. And the prior and the monks of Canterbury, and all the other persons of the monastic order that were there, withstood it full two days; but it availed nought: for the Bishop of Salisbury was strong, and wielded all England, and opposed them with all his power and might. Then chose they a clerk, named William of Curboil. He was canon of a monastery called Chiche.148 And they brought him before the king (age 55); and the king (age 55) gave him the archbishopric. And all the bishops received him: but almost all the monks, and the earls, and the thanes that were there, protested against him.

Note 148. St. Osythe, in Essex; a priory rebuilt A. 1118, for canons of the Augustine order, of which there are considerable remains.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 10 Jan 1123. And thence he went to Woodstock, Oxfordshire [Map]; and his bishops and his whole court with him. Then did it betide on a Wednesday, which was on the fourth day before the ides of January, that the king (age 55) rode in his deer-fold;146 the Bishop Roger of Salisbury147 on one side of him, and the Bishop Robert Bloet of Lincoln on the other side of him. And they rode there talking together. Then sank down the Bishop of Lincoln, and said to the king (age 55), "Lord king (age 55), I die." And the king (age 55) alighted down from his horse, and lifted him betwixt his arms, and let men bear him home to his inn. There he was soon dead; and they carried him to Lincoln with great worship, and buried him before the altar of St. Mary. And the Bishop of Chester, whose name was Robert Pecceth, buried him.

Note 146. i.e. an inclosure or park for deer. This is now called Blenheim Park, and is one of the few old parks which still remain in this country.

Note 147. This may appear rather an anticipation of the modern see of Salisbury, which was not then in existence; the borough of Old Saturn, or "Saresberie", being then the episcopal seat.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1125. In this year sent the King Henry (age 57), before Christmas, from Normandy [Map] to England, and bade that all the mint-men that were in England should be mutilated in their limbs; that was, that they should lose each of them the right hand, and their testicles beneath. This was because the man that had a pound could not lay out a penny at a market. And the Bishop Roger of Salisbury sent over all England, and bade them all that they should come to Winchester at Christmas. When they came thither, then were they taken one by one, and deprived each of the right hand and the testicles beneath. All this was done within the twelfth-night. And that was all in perfect justice, because that they had undone all the land with the great quantity of base coin that they all bought.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1126. In this year the king (age 58) had his brother Robert (age 75) taken from the Bishop Roger of Salisbury, and committed him to his son1 Robert, Earl of Glocester (age 27), and had him led to Bristol, and there put into the castle. That was all done through his daughter's (age 23) counsel, and through David, the king of the Scots (age 42), her uncle.

Note 1. Illegitimate.

Florence of Worcester Continuation. 1127. A synod held at Westminster. William (age 57), archbishop of Canterbury, convened a general synod of all the bishops and abbots, and some men of religion from all parts of England, at the monastery of St. Peter, situated in the western part of London. At this synod he himself presided as archbishop of Canterbury and legate of the apostolic see; assisted by William, bishop of Winchester, Roger of Salisbury, William of Exeter, Hervey of Ely, Alexander of Lincoln, Everard of Norwich, Sigefrid of Chichester, Richard of Hereford, Geoffrey of Bath, John of Rochester, Bernard of St. David's in Wales, Urban of Glamorgan of Llandaff (age 51), and David of Bangor. Richard, bishop of London, and Robert, bishop of Chester1, were then dead, and no successors had yet been appointed to their sees. But Thurstan (age 57), archbishop of York, sent messengers with letters assigning reasonable cause for his non-appearance at the convocation. Ralph (age 67), bishop of Durham, fell sick on the road, and was not able to complete the journey, as the prior of his church and the clerks whom he sent forward solemnly attested. Simon, bishop of Worcester, had gone to visit his relations beyond seas, and was not yet returned. Great multitudes, also, of the clergy and laity, both rich and poor, flocked together, and there was a numerous and important meeting. The council sat for three days, namely, the third of the ides [the 13th] of May, the following day, and the third day afterwards, being the seventeenth of the calends of June [16th May]. There were some proceedings with respect to secular affairs; some were determined, some adjourned, and some withdrawn from the hearing of the judges, on account of the disorderly conduct of the immense crowd. But the decrees and statutes made in this synod by common consent of the bishops we have thought it desirable to record in this work, as they were there publicly declared and accepted. They are these:-

I. We wholly prohibit, by the authority of St. Peter, prince of the apostles, and our own, the buying and selling of any ecclesiastical benefices, or any ecclesiastical dignities whatever. Whoever shall be convicted of having violated this decree, if he be a clerk, or even a regular canon, or a monk, let him be degraded from his order; if a layman, let him be held outlawed and excommunicated, and be deprived of his patronage of the church or benefice.

II. We totally interdict, by the authority of the apostolic see, the ordination or promotion of any person in the church of God, for the sake of lucre.

III. We condemn certain payments of money exacted for the admission of canons, monks, and nuns.

IV. No one shall be appointed a dean but a priest, and no one but a deacon, archdeacon. If any one in minor orders be named to these dignities he shall be enjoined by the bishop to take the orders required. But if he disobey the bishop's monition to take such orders, he shall lose his appointment to the dignity.

V. We utterly interdict all illicit intercourse with women, as well by priests, deacons, and sub-deacons, as by all canons. If, however, they will retain their concubines (which God forbid), or their wives, they are to be deprived of their ecclesiastical orders, their dignity, and benefice. If there be any such among parish priests, we expel them from the chancel, and declare them infamous. Moreover, we command, by the authority of God and our own, all archdeacons and officials, whose duty it is, to use the utmost care and diligence in eradicating this deadly evil from the church of God. If they be found negligent in this, or (which God forbid) consenting thereto, they are for the first and second offence to be duly corrected by the bishops, and for the third to be punished more severely, according to the canons.

VI. The concubines of priests and canons shall be expelled from the parish, unless they shall have contracted a lawful marriage there. If they are found afterwards offending, they shall be arrested by the officers of the church, in whatever lordship they may be; and we command, under pain of excommunication, that they be not sheltered by any jurisdiction, either inferior or superior, but truly delivered up to the officer of the church, to be subjected to ecclesiastical discipline, or reduced to bondage, according to the sentence of the bishop.

VII. We prohibit, under pain of excommunication, any archdeacon from holding several archdeaconriesin different dioceses; let him retain that only to which he was first appointed.

VIII. Bishops are to prohibit all priests, abbots, monks, and priors, subject to their jurisdiction, from holding farms.

IX. We command that tithes be honestly paid, for they are the sovereign right of the most high God.

X. We forbid, by canonical authority, any person from giving or receiving churches or tithes, or other ecclesiastical benefices, without the consent and authority of the bishop. R2

XI. No abbess or nun is to use garments of richer material than lamb's-wool or cat-skin.

Note 1. The bishopric of Lichfield was removed to Chester in 1075, but again restored to its former seat. The present bishopric of Chester is one of the new sees founded after the Reformation.

Florence of Worcester Continuation. 1130. Hugh, abbot of Reading, was elected archbishop of Rouen. Christ church, at Canterbury, was dedicated with great pomp, by William, archbishop of that city, on the fourth of the nones [the 4th] of May. The following bishops were present at the consecration:- John, bishop of Rochester, Gilbert of London, Henry of Winchester (age 32), Simon of Worcester, Alexander of Lincoln, Roger of Salisbury, Godfrey of Bath, Everard of Norwich, Sigefrid of Chichester, Bernard of St. David's; with Owen, bishop of Evreux, and John, bishop of Séez, from beyond sea. On the fourth day afterwards——that is, on the nones [the 7th] of May—the city of Rochester, Kent [Map] was destroyed by fire, while the king was there; and on the day following, being the feast of our Lord's Ascension, the new church of St. Andrew was consecrated by William the archbishop, some of the beforementioned bishops assisting him in the service. [Ansger], the excellent prior of Lewes, was elected at Winchester abbot of Reading, and afterwards ordained; also Ingulph, prior of Winchester, having been elected at Woodstock abbot of Abingdon, was ordained by RogerRoger, bishop of Salisbury. William, abbot of Gloucester, having voluntarily resigned his pastoral charge by reason of age, chose, with the consent of the brethren, a pious monk, of the same house, named Walter, who was ordained abbot by Simon, bishop of Worcester, on Sunday, the nones [the 3rd] of August. Serlo, also, a canon of Salisbury, was ordained abbot by the same bishop, at Blockley, an episcopal vill, and appointed to govern the abbey of Cirencester. Robert, prior of the church of Llanthony, being elected to the see of Hereford, was consecrated at Oxford, by William (age 60), archbishop of Canterbury. Henry, king of England, went over the sea.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 04 May 1130. This year was the monastery of Canterbury consecrated by the Archbishop William, on the fourth day before the nones of May. There were the Bishops John of Rochester, Gilbert Universal of London, Henry of Winchester, Alexander of Lincoln, Roger of Salisbury, Simon of Worcester, Roger of Coventry, Geoffry of Bath, Evrard of Norwich, Sigefrith of Chichester, Bernard of St. David's, Owen of Evreux in Normandy, John of Sieyes.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1132. This year came King Henry (age 64) to this land. Then came Abbot Henry, and betrayed the monks of Peterborough to the king (age 64), because he would subject that minster to Clugny; so that the king (age 64) was well nigh entrapped, and sent after the monks. But through the grace of God, and through the Bishop of Salisbury, and the Bishop of Lincoln, and the other rich men that were there, the king (age 64) knew that he proceeded with treachery. When he no more could do, then would he that his nephew should be Abbot of Peterborough. But Christ forbade. Not very long after this was it that the king (age 64) sent after him, and made him give up the Abbey of Peterborough, and go out of the land. And the king (age 64) gave the abbacy to a prior of St. Neot's, called Martin, who came on St. Peter's mass-day with great pomp into the minster.

Florence of Worcester Continuation. 24 Jun 1138. The Bishops arrested. Then the king, when the Nativity of St. John [24th June] was near, proceeded to Oxford, and hearing that the castle of Devizes [Map] was fortified against him, sent messengers to Roger, bishop of Salisbury, the founder of the castle, who was then at Malmesbury, commanding him to come and confer with him. It is said that the bishop undertook this journey with great reluctance, believing that he should never return; taking with him his two nephews, the bishops of Lincoln and Ely, and a large retinue of mounted and well-armed soldiers. Seeing this, the king, suspecting treason, ordered his followers to arm themselves and be ready to defend him, if need should arise. While the king was engaged with the bishops in treating of various affairs, a furious quarrel arose between the two parties of soldiers respecting their quarters; and the king's troops flying to arms, the bishops' men took to flight, leaving all their baggage behind. Roger, bishop of Salisbury, with the bishop of Lincoln and his son Roger, surnamed The Poor, were taken; the bishop of Ely made his escape, and having reached the castle of Devizes, fortified it and held it against the king. The king, much incensed, went in pursuit of him, placing the bishops he had arrested in custody; Roger in the crib of an ox-house, and the other in a mean hut, while he threatened to hang the third, unless the castle was speedily surrendered to him. Roger finding this, and alarmed for his son, bound himself by an oath that he would neither eat nor drink until the king had possession of the castle; which oath he kept, and neither ate nor drank for three days.1

Note 1. Cf. the account of the circumstances attending the seizure of the bishops and their castles, in Henry of Huntingdon s History, p. 271, Antiq. Lib.; Gesta Stephani, ibid, 370, &c.; and William of Malmesbury, ibid, 507.

Florence of Worcester Continuation. 04 Dec 1138. Roger, bishop of Salisbury, a great builder of castles and fortified mansions, being worn to death with grief and vexation, died at his episcopal seat on the second of the nones [the 4th] of December, and was buried in that church, leaving in his castles immense sums of money, which fell not into the hands of God, but of king Stephen. There are those who say that more than forty thousand silver marks were found there, and that he had likewise hoarded a vast amount of gold, and a variety of ornaments, and knew not for whom he had gathered them. He enriched the church dedicated to St. Mary, mother of God, with magnificent ornaments.

Note 1. For the character of Roger, bishop of Salisbury, see Stephani," p. 370, and William of Malmesbury, p. 507.

Archaeologia Volume 2 Section XXIX. Conjectures on an ancient Tomb [Bishop Roger of Salisbury] in Salisbury Cathedral. By Mr . Gough. Read at the Society of Antiquaries, Feb. 22, 1770.

Florence of Worcester Continuation. Schism in the Church of Rome-Pope and Anti-pope. The see of Rome had now been in an unsettled state for seven years, in consequence of there being two popes, namely, Gregory, who was also called Innocent, and Peter, called Leo, in whose cause a war broke out between Lothaire, emperor of the Romans, and Roger, duke of Apulia. Both these princes abounded in wealth, but the first was the most religious as well as superior in dignity; the latter, to his own confusion, was more liberal with his gold. But the imperial majesty, as it is fitting and just, surpasses in all things the royal dignity. Each appointed a bishop of bishops at Rome. Lothaire supported Gregory, who was canonically elected; Roger granted the papacy of Rome to Peter Leo. But this mutual strife offending the cardinals and the prefect of the city, they admitted for lucre, first Gregory, expelling Leo, and then Leo, expelling Gregory, to the apostolic see. At last Gregory, appointed by Lothaire, ruled the see of the apostles. Peter Leo, the whelp of the ancient Peter the Lion, sits at the Lateran, like another pope. If both were inspired by the ambition of power, neither was pleasing to God. While they performed their part in the world, they were reserved for the judgment of God, whose judgments are profound. In consequence of this great schism having lasted for so many years in the chief of all the churches throughout the world, a day was fixed by common agreement among the princes on which a battle, by way of duel, should be fought between the two nations, the Romans and Apulians, that God, the Omnipotent Judge of all, might give the victory to whom he pleased. The emperor Lothaire, therefore, although he was suffering from illness, assembled an immense army, and pitched his camp in Apulia. Roger met him at the head of many thousand troops, both horse and foot. In the encounter which ensued, by God's Providence the emperor and his army obtained the victory, and Roger and his forces were conquered, and fled. The royal crown which he had caused to be made that he might be crowned king, inlaid with gold and precious stones, and the royal spear, resplendent with gold, were discovered by treachery, and presented to the emperor as an acceptable gift. Returning to his own country, he soon afterwards lost his kingdom and his life. Lewis, king of France, died; and was succeeded by his son Lewis. Stephen, king of England, returned to England in the month of December, and held his court during Christmas at Dunstable, a town in Bedfordshire.

Florence of Worcester Continuation. [Ralph, archbishop of Canterbury, archbishop of York, with Roger, bishop of Salisbury, and some other bishops and great men of the realm, held a council at Northampton, in the hearing of many persons].1

Note 1. The last paragraph is evidently an interpolation in this place. The meeting at Northampton is subsequently mentioned with more detail in the course of the events of the present year.