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pg 101 Dating On the Sphere and Locating Robert Grosseteste

Robert Grosseteste's treatise On the Sphere sets out, according to its opening lines, to describe both the shape of the machina mundi, the 'world machine', that is the universe, and the positions, shapes, and movements of the higher bodies (DS §1). While the treatise is not a comprehensive account of astronomy (see Intro. and Chs. 6 and 7), its compass is, nevertheless, wide-ranging, mapping both particular and general features of the celestial arena looking from the earth outwards and upwards. The intellectual arc of the treatise will be explored in later chapters. In what follows, the particular issues connected with dating will be considered, alongside an analysis, which extends into the subsequent chapter, of Grosseteste's activities in the historical record and his other intellectual interests over the same period. This includes, most notably, the literatures of pastoral care and mathematics, the latter with respect to the contents of Bodleian Library, MS Savile 21, copied, it can be closely argued, by Grosseteste himself. The material presented here takes both a wider and in some specific areas a more local perspective, matching the scope of Grosseteste's treatise: the contemplation of the cosmos and the emphasis laid on this activity from an individual human perspective.

1 Dating On the Sphere

While it is difficult to make a precise dating for the On the Sphere, sound arguments can be made for the decade between 1215 and 1225, and plausible suggestions for the narrower range of 1217‒21. At the beginning of the fourteenth century Nicholas Trevet noted that Grosseteste had composed the treatise, alongside the Compotus, a commentary on pg 11Aristotle's Posterior Analytics and other philosophical works, while master of arts. This places On the Sphere within the first of the three periods by which Grosseteste defined his career: cleric, master of theology and priest, and then bishop.1 Direct medieval record for On the Sphere offers no further help to its dating, though its survival in a high number of manuscripts speaks to a wide dissemination and reception (see Ch. 3, §1). There is also no explicit evidence for dating within the treatise itself. While a watertight chronology for Grosseteste's scientific canon is neither possible nor sensible to construct given the lack of corroborating evidence, comparison between the works can be used to suggest lines of intellectual development notwithstanding the difficulties that attend this type of analysis. If placed between 1215 and 1225 On the Sphere postdates On the Liberal Arts and On the Generation of Sounds, and, indeed, it clearly draws on, and expands positions set out in the first of these earlier treatises (see Ch. 6, §2).2 It also seems to predate the Compotus on the basis of the source use noted below.3 This leaves the principal suggestions for the date of On the Sphere rooted in the sources used by Grosseteste. A scholarly consensus also places the treatise after c.1215 and, as advocated by Cecilia Panti, before c.1220.4

Central to the suggested dating of On the Sphere is the absence of a particular source, namely On the Motions of the Heavens by al-Biṭrūjī pg 12(Latinized as Alpetragius), composed in about 1185 and translated into Latin by Michael Scot. This translation was completed, according to its colophon, in August 1217.5 The basics of al-Biṭrūjī's argument were familiar to Grosseteste by the time he came to write the Compotus. Al-Biṭrūjī's treatise is referred to in its first chapter in a discussion on the motion of the planetary spheres in relation to the length of the year. In the course of this Grosseteste noted that Aristotle and Alpetragius describe such motion without recourse to epicycles:

And according to [Aristotle] a planet has no intrinsic movement other than the movement of its sphere; and according to him there is no movement on an eccentric or on an epicycle.

And Alpetragius recently devised a mode [of reasoning] and explained how it is possible to save the forward movements, stops, and retrograde movements of the planets and inflections and reflections and all the appearances, by using Aristotle's mode [of reasoning], and without an eccentric and an epicycle.6

Here, Grosseteste made explicit the differences between Aristotelian cosmology and its astronomical interpretation by al-Biṭrūjī, and the cosmology espoused by Ptolemy, in whose system epicycles played a central explanatory function for planetary patterns of movement (see Ch. 9).7 The distinction between the two systems is not highlighted in On the Sphere, where Ptolemy's Almagest is mentioned as an authority in conjunction with its critical development by Thābit ibn Qurra (Latinized as Thebit) (DS §49), and where it lies behind the discussion of solar and lunar movement. Given the subject matter explored in On the Sphere, it seems plausible that had Grosseteste known al-Bitrūjiī's pg 13work he would have used it explicitly. That it makes no appearance lends credence to the notion that Grosseteste's Compotus is subsequent to On the Sphere and that the latter was composed before 1217–c.1221. The wider time-frame allows for the dissemination of, and Grosseteste's encounter with, Michael Scot's translation, in which connection a visit to Paris in the early 1220s is probable and links well with the composition of the Compotus (see below §2.2).8

A second source whose relation to Grosseteste's On the Sphere brings implications for dating is the treatise of the same name by John of Sacrobosco. So little is known about Sacrobosco's life that it is difficult to come to any unequivocal judgements on the dates of the works ascribed to him: the Algorismus, Compotus, a tract on the quadrant, and On the Sphere.9 That said, a position on which of the two treatises On the Sphere came first is important to establish since it bears on the sources available to either author. While Ludwig Baur placed Grosseteste's version before that of Sacrobosco, good arguments can be, and have been, made for the reverse, from George Sarton, Lynn Thorndike, and Cecilia Panti, rehearsed and elaborated in this volume (see Ch. 5, §4.2; Ch. 7, §§4 and 6).10 These arguments include the length of Grosseteste's treatise, which is about half that of Sacrobosco's, and that, while the two have broad similarities in structure and content, Grosseteste develops different lines of thought, uses different terminologies, and adopts a different format.11 Sacrobosco shows no knowledge of the trepidation of the equinoxes, in contrast to Grosseteste, or the treatise attributed to Thebit On the Motion of the Eighth Sphere in which it was formulated, which, as will be shown below, Grosseteste may himself have copied. The style of Sacrobosco's text, as Thorndike pointed out, is also closer to twelfth-century pedagogy than the thirteenth.12 Sacrobosco's text is littered with classical quotations; on the rare occasion that Grosseteste included such he truncated, oddly, verses cited in full by pg 14Sacrobosco from Virgil and Ovid (DS §16).13 Absent too from Grosseteste's treatise are mnemonic verses for the reader, an absence which indicates different audiences for the two works. That Sacrobosco's treatise was more successful as a teaching text is borne out by its far greater number of surviving manuscripts and its extensive, later, commentary tradition.14

If Sacrobosco's treatise On the Sphere preceded that by Grosseteste, then its composition can be posited as before c.1215. On the face of it this is not incompatible with what little is known of Sacrobosco's life, but Thorndike and Olaf Pedersen present later dates ranging from c.1220 to c.1230. In the case of the first date, c.1220, this suggestion was made tentatively, and was founded on the notion that Grosseteste's On the Sphere might be placed at c.1224, a date linked, incorrectly as it now seems, to his rectorship of the Franciscans at Oxford.15 However, Thorndike's suggestion was merely to show a plausible framework. His arguments for the earlier dating of Sacrobosco work equally well if the composition of both works is pushed slightly earlier then c.1220, as suggested by Grosseteste's non-use of al-Bitrūjiī.

The second dating suggestion for Sacrobosco's On the Sphere, that of c.1230, was made by Pedersen, and largely on two grounds.16 First, the relation between Sacrobosco's Compotus, which can be dated to around 1232 or 1235 on the grounds of a calculation for the incarnation and a reference to the present year, and the suggestion that it postdated his On the Sphere.17 Second, the author and character of the earliest commentary on Sacrobosco's treatise, the arguments around the dating of which also assume that Sacrobosco was active at the University of Paris. A connection to Paris is certainly plausible, although what weight should be given to the evidence is more problematic. Sacrobosco, was, pg 15seemingly, buried in the church of St Mathurin, and Bartholomew of Parma noted in his commentary on On the Sphere written at the end of the thirteenth century that Sacrobosco wrote it while at the University of Paris.18 He was not mentioned, however, by any contemporaries. The earliest commentary on Sacrobosco's treatise has been taken to indicate a Parisian milieu for the treatise as the city is named in the closing sections.19 The commentary is attributed to Michael Scot, who died in 1235.20 It is also replete with references to Aristotle's natural philosophy, which, if it were to have been produced in Paris, suggest a date of either before the 1210 ban on the public teaching of these works or after its repeal in 1231.21 Nevertheless, the attribution to Michael Scot is not certain.22 Amongst other things the commentary makes no mention of Thebit or trepidation, which while consistent with Sacrobosco's text, might have been expected in a commentary by Michael Scot; if he was not the author of the commentary then the suggestions for dating disappear. And, even if he was the author all that is established, strictly speaking, is that Sacrobosco's On the Sphere existed by c.1231. Pedersen adopted this date with more enthusiasm, drawing close to an argument made by Thorndike that the composition of Sacrobosco's Compotus and On the Sphere in close chronological proximity was more plausible than a longer gap between the two.

Pedersen's arguments for the dating of Sacrobosco's On the Sphere focus, not unreasonably, on Sacrobosco's works. The relationship to Grosseteste's On the Sphere is not, however, covered in any great detail, offering a similar judgement to Southern's that it is difficult to tell which author might have used the other.23 Nevertheless, Pedersen also states pg 16that, 'In general there seems to be no serious reason to quarrel with Thorndike's impression that Sacrobosco's work is the earlier.' The implications of the date assigned to Grosseteste's treatise in this connection are not considered. On the logic of Sacrobosco's text being dated to c.1230 and prior to Grosseteste's, this would put the date of composition for the latter into the 1230s. This is not coherent with the evidence and suggestions made for Grosseteste's text marshalled above. If the argument for proximity between Sacrobosco's Compotus and On the Sphere is relaxed, since it is not demonstrable anyway, and the first commentary on On the Sphere is not attached too closely to Michael Scot or chronological proximity to the main text, it is possible to offer more coherent suggestions. Were Sacrobosco to have composed his On the Sphere before 1215 this would leave a gap of twenty-years or longer until his Compotus; if between 1215 and 1220 then between fifteen and twenty years. Either way there is nothing to suggest that this was not case and such a gap of years is neither implausible nor unlikely. Grosseteste's own works were composed over a considerable span, the shorter scientific works from perhaps as early as 1195 to perhaps as late as 1229/30. There is much, then, to recommend the suggestion that Sacrobosco's On the Sphere lies in the first two decades of the thirteenth century. If the Paris connection is sustained it might be suggested further that Grosseteste's period in France during the period of the interdict over England provided ample opportunity for his familiarity with, or acquisition of, the earlier treatise.24

A further area for consideration in dating Grosseteste's On the Sphere is in a sense ancillary to the principal arguments around the use of al-Biṭrūjī and the relation to Sacrobosco, but with important implications and possibilities. It is the evidence of Bodleian Library, MS Savile 21, discussed in particular by S. Harrison Thomson and Richard Southern in terms of Grosseteste's autograph and his interests in astrology.25 A full assessment of MS Savile 21 is to be found in the following chapter (Ch. 2, §1). Here it is worth noting that the relevant sections of MS Savile 21, those associated with what is probably Grosseteste's handwriting, can be dated to 1215/16. The pg 17dating occurs in two horoscopes, one for the vernal equinox of 1216, one for a conjunction of Saturn-Mars in October that same year, but these are accompanied by a range of other texts on astronomy and mathematics, including On the Motion of the Eighth Sphere, attributed to Thebit, and translated into Latin by Gerard of Cremona.26 As noted above, Grosseteste's On the Sphere discusses the trepidation of the equinoxes where Sacrobosco's does not, and it is highly likely that Grosseteste's knowledge was drawn from On the Motion of the Eighth Sphere. MS Savile 21 gives the distinct probability that Grosseteste knew and copied this text in 1215/16. This offers further circumstantial suggestion for an earlier date for Sacrobosco, and the possibility that Grosseteste's interest in the text formed part of his preparation for On the Sphere, which might then be placed somewhat closer to 1215/16 or thereabouts.27

2 Historical Context of the Period c.1210‒c.1220

Before moving to the more specific evidence for Grosseteste's activities during the years suggested for the composition of On the Sphere, it is important to cast some sense of the wider contexts in which his life and work are to be placed. Within the ambit of Grosseteste's own experience this decade saw the continued incursion of western Europeans into Greece and the Aegean, and the institution of the territories ruled directly from Venice or Genoa, as well as the establishment of the principal Frankish lordships, following the fall of Constantinople to a Latin crusader army in 1204. These included the Latin empire in Constantinople, the kingdom of Thessaloniki, the megaskyrate of Athens and Thebes, and pg 18the principality of Achaia.28 As political units they were volatile, fissiparous, and unstable; the claims of the Latin empire extended over the whole of what was known as 'Romania', the Latin Aegean, but in practice were almost never exercised outside Constantinople.29 Latin conquest of Greece would have direct implications for Grosseteste's later intellectual interests. From the 1230s onwards Grosseteste studied Greek, and very probably in the company of Master John of Basingstoke a translator of Greek, who had been active in the lordship of Athens, and others, including Nicholas the Greek.30 As bishop of Lincoln Grosseteste translated works by John of Damascus, Pseudo-Dionysius, Aristotle, the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, and parts of a Byzantine lexicon, the Suda. Grosseteste's skill in this arena impressed even Roger Bacon.31

The conquest of Constantinople by Latin forces was the product of what is known now as the Fourth Crusade. Constantinople was certainly not the original objective which was rather Jerusalem, captured after nearly a century of Latin Christian rule, by Ṣalāḥ al-Dīn in 1187. The Third Crusade reinforced what remained of the kingdom of Jerusalem, based at Acre, but failed to re-take the Holy City.32 Failure and mis-direction of crusades to Jerusalem led, in part, to the papacy claiming the primary role in its organization as articulated in Canon 71 of the Decrees of the Fourth Lateran Council (the gathering setting out a platform for church reform and pastoral care which would dominate Grosseteste's clerical life (see Ch. 2, §1)).33 Enacted energetically by Innocent III pg 19(r. 1198‒1216) it fell to his successor Honorius III (r. 1216‒27) to call and administer the Fifth Crusade. With a wide-ranging recruitment across Christendom, the military effort was directed for the main part at Ayyubid Cairo, the principal power in the region.34 The early stages of the crusade from 1217 involved an abortive siege of Jerusalem by Christian forces including King Andrew of Hungary, before a shift, with the arrival of fresh German, Italian, English, and French forces, along with the papal legate Pelagius, to Egypt in 1218. The successful siege and capture of the Egyptian Mediterranean city of Damietta, during which St Francis of Assisi was given permission to meet and preach to the Sultan al-Malik al Kāmil, proved illusory.35 A later advance on Cairo by the crusader army collapsed, leading to the retreat and capitulation of the crusaders by 1221. The Sultan's terms for their lives were the surrender of Damietta and withdrawal from Egypt.

English nobles joined the Fifth Crusade armies, although without royal direction, and only after the settling of the baronial rebellion in 1217.36 Supporters of both sides in the rebellion took part in the crusade, including Ranulf, earl of Chester, a key supporter of the royalist cause, as also William, earl of Derby, alongside the leader of the rebels Robert Fitzwalter and other prominent figures such as Henry de Bohun, earl of Hereford, and Saer, earl of Winchester.37 Nor was the English contribution unimportant. As Christopher Tyerman notes they were identified by contemporaries as a distinct group, and the earl of Chester, amongst others, was influential in the higher command of the crusade army. Enthusiasm for crusade continued even after the ignominious results. Henry III's tutor, Philip of Aubigné, despite an attempted prohibition by Pope Honorius, managed to join the crusade in April 1221, and although pg 20he arrived only to see the end of the affair this did nothing to diminish his enthusiasm for the cause.38 His letter to Ranulf of Chester describing the failures of the expedition was probably instrumental in provoking fund-raising for John of Brienne, the titular king of Jerusalem.39 Philip took up the cross again in 1228, in company with Peter des Roches, bishop of Winchester, on the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II's campaign which, temporarily, negotiated Christian rulership of Jerusalem. Philip died, and was buried, in the Holy City in 1235.40 Crusade was, then, an important feature of the broader political and spiritual landscape for Grosseteste's contemporaries.

Crusade was present in other theatres and with other valences as well. Innocent III had summoned a crusade against Albigensian heretics in and around the County of Toulouse in southern France in 1209. The campaign lasted until 1229. By 1216 Simon of Montfort had emerged as the dominant crusade leader and as an independent lord of some considerable standing having taken titles and lands by conquest, from Béziers and Carcassone to the County of Toulouse itself.41 Astonishing as they were, these gains evaporated almost as quickly as they had been acquired. Simon himself was killed before the walls of Toulouse in 1218 and his eldest son Amaury was unable to sustain his inheritance, ceding all claims to Louis VIII of France in 1224. The crusade itself quickly evolved into a far more complex re-structuring of temporal and spiritual control in the region.42 Capetian kings extended their authority into the region; the Count-Kings of Aragon, saw their trans-Pyrennean authority eroded following the death of Peter II in 1213 at Muret, fighting against Simon of Montfort; and the kings of England contended with perturbations in their lordship in Gascony.43 While it is unlikely that Grosseteste had any direct connection to the region or the activity of pg 21crusade the on-going fighting against the Cathars certainly would have been known to him; heresy was something on which he would, as bishop, pronounce very fiercely, and of which he would provide a famous description in his deathbed speech as recorded by Matthew Paris: 'Heresy is a judgement chosen according to human understanding, contrary to Sacred Scripture, publicly taught and obstinately defended'.44

Closer to home, the conflict between the English crown and some amongst its leading baronial subjects from the end of John's reign, intermeshed with existing struggles with the French king, Philip II (r. 1180‒1223) and his son, Prince Louis, the future Louis VIII (r. 1223‒6), provides an essential background for any assessment of Grosseteste's activities during these years. The events of this period were of considerable moment, many with social, political, economic, and intellectual ramifications for the rest of the century. They encompass the reconciliation of John and Innocent III in 1213, including the homage of the former to the latter, the lifting of the interdict over England and Wales in 1214, the collapse of John's campaigns against Philip II in the same year, and English baronial rebellion leading to Magna Carta in 1215.45 Although rapidly repudiated by John and swiftly annulled by the pope, Magna Carta would become for Grosseteste's generation and beyond a powerful statement of a changed political world, in which kingship could be constrained and the liberty of the king's subjects emphasized.46 In the immediate circumstances John's disavowal of Magna Carta provoked further rebellion seeking to replace Plantagenet rule with Capetian in the person of Prince Louis.

John's death in October 1216 left his nine-year-old son Henry as his successor.47 He also left an inheritance under considerable strain with a pg 22substantial part of the south-east of England controlled by Louis and the English rebels, led by Robert Fitzwalter, including London though not Dover, the castle of which held out under Hubert de Burgh.48 The royalist party acted swiftly to crown the young Henry III, supervised by the papal legate Guala, and to appoint the seventy-year-old Earl William Marshal as regent and guardian for Henry.49 Magna Carta was revised and re-issued in 1216, demonstrating a commitment to the liberties it entailed, as much as these had been rejected by John.50 The year 1217 saw the military defeat of the rebels, at the battle of Lincoln and in a naval confrontation off the coast of Sandwich, Kent.51

A settlement followed negotiated at the peace of Kingston and Lambeth. This was lenient on the rebels, some of whom, as noted above, joined their erstwhile opponents on crusade. Louis was allowed to return home, his English followers to receive those lands they held at the beginning of the struggle. Louis's supporters amongst the clergy were made to seek absolution from the pope.52 There followed a complex series of processes by which the king's minority council sought to restore the resources of the crown, its revenues and rights. Re-asserting the power of the crown against, for example, over-mighty sheriffs, ostensibly the king's local agents but in practice often running their localities for their own purposes, was a central element of this programme. So too the re-establishment of the mechanisms of royal justice. The gradual expansion of the young king's household is one measure for the pace of recovery: in 1217 he provided robes at Christmas for seven household knights, in 1220 this figure was twenty-five.53 William Marshal's death in 1219 forced a change in governance with the emergence of a triumvirate comprising the Justiciar Hubert de Burgh, Peter des Roches, bishop of Winchester, and Pandulf the Papal Legate.54 This lasted until July 1221 when Pandulf's legation came to end and the Peter was removed as Henry III's tutor and guardian by October 1221, though the evidence suggests that his contact with the royal household had been diminished pg 23from January.55 Henry was fourteen in October 1221, not quite in his majority, but no longer a child. The minority was never formally brought to an end and Henry would take a more active political role from 1223 onwards. For the time being Hubert dominated with Stephen Langton, archbishop of Canterbury, playing an increasingly important role, and the recovery of the royal estate continued.

A similar process of reconstruction following John's reign and the rebellion was undertaken with respect to church governance and the revivification of papal legal processes and diocesan administration. These issues would touch Grosseteste directly (see §3.3). Institutions of learning in England were affected in similar ways as well. The University of Oxford had re-opened in 1214 after its voluntary closure in 1209 in response to the Suspendium clericorum, that is, the hanging of two or three scholars by secular justice from which they were immune by dint of their clerical status, and royal aggression towards the body of scholars.56 The re-opening was carried out as part of the settlement of the interdict, in this case involving a separate award, the Legatine Ordinance, administered by Nicholas of Tusculum. This award gives some evidence for a growing corporate identity of the masters of the university, as a guild, with recompense from the town for their part in the Suspendium, and the clerical status of the university enshrined in the ordinance.57 It is within the award too that the first reference to a chancellor for the university can be identified, an appointment made by the diocesan bishop, in this case of Lincoln. Later thirteenth-century Oxford masters would claim to elect their chancellor and that the bishop's role was to confirm their choice. That bishops did not see their role in quite the same way is shown in the dispute between the masters and Bishop Oliver Sutton in 1295 in which Grosseteste's putative role as chancellor or magister scholarum pg 24was mentioned. Whether Grosseteste should be associated with the chancellorship, and, just as importantly, when, as discussed below (§3.2 and in Appendix 1). While there is no doubt that collective identity was important to the university from 1214 too much should be not read into its early manifestations in light of later developments.

Indeed, the decade after 1214 has little evidence for scholastic activity at Oxford, though what there is points to a slow re-building of organizational structures emerging from the disruption of the later years of King John's reign to more stability and permanence.58 From 1225 onwards the more distinctive elements to Oxford's structures and academic interests took shape, a process in which Grosseteste was involved, although by strict account of the evidence only from his appointment as lector to the Franciscans of the city in c.1230.59 Oxford and Cambridge emerged from the early thirteenth century as the only two universities in the kingdom of England; the vibrant Cathedral schools of Grosseteste's youth, at York, Exeter, possibly Hereford, and above all at Lincoln, did not develop further.60 Many reasons for this can be adduced: the size of the population, the comprehensive nature of studies offered at Oxford and Cambridge, and the growing power and presence of the two universities which, positively and negatively, discouraged other similar foundations.

In the period in which On the Sphere was composed, however, this shift in the evolution of English institutions of higher learning was only just beginning. Monastic houses continued to add to their libraries and sustain connections with the secular schools; secular Cathedrals remained centres of learning and training for clergy especially in light of the emphasis placed on this role in the Fourth Lateran Council. Lincoln, for example, seems to have retained some reputation as a centre for learning in the years following the death of William de Montibus in 1213, whose theological acumen had brought this fame to the city.61 pg 25Grosseteste's scholarly supporter for his first post at Hereford, Gerald of Wales, spent the last decade of his life, until about 1223, predominantly in Lincoln, although he may have died in Hereford.62 English intellectual pre-eminence was rapidly focusing on Oxford and Cambridge, but not exclusively or at an even pace. Many other plausible locations for scholarly endeavour existed in England, including, in the case of Grosseteste, Hereford. Outside of England the appeal of study at the University of Paris remained strong and a path that Grosseteste would tread, it is almost certain, in the years to come soon after the composition of his treatise on the uses of astronomy.

3 Where Was Grosseteste?

Into this context Grosseteste's activities, insofar as they can be followed, can be placed. That he was in France during the later years of the interdict has been suggested previously with respect to his deathbed scene as recorded by Matthew Paris and Grosseteste's apparent recollection of sermons preached against Christian money-lenders, usurers, from Cahors.63 When he returned to England is not possible to ascertain but at or around the return of the bishops to the kingdom and the lifting of the interdict is plausible. Grosseteste would have come home to the complex circumstances within the kingdom provoked by the rapprochement between John and Innocent. These alone make it likely that his return to England was for a number of years. While there are good contextual reasons to posit further visits to France, and to Paris in particular, travel would have been constrained during the course of the conflicts, between first John and then the Minority Council, against the rebels and Prince Louis. At least until the end of 1217, then, Grosseteste is likely to have been in England. A Parisian residence of some sort might be suggested for the early 1220s on the basis of Grosseteste's mention of the meridian of that city in his Compotus, and on the Parisian reception pg 26of his treatise On Comets.64 A more extended visit around 1225, coinciding with Grosseteste's appointment to his first benefice, is also likely and would fit his later familiarity with Parisian approaches to theology and a seeming friendship with William of Auvergne.65

The period in which On the Sphere was composed, from about 1213/14 to about 1218 at the earliest, and probably c.1221 or so at the latest, would seem to place Grosseteste in England. This provokes further speculation as to the circumstances in which it was written and for whom it was intended. More evidence can be marshalled for Grosseteste's other activities and location within this period which confirm his presence in England on a number of different occasions, and in particular connection to the diocese of Hereford. This, as Southern and Goering point out, makes sense especially if the suggestion that Hugh Foliot had acted as Grosseteste's patron from 1198 is taken up. The circumstances of his Hereford activities are worth probing in a little more detail, but before this, consideration needs to be given to older historiographical positions on the offices claimed for Grosseteste, his family, and a tradition which places Grosseteste squarely in Oxford during this period, and as the university's first chancellor in 1215.

3.1 Archdeacon at Large and a Family Affair?

Older traditions place Grosseteste in a number of different clerical roles during this period.66 Wharton identified him as archdeacon of Chester in 1210, for which there is no corroborating evidence.67 The Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae of 1854 lists him as archdeacon of Leicester, to which post he pg 27was appointed, certainly, in 1229, but also as archdeacon of Northampton in 1221.68 He was not.69 More intriguing is the identification of Robert Grosseteste as the archdeacon of Wiltshire, in Salisbury diocese, from 1214, and as the rector of Calne in the same diocese.70 The actual archdeacon and incumbent at Calne, was not Robert, but Richard Grosseteste.71 Richard, a chaplain to Herbert Poor, bishop of Salisbury, 1194‒1217, had been archdeacon from at least 1199 until his replacement in 1223.72 While surnames are uncommon in English society until 1200, the matching style gives pause for thought.73

Whether Richard and Robert were related is an open question. Details on Robert Grosseteste's family are patchy, with the contemporary information dating from 1232 onwards. He had a sister, Ivette (Juetta), who predeceased him, and there is evidence for other family members.74 Adam Marsh asked Grosseteste in 1249 to support two of his relatives in their university studies, and later writing.75 Two other Grossetestes appear in his episcopal register, John installed in a benefice in 1237 and Robert in 1245.76 pg 28Later sources include an anecdote that Grosseteste's sister married one of his chamberlains, by whom she had become pregnant, and older traditions insist that she was a nun.77 The lowliness of Grosseteste's background is stressed in sources from the later thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries but with no further specificity; Richard of Bardney's Life of Grosseteste from the early sixteenth century invokes Grosseteste's mother, but this work has no, or limited, evidential status in this respect.78

While the possibility of a familial connection between Richard and Robert may not be demonstrable, but it should not be ruled out. There are points of comparison, particularly connected to clerical networks and patronage, which can be explored. For example, Herbert, the son, in all probability, of Richard Ilchester, bishop of Winchester, had connections to Lincoln, where he was cathedral canon by 1167, and probably archdeacon of Northampton in the early 1170s. Later archdeacon of Canterbury, Herbert also gained canonries in Salisbury and Wells, in addition to Lincoln. He was elected bishop of Lincoln in 1186 by the chapter but was refused the office by Henry II. In 1194 he was elected, and appointed, as bishop of Salisbury. There are interesting connections to Robert Grosseteste's life and career here, not least the links to Lincoln, and to Wells (it was Hugh of Wells, bishop of Lincoln, previously archdeacon of Wells, who gave Robert his first recorded benefice, at Abbotsley). Connections are even stronger between Robert Grosseteste and Herbert Poor's successor at Salisbury, his younger brother Richard.79 As dean of Salisbury, Richard Poor spent the years of the interdict in Paris, making a meeting with Grosseteste possible. Many years later, as both bishop of Salisbury and then of Durham, he settled a dispute between Grosseteste and the Abbey of Reading over payments from the benefice at Abbotsley.80

pg 29Grosseteste's links to Hereford are demonstrable (§3.3 below) though their exact form over an extended period of time is less easy to identify. That he was also linked, in some way, to the close-knit ecclesiastical hierarchy associated with the secular (not monastic) cathedrals of Salisbury, Lincoln, and the mixed secular/monastic arrangements of Bath and Wells is also worth noting in terms of the networks to which he might have belonged. This association comes to bear particularly on his appointment to Abbotsley and will be outlined in Volume IV of this series. For the present purpose, while the antiquarian tradition was mistaken in its attribution of multiple clerical offices to Grosseteste, the emergence of Richard Grosseteste allows for a little more speculation on a family connection. A fraternal relationship is a possibility, an avuncular one perhaps more likely, although the difference in date of death between the two, c.1223 and 1253, and appointment to office does not necessarily indicate a difference in date of birth. Both possible relationships would conform to prevailing models in clerical families.81 The implications of such a relationship are less easy to draw out. As the case of Gerald of Wales and his nephew shows (Ch. 2, §2.3.1), such ties could be complicated and destructive as much as generous, and nepotism did not attract universal approval.82 There is no evidence for any contact between Richard and Robert, but there is not anyway a great deal of consistent evidence for the latter's career from c.1214 to c.1225. Grosseteste's pre-episcopal career invites particular questions, not least how someone of his evident intellectual interests and talents was supported, which require careful and open-minded consideration; the range of his possible activities should not be interpreted too rigidly.

3.2 Chancellor of Oxford?

One of the longer-running debates about Grosseteste's career is his disputed role as the first chancellor of the University of Oxford. The circumstances reveal much about the development of the university, pg 30its historiographical, and differing assessments of Grosseteste's intellectual interests and their institutional instantiation. Southern and Goering concur in the correction of alternative analyses associated both with scholarship on Grosseteste's life and works and on the establishment of, and evidence for, corporate identity at the university, which place Grosseteste as chancellor some time not earlier than 1214 or later than 1221.83 The issue of the chancellorship turns on the interpretation of a statement made by Oliver Sutton, bishop of Lincoln (1280‒99) in 1295 that:

…blessed Robert, formerly bishop of Lincoln, who had held such an office while he was teaching at the aforementioned university, said at the start of his episcopacy that his immediate predecessor as bishop of Lincoln had not allowed the same Robert to be called chancellor, but Master of the Scholars [Magister Scholarum]84

The statement (see Appendix 1), which supplies no date for the episode, indicates that Grosseteste, in 1235, recalled that he had been allowed to use the title magister scholarum rather than cancellarius by bishop Hugh of Wells. How Oliver Sutton came to know the anecdote is open to interpretation; institutional memory perhaps, connected to his uncle, Henry of Lexington, bishop of Lincoln (1253‒8) in succession to Grosseteste. Henry was prebendary of Calne in Salisbury (a prebend held previously by Richard Grosseteste) by 1237 and became dean of Lincoln in 1246 in the immediate aftermath of Grosseteste's claim to rights of visitation over the cathedral chapter.85 Another possible route is through Adam pg 31Marsh, who wrote to Grosseteste as bishop (the letter is undated), concerned for Oliver Lexington (Sutton) and asking for promotion to a benefice for the young scholar. Adam, who describes Oliver as 'specially dear to me in Christ [michi in Christo specialiter dicto]', could easily have been the source of the anecdote.86

The question of Grosseteste's title came up in a dispute between Sutton and the masters of Oxford, as to whether the latter elected their chancellor, or whether he was nominated by the former.87 The example of Grosseteste as a chancellor elected by the masters in defiance of the rights and privileges of the bishop was put forward by Sutton. The early history of the chancellorship of the university is complicated and dates to the period of the Legatine Ordinance in 1214, a treaty, in effect, between the town, the scholars, and the bishop of Lincoln (Hugh of Wells) in whose diocese Oxford lay.88 The appointment of a chancellor for the university is one possibility explored in the ordinance, and one which would match Parisian practice. That the office emerged reasonably quickly is clear from the record of a Master Geoffrey de Lucy as university chancellor in 1215.89 The early chancellors usually did not hold office for as long or as continuously as their successors, so de Lucy's tenure in 1215 does not automatically preclude Grosseteste having held the position. That said, it is also possible, as Southern points out, that de Lucy had held the position since 1214 and possibly until 1220.90

One line of interpretation for Grosseteste's tenure of the office from an institutional perspective, is that the lesser title of magister scholarum rather than cancellarius indicates a date before William de Lacey, that is from 1214‒15.91 This on the basis that the bishop had some caution about the development of the role of chancellor with respect to his own rights of appointment, explaining the difference in description of the role. However, the fact that Sutton's original comment gives no date for pg 32Grosseteste's tenure makes this suggestive rather than demonstrated, and an argument made to fit Grosseteste's candidacy into the list of early chancellors. The proposition makes the additional assumption that Grosseteste was both suitable for, and able to fulfil, the role at that point. It is here that the interpretation of Grosseteste's career as a whole comes into play, and in particular the version offered by Fr Daniel Callus, followed and elaborated by James McEvoy.92 This involves a second historiographical debate over Grosseteste's formal training in theology, of what that was likely to have consisted, and when it took place. Callus, writing before Pollard, Cheney, and Lawrence's more detailed investigations of the office, took Sutton's statement to show that Grosseteste had held the office of chancellor, and that the alternative title offered was down to a period of transition as the status of the role was settled, a process complete by 1221.93 Callus noted too that for Grosseteste to have been chancellor he must have been regent in theology.94 Although not defined in statute, medieval university chancellors were generally from the higher faculties of theology or law, as opposed to the faculty of liberal arts.95

On this model then, Grosseteste had undertaken formal theological study by 1214. Callus's construction of the career (which does recognize the fragmentary nature of the evidence), moves Grosseteste from Lincoln to Oxford, followed by the period in Hereford, after which it is suggested he returned to Oxford 'to resume his studies'.96 He would then have been affected by the closure of the university between 1209‒14, left for France, and returned to take up the role of chancellor. The sojourn in France is linked then to the commencement of theological studies, as the most logical step in Grosseteste's career, and this allows him to return with sufficient qualification to act as chancellor or equivalent.97 Grosseteste's theological training and, presumably, teaching extends then from 1214 onwards.

pg 33Flaws in this model were pointed out by Southern, on several occasions, and by Goering. A significant problem is one that Callus acknowledged, namely the lack of any definite evidence to tie Grosseteste to Oxford at any point, strictly speaking, before his appointment as lector to the Franciscans in c.1230. Nor, as Goering has shown, is there any evidence for Grosseteste's theological training, or for works being the product of an early Parisian education before 1215 or in the decade following; instead his theological study seems likely to have begun, in Paris, in about 1225.98 Other evidence points in the same direction: Nicholas Trevet in his early fourteenth-century account of Grosseteste's life states that he was a master of arts when he completed the commentary on Posterior Analytics. This is dated now to c.1225, and there is no reason why this should be regarded as inconsistent with Trevet's statement.99

While there is now a general scholarly consensus that the scientific opuscula, Compotus, commentaries on Physics as well as on Posterior Analytics formed a more consistent basis of Grosseteste's intellectual interests in the period c.1195 until at least 1225. Lack of evidence for formal training in theology does not preclude theological interests.100 As Goering and Mantello have shown, Grosseteste developed a particular interest in penitential literature, part of pastoral care.101 The coterminous development of these writings, which include On the Temple of God for the period under scrutiny with the scientific opuscula, is explored in the next chapter.

Taken together the lack of evidence for connection to Oxford, or for formal training in theology would seem to militate strongly against the notion that Grosseteste was chancellor, or magister scholarum in Oxford, in or around 1214/15. Nevertheless, unless Sutton's remark was not to be taken at face value, or was even intended as humorous, Grosseteste does appear to have held the latter office at some point. For Southern, this took place in the pg 34later 1220s, and as an act of defiance by the university, intent on asserting what they considered their right to elect a chancellor. This presupposes a sense of corporate identity which is better understood as a more extended evolution from the Legatine Ordinance.102 Hugh of Wells, on this account, then refused to give the proper title in response, preserving his own rights as he perceived them. This works better with the chronology and the evidence for Grosseteste's career. However, there are additional problems, not least that Hugh of Wells seems to have been well-disposed in other matters to Grosseteste. An alternative interpretation is offered by Goering, who focuses on the particularity of the title magister scholarum.103 If Grosseteste were still a master of arts, and not a regent master of theology or law, then this might explain Hugh's decision to award a different title. As Goering points out, there is a clear distinction to be held in mind between the reasons why Bishop Sutton invoked the case of Grosseteste, and the decision that Hugh of Wells made in insisting on a different title to cancellarius.104

The positions taken on the chancellorship and the beginnings of Grosseteste's theological training are important for an assessment of where Grosseteste was to be found in the period from c.1214 to c.1221, and the sort of scholarship in which he might be expected to have engaged. Such evidence as exists points towards Hereford, and it is in this rather different context that the setting for On the Sphere can be imagined plausibly. The importance of Hereford to the first stages of Grosseteste's career, as discussed in Volume I of this series, is undeniable.105 The extent to which his connections with the city, diocese, and region continued are important to explore in any reconstruction of his possible career. A strong suggestion can be made, following Southern and Goering, for Grosseteste's association with the diocese of Hereford, at least until some point in the early 1220s, and probably supported by Hugh Foliot, archdeacon of Shropshire and later himself bishop (1219‒34).106pg 35

3.3 Grosseteste at Court: Legal Activities

While there is no evidence for Grosseteste's association with either of the two next successors to William de Vere (d. 1198) as bishop of Hereford, Giles de Braose (1200‒15) and Hugh Mapenor (1216‒19), a continuing relationship with Hugh Foliot and Hereford diocese can be demonstrated. Grosseteste was appointed as papal judge-delegate by Pope Innocent III in company with Archdeacon Hugh between 1213 and 121. He also featured a summons to appear before the royal justices in 1220 and again in 1221 for having heard a lay case in an ecclesiastical court which involved Hugh, as bishop, in its wider circumstances. Finally, and more briefly, Grosseteste was accorded a high status as a witness in a charter presenting a priest in charge to the parish of Culmington, six miles north of Ludlow, an appointment authorized by bishop Hugh.107 Whether Grosseteste was in Herefordshire permanently or intermittently is not clear, and it should be noted that although no other evidence for his location has come to light no certain conclusions can be drawn as to Grosseteste's whereabouts. He could, quite easily, have been elsewhere, although any suggestion here would have to take into account the political upheaval in England and Wales during the First Baron's War, rebellion, and its aftermath.

3.3.1 Papal Judge-Delegate

The first evidence to consider is Grosseteste's appointment as a papal judge-delegate by Innocent III, not later than Innocent's death in 1216, and, given the complications of the interdict, probably after 1213/14. Developing over the twelfth century and notably from the pontificate of Alexander III (1159‒81), the system of judges-delegate was fully established in that of Innocent III (1198‒1216). One of the most striking features of the twelfth-century Latin church was the rapid growth of the papal judicial system, fuelled by an increasing volume of appeals in the first instance to the pope. Church law was separate from secular law during the Middle Ages, the latter also evolving rapidly, in the case of pg 36twelfth-century England into common law.108 Jurisdictional separation should be seen in the broader context of appeals for the freedom of the church, libertas ecclesiae, from secular influence. This was the watchword and programme of reform from the mid-eleventh century onwards. Henry II of England's dispute with Archbishop Thomas Becket, with the public murder of Becket in his cathedral in 1170 which shocked contemporaries at its finale, is perhaps only the most famous example of challenges to ecclesiastical privilege. The nature of that challenge, and the articulation of how the freedom of the church was to be understood, was debated and was contested throughout the twelfth and thirteenth centuries (and beyond), becoming a central component in the conceptual frameworks of political and spiritual life.

Judicial appeal to Rome emerged from broader movements for church reform and instigated a sophisticated and detailed series of processes and institutions. Prominent amongst these was the mandating of judges to act for the pope outside Rome. As early as the pontificate of Paschal II (1099‒1118), delegation was used, very often to diocesan bishops, in cases where local knowledge was essential. Appeals expanded dramatically by Alexander III's pontificate with hundreds of petitions per year, a trend which continued until the mid-thirteenth century.109 Partly as a result delegation of cases increased, alongside the evolution of the papal chancery and its official instruments. For example, the Audientia litterarum contradictarum, the office concerned with the issuing of mandates, was probably established under Innocent III. The new papal offices led, as Jane Sayers points out, to an 'increase in the number of men who were directly concerned in the judicial administration of the church both at the centre and in the provinces.'110 Rising numbers of delegations drove a deepening of the pool of delegates; by the 1180s abbots and lesser church dignitaries, for example archdeacons, were acting in this capacity.

pg 37Alongside these changes came shifts in the study and practice of the law of the church, canon law. The collection compiled by Gratian in Paris in the 1140s, the Decretum or the Concordance of Discordant Canons, did much to provide a more uniform model for the church, and the collection was soon and extensively glossed. From the 1170s the evidence suggests a shift in emphasis to collections of decretals (papal judgments or decrees on points of canon law), with more detailed discussion of specific points of canon law from the pope. From compilations made at local centres, and privately, larger, Christendom-wide decretal collections were put together. There was an English element to this activity. Schools for canon law at Worcester, Canterbury, and Exeter in the 1160s and 1170s show evidence of decretal collection from examples sent to their vicinity. A number of English scholars were active at Bologna in the later twelfth and early thirteenth centuries, and English collections were used as models at this point for Bolognese compilations. The first official collection of church law (the better known collection by Gratian was not officially sanctioned) was commissioned in 1210 by Innocent III, the Compilatio tertia of Petrus Collivachinus of Benevento, which paved the way for extended treatment of the Decretals by Raymond of Peñafort in 1234.

The circumstances of Grosseteste's earlier life can be placed into the developments of canon law, in procedure and practice. While he did not, so far as is known, attend Bologna, or Paris, for legal training, he grew up in an England of the 1180s and 1190s where local centres for such training were established, and where compilations of papal judgements were created. Moreover, since Grosseteste can be connected to Lincoln from the later 1180s, it is possible that he encountered Master Vacarius, a notable teacher of law, active in the city at this point.111 The activities of Vacarius have been the subject of some scholarly debate; that Grosseteste might, conceivably, have been taught by him would fit with Gerald of Wales's recommendations to William de Vere.112

pg 38The papal judicial system in England was severely disrupted during the interdict, making its reconstruction a priority from 1213 onwards. John's submission to Pope Innocent III, including offering the kingdom as a papal fief to the papal nuncio Pandulf in May 1213, created the circumstances for a reconciliation between the king and the English church.113 This was marked by the return of the archbishop of Canterbury, Stephen Langton, in July, accompanied by the papal legate Nicholas of Tusculum, at John's request. The process of bringing the interdict to an end began, turning to a considerable degree on the compensation to be paid by the king to the bishops. The final compensation was far less than that demanded originally, and the interdict was declared to be lifted at a council at St Paul's in late June 1214.114 Nicholas of Tusculum's legation lasted from September 1213 to December 1214, during which period he delegated cases in his capacity as legate to deal with the backlog of appeals, part of a programme to restore papal administration within the kingdom.115 Nicholas's successors as legate included Cardinals Guala (2016‒18) and Pandulf (1218‒21) both of whom continued to delegate cases in England. Often this involved lesser clerics, and, sometimes, quite trivial cases.116

It is in this context that Grosseteste's mandate, issued between 1213 and 1216, to act as papal judge-delegate by Innocent III should be placed.117 The case in question had been brought to Rome by William, son of Ralph of Hallow, against the prior and abbey of Worcester over the legality of William's dismissal as the prior's butler. The verdict was recorded in the cartulary of Worcester Cathedral Priory.118 Grosseteste's fellow judges-delegate were H., the archdeacon of Salop, and R. the rural dean of Sapey.119 'Sapey' must refer to either Upper or Lower Sapey, the pg 39former in Worcestershire, the latter Herefordshire, both in the north-east of Hereford diocese and to the north-west of Worcester and Hallow.120 The identity of the rural dean in question is not known. H., the archdeacon of Salop (Shropshire), was Hugh Foliot. Although the county of Shropshire was divided between the dioceses of Hereford and Lichfield-Coventry, and both dioceses included a Shropshire archdeaconry, Hugh, and Hereford must be meant here.121

More can be gleaned from the details of the case. All three judges-delegate were secular clergy, that is non-monastic, and Grosseteste is identified only as magister; he had no ecclesiastical benefice at the time. This, as Goering notes, 'suggests that his qualifications as judge…derived from sources other than diocesan administrative office'.122 The case itself was resolved with William agreeing to resign his right to the butlership to the prior and monks, in addition to his conferring land on them, and receiving in return support from the monastery for his mother, father, and himself, but not his heirs. The judges conclude that: 'We, therefore, the resignation into our hands having been made by the aforementioned William, absolve the oft-mentioned prior and monks, by the apostolic authority invested in us in this part, from the charge of the William mentioned and his heirs concerning the aforementioned office of butler…'.123 Grosseteste, in his forties, was

pg 40

Fig. 1.1. Grosseteste's activities in Herefordshire and environs. Created by Rosie Taylor.

Fig. 1.1. Grosseteste's activities in Herefordshire and environs. Created by Rosie Taylor.

entrusted with a delegated papal case, even though he was unbeneficed and a secular cleric; and in connection to Hugh Foliot, here in his capacity as archdeacon.124 Although limited, the evidence shows Grosseteste as an active participant in the re-establishment of church pg 41order in England in the years following the interdict, and in a capacity which fits his expertise in law praised by Gerald of Wales in his letter of recommendation to Bishop William de Vere of Hereford, c.1195, and his continued relationship with Hugh Foliot.

3.3.2 A Brush with Royal Justice

In this connection it is possible to connect Grosseteste more firmly still to Hugh on the latter's election as bishop of Hereford in 1219 in records of two quite different incidents. The first shows Grosseteste acting again in a legal context, the second with appointments within the diocese. To take the first instance, Grosseteste appeared in a case that came before the royal justices in late August 1220. The case concerned actions taken at least a few months earlier by Grosseteste himself, Master Robert de Cotinton' (probably Coddington, some three miles to the north of Ledbury, although the similarly named villages in south Cheshire and Nottinghamshire should also be noted) and Gilbert the chaplain of Ledbury. The three men, acting as ecclesiastical judges, had overreached their authority when they heard a case which should have gone before the royal justices, concerning as it did an issue of lay service, and were summoned to answer for themselves. None of the three attended in August. Had they been laymen with landholding their property could have been held in distraint, that is seized by the sheriff to force sureties that they would attend a future court date. Since this was not the case, the sheriff was authorized to instruct the bishop of Hereford, Hugh Foliot, to distrain Grosseteste and his companions and compel their attendance at court on Michaelmas Day, 29 September, five weeks away.125

That they did not do so emerges in a notice of the subsequent hearing, in which more detail is recorded of the original complaint. This involved Roger le Fevre, and Roger Cook and his wife Juliana.126

Roger le Fevre presented himself to the court on the fourth day against Roger Cook and his wife Juliana concerning the case of why they, in contravention of the prohibition etc., had pursued a case in the court of pg 42Christianity [an ecclesiastical court] over the lay service of the same Roger in Bergh' [Berrow, Worcestershire] etc.; and against Master Robert Grosseteste and Master Robert of Coddington and Gilbert chaplain of Ledbury concerning the case of why they had heard the case in an ecclesiastical court etc.127

Juliana and Roger Cook did not attend the court, and neither did the ecclesiastical judges. This time the sheriff was instructed to compel them to attend three weeks after St Hilary's feast-day, 14th January, that is, early February, 1221. The bishop of Hereford was again ordered to distrain the three clerics, or now, to be summoned by the sheriff to explain why he had not done so. No further mention of the case is to be found.

The implications of this episode for Grosseteste's activities require a little more scrutiny. It seems reasonably clear that Grosseteste and his companions had been reported, presumably on appeal from Roger le Fevre, to the royal justices, for hearing the original case in an ecclesiastical court. So appraised, the justices had instructed the sheriff accordingly. At face value the details of the case offer no particular insights as to why Grosseteste was involved. Nevertheless, there is a little more to be gleaned about the local situation, and more still about the broader context of legal and political reform between late 1220 and early 1221, and the roles of the sheriff and bishop of Hereford. First, the local aspects. It may be a coincidence of names but it is worth noting perhaps a grant of land at Colcombe near Hereford from Hugh Foliot between 1219 and 1229x30, quite possibly on the earlier side, to one Matthew Cook.128 While no firm connection can be made between Matthew and Roger Cook, the possibility that they were related, and the family were in pg 43some way favoured by Hugh Foliot, can be put forward. This might further explain why the case was heard by one of Hugh's trusted familiars.

The wider circumstances are also instructive; the period in which the case was heard was one of considerable political fluidity and concerns the triumvirate who held power after the resignation and then death of William Marshal in 1219. William had restored the exchequer and tried, as far as possible, to ensure that the appeal for royal justice articulated in Magna Carta was answered, restoring the judicial bench at Westminster and initiating a general eyre, a legal circuit of royal judges.129 Serious issues remained to be resolved: the power of Llewelyn ap Iorweth in Wales and the March, the ongoing impoverishment of royal revenue and resources, the question of the king's majority and the problems this might pose for those holding royal offices (whether they would keep them or not), and the existence of powerful sheriffs and castellans not easy for the royal government to direct.130

As previously mentioned, the triumvirate, established between April and June 1219, consisted of an uneasy alliance between the frequently geographically dispersed Hubert de Burgh, Peter des Roches, and Pandulf, who had replaced Guala as Legate in December 1218. Hubert rapidly strengthened himself against Peter des Roches, the former's role as justiciar ensuring that he controlled the royal seal. The triumvirate met in Hereford between 28th June and 3rd July 1219, probably, as Carpenter states, 'to bring influence to bear at the election of the new bishop of Hereford', that is Hugh Foliot.131 Meeting with the king's council at Hereford, Hubert offered important financial incentives to the sheriff of Hereford, Walter de Lacy, in the form of a suggestion of a short respite for presenting his account as well as arranging a gift from the king for Walter's wife of 100 oaks. Hubert's support for Walter may well have been related to a long-running dispute over the Three Castles (Grosmont, Skenfirth, and Whitecastle) in Gwent. Granted to Hubert by pg 44John in 1201, the king had given them over to William de Braose in 1204; in 1218 Hubert asserted his rights against the senior heir of the de Braose family, Reginald. Walter, as lord of Ewyas Lacy in the south-west of Herefordshire, was able to support Hubert's claim.132 A prominent family on the Welsh March, the de Lacys also held Irish lordships in Meath. Walter's attempts to succeed to and retain his estates exemplify the vicissitudes of royal patronage during John's reign with open conflict between them in 1210. The rebellion offered Walter a route back to favour, with his English and Irish lands restored by 1216. He was also made sheriff, which he held until 1223, and acted as custodian for Hereford diocese during the period between Giles de Braose's death and Hugh Mapenor's appointment as bishop.133

A key moment for the triumvirate in its re-assertion of royal authority was the second coronation of the king on 17th May 1220 by Archbishop Stephen Langton in Westminster Abbey. Important steps were taken in the following months to bring defiant sheriffs and castellans to order. A great council which followed in August 1220 instituted a tax, a carucage (2 shillings on every yoked plough), which although patchy in its financial return was at least a mechanism for asserting some measure of control over the sheriffs. While problems in Poitou and with Llewelyn ap Iorweth in Wales continued, a number of royal castles had been secured by early 1221. Within the triumvirate, however, the balance of power had shifted, much to the detriment of Peter des Roches. The fact that in October 1221 Henry III would come into his majority, seems to have occasioned a wider debate in first months of 1221 about any future role Peter might play as guardian. Peter's departure on pilgrimage for Santiago de Compostela at Easter 1221 was probably connected to these discussions.134 He was accompanied on this pilgrimage, by Hugh Foliot, bishop of Hereford.135

pg 45Grosseteste's summonses to answer to the royal justices between September 1220 and February 1221, can be placed, then, into this broader context. He heard the case at a point where royal authority, through the triumvirate, was consistently being re-asserted if inconsistently enforced. A significant element in this process was the provision of royal justice. The council meeting in 1219 at Hereford reveals the support for Walter de Lacy by Hubert de Burgh. That Hugh Foliot accompanied Peter des Roches on pilgrimage might also suggest some form of favoured or privileged relationship. In this case, some of the circumstances of the legal case become more explicable, notably the extent to which the sheriff was instructed to pursue the case, and the extent to which the bishop seems to have protected Grosseteste and his companions, by not distraining the clerics.136 In fact, in de Lacy's absence in Ireland from 1220, his shrieval responsibilities would have been assumed, in all probability, by his deputy. There is no evidence that any further action was taken against the three clerics, or against Juliana and Roger Cook, after January 1221. Absence of evidence should not be taken to indicate, necessarily, that nothing happened, but it might be possible to speculate further, that the case was dropped as a result of shifting power dynamics affecting Hugh Foliot. Peter des Roches, and presumably Hugh, returned to England in July 1221, the former in company with the first mendicants, the Dominicans, to enter England. Given a decision to leave the kingdom by his patron, the question whether Grosseteste did so or not as well, becomes intriguing. A visit to Paris in 1221, for example, would fit reasonably well with the evidence for the chronology of his works, especially that connecting his treatises On Comets and the Compotus, to that city (see above §3).137

3.3.3 Haughmond Abbey

Whatever the case, as noted above, the final evidence for Grosseteste's activities in the period is found in the cartulary of Haughmond Abbey, Shropshire (in the medieval diocese of Coventry-Lichfield), compiled in pg 46the later fifteenth century.138 Grosseteste's name appears as witness to the installation of Master John of Wroxeter to the church of Culmington, in Hereford diocese, approved by Hugh Foliot, now bishop, and presented by Abbot Osbert and the canons of Haughmond.139 The date of the charter can be narrowed down: it postdates Hugh's appointment as bishop in 1219 and predates Abbot Osbert's replacement by Abbot William in 1226‒7.140 The other witnesses named are Master Thomas, precentor of Hereford and Master Richard of Hereford, the bishop's official. Thomas had been appointed precentor by November 1223, and in all likelihood not much before, putting the probable date range to 1223‒6x7.141 This is, then, several years after Grosseteste's appointment as a papal judge-delegate, and, in all probability, after the case involving the royal justices. The Haughmond charter is, therefore, evidence for his activities in the early 1220s. Haughmond was, by the 1220s, a significant and wealthy religious house of strict Augustinian Canons, the 'Canonici albi—White Canons', as noted by the late-twelfth- and early-thirteenth-century chronicler Gervase of Canterbury.142 The community had consolidated and then expanded its property from the mid-twelfth century and enjoyed the particular patronage of the FitzAlan family. Culmington lay close to the north-eastern border of Hereford diocese with that of Coventry-Lichfield.

As archdeacon of Shropshire (Hereford diocese) since the 1180s, and then bishop, Hugh would have been familiar with the secular and ecclesiastical politics of the region. It is therefore all the more striking that Grosseteste should have been asked to witness the installation. That his name was recorded second, and before the bishop's official, a relatively recent post within the church at large and introduced to Hereford pg 47only under Hugh, indicates, as Southern noted, a high status within the circles involved.143 Hereford diocese, as noted above, was, in common with the rest of the English church, experiencing a period of re-construction after the years of the interdict and rebellion. In this sense Grosseteste at Haughmond was part of that process of re-building and stabilizing the diocese. The legal cases show Grosseteste to have been involved, in however small a part, in the reform of papal justice, of royal justice, and of diocesan jurisdiction. His relations with Hugh Foliot seem to have been strong, and Hereford seems to have provided a focus, so far as the evidence suggests, for his activities between c.1214 and c.1221, and perhaps a little later. Further dimensions can be suggested to those activities and for the context in which On the Sphere was composed. It is entirely possible, as the next chapter will explore, that between c.1215 and c.1225 Grosseteste was involved in the production of treatises and guides for clergy, and possibly directly to laity, on pastoral care, raising further questions and possibilities for how his career might be interpreted. In this there was more than a chronological overlap with the shorter scientific works, including On the Sphere. Grosseteste can be seen to have applied similar intellectual methods to the two genres with significant implications for his understanding of both.


1 Nicholas Trivet, Annales ex regum Angliae, 1135–1307, ed. Thomas Hog (London: English Historical Society, 1845), 243: 'Qui, cum esset magister in artibus super librum Posteriorum compendiose scripsit. Tractatus etiam de Sphaera et de Arte compoti, multaque alia in philosophia utilia edidit'. On the inadequacies of Hog's edition, see: Frank A. C. Mantello, 'The Editions of Nicholas Trevet's Annales ex regum Angliae', Revue d'histoire des textes, 10 (1982 for 1980), 257–75; on Trevet see: James G. Clark, 'Trevet, Nicholas (b. 1257x65, d. in or after 1334)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004): http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/27744 (accessed 23 February 2021). For Grosseteste's schema, see James Ginther, Master of the Sacred Page: A Study of the Theology of Robert Grosseteste ca. 1229/30–1235 (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004), 1, n. 2, the source is Sermon 31 (the sermons are unedited, here Ginther uses London, British Library MS Royal 7.E.ii, fol 344rb).

2 See Knowing and Speaking, 11, 14–18, 35, 224–5.

3 Grosseteste, Compotus, 14–19.

4 The most detailed discussion is that by Panti, Moti, virtù e motori celesti, 68 and 69–87. See also Southern, Grosseteste, 145 n. 7; McEvoy, Philosophy, 506, and his 'The Chronology of Robert Grosseteste's Writings on Nature and Natural Philosophy', Speculum, 58 (1983), 614–55 at 618: 'the work need not have been composed more than a few years later than 1215'; Richard C. Dales, 'Robert Grosseteste's Scientific Works', Isis, 52 (1961), 381–402 specifically excludes On the Sphere from consideration. A. C. Crombie, Robert Grosseteste and the Origins of Experimental Science 1100–1700 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1953), 48, suggests c.1220 following Baur who proposed 1215–30, Die Philosophischen Werke, 64.

5 Alpetragius (al-Biṭrūjī), De motibus caelorum, ed. F. J. Carmody (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1952). The colophon in two versions is transcribed by Philipp Nothaft in Grosseteste, Compotus, 16 n. 60.

6 Grosseteste, Compotus, c.1, 64–5: 'Et secundum ipsum planeta non habet motum alium proprium a motu spere sue. Et motus in excentrico et epicycle nihil est secundum ipsum. / Et Alpetragius nuper adinvenit modum et explanavit, quomodo possible est salvare processus et stationes et retrogradationes planetarum et inflexiones et reflexiones et omnia apparentia per modum Aristotelis et absque excentrico et epicyclo'. Translation lightly emended by Sigbjørn Sønnesyn.

7 See Panti, Moti, virtù e motori celesti, 79–82.

8 This will be explored in more detail Volume III of this series.

9 Thorndike, The Sphere of Sacrobosco, 3–4.

10 Baur, Die Philosophischen Werke, 64; George Sarton, Introduction to the History of Science, 2.2 (of 5 parts in 3 vols) (Baltimore: Carnegie Institute of Washington, 1931) 584; Thorndike, The Sphere of Sacrobosco, 10–14; Panti, Moti, virtù e motori celesti, 69–75.

11 Thorndike, The Sphere of Sacrobosco, 10–11, 13; Panti, Moti, virtù e motori celesti, 69–70.

12 Thorndike, The Sphere of Sacrobosco, 5.

13 Panti, Moti, virtù e motori celesti, 71–3.

14 Thorndike, The Sphere of Sacrobosco, 18–41, 74. On the remarkable reception of Sacrobosco's On the Sphere, see the work of 'The Sphere: Knowledge System Evolution and the Shared Scientific Identity of Europe': https://sphaera.mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de, accessed 12 April 2021; project outputs include De sphaera of Johannes de Sacrobosco in the Early Modern Period: The Authors of the Commentaries, ed. M. Valleriani (London: Springer Nature 2020).

15 Thorndike, The Sphere of Sacrobosco, 14.

16 O. Pedersen, 'In Quest of Sacrobosco', Journal for the History of Astronomy, 16 (1985), 175–220.

17 Pedersen, 'In Quest of Sacrobosco', 187–9.

18 Thorndkike, The Sphere of Sacrobosco, 2, for Bartholomew's remarks; and 28–9 for further information on his commentary.

19 Thorndkike, The Sphere of Sacrobosco, 21.

20 Lynn Thorndike, Michael Scot (London: Nelson, 1965), 38.

21 Pedersen, 'In Quest of Sacrobosco', 192; for the 1210 prohibition, see Chartularium Universitatis Parisiensis, i, ed. Heinrich Denifle and Émile Chatelain (Paris: Delalain, 1889), Pars prima, 70, no. 11.

22 Pedersen, 'In Quest of Sacrobosco', 192; Thorndike, The Sphere of Sacrobosco, 23. See more recently C. A. Musatti, 'Alcune considerazioni sulla paternità del commento alla Sphaera di Giovanni Sacrobosco attribuito a Michele Scoto', in Pina Totaro and Luisa Valente (eds.), Sphaera. Forma immagine e metafora tra Medioevo ed età moderna, Lessico intellettuale europeo, 117 (Florence: Olschki, 2012), 145–65.

23 Southern, Grosseteste, 145 n.7.

24 Knowing and Speaking, 203–22.

25 Harrison Thomson, Writings, 30–3; Southern, Grosseteste, 107.

26 Editions in The Astronomical Works of Thabit b. Qurra, ed. Francis J. Carmody (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1960) and José María Millás Vallicrosa, 'El "Liber de motu octave sphere" de Tābit ibn Qurra', Al-Andalus, 10 (1945), 89–108. Additional commentary and English translation in Otto Neugebauer, 'Thâbit ben Qurra "On the Solar Year" and "On the Motion of the Eighth Sphere"', Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, 106 (1960), 264–99. See in addition C. Philipp E. Nothaft, 'Criticism of Trepidation Models and Advocacy of Uniform Precession in Medieval Latin Astronomy', Archive for History of Exact Sciences, 71 (2017), 211–44.

27 The possibility that Bodleian Library, MS Savile 21 postdates On the Sphere should also be borne in mind, which would place the composition of the treatise to 1215 or even slightly before, see Panti, Moti, virtù e motori celesti, 78.

28 Peter Lock, The Franks in the Aegean: 1204–1500 (Longman: London, 1995), 6–8.

29 Lock, The Franks in the Aegean, 6.

30 See Southern, Grosseteste, 9, 185–6; John of Basingstoke's accomplishments in Greek are recorded in Matthew Paris, Chronica majora, s.a. 1252, ed. Henry Richards Luard, 7 vols. (London: Longman, Green, Longman and Roberts, 1872–83), v. 285–7.

31 Meridel Holland, 'Robert Grosseteste's Greek Translations and College of Arms MS Arundel 9', in James McEvoy (ed.), Robert Grosseteste: New Perspectives on His Thought and Scholarship (Turnhout: Brepols, 1995), 121–47; Roger Bacon, Opus tertium, in Opera quaedam hactenus inedita, ed. J. S. Brewer (London: Longman, Green, Longman and Roberts, 1859), 91; Roger Bacon, Compendium studii philosophiae, in Opera quaedam hactenus inedita, 474.

32 Amongst a vast literature, see Jonathan Phillips, The Crusades, 1095–1204, 2nd ed. (London: Routledge, 2014), chs. 12–13; and his The Life and Legend of the Sultan Saladin (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2019).

33 Concilium Lateranense IV a. 1215, Canon 71, in Conciliorum Oecumenicorum Decreta, ed. J. Alberigo, J. A. Dossett, P. P. Joannou, C, Leonardi, P. Prodi, 3rd ed. (Bologna: Istituto per le Scienze Religiose, 1973), 230–71, at 267–71. For the implementation of the conciliar decrees, see Jeffrey M. Wayno, 'Rethinking the Fourth Lateran Council of 1215', Speculum, 93 (2018), 611–37, esp. 628.

34 The most detailed single account remains James M. Powell, Anatomy of a Crusade, 1213–1221 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1986). See also E. J. Mylod, Guy Perry, Thomas W. Smith, and Jan Vandeburie (eds.), The Fifth Crusade in Context (London: Routledge, 2017).

35 John Tolan, Saint Francis and the Sultan: The Curious History of a Christian-Muslim Encounter (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009).

36 Christopher Tyerman, England and the Crusades (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988), 95–9.

37 Tyerman, England and the Crusades, 97; Guy Perry, 'A King of Jerusalem in England: The Visit of John of Brienne in 1223', History 100 (2015), 627–39, at 629–30.

38 David Carpenter, Henry III 1207–1258 (Newhaven: Yale University Press, 2020), 23.

39 Perry, 'A King of Jerusalem', 630–1.

40 Tyerman, England and the Crusades, 98–9.

41 G. E. M. Lippiat, Simon V of Montfort & Baronial Government 1195–1218 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), 2–4.

42 Dan Power, 'Who Went on the Albigensian Crusade?', English Historical Review, 128 (2013), 1047–85, at 1047.

43 T. N. Bisson, The Medieval Crown of Aragon (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986), 39–40, 68–9; N. Vincent, 'England and the Albigensian Crusade', in Björn Weiler and I.W. Rowlands (eds.), England and Europe in the Reign of Henry III (1216–1272) (Ashgate: Aldershot, 2002), 67–97.

44 Matthew Paris, Chronica majora, s.a. 1253, v. 400.

45 C. R. Cheney, Pope Innocent III and England (Stuttgart: Anton Hiersemann, 1976), 332–7.

46 The literature on Magna Carta is vast. For recent discussion, see David Carpenter, Magna Carta (London: Penguin, 2015); James Holt, Magna Carta, 2nd ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992, repr. 2015); Nicholas Vincent, Magna Carta: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012); A. Musson, Medieval Law in Context: The Growth of Legal Consciousness from Magna Carta to the Peasants' Revolt (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2001); P. A. Brand, The Making of the Common Law (London: Hambledon Press, 1992); Stephen Church, King John: England, Magna Carta and the Making of a Tyrant (London: Macmillan, 2015), 214–34.

47 Detailed discussion of the minority is to be found in the magisterial studies of David Carpenter, The Minority of Henry III (London: Methuen, 1990), summarized in Carpenter, Henry III, 1–57.

48 Carpenter, Minority, 21.

49 Carpenter, Minority, 13–16.

50 Carpenter, Minority, 21–4.

51 Carpenter, Minority, 35–44.

52 Carpenter, Minority, 44–5.

53 Carpenter, Minority, 227.

54 Carpenter, Minority, 128–262.

55 Carpenter, Minority, 256–60; Nicholas Vincent, Peter des Roches: An Alien in English Politics, 1205–1238 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), 195–208.

56 Knowing and Speaking, 218–22.

57 See G. Pollard, 'The Legatine Award to Oxford in 1214 and Robert Grosteste', Oxoniensia, 39 (1974), 62–72. For further references, see §3.2 below. For more general discussion, Alan B. Cobban, The Medieval English Universities: Oxford and Cambridge to c.1500 (Berkeley: The University of California Press, 1988), 44–50; R. W. Southern, 'From Schools to University', in Jeremy I. Catto (ed.), The History of the University of Oxford: Vol. 1, The Early Oxford Schools (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984), 1–36; and M. B. Hackett, 'The University as Corporate Body', in Catto, History of the University of Oxford, 37–98.

58 Southern, 'From Schools to University', 34.

59 Michael Robson, 'Robert Grosseteste and the Franciscan School at Oxford (c.1229‒1253)', Antonianum, XCV (2020), 345–82; Giles E. M. Gasper, 'How to Teach the Franciscans: Robert Grosseteste and the Oxford Community of Franciscans c.1229‒35', in Lydia Schumacher (ed.), The Early English Franciscans (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2021), 57–75.

60 Cobban, Medieval English Universities, 26–34.

61 Joseph W. Goering, William de Montibus (c.1140–1213): The Schools and the Literature of Pastoral Care (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1992), 26.

62 Robert Bartlett, 'Gerald of Wales (c.1146–1220x23)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004); online ed., Oct. 2006, http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/10769 (accessed 26 April 2021).

63 Knowing and Speaking, 203–14.

64 Giles of Lessines, De essentia, motu et significtione cometarum, c. 3, ed. Lynn Thorndike, Latin Treatises on Comets Between 1238 and 1368 A.D. (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1950), 103–84 at 116–17; Panti, Moti, virtù e motori celesti, 135–6.

65 The evidence for Grosseteste in Paris in the early 1220s will be addressed in Volume III of this series, that of the mid-1220s in Volume IV; Grosseteste and Oxford will be covered in Volume V.

66 These were reviewed in J. C. Russell, 'The Preferments and "Adiutores" of Robert Grosseteste', The Harvard Theological Review, 26 (1933), 161–72. As representative of the older historiographical traditions, see Samuel Pegge, The Life of Grosseteste (London: John Nichols, 1743), 19–23, summarized in Francis Stevenson, Robert Grosseteste, Bishop of Lincoln (London: MacMillan and Co. 1899), 25–9.

67 Henry Wharton, Anglia Sacra, 2 vols (London: Richard Chiswel, 1691), i. 457.

68 Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae, compiled by John le Neve, corrected and continued by T. Duffus Hardy, 3 vols. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1854), ii. 55.

69 'Archdeacons: Northampton', in Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1066–1300: Vol. 3, Lincoln, ed. Diana E Greenway (London, 1977), 30–2. British History Online: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/fasti-ecclesiae/1066-1300/vol3/pp30-32 (accessed 28 April 2020).

70 Russell, 'Preferments and "Adiutores"', 166–7.

71 'Archdeacons: Wiltshire', in Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1066–1300: Vol. 4, Salisbury, ed. Diana E Greenway (London, 1991), 33–7. British History Online: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/fasti-ecclesiae/1066-1300/vol4/pp33-37 (accessed 27 April 2020); 'Prebendaries: Calne', in Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1066–1300: Vol. 4, 57–9.

72 C. L. Kingsford and B. R. Kemp, 'Poor [Pauper], Herbert (d. 1217), Bishop of Salisbury', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 23 September 2004: https://www.oxforddnb.com/view/10.1093/ref:odnb/9780198614128.001.0001/odnb-9780198614128-e-22524 (accessed 3 May 2020).

73 See the English Surnames Series, for example, Richard McKinlet, Norfolk and Suffolk Surnames in the Middle Ages (London, Chichester: Phillimore, 1975).

74 Robert Grosseteste, Episcopi quondam Lincolniensis Epistolae, ed. Henry Richards Luard, Rolls Series (London: Longman, Green, Longman and Roberts, 1861), Letter 8, addressed to Ivette, dated to shortly after 1 November 1232; Robert Grosseteste, The Letters of Robert Grosseteste, Bishop of Lincoln, trans. F. A. C. Mantello and Joseph W. Goering (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2010), 75–7. Adam Marsh, The Letters of Adam Marsh, ed. and trans. C. H. Lawrence, 2 vols. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), Letters 12 and 53, 130–3, 148–9. See also N. M. Schulman, 'Husband, Father, Bishop? Grosseteste in Paris', Speculum, 72 (1997), 330–46. The implications of Schulman's suggestion for Grosseteste as married and with children will be discussed in Volume III in this series.

75 Marsh, Letters, Letter 35,1.100–5, at 102–5.

76 Robert Grosseteste as Bishop of Lincoln, The Episcopal Rolls, 1235–1253, ed. Philippa M. Hoskin (Woodbridge: Boydell for The Lincoln Record Society, 2015): John nos. 629, 665, 933; Robert nos. 1661, 1720–1.

77 S. Gieben, 'Anecdota Lincolniensia. La preghiera mattutina del vescovo; La debolezza umana della sorrella Ivetta; L'eretica che non voleva bruciare', in P. Maranesi, ed., Negotium Fidei. Miscellanea di studi offerti a Mariano D'Alatri in occasionne del suo 80o compleanno (Rome: Bravetta, 2002), 127–44.

78 Lanercost Chronicle, 1201–1346, ed. Joseph Stevenson (Edinburgh: Bannatyne Club, 1839), s.a. 1235, 44–5; Richard of Bardney, Vita Roberti Grosthed, ed. Henry Wharton, Anglia Sacra, ii. cc. III–VI, 326–7.

79 Philippa Hoskin, 'Poor [Poore], Richard (d. 1237), Bishop of Salisbury', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 23 September 2004: https://www.oxforddnb.com/view/10.1093/ref:odnb/9780198614128.001.0001/odnb-9780198614128-e-22525 (accessed 17 May 2020).

80 Giles E. M. Gasper, 'Robert Grosseteste at Durham', Mediaeval Studies, 76 (2014), 297–303.

81 Julia Barrow, The Clergy in the Medieval World: Secular Clerics, their Families and Careers in North-Western Europe, c.800–c.1200 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), 113–57.

82 Hugh Thomas, The Secular Clergy in England, 1066–1216 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), 190–208.

83 Daniel A. Callus, 'Robert Grosseteste as Scholar', in D. A. Callus (ed.), Robert Grosseteste, Scholar and Bishop (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1955) 1–69, 7–10, esp. at 9. See Snappe's Formulary: Extracts from a Formulary attributed to John Snappe and other Records relating to Oxford University, ed. H. E. Salter, Oxford Historical Society, 1st ser. 80 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1923), 319. What follows draws heavily on Southern, Grosseteste, pp. xxix–xxxii; and Joseph W. Goering, 'Where and When Did Grosseteste Study Theology?', in James McEvoy (ed.), Robert Grosseteste: New Perspectives on his Thought and Scholarship (Turnhout: Brepols, 1995), 17–51 at 47–50. See also Southern, 'From Schools to University', 32–6.

84 The Rolls and Register of Bishop Oliver Sutton 1280?1299: Vol. V, Memoranda May 19, 1294–May 18, 1296, ed. Rosalind M. T. Hill, Lincoln Record Society, 60 (Printed for the Lincoln Record Society in Hereford: Hereford Times Ltd, 1965), 60: '…beatus Robertus quondam episcopus Lincolniensis qui huiusmodi officium gessit dum in Universitate predicta regebat, in principio creationis sue in episcopum, dixit, proximum predecessorum suum episcopum Lincolniensem non permisisse quod idem Robertus vocaretur cancellarius, sed magister scholarum.'

85 'Prebendaries: Calne', 57–9; 'Deans', in Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1066–1300: Vol. 3, 5–12; Grosseteste, Epp. 121 and 122. Southern, Grosseteste, 264–5.

86 Marsh, Letters, Letter 14, i.34–7.

87 Southern, Grosseteste, p. xxx; see also R. M. T. Hill, 'Oliver Sutton, Bishop of Lincoln, and the University of Oxford', Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 4th ser., 31 (1949), 1–16.

88 C. H. Lawrence, 'The Origins of the Chancellorship at Oxford', Oxoniensia, 41 (1976), 316–23.

89 Mary Cheney, 'Master Geoffrey de Lucy, an Early Chancellor of the University of Oxford', The English Historical Review, 82 (1967), 750–63.

90 Southern, Grosseteste, xxxi.

91 Pollard, 'The Legatine Award', 62–72.

92 D. A. Callus, 'The Oxford Career of Robert Grosseteste', Oxoniensia, 10 (1945), 42–72; Callus, 'Robert Grosseteste as Scholar', 6–10; McEvoy, Philosophy, 8–10; James McEvoy, Robert Grosseteste (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), 22–9.

93 Callus, 'Grosseteste as Scholar', 8–9.

94 Callus, 'Grosseteste as Scholar', 8.

95 Goering, 'Where and When', 49.

96 Callus, 'The Oxford Career', 45.

97 Callus, 'The Oxford Career', 50.

98 Goering, 'Where and When', 26, 41–3.

99 Goering, 'Where and When', 23–4; Nicholas Trivet, Annales ex regum Angliae, 242.

100 For the current scheme of Grosseteste's writings, see Cecilia Panti, 'Robert Grosseteste and Adam of Exeter's Physics of Light: Remarks on the Transmission, Authenticity and Chronology of Grosseteste's Scientific Opuscula', in John Flood, James R. Ginther, and Joseph W. Goering (eds.), Grosseteste: Intellectual Milieu (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 2013), 165–90, tabulated at 185.

101 Goering, 'Where and When', 27–35.

102 Southern, Grosseteste, xxxi.

103 Goering, 'Where and When', 48–50.

104 An issue for a later 'chancellorship' for Grosseteste is that he is difficult to fit into the sequence of chancellors of the later period, see Hackett, 'The University as Corporate Body', 45–7. The change in nomenclature might make this an easier task.

105 Knowing and Speaking, 18–35.

106 Southern, Grosseteste, 66–9; Goering, 'Where and When', 20, 26; Knowing and Speaking, 210–12.

107 Since the current focus is on the period up to c.1221 the implications of the Culmington charter will be explored in more detail in Volume III of this series.

108 See John Hudson, The Formation of the English Common Law: Law and Society in England from the Norman Conquest to Magna Carta (London: Longman, 1996); Patrick Wormald, The Making of English Law: King Alfred to the Twelfth Century: Vol. 1, Legislation and its Limits (Oxford: Blackwell, 1999).

109 Jane E. Sayers, Papal Judges Delegate in the Province of Canterbury 1198–1254 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1971), 13.

110 Sayers, Papal Judges Delegate, 19.

111 Knowing and Speaking, 17–18; Peter Landau, 'The Origins of Legal Science in England in the Twelfth Century: Lincoln, Oxford and the Career of Vacarius', in Martin Brett and Kathleen Cushing (eds.), Readers, Texts and Compilers in the Earlier Middle Ages (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2009), 165–82.

112 Knowing and Speaking, 17–18; Landau, 'Origins of Legal Science'; R. W. Southern, Scholastic Humanism and the Unification of Europe: Vol. II, The Heroic Age (Oxford: Blackwell, 2001), 155–6.

113 S. T. Ambler, Bishops in the Political Community of England, 1213–1272 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), 64–5; Vincent, Peter des Roches, 90–3; Cheney, Pope Innocent III and England.

114 Vincent, Peter des Roches, 93.

115 Sayers, Papal Judges Delegate, 28–9.

116 Sayers, Papal Judges Delegate, 31–2.

117 C. R. Cheney and Mary G. Cheney, The Letters of Pope Innocent III (1198–1216) Concerning England and Wales (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1967), no. 1156B, p. 189; Southern, Grosseteste, 67.

118 The Cartulary of Worcester Cathedral Priory (Register I), ed. R. R. Darlington, Pipe Roll Society Publications, 76 = ns 38 (1968), 72–3, no. 129, see 73, n. 2 for dating.

119 Cartulary of Worcester Cathedral Priory, 72.

120 It is worth noting also that the bishop of Hereford had tenants, the de Beauchamp family, in Upper Sapey, Acta of Hugh Foliot in English Episcopal Acta VII: Hereford 1079–1234, ed. J. Barrow (Oxford: Oxford University Press for the British Academy, 1993), 216, no. 280.

121 The case and those hearing it have been the occasion for a slight misunderstanding in secondary discussion. Goering ('Where and When', 20) suggests that Grosseteste was involved in two different cases connected to Worcester, one alongside the archdeacon of Salop (Lichfield) before 1216, citing Cheney and Cheney, Letters of Pope Innocent III, 189, and one alongside Hugh Foliot 1213–16, citing Southern, Grosseteste, 67. In fact these are the same case, and involve only Hugh as archdeacon of Shropshire in Hereford diocese. Sayers (Papal Judges Delegate, 217) rightly reports the three judges as 'the archdeacon of Salop, Master R. Grosseteste, and the rural dean of Sapey', the notice in Cheney and Cheney explicitly invokes Hugh as the archdeacon of Salop and the description of the case matches that given in the Worcester Cartulary. Darlington noted with respect to the entry in the Cartulary that half of the original cirograph is extant as Worcester Cathedral MS B 406, though faint and in parts illegible (Cartulary of Worcester Cathedral Priory, 73).

122 Goering, 'Where and When', 21.

123 Cartulary of Worcester Cathedral Priory, 73: 'Nos igitur facta a prefato W[illelmo] in manus nostras dicta resignatione, sepedictos priorem et monachos auctoritate apostolica qua fungebamur in hac parte absoluimus ab inpetitione dicti W[illelmi] et heredum suorum super prefato offitio pincerne…'.

124 Grosseteste was not ordained as a priest until 1225 and his installation as rector of Abbotsley was described there as of 'a clerk in deacon's orders', Southern, Grosseteste, 69.

125 Curia Regis Rolls, 4 and 5 Henry III (London: HMSO, 1952), 171.

126 Curia Regis Rolls, 4 and 5 Henry III, 328.

127 Curia Regis Rolls, 4 and 5 Henry III: 'Rogerus le Fevr' optulit se quarto die versus Rogerum Cocum et Julianam uxorem ejus de placito quare ipsi contra prohibitionem etc. secuti sunt placitum in curia Christianitatis de laico feodo ipsius Rogeri in Bergh' etc., et versus magistrum Robertum Grosseteste et magistrum Robertum de Cotinton' et Gilibertum Capellanum de Ledebir' de placito quare ipsi tenuerunt placitum in curia Christianitatis etc.' For Berrow, see 'Parishes: Berrow', in A History of the County of Worcester, Vol. 3 (London, 1913), 257–61. British History Online: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/worcs/vol3/pp257-261 (accessed 1 January 2020).

128 Acta of Hugh Foliot in English Episcopal Acta VII: Hereford 1079–1234, 285–6, no. 357. The original grant had been made to Richard of Kent by Giles de Braose 1200x1215, Acta of Giles de Braose in English Episcopal Acta VII: Hereford 1079–1234, 216, no. 280; Richard sold the grant to Hugh Foliot, who granted it to Walter of Hope, who resigned it. Hugh then made the grant to Matthew.

129 David Crook, Records of the General Eyre (London: HMSO, 1982).

130 Carpenter, Minority, 108–27.

131 Carpenter, Minority, 148.

132 Carpenter, Minority, 138–9 and 149. Brock Holden, Lords of the Central Marches: English Aristocracy and Frontier Society, 1087–1265 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), 204–5.

133 M. T. Flanagan, 'Lacy, Walter de (d. 1241), Magnate', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 23 September 2020: https://www.oxforddnb.com/view/10.1093/ref:odnb/9780198614128.001.0001/odnb-9780198614128-e-15864 (accessed 8 March 2020).

134 Carpenter, Minority, 239–43; Vincent, Peter des Roches, 197–8.

135 Annales de Dunstaplia, in Annales monastici, ed. Henry Richards Luard, 5 vols (London: Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts and Green, 1864), iii. 68.

136 Holden, Lords of the Central Marches, 204–5.

137 This will be explored in more detail in Volume III of this series.

138 The Cartulary of Haughmond Abbery, ed. Una Rees (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1985); Jeffrey J. West and Nicholas Palmer, eds, Haughmond Abbey: Excavation of a 12th-Century Cloister in its Historical and Landscape Context (Swindon: English Heritage, 2014), esp. 6–27.

139 Cartulary of Haughmond Abbey, 69, no. 271.

140 Cartulary of Haughmond Abbey, 69, no. 271.

141 English Episcopal Acta VII: Hereford 1079–1234, 262, no. 334.

142 Gervase of Canterbury, Mappa mundi, in The Historical Works of Gervase of Canterbury, ed. William Stubbs Vol. 2 of 2 (London: Longman and Trübner, 1880), ii.436.

143 Southern, Grosseteste, 67.

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