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MEDIEVAL-RELIGION  March 2008

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION March 2008

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Subject:

Re: Sufragan Bishops

From:

Tom Izbicki <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

medieval-religion - Scholarly discussions of medieval religious culture <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 21 Mar 2008 11:57:32 -0400

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text/plain

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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

I believe that the size of a diocese like Lincoln made administration even
more difficult.  That may be why new sees were created after the
Reformation.  Thus Bristol & Gloucester, among others.

The following book made me wonder how closely a bishop was involved with
his cathedral day to day:

The English secular cathedrals in the Middle Ages:
a constitutional study with special reference to the fourteenth century.
Kathleen Edwards
1967 2nd ed.
English Book Book xx, 412 p. front. 4 plates (incl. facsim.), tables. 23 cm.
Manchester, Manchester U.P.; New YOrk, Barnes & Noble,

Tom Izbicki

> medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
>
>
> A fascinating clarification, Rosemary. Thank you.
>
> The subject would indeed make an excellent project: part of the even wider
> one of how bishops organised and funded their households/administration,
> and the relationship between these men and the chapters of cathedrals. I
> find the question especially intriguing at the monastic cathedrals, where
> almost all episcopal work must have taken place almost entirely
> independent of the monks. The bishop's households at these cathedrals must
> have been large and complex communities of Churchmen: yet as far as I can
> see this never made them aspire to any institutional collegiately of their
> own (unless anyone knows different...) Perhaps there is some useful
> information in Hamilton Thompson. Must have a look...
>
> Jon
>
>
> Date: Fri, 21 Mar 2008 11:23:39 +0000From:
> [log in to unmask]: Re: [M-R] Sufragan BishopsTo:
> [log in to unmask]: Scholarly discussions
> of medieval religion and culture
>
>
> My own studies of English bishops (which includes noticing rather than
> concentrating on their suffragans) suggests that while it was quite common
> for them to give benefices to their suffragans, it was rare for these
> benefices to be as important and wealthy as the prebends and
> archdeaconries.  I think this may be explained by sensitivity to the fact
> that most of the suffragans were friars and, therefore, should not be
> reaping rich rewards from spiritual duties but I suppose, if one took that
> argument to its logical conclusion, they should not have received any
> benefices.  Bishop Alnwick of Norwich used a Franciscan Robert Ryngman,
> bishop Gradensis, throughout his Norwich episcopate (1426-37: but only
> when he was unable to act himself) and does not seem to have showered him
> with rewards; he used William Gunwardby, bishop of Dunkeld (and there are
> other instances of Scottish bishops cited in HBC) while bishop of Lincoln
> (1437-49) and rewarded him with the vicarage of Cople, Bedfordshire. -
> Perhaps the latter was possible because Gunwardby was secular?  Or it may
> be that Ryngman was given something in Norwich by Alnwick's predecessor,
> Wakeryng who certainly also used him but I am  afraid I do not have any
> references.  In 1491 Bishop Hill of London collated a benefice on the
> resignation of one James, late bishop of ???Daren' (sorry, I cannot be
> sure - it may be one of the Irish bishoprics), who was to be given a
> pension, which implies that Hill's predecessor had given the bishop the
> benefice.
>
> As ever, I would also recommend that old standby Alexander Hamilton
> Thompson,  1873-1952. The English clergy and their organization in the
> later middle ages. The Ford Lectures for 1933. Oxford, 1947. - it has
> several pages on suffragans
>
> It looks like there is much more research to be done through the episcopal
> registers - maybe a major project for someone?
>
> I am working on Bishop Hill and Bishop John Hales of Coventry and
> Lichfield for the ODNB and have some queries I hope you can all help me
> with - watch this space!
>
> Rosemary Hayes
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Jon Cannon
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Sent: Wednesday, March 19, 2008 10:39 PM
> Subject: Re: [M-R] Sufragan Bishops
> medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
>
> Excellent refs for me, too, Rosemary - thank you.  John - I believe I have
> just got hold of the right end of the stick (my own stick being a rather
> thick short plank), and having done so could clarify what may be useful to
> you from what I sent you.  I noted in my list that suffragans had a range
> of titular sees, and sometimes worked for more than one bishop, though
> neither are at the nub of your interest. But I also noted one example of a
> suffragan with an English preferment, which is I think more what you are
> after - though in this it was not an archdeaconry, rather it was nothing
> less than a bishopric: - Carlisle. In this case there were very specific
> political circumstances behind the appointment. Interesting, all the same.
> I didn't note anyone who had other English titles, but I have to say this
> feature - which I now belatedly realise is what you are most interested in
> - would not have been picked up by me because it doesn't particularly
> suprise me. Surely archdeaconries or other titles might be handed out by a
> bishop seeking to bolster either the role, or the standing, or (if a
> prebend came with them, as was sometimes the case) the income of anyone
> particularly crucial to his administration or his familia? I wonder if
> Suffragans might even yet prove tobe a particularly common example of
> this, if they had no income from their titular see. Indeed (not quite the
> same point I know), some archdeaconries - Kent, Richmond come to mind -
> were associated with high standing and a kind of quasi-episcopal power in
> and of themselves.  In other words, in certain circumstances it seems to
> me to be quite a normal medieval practise to give such posts to a
> suffragan, vicar-general or suchlike. I wonder if it was in fact quiet
> common, just rarely noted.  Jon
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