Dear Julia,

Thanks for your help.  This is exactly what I needed.  More careful reading
shows me, too, that St. Donatian's did not become a Cathedral till 1559,
when it Bruges was separated from the see of Tournai and erected as a see
of its own.  Sorry for the misreading.

Is there a good source on secular and regular canons that sums up this kind
of information?  I'm pretty good on monastic history, but canons,
especially secular ones, are kind of a black hole for me.



>Dear Patrick
>Praepositus does mean provost. The provost in a chapter of secular
>canons was in overall charge of the lands of the chapter. Not all
>secular chapters had provosts but they were normal in the
>Empire throughout the middle ages, and quite common in NE France and
>Flanders (at least up to the 12 th c). Cf. J. Pycke on Tournai.
>St Donatian's was not a cathedral but a collegiate church. Collegiate
>churches had the same sort of institutional set-up as cathedrals -
>essentially the one laid down in Louis the Pious' 816 reforms (Rule
>of Aachen a.k.a. Institutio Canonicorum).
>The dean in a secular chapter had the particular duty of being in
>charge of worship. He was always a priest whereas a provost was very
>commonly no more than a deacon. Chapters without provosts (e.g. in
>Normandy, following which also post-Conquest England) were headed by
>deans, a system which suited chapters better because the dean was
>merely primus inter pares, not a really powerful figure like a
>provost (provosts could cut off canons' prebendal distributions in
>the earlier middle ages, which meant that they had quite a lot of
>authority over the rest of the chapter).
>Hope this is a help
>Julia Barrow

Patrick J. Nugent
Department of Religion
Earlham College
Richmond, Indiana 47374 USA

(765) 983-1413
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