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Power of the Reading abbot: origin and features of the status (according to documents of a chartulary of abbey Reading the 12-13th centuries)



ZAYTSEV'S ekaterina

POWER of the READING ABBOT: ORIGIN AND FEATURES of the STATUS (according to documents of a chartulary of abbey Reding the 12-13th centuries)

Article is devoted to a research of features of the power of abbots of the Reading monastery in the 12-13th centuries. The author analyzes documents of a chartulary of the Reading abbey, raises questions of an order of election of abbots, their privileges.

The article studies the features of the authority of abbots of Reading in XII-XIII centuries. The author analyzes documents of Reading abbey cartularies, examines the order of election of abbots and their privileges.

history of England, the 12-13th centuries, monkhood history, abbey Reding; history of England, XII-XIII centuries, history of a medieval monasticism, Reading abbey.

One of the hottest topics which so far almost are not investigated in a domestic mediyevistika can call the history of church and monkhood. A number of the major researches appeared at the beginning of the 20th century when the largest representatives of the Russian mediyevistika — M.S. Korelin, S. Kotlya-revsky, L.P. Karsavin, V.I. Guerrier addressed the history of church. During the Soviet period the question of a role and the place of church and its institutes in medieval society was practically not put for the ideological reasons. Modern writers V.L. Kerov, N.F. Uskov, A.A. Anisimova "reopen" the history of church and monkhood, applying new historiographic approaches. Be the focus of attention of these authors — the history of monastic orders, certain monasteries, relationship in congregations and between them and also the relations with the power, both secular, and church. The question of a being of the power of the abbot of the monastery, its real and symbolical borders is represented to some of the low-studied aspects.

The research of the matter is possible on the basis of the various documents which are contained in medieval monastic chartularies. Some of the fullest can call a chartulary of abbey Reding. It is established that the Reading monastery conducts the history from 20th of the 12th century. Drawing up a chartulary began in 1190 — 1191 and continued actually till 16th century. A number of documents contains also the certificates on the power of abbots interesting us. In the English historiography many addressed the history of the Reading monastery — Coates, Harry, Knowles, Platt, Kemp who generally considered a question of formation of land possession of the monastery or investigated separate documents kartulyariya1. In a domestic historiography materials of a chartulary were not a subject of independent study.

The following questions will be the focus of attention in this article: order of election of the abbot Reding and influence of the status of abbey on position of the abbot; borders of the power of the abbot Reding, his legal and church privileges and rights; interrelation with the royalty and papacy.

1 Coates C. The history and antiquities of Reading. — London, 1802 (with applications and additions — Reading, 1809); Hurry J. B. Reading Abbey. — London, 1902; Knowles D. D. The religious houses of Medieval England. — London, 1940; Knowles D. D. The religious ordes in England. Vol. I. — Cambridge, 1979 (the first edition — 1948); Kemp B. Introduction//Reading abbey cartularies. Vol. I. — London, 1986.

Ekaterina Vitalyevna ZAYTSEVA is the senior teacher of department of history of the Middle Ages of Saratov Chernyshevsky State University еу1а^еуа @tay. gi

Traditionally the abbot was perceived as the "father" of monastic brotherhood leading all life of officially founded abbey. Abbots of the largest monasteries since the time of Carlovingians were considered as the "faithful" people of the king who had certain duties not only before church, but also temporal powers. The special political value was found by abbots of those monasteries in which possession extensive lands collected.

The abbey Reding was founded in 1121 at will of the king Henry I who chose for it custom of the monastery Klyuni. Thereby the new community and its head were put in a dual situation.

By tradition all again formed cluniac communities received the status of a priorstvo or dependent abbey that meant close interaction about Klyuni and subordination of the power of the cluniac abbot. However Henry broke this tradition and founded independent abbey. Obviously, at its request Dad Kalikst of II in 1123 issued the bull turned to the abbot of Reding in whom not only there is no mention of prerogatives of the cluniac abbot, but even the instruction on the fact that this community is "affiliated" in relation to Klyuni. It is only about protection and confirmation of royal grants. In return the king in the diploma of 1125 also designated independence abbatstva1. As a result the abbot appears as the independent head of the monastic community using protection of the king and Dad.

In the royal diploma of 1125 also the order of replacement of a position of the abbot makes a reservation. The king orders that the abbot has to be elected according to the existing tradition fixed in ecclesiastical law. It meant that election had to happen at a meeting of a monastic kapitul by a ballot. In other words, we see the full independence of the monastery which is not limited to presence of representatives from Klyuni also here.

Also Klyuni's abbots were soon forced to recognize current situation. In the diploma of the abbot Klyuni of 1130 it is offered that it is necessary to elect the abbot from

1 Reading abbey cartularies, vol. I, No. 139, p. 129; No. 1, p. 33-34. (Further: RAC I)

numbers of monks of the Reading monastery, but not from "strangers" 2.

The history of abbey confirms that monks firmly adhered to this principle. From 27 abbots (from the moment of foundation in 1121 before dissolution in 1539) only three during an initial stage existence of the monastery before the election were not Reding's monks, and were Lewis's priors, the first cluniac community in England. Priors or their assistants, officials of abbey, ordinary monks were elected to a position of the abbot.

Most likely, it is possible to say that quite mature people became abbots. It results from the restriction imposed on age of the people admitted to community. In the royal diploma of 1125 was forbidden to accept to the monastery of boys, "but only adult laymen or clergymen" 3. Obviously and compliance of monastic tradition of Europe of which practice of election of abbots from among the people who carried out not less than ten years in walls monastyrya4 is characteristic.

The fact of election was confirmed by the Pope, he blessed with the special diploma the elected abbot Reding. The contents of diplomas had also huge practical value since in them the right of abbey for lands and prerogatives of the power of the abbot in relation to community and dependent churches was approved.

From the second quarter of the 13th century the elected abbots surely received also royal consent and also confirmation from the bishop of a diotsez on the election.

Whether election of the abbot and his introduction to a position as delivery of any special symbols of the power was followed? There are no exact data in this respect. The first mention of special regalia of the Reading abbot contains in the diploma of Dad Kliment III of January 25, 1191. Here it is told about the right of the abbot to carry a miter, a ring, gloves, sandals and special vestments (dalmatika and a tunic) on holidays in the abbey and possession, during processions and meetings of a kapitul of abbey, in the episcopal synod and at papal dvore5. The called regalia and the right of their use can confirm high

2RAC I, No. 218, river 180-181.
3 RAC I, No. 1, river 33-34.
4 Komt F. A Christian civilization / Lane with fr. D. Litvinov, N. Egorova; nauch. edition Yu. Osipov. — M.: Lori, 2006, building 143.
5 RAC I, No. 154, river 134.

the status of abbots of Reding both in the English church, and in general church hierarchy since they are similar to episcopal.

So, Reding's abbots from the moment of foundation of the monastery acquired the status of the independent head of the monastic community whose power was determined by a set of the privileges granted by the king or Dad.

May we define borders of this power?

From a number of diplomas clearly that territorially the power of the abbot extended to all possession of the monastery, all land grants made the royalty, secular lords or bishops. It should be noted that, judging by a chartulary, under the power of the Reading abbot there were extensive possession including the city of Reding, manor Leominster, Vitsbury, Rovington, Hogton, houses and lands in Cambridge and Southampton, lands in Windsor and Katskhill, possession in Astona and lands in Stantone1. In 50 — 60 of the 12th century the monks issued the rights in the relation eshchyodvukh possession — Baklbury and Pengbron. In addition the power of the abbot extended to three priorstvo - Leominster in Berkshire and two in Scotland and also more than ten churches (within the 12-13th centuries their number increased). The provided data show considerable volumes of the land possession which appeared under the power of Reding's abbots.

What powers the abbot concerning the possession had?

From the first diplomas it is visible that the abbot had income from the specified possession, the right of court in two hundred — Reding and Leominster, the right of analysis of the civil cases connected with debt obligations, the right of court concerning thieves regardless of that, they were locals or alien of other areas. Such wide right of jurisdiction put into dependence on the abbot Reding not only villan in his possession, but also citizens and all arriving to Reding or any other of possession of abbey. Further the judicial rights of the abbot and consequently, and his powers of authority did not undergo serious changes.

Reding's abbot acquired the special rights concerning churches. The diplomas published

1 RAC I, No. 11, 13, river 43, 44.

both Dad, and the English bishops, repeatedly confirmed the right of patronage and income generation from the churches mentioned above. At the end of the 12th century a number of documents approved the right of an apropriation of churches of Tachham, Baklbury, Aston, St. Maria, St. Gilles and St. Lavrenti in Redinge2. From now on the abbot independently could appoint the priest to arrival without the consent of the local bishop, collect income from arrival (tithe, other payments).

As for actually monastic community, the power of the abbot was limited here to monastic rules, "St. Benedict's charter" on the basis of which the cluniac custom was created. First of all, the abbot was perceived as the head of the monastic community controlling all parties of her life. For the first time documentary this right was reserved for Reding's abbot in 1207 the bull of Dad Innokenti III. In the document the abbot was granted the right "most or on the advice of the most or smaller part of a kapitul to appoint suitable monks for management of the monastery of internal services, to displace them so that the good and income were in hands of those who are for this purpose appointed" 3. It gave to the abbot big freedom in management of internal life of the monastery, the solution of questions not only economic, but also church value.

So, the power of the Reading abbot had quite broad filling which developed thanks to royal and papal support. Special position of abbots of Reding could not but involve them in political life of England. Documents of a chartulary show that quite often abbots were at the intersection of the royal and papal power. At the same time in the center of attention of abbots there were always interests of abbey, aspiration to expand or at least to keep its privileges.

Thus, speaking about features of the power of the Reading abbot, it should be noted that its registration both in territorial, and in legal relations was directly connected with protection of the royalty.

2 RAC I, No. 205, river 160; No. 208, 163.
3 RAC I, No. 164, river 137.
Tracy Reeves
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