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Aspects of the Episcopate of John Carpenter, Bishop of Worcester 1444–14761

  • Roy M. Haines (a1)

The methods of appointment to English sees in the later Middle Ages are not of a kind to give assurance that the men chosen as bishops would be concerned to exercise pastoral care and give undivided attention to the daily routine of diocesan administration. This is not to deny that from time to time men so concerned did reach the Episcopal bench, but their numbers are small indeed, and seldom was the length of an episcopate such as to enable even the most assiduous bishop to make a significant impact on the remoter areas of dioceses too extensive for the available means of travel and communication. But to Worcester in the last month of 1443 was provided John Carpenter, who was to rule the see for some thirty-two years, whose absences from it, though frequent, were of relatively brief duration, and who seems to have entertained a deep personal concern for its affairs and the spiritual and temporal welfare of its people. The very bulk of his register—in two volumes—one substantial the other only less so—serves to provide a detailed prospect of diocesan activity in the middle years of the fifteenth century.

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page 11 note 2 Professor Hamilton Thompson discussed the English episcopate of this era in the first chapter of The English Clergy, Oxford 1947, 139. He wrote (ibid., 15): ‘No appointment of a bishop at any rate to the-more important sees, was made without respect to his possible services to the government’. On the face of it Carpenter's promotion seemed no exception.

page 11 note 3 Volume 1 comprised 244 folios (of which fols. 6–7 are now lost) followed by unpaginated ordination lists, making 286 folios in all. Volume 2 had 86 folios, but after fol. 24 a quire of five sheets was inserted with foliation 25–36. The catchword on fol. 24V refers to the second fol. 25, now bound after fol. 36 of the intruded quire. Following fol. 86 are further unpaginated ordination lists which brought the original number of folios to 100, after which is a brief and roughly contemporary index.

page 12 note 1 A definitive edition of Cantilupe's statutes (1240) is in Powicke, F. M. and Cheney, C. R., Councils and Synods, Oxford 1964, pt. i. 294321. William de Blois (1218–36), who issued statutes in 1219 and 1229 (ibid., 52–7, 169–81), also has the strongest claims as a good pastor and vigorous defender of the rights of the see. In neither case is there rolls or register to provide the detailed information that exists for fourteenth-century episcopates.

page 12 note 2 I have written about this bishop in the University of Birmingham Historical Journal, viii no. 2 (1962), 97113, and in the introduction to A Calendar of the Register of Wolstan de Bransford, Bishop of Worcester 1339–49, H. M. S. O. and Worcs. Hist. Soc, London 1966.

page 12 note 3 Pearce's, BishopThomas de Cobham, London 1923, is somewhat of a eulogy. Some more critical notes are struck in my Administration of the Diocese of Worcester in the First Half of the Fourteenth Century, London 1965, 7980, 84, 206–8, 247-S, 262–4, 321. The latter will be referred to as Wore. Dioc. Admin, in the following footnotes.

page 12 note 4 In the closing paragraph of Wore. Dioc. Admin. I suggested that a firmly established diocesan organisation and a remarkably efficient adminstrative system were to remain—apart from developments in the episcopal curia—substantially unchanged until the Reformation. It is these developments that are illuminated by Carpenter's register.

page 12 note 5 Of the fifteenth-century registers prior to Carpenter's, only that of Thomas Polton (1426–33) is very fruitful in this respect.

page 12 note 6 Emden, A. B., A Biographical Register of the University of Oxford to A.D. 1500, Oxford 1957–9. s.v. Carpenter.

page 12 note 7 As will be shown, there were to be comparable arrangements among Carpenter's clerks when he was bishop.

page 12 note 8 In England the diocesan rarely granted licences of absence in the case of vicars, but papal dispensations for absence or for vicarages to be held in plurality are not uncommon at this time. See Boyle, L. E., ‘The Constitution “Cum ex eo” of Boniface VIII’, Mediaeval Studies, xxiv (1962), 263302. The various benefices held by Carpenter are enumerated by Emden, loc. cit.

page 13 note 1 Quoted by Emden, loc. cit., from Cal. Papal Letts., viii. 33.

page 13 note 2 Emden, loc. cit., from Cal. Pat. Rolls, 1429–36, 262.

page 13 note 3 Cal. Papal Letts., viii. 504. He was licensed to hear the confessions of the inmates in 1435, ibid., 524.

page 13 note 4 Morgan relates the affair at length, op. cit., 16–17. See also, Cal. Papal Letts., ix. 3–4, 219, 497.

page 13 note 5 Cal. Papal Letts., ix. 327; Reg. Carpenter, i. fol. ir.

page 13 note 6 Cal. Papal Letts., ix. 372; Reg. Carpenter, i. fol. 2V.

page 13 note 7 Reg. Carpenter, i. fol. 8r: ‘… priore et conventu dicti prioratus Wigornie ac conventibus fratrum predicatorum et minorum, necnon ballivis aliisque senioribus et fidedignis dicte civitatis Wigornie in multitudine copiosa &c.’.

page 13 note 8 A bishop's diocese was sometimes termed parochia.

page 13 note 9 This will be discussed below.

page 13 note 10 In September 1445 the scribe of the acts recorded with an air of finality: ‘Hie predictus reverendus pater reintravit diocesem suam et expedivit omnia expedienda’. Reg. Carpenter, i. fol. 24r.

page 14 note 1 Morgan's list of various officers including vicars-general (op. cit., 119) is by no means complete and both the dates of appointment given and the duration can be misleading.

page 14 note 2 ‘Deputacio commissarii specialis ad admittendum quoscumque ad beneficia ecclesiastica presentandos in absentia domini extra suam diocesem existentis’. Reg. Carpenter, i. fol. 27r: 4 October 1445. The bishop had only arrived back in the diocese in September (ibid., fol. 24r).

page 14 note 3 Reg. Carpenter, i. fol. 71r: 5 May 1449.

page 14 note 4 It is of course true that some incumbents were instituted by proxy, but these were usually career clerks likely to be non-resident. A century before, Bransford was assiduously instituting clerks to the very day of his death. Wore. Dioc. Admin., 84.

page 14 note 5 Reg. Carpenter, i. fol. 134v. In the following month Vauce himself paid a visit to London to consult with the bishop (ibid., fol. 135V).

page 14 note 6 Morgan, op. cit., 106–18, provides an itinerary showing him to have been in London annually between 1457 and 1463, and again in 1466 and 1471.

page 15 note 1 Reg. Carpenter, i. fols. 1v-2r, 2V. The second was issued “sub forma que scribitur in proximo folio precedente’ after the bishop's consecration.

page 15 note 2 See Wore. Dioc. Admin., 99 ff., 326 ff.

page 15 note 3 Stokes, already a clerk of considerable experience, was to have a noteworthy career. He had been chancellor and vicar-general under bishop Bourchier (1435–43), and after similar experience in Ely diocese, moved to Canterbury, where he became chancellor, official of the Court of Canterbury, and commissary of the prerogative. Emden, op. cit., S.V. Stokes; Reg. Bourchier, fols. 1r-v, 71r. Emden omits his precentorship of Salisbury: cf. le Neve, John, Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1300–1541, new. ed. London 1962, iii. 16, 46.

page 15 note 4 These terms were regularly used of visitation process. The ‘findings’ were later deduced from the immediate ‘discovery’ of individual faults.

page 15 note 5 The distinction between the bishop's potestas ordinis and potestas iurisdiccionis is well known, the former could only be exercised by someone in episcopal orders.

page 15 note 6 Penitentiaries were sometimes appointed for all, or nearly all the diocese, on a single occasion. E.g. Reg. Bryan (1352–61), fols. 89r-v; Reg. Polton, 10r-v. Cf. Worc. Dioc. Admin., 174 ff.

page 16 note 1 The extensive judicial powers, separately mentioned from the duties of correction and punishment, coupled with the right to appoint penitentiaries and the grant of testamentary jurisdiction, suggest a conflation of the powers ordinarily exercised by the commissary-general and official.

page 16 note 2 Both granted in bishop Gainsburgh's commission of 1305. See Wore. Dioc. Admin., 101, 326–7.

page 16 note 3 Wore. Dioc. Admin., 75 ff.

page 16 note 4 Ibid., 105 ff.

page 16 note 5 Reg. Polton, fol. 3r: 29 May 1426.

page 16 note 6 Ibid., fols. 16v–17r: 14 April 1427.

page 16 note 7 As early as bishop Bryan's time (1352–61) the commission for Henry de Neubold to act in the consistory (he is not termed official) has the rubric: ‘Commissio presidentis videlicet Henrici Neubold’. Reg. Bryan, i. fol. 5V.

page 17 note 1 Reg. Carpenter, i. fol. 51r.

page 17 note 2 Ibid., fol. 186v. He is described as ‘officialis consistorii episcopalis’. There are few other mentions of the consistory. Richard Rowe as ‘commissarius domini in hac parte’ accepted a resignation of a vicar in the Worcester consistory, a case of heresy was heard in the court, and Vauce assigned a pension there. Ibid., i. fols. 33r, 63r; ii. fol. 9v.

page 17 note 3 Wore. Record Office, box 794.011: Register of the bishop's Consistory Court 1530–7. ‘Consistorium celebratum in ecclesia cathedrali Wigorn. xxiiiito die mensis Novembris anno domini M°CCCCC°XXX° per dominum David Lewis commissarium venerabilis magistri Thome Parker, decretorum doctoris, officialis consistorii episcopalism Wigorn. principalis. In mei Thome Wemme notarii publici presentia’.

page 17 note 4 The title ‘sequestrator’ is mainly confined to the formal commissions.

page 17 note 5 Richard de Stanford was appointed in 1283: Reg. Giffard, fol. 191v.

page 17 note 6 Worc. Dioc. Admin., 114 ff. Colin Morris has traced the similar evolution of the commissary in Lincoln diocese in this Journal (x(1959), 50–65). Cf. R. L. Storey, Diocesan Administration in the Fifteenth Century (St. Anthony's Hall Publications no. 16), 11–17.

page 17 note 7 This term, like that of ‘commissary general’, seems to have been much less strictly confined in the fourteenth century. See Wore. Dioc. Admin., 128 ff.

page 17 note 8 Reg. Giffard, fol. 441v; Wore. Dioc. Admin., 119 n.

page 17 note 9 The commissions are given in Wore. Dioc. Admin., 335 ff. The earliest one to confer the right to correct and punish was issued by bishop Maidstone in 1315. Reg. Maidstone, fol. 36v.

page 17 note 10 Reg. Carpenter, i. fols. 104v, 124r.

page 17 note 11 Ibid., fols. 8r, 18v, 32v, 34v–35r. 41v, 45v, 48v, 58v, 63r, 67v, 71r, 76r, 80v, 81r.

page 17 note 12 Ibid., fol. 84v.

page 17 note 13 Ibid., fol. 116v: 5 May 1454.

page 18 note 1 Reg. Carpenter, fol. 117v: 21 June 1454. Cf. ibid., 135v, where he is seen to be acting as commissary-general as late as 1 February 1456.

page 18 note 2 Ibid., fol. 157r.

page 18 note 3 Ibid., ii. fol.19r.

page 18 note 4 Emden, op. cit., s.v. Colyns.

page 18 note 5 Reg. Carpenter, ii. fol. 78v.

page 18 note 6 Ibid., i. fol. 84v: 7 September 1450.

page 18 note 7 Ibid., fol. 157r. ‘Et deinde habuit consimilem commissionem pro decanatu Bristoll. ad beneplacitum duraturam’.

page 18 note 8 Although it is unlikely that the sequestrator at that time appointed penitentiaries or that he was specifically empowered to enforce the residence of incumbents. This latter duty would appear to be a logical extension of his control over vacant churches. The first recorded appointment at Worcester of a commissary-general/sequestrator eo nomine was in 1335. See Wore. Dioc. Admin., 114–24, 177, 336–7.

page 18 note 9 Or is it more accurate to say that in the curia the commissary now stands just below the chancellor, whereas formerly he was distinctly below the official? Unfortunately the chancellor's powers are nowhere delineated.

page 18 note 10 E.g. Reg. Carpenter, i. fols. 67v, 68r, 80v, 93v, 159v; ii. fols. 38v–39r.

page 19 note 1 Wore. Dioc. Admin., 55.

page 19 note 2 Reg. Carpenter, i. fob. 96r–97r. These are discussed below. The commissary-general was to be responsible for the inspection of letters testimonial of priests coming from other jurisdictions (cap. 1), the licensing of religious celebrating the divine offices outside their houses (cap. 3), the contribution to charity of fines levied for corrections (cap. 4), the punishment of unmarried couples clandestinely migrating from other parts (cap. 5), and, in case of defect, the provision of proper service manuals by the church wardens (cap. 6).

page 19 note 3 It seems almost an anachronism that in the introductory mandate to the Worcester archdeacon for the implementation of the injunctions the diocesan official is the officer named for ensuring, on information of neglect from the archdeacon, that proper ornaments etc. are kept in churches, and to whom clerks with concubines are to be denounced. In the former case his duties would overlap those imposed on the commissary by the injunctions (cap. 6).

page 19 note 4 Mogys and Colyns (and also Vauce) were to have their anniversaries kept at the bishop's college of Westbury. Wilkins, H. J., Westbury College from 1194 to 1544, Bristol 1917, 127.

page 19 note 5 Although Colyns was later to be appointed such.

page 19 note 6 It could be that some of them acted under general commissions to institute to benefices, but nothing positive to that effect emerges from the register.

page 19 note 7 Reg. Polton, fol. 3r: ‘… infra ambitum archidiaconatus Gloucestr. sive comitatuum Gloucestr. sive Bristoll’. Cf. ibid., fols. 10r-v, 16r. Bristol was created a county in 1373 and William [Lynn], bishop of Worcester (1368–73), was one of the witnesses to the charter. Bristol Charters 1155–1373, ed. Harding, N. Dermott, Bristol Record Society, i. (1930) 118–41.

page 19 note 8 Reg. Polton. 16v-17r.

page 20 note 1 Wore. Dioc. Admin., 124 ff.

page 20 note 2 Reg. Carpenter, i. fol. 30v. Mannyng had been lieutenant and commissary-general of the earl of Huntingdon as admiral of England (1441) and was to become official of Winchester in 1450. See Emden, op. cit., S.V. Mannyng.

page 20 note 3 Reg. Carpenter, i. fol. 70v: 6 September 1449.

page 20 note 4 Ibid., i. fol. 124r. ‘DEPUTACIO CANCELLARII. Septimo die Januarii anno et loco supradictis, idem venerabilis pater creavit, fecit, ordinavit, constituit et deputavit magistrum Willelmum Vauce archidiaconum Wigorn. suum cancellarium committendo sibi omnia et singula que ad officium predictum quomodolibet de iure vel consuetudine pertinere dinoscuntur cum cuiuslibet cohercionis canonice potestate exequenda’.

page 20 note 5 Ibid., i. fols. 124r ff., 135v, 142r ff., 157v ff.; ii. fols. 18v, 45r ff., 56V, 58v, 63r.

page 20 note 6 Ibid., i. fols. 168v, 217vff.

page 20 note 7 Ibid., i. fols. 7Or (1449: proctor), 172v (1462: archd. and clergy proctor), 223r (1468; proctor); ii. fols. 23v (1472); 36 (ii)r (1473); 58v (1475).

page 20 note 8 Ibid., i. fol. 206r

page 20 note 9 Ibid., i. fol. 237V: 20 February 1469.

page 20 note 10 Ibid., i. fol. 135v: 1 February 1456.

page 20 note 11 Ibid., i. fol. 244r: 5 January 1470.

page 20 note 12 Ibid., ii. fol. 7v: 1469.

page 20 note 13 Ibid., ii. fol. 48r: 15 January 1474.

page 20 note 14 Ibid., ii. fols. 43v–44r. The hospital seems to have been at a low ebb. M. Richard Leyland had resigned as master in order to occupy a corresponding position at St. John the Baptist's hospital, Coventry. Thereupon William Holwell and John Gormond, chaplains, ‘capitulum dicte domus integraliter facientes’, proceeded to elect a successor on 4 August 1473. After the customary Mass of the Holy Spirit and ringing of the bells, they proceeded to the chapter house, where ‘pronunciato per presidentem [Holwell] pro pleno capitulo’ they chose M. William Vauce as ‘director’ and M. John Aprice as 'scriba’. ‘Et quia non erant plures de capitulo presentes neque absentes ipsi duo compromiserunt in prefatum magistrum Willelmum Vauce’. Vauce elected William Holwell.

page 21 note 1 Notitia Dioecesis Wigorniensis, fol. 70. John Price was chancellor 1695–1705.

page 21 note 2 Wore. Dioc. Admin., 133.

page 21 note 3 Reg. Carpenter, i. fol. 51v: 22 March 1447.

page 21 note 4 Ibid., fol. 84v: 7 September 1450.

page 21 note 5 See Emden, op. cit., s.v. Eggecombe, for this clerk's career.

page 21 note 6 Reg. Carpenter, i. fol. 115v: 17 April 1454. ‘Assumptus fui.… in ipsius registrarium et registri custodem’.

page 21 note 7 Ibid., fol. 157r: 25 January 1461.

page 21 note 8 ‘.… publico auctoritate apostolica notario scriba et registrario nostro consistorii nostri episcopalis Wigorn. ac commissariatus in diocesi nostra Wigorn.…’.

page 21 note 9 Reg. Carpenter, i. fol. 127r (cf. D. & C. Ledger, i. fol. 5): ‘Carta officiorum scribe et registrarii tarn consistorii quam commissariatus per totam diocesem’.

page 21 note 10 Ibid., ii fol. 67r

page 21 note 11 Ibid., i. fol. 152r: 14 January 1460.

page 22 note 1 Richard Hurd's MS. notebook, 2–3 (Wore. Record Office, BA2692 ref. 771), from D. & C. Ledger, i. fol. 66.

page 22 note 2 Reg. Carpenter, i. fol. 215r: 7 November 1467.

page 22 note 3 Ibid., fol. 215v. He was a pluralist, being rector of Hanbury from January 1465, warden of Kynley chapel, Nympsfield, from about 1472, and rector of Slimbridge from the same year. He held these benefices at his death. Emden, op. cit, s.v. Pantry.

page 22 note 4 Reg. Carpenter, i. fol. 237v: 20 February 1469. ‘… dominus Johannes dei gracia Wigorn. episcopus in camera sua propria deputavit et prefecit me Robertum Enkbarow clericum sue Wigorn. diocesis publicum auctoritate apostolica notarium in suum registrarium et registrorum custodem, ac dictum officium cum omnibus suis feodis, emolumentis et commoditatibus eidem ab antiquo pertinentibus michi dedit et concessit. Habendum et occupandum illud adeo libere sicut aliqui alii dictum officium per antea habuerunt et occuparunt, prestito a me iuramento in hac parte consueto’.

page 22 note 5 Richard Hurd's MS. notebook, 4–5, from D. & C. Ledger, i. fol. 66.

page 23 note 1 Le Neve, , Fasti, new ed., London 1963, iv. 61; Emden, op. cit, s.v. Polton; R.C.H.M. Eng., City of Oxford, 1939, 17. His headless brass is in the ante-chapel. On it he is described as Bachelor of Civil Law. He was granted a papal indult to visit his archdeaconry by deputy, 12 July 1455, being in his sixties: Cal. Papal Letts., xi. 234.

page 23 note 2 8 March 1462: Reg. Carpenter, i., fol. 168r. He was summoned as archdeacon and named as clergy proctor for the July 1462 convocation. Ibid., 172v. Cf. ibid., fol. 186v.

page 23 note 3 Le Neve, op. cit., iv. 61.

page 23 note 4 Le Neve, loc. cit.; Reg. Carpenter, i. fols. 181v, 190r, ii. fols. 33v, 78r.

page 23 note 5 Emden, op. cit., s.v. Segden, says that he was probably appointed master in 1469.

page 23 note 6 Le Neve, op. cit, iv. 63; Reg. Carpenter, i. fol. 104v. His official is named as John Thomas, a rare mention: Reg. Carpenter, i. fol. 92r.

page 23 note 7 Reg. Carpenter, i. fols. 104v, 215r.

page 23 note 8 Ibid., ii. fols. 27 (ii)v, 29 (ii)r.

page 23 note 9 Le Neve, op. cit., iv. 63; Wilkins, Westbury College, 172.

page 23 note 10 Le Neve, loc. cit.

page 23 note 11 Hawkins was episcopal commissary for Robert Multon's installation as prior of Worcester in 1469 (Reg. Carpenter, ii. fol. 7V) and was quite often entrusted with institutions (e.g. ibid., ii. fols. 9v, 12r, 17r). He is named as proctor of the clergy in convocation (ibid., i. fol. 223r (1468), ii. fol. 12r (1470)).

page 23 note 12 As follows: St. Nicholas, St. Peter, St. Laurence, St. Michael, St. James, and St. John.

page 24 note 1 Reg. Carpenter, ii. fols. 60v–62r.

page 24 note 2 Ibid. fol. 78r-v. ‘Cum ipse archidiaconus necesse habeat in dicto archidiaconatu suo residere ac circa curam sibi in eodem commissam diligenter attendere et invigilare’.

page 24 note 3 Reg. Polton, fols. 3r, 10r-v. While proximity to the archidiaconal machinery could assist the commissary, the archdeacon might well regard his localisation as a threat to his own powers.

page 24 note 4 Reg. Bourchier, fol. 8r.

page 24 note 5 Reg. Carpenter, i. fol. 17r.

page 24 note 6 Ibid., fols. 96r–97r.

page 24 note 7 Although the mandate entered in the register is addressed to the Worcester archdeacon, it is reasonable to assume that one of the same tenor was also sent to the Gloucester archdeacon.

page 24 note 8 For these distinctions, see Wore. Dioc. Admin., 197 ff.

page 24 note 9 Reg. Carpenter, i. fol. 96r.

page 24 note 10 Wore. Dioc. Admin., 55.

page 25 note 1 Reg. Carpenter, i. fols. 96v–97r.

page 25 note 2 E.g. ibid., fols. 45V, 115v, 224r (enquiry into vacancy); fol. 101r (institution).

page 25 note 3 Ibid., fols. 2v, 3r.

page 25 note 4 Ibid., fols. 2V, 45V, 81r.

page 25 note 5 Ibid., fol. 30V.

page 25 note 6 Ibid., fols. 3r, 109r.

page 25 note 7 Ibid., fol. 136r: ‘Deputacio apparitoris et bedelli principalis’. Dated 4 October 1455, this deputed Roger Long in place of Hugh Fawkener.

page 25 note 8 'salva semper nobis et successoribus nostris potestate deputandi apparitores per singulos decanatus nostre diocesis iuxta consuetudines antiquitus in dicta nostra diocese usitatas’.

page 25 note 9 Reg. Carpenter, i. fol. 158v: ‘Deputacio apparitoris decanatus de Winchecomb’. Dated 20 January 1459, it was later confirmed by the Worcester chapter.

page 25 note 10 ‘… potestatem citandi seu citari faciendi quoscumque subditos nostros infra decanatum nostrum de Wynchecombe Wigorn. diocesis delinquencium [sic] tam ex officio mero mixto vel promoto quam ad partis instanciam, necnon executores testamentorum et ab intestato decedencium bonorum administratores ac bona eorundem sic ab intestato decedencium sequestrandi et sequestrari faciendi, ceteraque &c.’.

page 25 note 11 There is no information about the latter in the register. Cf. Wore. Dioc. Admin., 13 ff.

page 26 note 1 Wore. Dioc. Admin., 106–7.

page 26 note 2 Ibid., 121 n. Cf. Levett, A. E., Studies in Manorial History, London 1963, 213 ff.

page 26 note 3 Wore. Dioc. Admin., 228.

page 26 note 4 Thomas Wheton's commission (Reg. Carpenter, i. fol. iogr) is rubricated ‘Deputacio commissarii et decani decanatus Bristoll.’ He is deputed by the bishop as 'suum decanum et commissarium in dicta villa et decanatu Bristoll.' with powers of correction, probate, and enforcement of residence in benefices. The only other mention in the register of such a commission follows the later grant (25 January 1461) of powers to the commissary-general, which specifically excepted the Bristol deanery. The terminal memorandum runs: ‘Et deinde habuit consimilem commissionem pro decanatu Bristoll. ad beneplacitum duraturam’ (ibid., fol. 157r). Such an arrangement must have been regarded with suspicion by Bristolians.

page 26 note 5 Reg. Carpenter, i. fol. 236r-v: 6 November 1468. ‘Carta J. Grene de officio apparitoris generalis decanatus Bristoll.’.

page 26 note 6 On the subject of churchwardens, see C. Drew, Early Parochial Organisation in England, the Origins of the Office of Churchwarden (St. Anthony's Hall Pubns. no. 7). At p. 6. n. 3 the author quotes the earliest O.E.D. reference to the English term ‘Churchwarden” as 1494. The Carpenter reference is as early as 1451, the date of the mandate to the Worcester archdeacon.

page 26 note 7 Reg. Bransford, fol. 6r: ‘contra voluntatem dictorum parochianorum portiforii eiusdem custodum’.

page 27 note 1 Reg. Carpenter, i. fol. 96v.

page 27 note 2 Compare the clause ‘pauperibusque parochie rue in periculo consciencie tue subvenias medio tempore iuxta vires' of Bransford's register (fol. 86V: cf. Wore. Dioc. Admin., 209 n.) with two from Carpenter's: ‘ita quod distribuat inter pauperes parochianos suos vel ad ornamenta ecclesie sue, xx s. infra dictum annum secundum consilium iconomorum eiusdem ecclesie sue’ (fol. 100v), ‘et quod distribuat personaliter cum supervisione iconomorum ecclesie sue predicte inter pauperes parochianos suos xx s. infra dictum annum’ (fol. 101r).

page 27 note 3 For a discussion of criteria of thoroughness in visitation, see Wore. Dioc. Admin., 149 ff.

page 28 note 1 This point is discussed in Wore. Dioc. Admin., 87 ff.

page 28 note 2 Reg. Carpenter, i. fols. 96v–97r There is an inaccurate and incomplete summary in V.C.H. Worcs., ii. 38 n. 10. The full text is in B.I.H.R., xl. 102 (1967), 203–7: ‘Bishop Carpenter's Injunctions to the Diocese of Worcester in 1451’ (R. M. Haines).

page 28 note 3 This word is used here in a general sense as covering rectors, vicars, and others exercising the cure of souls.

page 28 note 4 Cf. Cantilupe's regulation on this point (1240 constitutions), Powicke and Cheney, Councils & Synods, i. 319 cap. 96.

page 29 note 1 ‘Licet nos in synodo nuper in ecclesia nostra Wigorn. per nos cum clero nostre diocesis celebrata, omnia et singula altaria portatilia nostrarum diocesis et iurisdiccionis cruces et carecteres prout sacri dictant canones in hac parte non habencia, in lingnis seu capsulis firme non inclusa, seu ab eisdem amota aut infra cruces et carecteres fracta, suspenderimus. …’: Reg. Carpenter, i. fol. 97r.

page 29 note 2 Ibid., i. fol. 277r-v; ii. fol. 87r if.

page 29 note 3 Ibid., ii. fol. 59V: 20 January 1475.

page 29 note 4 Ibid., ii. fol. 87rad finem.

page 30 note 1 See the tables extracted from Thomas, , Survey of the Cathedral Church of Worcester; an Account of the Bishops thereof, an Appendix of Original.… Records, London 1737, in Wore. Dioc. Admin., 171 n.

page 30 note 2 Calendar of Register Bransford, ii-iii, 442–6.

page 30 note 3 Reg. Carpenter, i. fols. 245r ff.; ii. fols. 87r ff.

page 30 note 4 This is one more than the number listed by Morgan, op. cit., 124.

page 30 note 5 Wore. Dioc. Admin., 204 ff.

page 30 note 6 Ibid., 209 n., where there is an analysis of the licences conceded by these bishops.

page 30 note 7 Cf. Jacob, E. F., Register of Henry Chichele (1414–1443), Oxford 1943, i. intro. clii ff., where it is pointed out that the numbers at the universities had fallen off sharply and that the shortage of benefices was a significant factor; also L. E. Boyle, op. cit., 299.

page 30 note 8 Reg. Carpenter, i. fol. 244r; ii. fol. 7v–8r (1470).

page 30 note 9 Ibid., ii. fol. 28 (ii)r-v (1472).

page 30 note 10 Ibid., i. 183v (1463); ii. fols. 25r–26r, 45r (1473). The Kempsey appropriation is printed in Nash, T., Collections for the History of Worcestershire, 1781–2, ii. 28–30.

page 31 note 1 Reg. Carpenter, i. fol. 186v (1462).

page 31 note 2 Ibid., fols. 231v–232r (1468). The modern form is Waste Bottom.

page 31 note 3 Ibid., ii. fol. 78 r-v (1475).

page 31 note 4 See Wilkins, op. cit., 17–32.

page 31 note 5 Wore. Dioc. Admin., 240 ff.

page 31 note 6 The lists in Knowles and Hadcock, Medieval Religious Houses, London 1953, show that quite a number of small houses ceased to have an independent existence in the fifteenth century.

page 31 note 7 Reg. Carpenter, i. fols. 198v–199v (1465).

page 31 note 8 Ibid., ii. fols. 1r–5r (1469).

page 31 note 9 Ibid., i. fols. 186v–187r (undated, but 1464). The documents from the Patent Rolls and Register Carpenter are printed in Nash, op. cit., ii. App. xxxii–xxxiii.

page 31 note 10 Ibid., ii. fols. 30r–33v (1475).

page 31 note 11 Ibid., i. fols. 193r–197r. They comprise in addition:Tibberton (1315), Aston Cantlow (1346), Wolverley (1354), Cropthorne (1365), Overbury (1368), Stoke Prior (1391). There is also a composition on the subject of tithes concerning Bromsgrove (1380), appropriated to the cathedral priory.

page 31 note 11 Reg. Chichele, i. introd., cli.

page 32 note 1 Hamilton Thompson summarised the vicarage ordination (from Reg. Carpenter, i. fols. 228r–229v) in the course of his admirable article Notes on the Ecclesiastical History of the Parish of Henbury’, Trans. B. & G. Arch. Soc., xxxviii (1915), 99186, from which this information is taken.

page 32 note 2 Reg. Carpenter, i. fols. 31v–32r (undated, but probably 1446). The appropriation document is in Nash, op. cit., i. 222–3.

page 32 note 3 Reg. Carpenter, ii. fol. 26r ff.

page 32 note 4 Richard Plantaganet had died 30 December 1460. The Neville chantry was founded in March 1473.

page 32 note 5 Reg. Carpenter, ii. fols. 81r–85r. The royal licence for these two foundations is in Dugdale (ed. Caley, ), Monasticon, 1817–30, vi. 684–5.

page 32 note 6 Reg. Carpenter, i. fols. 49r–51v (1447).

page 32 note 7 Wilkins, op. cit., 157, quoting Trans. B. & G. Arch. Soc., xxiv (1901), 7980.

page 32 note 8 Reg. Carpenter, ii. fol. 25r-v; Wilkins, op. cit., 126, 155; Valor Eccles., ii. 434.

page 32 note 9 Reg. Carpenter, i. fol. 160r-V (1458).

page 32 note 10 Although Carpenter himself was to found one in St. Mary's, Oxford. V.C.H. Oxon., iii. 121.

page 33 note 1 The Cantilupe grant (1265) which recites the original foundation by Blois is printed from the Liber Pensionum in Thomas, Survey &c, App. 26–7 (no. 43).

page 33 note 2 Giffard's refoundation (1287), taken from Reg. Giffard fol. 268r, is in Thomas, Survey & c, App. 45–6 (no. 61). It states that there were then five chaplains.

page 33 note 3 Reg Giffard, fol. 292v.

page 33 note 4 Reg. Carpenter, i. fol. 175r-v. Among those who had enfeoffed the bishop and his co-partners were Sir Ralph Butler of Sudeley, apparently the same man who had been present when Carpenter received his temporalities at Sheen, and John Carpenter, mercer. The abbot and convent of Winchcombe gave an annual rent of 13s. 4d. towards the librarian's maintenance. Ibid., fol. 175v.

page 33 note 5 Reg. Carpenter, loc. cit. Cf. Reg. Silvestro de Gigli (1498–1511), fol. 134r.

page 34 note 1 Reg. Silvestro de Gigli, fol. 134r. The register contains at fol. 132r ff. a recension of documents concerned with the library.

page 34 note 2 This derives from a note by the Revd. J. K. Floyer (who with S. G. Hamilton edited the catalogue of Worcester MS. volumes, W.H.S., 1903) which Canon Wilson inserted in his article “The Library of Printed Books in Worcester Cathedral”, reprinted from The Library (January 1911), 7–8. Mr. Neil Ker confirms the statement.

page 34 note 3 Reg. Silvestro de Gigli, fol. 135r-v: ‘Ex fidedigna et crebra multorum relacione didicimus fundacionem originalem pie memorie domini Johannis Carpinter nuper Wigorn. episcopi.… multipliciter negligi maleque servari…’.

page 34 note 4 Reg. Carpenter, i. fols. 197r–198r: ‘Ordinacio domus Kalendarum Bristoll. Et custodie librarie ibidem’. Cf. ibid., fols. 206v–207r.

page 34 note 5 There was a more generous interval of fifteen days for the valuation and chaining of new books. No annual sermon was provided for.

page 34 note 6 Cf. Wilkins, op. cit., 158–9 for an English rendering of the statutes from Barrett, Antiquities of Bristol, 453–5.

page 34 note 7 There are five of these licences, respectively for John Arffbs, M.A. (Reg. Carpenter, i. fol. 57r: 30 December 1447); Thomas Phyppes, M.A. (ibid., fol. 84r: 6 August 1450); John Newburgh, M.A., Bachelor of Decrees (ibid., fol. 115r: 23 March 1454); M.John Topclyff (ibid., fol. 128”: 7 July 1455, for one year); William Grafton, M.A. (ibid., fol. 168r: 3 March 1462). On one occasion a licence of non-residence is recorded with the caveat: ‘necnon duos sermones formales in omni anno termini predicti in ecclesia sua predicari faciat’ (ibid., fol. 123r).

page 35 note 1 Wilkins, op. cit., 62–74, lists the prebendaries of GoodringhiU. Cf. Morgan, op. cit., 127–8, for collations in the register.

page 35 note 2 Dated 13 June 1455, these are anglicised by Wilkins, op. cit., 146–9 (now in Cal. Papal Letts., xi. 229–32).

page 35 note 3 Wilkins, op. cit., 35–62, lists the deans.

page 35 note 4 De Praesulibus, 1616, 519.

page 35 note 5 The various documents illustrating this have been abstracted mainly from Giffard's register by Wilkins, op. cit., 19–32. Cf. V.C.H. Gloucs., ii. 107–8.

page 35 note 6 Wilkins, op. cit., 132, 151–2, quotes a number of these suggestions.

page 36 note 1 Wilkins, op. cit., 132, 134–5, and for the situation at the time of the Dissolution, ibid., 117 ff., from Valor Eccles., ii. 432–5. To this can be compared the more moderate foundation of the London merchant Richard Whittington in St. Michael's, Paternosterchurch, where provision was made for five or six chaplains and an almshouse for thirteen persons with a ‘tutor’ Reg. Chichele, i. 244–5. The linking of an almshouse with a college of priests and scholars was characteristic of a number of contemporary foundations, including Eton. See Jacob, E. F., The Fifteenth Century 1399–1485, Oxford 1961, 668, quoting Ogilvie, V., The English Public School, London 1957, 30.

page 36 note 2 E.g. with respect to the advowson of St. Benet Finck (Cat. Pat. Rolls, 1436–41, 279–280), and the manor of Theobalds (ibid., 510–11).

page 36 note 3 He granted an indulgence for the hospital 4 June 1455. Reg. Carpenter, i. fol. 128V.

page 36 note 4 Fol. 185r-v.

page 36 note 5 Ibid., fol. 58r: ‘in relevamen cuiusdam Roberti Molyneus nuper capti inter Turcos et Sarazenos et ad summam sue financie nimis excessivam positi’.

page 36 note 6 Ibid., fol. 167v.

page 36 note 7 Ibid., fol. 61v.

page 37 note 1 It is probable that he was regular about parliamentary attendance. It is known that he was at the 1449–50 parliament at Leicester and the sessions of the 1450–1 parliament in London. Reg. Carpenter, i. fols. 83r, 89r, 90v. Emden, op. cit. ii, Additions and Corrections xiii s.v. Carpenter, John, notes (from Reg. Abbat. Jo. Whethamstede [R.S.], i. 336) that the bishop was appointed in 1459 to lead an embassy to the projected papal congress at Mantua. This came to nothing ‘.… et ipsi compulsi sedere domi, nee exire de regno’ (loc. cit.). It was in the autumn of 1459 that the rebellious Yorkist earls entered Worcester and swore on the high altar of the cathedral that they meant no harm to the king or commonweal (Political History of England, iv. 382, quoting Reg. Whethamstede, i. 338). Of these events there is no obvious trace in Carpenter's register.

page 37 note 2 See Brewer, T., Memoir of the Life and Times of John Carpenter, Town Clerk of London, London 1856.

page 37 note 3 Cal. Pat. Rolls. 1436–41, 510–11.

page 37 note 4 Reg. Carpenter, i. fol. 175v.

page 38 note 1 Reg. Chichele, i. 245; ii. 242–3; iv. index s.v. Carpenter, master John, S.T.P.

page 38 note 2 See Wilkins, op. cit., 179–208, for much material illustrative of Cannynges's career, and cf. the more recent studies by Wilson, E. M. Carus, The Merchant Adventurers of Bristol in the 15th century, Bristol branch of the Historical Assoc. 1962; ‘The Overseas Trade of Bristol’, in Medieval Merchant Venturers, London 1954.

page 38 note 3 Emden, op. cit., s.v. Balsall.

page 38 note 4 Emden, op. cit., s.v. Rivett.

page 38 note 5 R.C.H.M. Eng., City of Oxford, 21b.

page 38 note 6 Emden, op. cit., s.v. Vauce or Vaws.

page 38 note 7 Cal. Papal Letts., xi. 601.

page 38 note 8 Le Neve, , Fasti, new ed., London 1962, iii. 36.

page 38 note 9 Hamilton Thompson in his ‘Notes on the Parish of Henbury’ (142–3) gives an account of Vauce's plurality, which has been followed in the main. Emden, loc. cit., needs correction at some points.

page 38 note 10 Reg. Carpenter, ii. fols. 34 (ii)r, 38r. The short term suggests something in the nature of custody.

page 39 note 1 Reg. Carpenter, i. fob. 43r, 44v–45r.

page 39 note 2 This and similar entries of dispensatory bulls suggests careful examination of the credentials of pluralists.

page 39 note 3 Reg. Carpenter, i. fol. 47v.

page 39 note 4 Ibid., ii. fol. 12r-v.

page 39 note 5 Le Neve, op. cit., iii. 16.

page 39 note 6 Reg. Carpenter, ii. fols. 27 (ii)r, 29 (ii)r; Cal. Papal Letts., xiii. 299, 303; Emden, op. cit., s.v. Hawkins.

page 39 note 7 Cal. Papal Letts., xi. 234; Reg. Carpenter, ii. fol. 85r-v; Emden, op. cit., s.v. Wolsey.

page 39 note 8 Mainly the latter, which was in episcopal patronage and held successively by Stokes, Hecker, and Vauce. St. Oswald's (in Claines) was in the sacrist's patronage, but Hawkins secured it. The sacrist himself was an episcopal appointee.

page 40 note 1 Weiss, R., Humanism in England during the Fifteenth Century, 3rd ed.Oxford 1967, makes no mention of Carpenter or any of his known close associates.

page 40 note 2 Nash, op. cit., i. 568.

page 40 note 3 A remark not lightly made, for the fifteenth century, as a perusal of the biographies in Emden's Oxford and Cambridge volumes shows, produced a number of bishops of distinction who also took a personal interest in their diocesan responsibilities.

1 M. J. Morgan's thesis on John Carpenter submitted for the Birmingham M.A. degree (1960) is a useful introduction to the bishop's life and register, providing helpful guide-lines for the latter. But it needs to be used with caution, and is at its weakest where consideration of the bishop's diocesan activity and administration are concerned. It is such aspects of the episcopate, and their interpretation, that are the principal concern of the present paper.

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