Roger of Howden
|Persona (Minster Head) of Howden|
|Predecessor||Robert of Howden, father|
|Other posts||canon of Glasgow|
Roger of Howden or Hoveden (died 1202) was a 12th-century English chronicler, diplomat and head of the minster of Howden in the East Riding of Yorkshire.
Roger was born to a clerical family linked to the ancient minster of St Peter of Howden, and succeeded his father Robert of Howden as its head, or persona.The date Roger was appointed to the minster by its patrons, the monks of Durham cathedral priory, has been located as around 1169. His title of 'magister' is evidence that he received an education at one of the greater schools of his day, as is also evident from his considerable literary output. Not long after succeeding his father he came into conflict with the lord of Howden and the surrounding district of Howdenshire, Bishop Hugh du Puiset of Durham. Bishop Hugh had made grants of tithes in Howdenshire to the hospital of Kepier in the city of Durham, ignoring the prior rights of the church of Howden. Roger pushed back with the assistance of the monks of the cathedral priory of Durham, the patrons of the minster, and eventually the bishop withdrew the grant. However Bishop Hugh did not take the defeat lightly, and retaliated by attempting to remove Roger as minster head, alleging irregularities in his presentation to the post. The case went all the way to Rome and though Roger vindicated his appointment, relations between him and Bishop Hugh remained uneasy for the rest of his life.
Most of Roger's public career was taken up in service to the Angevin kings of England. A good deal of his activity on behalf of Henry II can be reconstructed from his Gesta Henrici Secundi (Deeds of Henry II), which originated as a journal of his time in the royal court. From this can be found evidence that he accompanied the king's embassy to Pope Alexander in 1171, and in 1174 was sent from France on a secret mission to the lords of Galloway. In 1175 he appears as a negotiator between the king and a number of English religious houses. In 1180 and 1182–3 he was again at Rome as an English agent in the matter of the disputed election to the see of St Andrews in Scotland. Roger seems from these missions to have acquired a reputation as a reliable agent in ecclesiastical affairs and in Scotland and the borders in particular. He was employed on at least one occasion as a royal justice, serving in 1189 on the assize of the forests in the shires of Yorkshire, Cumberland and Northumberland.After Henry II's death in 1189 Roger continued in service to his successor, Richard I. In 1195 he was once again involved in a mission to Scotland, and by then his prominence had led to his acquisition of a canon's stall in Glasgow Cathedral.
In 1189 Bishop Hugh du Puiset was appointed with the chancellor, William de Longchamp, by King Richard as joint justiciars to rule England in his absence. By this time Roger and he had a working relationship and Roger can be found accompanying the bishop in his household at the end of 1189 and then across to France. So he was a witness when Longchamp staged a violent coup against Bishop Hugh on his return to England in the early summer of 1190. The bishop was put under house arrest in his residence at Howden. Roger was rapidly commissioned to lead a covert mission to report the outrage to King Richard, who was still at the time in France. His part in the affair was revealed by the recent discovery of the journal of his voyage from Howden to Marseille in July 1190, where he successfully delivered the bishop's complaint to the king, along with a substantial bribe to get royal writs reversing Longchamp's coup.Rather than return to Howden, Roger joined the king's retinue and accompanied him to Sicily and Palestine, appearing with a group of fellow Yorkshiremen in a document drafted at the siege of Acre in 1191. Roger returned later that year with the fleet of Philip II of France and so did not accompany his own king on his disastrous return voyage.
Roger continued his work on his chronicle of England through to 1201, when he was deeply interested in the preaching mission of Abbot Eustace of Flay to England, and indeed records he went to York to hear him. Roger survived into the next year, for the process of appointing a successor to him at Howden minster was under way in September 1202, when rival candidates had begun law suits.
There are two chronicle texts associated with Roger, and though they are clearly related there has been a long academic debate as to whether he authored both. The earlier is the Gesta Henrici II et Gesta Regis Ricardi (Deeds of Henry II and King Richard). It runs from 1169 to 1192 and much of its content is repeated and revised in the Chronica magistri Rogeri de Hoveden (Chronicles of Master Roger of Howden) which offers the story of England before Henry II's reign as well as continuing on till 1201. The earlier text was formerly ascribed to Benedict of Peterborough but the only connection with him is that the abbot was sent by Roger a draft of the work up till 1177 apparently for his comment.Opinion is now that both works were by Roger and represent different stages of the evolution of the chronicle. It began in 1169 as a journal that he commenced when he joined the royal court. By 1177 Roger had developed ambitions for it and was reframing his Gesta as a more general chronicle of Angevin England. On his return to England in 1191 he decided that it would form the core of an English history, and he began the major revision that produced the Chronica. For English history before 1148 Roger used the text known as the Historia Saxonum sive Anglorum post obitum Bedae (History of the Saxons or English, following on from the death of Bede) which was drafted at Durham cathedral priory using the works of Henry of Huntingdon and Symeon of Durham. From 1148 to 1170 Roger used the Melrose Chronicle (edited for the Bannatyne Club in 1835 by Joseph Stevenson) and a collection of letters bearing upon the Thomas Becket controversy. He also employed material from his journal of the Third Crusade for the period 1190-1. As an author Howden is usually impersonal, and makes no pretence to literary style, quotes documents in full and adheres to the annalistic method. His chronology is tolerably exact. On foreign affairs and on questions of domestic policy he is very well informed. He abstracted himself entirely from his narrative even when he is known to have been present at what he was recording, as in the mission of 1190 to Marseille. This was clearly his idea as to how the author of a public history should conduct himself. Roger was not without prejudices however. He disliked King Philip II of France, the enemy of his Angevin masters. He could not bring himself to say anything complimentary of Bishop Hugh du Puiset, whom he had reason to resent. He was outraged at and contemptuous of the impossible conduct of Archbishop Geoffrey of York, his diocesan bishop.
The discovery in the last decade of the twentieth century in French libraries of two MSS which include three separate tracts which can be associated with Roger of Howden has led to a re-evaluation of his intellectual interests and capacities.The largest of them is entitled De Viis Maris (On Sea Voyages) and its authorship by Roger is not in doubt. It clearly draws on the same material he used in his historical account of his mission to Marseille and voyage to Acre. It is a portolan of a voyage from a landing on the River Ouse near Howden to a transhipment point on the Humber and thence around England to Dartmouth. From there the author shipped around the Iberian peninsula to Marseille. He continued onward down the coast of Italy to Sicily and Messina. The author makes many geographical and historical digressions about seamarks, cities and personalities as he goes, with a clear interest in winds, vessels and expanses of water. Included with this are two other tracts, an Expositio Mappe Mundi (Explanation of the Mappa Mundi) and the Liber Nautarum (Book of Mariners). They echo the preoccupations of the De Viis Maris and form one collection with it, though they cannot conclusively be said to be by the same author. The De Viis Maris offers an insight into Roger's personality: a seasoned and sociable traveller, perpetually curious about his world and the cities and peoples he encountered in his extensive travels. The technical aspects of maritime and river transport were plainly a source of fascination to him, not surprisingly in an international diplomat and frequent traveller.
Richard I was King of England from 1189 until his death. He also ruled as Duke of Normandy, Aquitaine and Gascony, Lord of Cyprus, and Count of Poitiers, Anjou, Maine, and Nantes, and was overlord of Brittany at various times during the same period. He was the third of five sons of King Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine and seemed unlikely to become king, but all his brothers except the youngest, John, predeceased their father. Richard is known as Richard Cœur de Lion or Richard the Lionheart because of his reputation as a great military leader and warrior. The troubador Bertran de Born also called him Richard Oc-e-Non, possibly from a reputation for terseness.
The Third Crusade (1189–1192) was an attempt by the leaders of the three most powerful states of Western Christianity to reconquer the Holy Land following the capture of Jerusalem by the Ayyubid sultan Saladin in 1187. It was partially successful, recapturing the important cities of Acre and Jaffa, and reversing most of Saladin's conquests, but it failed to recapture Jerusalem, which was the major aim of the Crusade and its religious focus.
Benedict, sometimes known as Benedictus Abbas, was abbot of Peterborough. His name was formerly erroneously associated with the Gesta Henrici Regis Secundi and Gesta Regis Ricardi, English 12th century chronicles, which are now attributed to Roger of Howden.
Ranulf de Glanvill was Chief Justiciar of England during the reign of King Henry II (1154–89) and was the probable author of Tractatus de legibus et consuetudinibus regni Anglie, the earliest treatise on the laws of England.
Geoffrey was an illegitimate son of Henry II, King of England, who became bishop-elect of Lincoln and archbishop of York. The identity of his mother is uncertain, but she may have been named Ykenai. Geoffrey held several minor clerical offices before becoming Bishop of Lincoln in 1173, though he was not ordained as a priest until 1189. In 1173–1174, he led a campaign in northern England to help put down a rebellion by his legitimate half-brothers; this campaign led to the capture of William, King of Scots. By 1182, Pope Lucius III had ordered that Geoffrey either resign Lincoln or be consecrated as bishop; he chose to resign and became Chancellor instead. He was the only one of Henry II's sons present at the king's death.
William de Longchamp was a medieval Lord Chancellor, Chief Justiciar, and Bishop of Ely in England. Born to a humble family in Normandy, he owed his advancement to royal favour. Although contemporary writers accused Longchamp's father of being the son of a peasant, he held land as a knight. Longchamp first served Henry II's illegitimate son Geoffrey, but quickly transferred to the service of Richard I, Henry's heir. When Richard became king in 1189, Longchamp paid £3,000 for the office of Chancellor, and was soon named to the see, or bishopric, of Ely and appointed legate by the pope.
Walter de Coutances was a medieval Anglo-Norman bishop of Lincoln and archbishop of Rouen. He began his royal service in the government of Henry II, serving as a vice-chancellor. He also accumulated a number of ecclesiastical offices, becoming successively canon of Rouen Cathedral, treasurer of Rouen, and archdeacon of Oxford. King Henry sent him on a number of diplomatic missions and finally rewarded him with the bishopric of Lincoln in 1183. He did not remain there long, for he was translated to Rouen in late 1184.
Ralph de Diceto was archdeacon of Middlesex, dean of St Paul's Cathedral, and author of two chronicles, the Abbreviationes chronicorum and the Ymagines historiarum.
Historians in England during the Middle Ages helped to lay the groundwork for modern historical historiography, providing vital accounts of the early history of England, Wales and Normandy, its cultures, and revelations about the historians themselves.
Hugh de Puiset was a medieval Bishop of Durham and Chief Justiciar of England under King Richard I. He was the nephew of King Stephen of England and Henry of Blois, who both assisted Hugh's ecclesiastical career. He held the office of treasurer of York for a number of years, which led him into conflict with Henry Murdac, Archbishop of York. In 1153, Hugh was elected bishop of Durham despite the opposition of Murdac.
Baldwin of Forde or Ford was Archbishop of Canterbury between 1185 and 1190. The son of a clergyman, he studied canon law and theology at Bologna and was tutor to Pope Eugene III's nephew before returning to England to serve successive bishops of Exeter. After becoming a Cistercian monk he was named abbot of his monastery at Forde and subsequently elected to the episcopate at Worcester. Before becoming a bishop, he wrote theological works and sermons, some of which have survived.
Philip of Cognac was an illegitimate son of Richard the Lionheart, King of England, by an unidentified mother.
Folmar of Karden, also occurring in the variant forms Fulmar, Vollmar, Formal, or Formator, was the Archbishop of Trier from 1183 and the last not also to be a prince elector. He opposed the emperor in the late twelfth-century phase of the Investiture Controversy. The historian Bernhard von Simson characterized Folmar as "that restless, ambitious, and hard-hearted man."
Hugh Nonant was a medieval Bishop of Coventry in England. A great-nephew and nephew of two Bishops of Lisieux, he held the office of archdeacon in that diocese before serving successively Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury and King Henry II of England. Diplomatic successes earned him the nomination to Coventry, but diplomatic missions after his elevation led to a long delay before he was consecrated. After King Henry's death, Nonant served Henry's son, King Richard I, who rewarded him with the office of sheriff in three counties. Nonant replaced his monastic cathedral chapter with secular clergy, and attempted to persuade his fellow bishops to do the same, but was unsuccessful. When King Richard was captured and held for ransom, Nonant supported Prince John's efforts to seize power in England, but had to purchase Richard's favour when the king returned.
Hugh Bardulf or Hugh Bardolf was a medieval English administrator and royal justice. Known for his legal expertise, he also served as a financial administrator. He served three kings of England before his death.
Burchard du Puiset was a medieval Anglo-Norman clergyman and treasurer of the diocese of York. Either the nephew or son of Hugh du Puiset, the Bishop of Durham, Burchard held a number of offices in the dioceses of York and Durham before being appointed treasurer by King Richard I of England in 1189. His appointment was opposed by the newly appointed Archbishop Geoffrey, which led to a long dispute between Geoffrey and Burchard that was not resolved until the mid 1190s. After the death of Hugh du Puiset, Burchard was a candidate for the Hugh's old bishopric, but lost out in the end to another candidate. Burchard died in 1196.
Hamo was a 12th- and 13th-century English cleric. He was the Diocese of York's dean, treasurer, and precentor, as well as the archdeacon of East Riding.
Captain Giles Hovenden or Hovendon was an Anglo-Irish Light Horseman who served in Ireland circa 1532. Hovenden had come to Ireland from the Parish of Ulcomb in Kent, England. He was head of the Hovenden family and for his military service received estates in Queen's County. He also developed business contacts with leading Irish figures such as Conn O'Neill. He exercised guardianship over Hugh O'Neill, the second son of the assassinated Matthew O'Neill, 1st Baron Dungannon. Hugh eventually rose to become the Earl of Tyrone, the most powerful Gaelic lord in Ireland, best remembered for leading Tyrone's Rebellion and the later Flight of the Earls. Tyrone remained close to the Hovendens, employing three of Giles' sons as officers in the forces that the Crown allowed him to maintain.
Matthew II or Mathieu II, called the Great or the Great Constable, was lord of Montmorency from 1189 and Constable of France from 1218 to 1230.