Thursday, January 3, 2008

Will of Henry II of England, 1133-1189

Henry, by the grace of God, King of England, Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, Count of Anjou, to King Henry, to Richard, Geoffrey, and John, my sons, to Archbishops, Bishops, Abbots, Archdeacons, Deans, Earls, Barons, Justices, Sheriffs, &c. and all other my faithful subjects, as well clerks and laymen of my territories, within and beyond the seas, greeting. Know ye, that at Waltham, in the presence of R. Bishop of Winchester; J. Bishop of Norwich; G. Chancellor, my son; Master Walter de Constantiis, Archdeacon of Oxford; Godfrey de Lucy, Archdeacon of Derby; Ralph de Glanville; Hugh de Morewic; Ralph fitz Stephen, Chamberlain; and William Rufo; I have made division of some part of my money in this manner: To ---, &c. To the religious houses of England MMMMM marks of silver, to be distributed by the hands of R Archbishop of Canterbury; R Bishop of Winchester; G. Bishop of Ely; and J. Bishop of Norwich; and Ralph de Glanville, Justiciar of England.To the religious houses of the land of the Earl of Anjou, my father, M marks of silver; towards the marriage of poor and free women of Normandy wanting aid C marks of gold, to be distributed by the Archbishop of Rouen, and the Bishops of Bayeaux, Avaranches, Sagiensis. Toward the marriage of poor and free women of the land of my father, the Earl of Anjou, C marks of gold, to be distributed by the Bishops of Main and Anjou. This distribution I have made at the place before written, in the year of the Incarnation 1182. And I charge you, my sons, by the fealty you owe me, and the oath ye have sworn to me, that ye cause it to be firmly and inviolably kept; and whoever shall oppose or contravene it, may he incur the indignation and anger of Almighty God, and mine and God's malediction. And I command you, the Archbishops and Bishops, by the oath ye have sworn to me, and the fealty ye owe to me and to God, that ye solemnly, in your Synods, with lighted candles, excommunicate, and cause to be excommunicated, all such as may presume to infringe my distribution. And know ye that our Lord the Pope has confirmed this my distribution, under his hand and seal, on pain of anathema.

Testamenta Vetusta, Being Illustrations from Wills, of Manners, Customs, &c., vol. 1, pp. 1-4. Nicholas Harris Nicolas, Barrister at Law, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. London: Nichols & Son, 1826.

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