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Hierarchy

Merton also has interesting lessons to teach about the relationship between collegial hierarchy and accountability. The question simmers through Merton’s scrutinia records. Before returning to them it is worth going back to John Pecham. As the ‘visitor’ (external inspector) Pecham stood at the apex of Merton’s hierarchical chain of accountability. He held Merton College to account. But Pecham reframed the nature of collegial hierarchy most revealingly, especially in the 1280 letter previously quoted. His ideal of community conflicted interestingly with other ideals one could institutionalize at a community like Merton.

In the 1280 letter there is a general current away from granting autonomy ofj udge- ment to the fellows and towards enforcing hierarchical obedience (to the warden).[1]

Arguably, Kilwardby and Pecham’s perception of Merton’s statuta as a religious regula compounded this, implying, as it seems, the ‘classic’ monastic stress on the absolute authority of an abbot. It was as regula that Pecham had commented by definition on his own rule.87 It was not unusual for monastic hierarchical thought to influence college foundations, as with the Benedictine rule at Peterhouse.88 Pecham’s description of Merton’s custos as their dux also implies a lesson. Ostensibly Pecham was simply sustaining the military metaphor that entreated the scholars ‘to stand together, at your commander’s side, deployed in the battles of the schools’.89 But the underlying reason the metaphor was chosen in the first place is clear: soldiers obey; they neither judge their commanders, nor quibble with the battle-plan. Due obedience is a strong theme in Pecham’s approach to collegial accountability in 1280—to such a degree that Pecham seems subtly to bend the emphases of Merton’s 1274 rule. In this it may again reflect the stresses of Pecham’s commentary on his own rule. ‘Without a single head, no respublica can flourish’, he had written of the Franciscan minister general’s sway.90 The reluctance to allow the fellows much autonomy might also be seen within a Franciscan educational context since their studia had no formal corporate autonomy.91 Franciscan studia existed to serve the Order and its provinces’ needs. Many questions pertaining to its individual studia were therefore reserved to the provincial or general chapter, or even the minister general. No matter where they studied Franciscans were always constitutionally ‘internal’ to the Order, their community (universitas) always the Order’s, not the university’s.92 This basic question of which community students and masters belonged to was at the root of Parisian university conflict and competition between ‘seculars’ and ‘regulars’ (those in orders).93

A custos was also a specifically Franciscan office, but it is hard to prove how that idea leaked into Merton’s custos. Franciscan office was in principle a burden not an honour. A Franciscan custos was nevertheless a significant officer, the warden of provincial [2] [3]

subdivision. Their accountability oscillated with Franciscan politics. After Elias’s generalship important changes made custodes more accountable to their provinces, but alterations in 1242 amended this to stress their answerability to chapters and other offices.[4] Our ignorance of the specific nature of the fellows’ discontent prevents a proper con- textualization of Pechams response. But the lack of latitude Pecham was willing to extend in 1280 is partly explicable in terms of his own institutional background.

Pechams 1284 visitation letter of course makes clear that by then he certainly was attending to the letter of Merton’s statutes; he enumerates his points following the statutes’ order. So it is notable, given the fellows’ unhappiness with the Warden, that Pecham is less interested in statutes relating to the warden’s accountability. Pecham is not generally interested in the scholars’ role in regulating the college, although the statutes held that the warden himself was to account annually to the vice-warden and five other fellows for ‘his administration and for those things from the goods of the said house which have come into his hands’. His more general conduct was also inquired into along with the lesser servants by the fellow vice-warden and scholars.[5] The fellows also selected the three-person shortlist from which the patronus appointed the warden.[6] And, in straight contradiction to Pecham’s 1280 criticisms, the 1274 statutes awarded a group of senior scholars, with the warden, the power to add to the existing statutes.[7] Members were even given the very large discretion of being able to relocate the whole scholarly body elsewhere than Oxford if they saw fit.[8] [9] Their judgement therefore on what was expedient for the college served its wider charitable purpose following Walter of Merton’s original vision. Having said that, Walter of Merton might well have agreed with Pecham that in admitting medical students the scholars had gone too far in permitting ‘custom [consuetudo] to be the interpreter of the law [juris]’.9 Pecham’s injunctions actually offer very little evaluation of how the scholars were executing their powers of governance and administration, in contrast to their failings as vehicles for Walter of Merton’s charity.[10] This focus was a choice—Pecham focused not necessarily on what Walter of Merton had, but on what he thought important, just as he had in his Expositio of the Franciscan rule. His ideas about community affected his ideas about the accountability within it.

The story can be taken one turn further. Two months after his injunctions to the scholars, Pecham wrote to magistri William of Montfort, precentor of Hereford, and Simon Ghent, Archdeacon of Oxford.[11] He instructed them to faithfully inquire into, on our authority, the whole question of the discord or dispute between the scholars [of Merton] and master Peter of Abingdon warden (custos) of them and their goods; how it arose; and the resulting accusations and justifications. In order to do this the warden is indeed to be compelled, to give an account of his administration, before you or other credible persons, suspect to neither party and whom you may appoint as deputies.102

The inquiry clearly betrays a problem with Peter of Abingdon’s accountability, notwithstanding the absence of any significant discussion in Pecham’s injunctions. The inquiry itself is perfectly regular, but it implies that Pecham preferred to use a private and discreet process to deal with the Warden, not the injunctions to the fellowship as a whole.103 The inquisitorial set-up is reminiscent of the considerations from the previous chapter about ensuring that the investigation of rumours did not produce a greater scandal than the original offence.The situation had seemingly gone beyond any collegial, fraternal correction. The August 1284 injunctions’ failure to acknowledge any shortcomings on Abingdon’s part also perhaps implies that Pecham was uncomfortable with the hierarchy of accountability that Walter of Merton had provided for in 1274. Pecham was happy enough for the fellows to be accountable, to him and to the Warden. But he seems not to have wanted them to be responsible for anything beyond their own behaviour. His implicit view was that the fellows could not direct themselves as a self-governing community, perhaps in principle as well as in practice.

The sequel is quickly told. Peter of Abingdon resigned a year or so later in 1286 and retired to his rectory at Nuneham Courtenay.104 It seems unlikely that his withdrawal had nothing to do with the preceding disputes.105 His house in Merton he granted in 1291—2 to three fellows of the college, not to Merton itself, though he did leave it three glossed biblical books.106 Abingdon was replaced by Richard of Werplesdon, a fellow and also a former bursar.107

Richard of Werplesdon was a scholar and Peter of Abingdon a career administrator. Before Abingdon became warden he had been warden of St John’s Basingstoke. Before (London,1907), lxix, 111, 119, 122, 221—2, 248—9, 253. Montfort was ostensibly an odd choice for Pecham since he was Cantilupes vicar-general for the latter’s Normandy and Orvieto trips during his jurisdictional disputes with Pecham. Montfort was also one of Cantilupes executors. See William W. Capes (ed.), Registrum Ricardi de Swinfield, Episcopi Herefordensis, A.D. 1283—1317, C&Y 6 (London, 1909), 70—2 (9 July 1285 bull of Honorius IV citing Swinfield, Montfort, and others). A letter ofAlexander IV (Registrum Ricardi de Swinfield, 101, 19 December 1258) says that our William was the son of ‘our devoted Peter de Montfort of the diocese of Worcester’. This was the Peter de Montfort who died at Evesham and was the lifelong friend of Walter Cantilupe, Bishop of Worcester (1237—66). There is a Merton connection since William’s brother—another Peter—gave the advow- son of Ponteland (Northumb.) to Walter of Merton in 1268. See Burke’s Peerage, ix. 127. Martin and Highfield, History of Merton, 64—5 state that the grant came direct from Peter. More generally, D. A. Carpenter, ‘Montfort, Peter de (c.1205—1265)’, ODNB, and ‘St Thomas Cantilupe: His Political Career’, Reign of Henry III, 293—307 at 298 n. 27.

  • 102 Reg. Peckham, iii. #605.
  • 103 He entrusts the process to Montfort and Ghent’s ‘discretion’, Reg. Peckham, iii. #605 at 836.
  • 104 BRUO, i. 4; Early Rolls of Merton, 70—1.
  • 105 Martin and Highfield, History of Merton, 70, suggest the ‘agreed transfer’ was better-natured than the preceding events imply.
  • 106 Early Rolls of Merton, App., #67; E M. Powicke, The Medieval Books of Merton College (Oxford, 1931), 95.
  • 107 BRUO, iii. 2017.

Werplesdon became warden, he was a fellow of Merton. When Werplesdon became warden he ceased to be a fellow.[12] Fellows were the objects of Walter of Merton’s charitable foundation. Merton’s wardens, like its bailiffs, were merely officers. This helps to explain their ambivalent standing. They were the instrumental means for the values a charitable institution sought to sustain. Even when wardens are formal members of a college, they need not embody its purposes in the same way as the poor scholars do. Viewed from this angle they were servants not managers (to prodesse notpreesse). That formality may be easily forgotten given a warden’s institutional status. Viewed from that angle they may readily become managers. Likewise, the scholars embody the point of the foundation; they are its members. In this they are superior to administrative officials. Yet constitutionally the scholars will be at least partially subject to those officers, even at a relatively ‘democratic’ foundation like Merton. There was ambiguity about who really served whom. There is some truth in Michael Prestwich’s contrast between medieval universities where administrators served rather than managed and modern ones where they manage and do not serve.[13] But it is not an uncomplicated truth. Had Merton been a literally corporate body in this period it might well have looked like a man punching himself in the face.

Comparison draws out this ambiguity further. College wardens were distinct from abbots, a clearly analogous ‘head of house’. Two things particularly generally distinguish the relations of abbots-to-monks and wardens-to-scholars. First, scholars were not always the ordo out of which wardens were drawn, as monks constituted the ordo from which abbots were drawn. At Stapeldon Hall where the rector was a fellow there was a tight one-year tenure.[14] At Merton the fellows could not quite have repeated for their warden the claim of Bury St Edmunds’s monks of their abbot: ‘Out of us he came, for us he was and always is, and as he was so he is.’[15] That was a strong statement articulated in reaction to a head perceived as overmighty and unaccountable to his franchise.[16] An abbot was of a piece with his monks, not set apart. Pecham said the same of the minister general. His custody pertained not to a difference of status (gradum), but to one of function (actum).[17] The qualifications for Merton’s warden were only that he be a man of probity and honesty, chosen from those ‘reliable and experienced in spiritual and temporal matters’.[18] Highfield argues that ‘The Warden was as much an estates bursar as he was the head of an academy.’[19] It is not clear from Peter of Abingdon’s story however, nor from the 1338—9 scrutinia, how far Merton’s fellows conceded the Warden was their academic head.[20] They would have been far happier seeing him as a mere estates bursar. The statutes give them some justification for doing so. His title of warden (custos) after all probably derived from that for estates bailiff.[21]

Secondly because of, not despite, monastic solidarity Benedictine monks needed to obey their abbot irrespective of his actions (though this was modified in the 1230s). He acted as Christ’s deputy.[22] The monks of Bury might well assert the abbot’s obligation to consult with his monks, but in terms of ‘Who, whom?’ they were struggling with the Benedictine Rule’s general stress on obedience. Unlike Merton it established a simpler internal hierarchy.[23] The abbot was like God, and should be obeyed without delay; so quickly indeed that order and obedience would simultaneously converge ‘all in a whirl from the fear of God’.[24] Self-abnegation, ‘following another’s judgement and mandate’ without ‘murmur or reluctance’ was the order of the day.[25] The monks were accountable to the abbot; the abbot was accountable to God. Accountability flowed up, not down (as with kings: p. 99). ‘The abbot should not frighten the flock entrusted to him, nor should he act unjustly, like one yielding arbitrary power, but he should reflect constantly that all his judgements and actions are to be accounted for to God.’[26] From a Franciscan perspective (Pecham’s) the upwards drift would have been similar, even with respect to temporal governance. ‘The servant is not greater than the lord’, said Pecham in relation to the servants’ disobedience to Peter of Abingdon.[27] While Franciscan visitation allowed for the strictly regulated private accusation of brother by brother (peer-to-peer), exces- sus involving provincial ministers should gravitate up to the provincial chapter, and thoroughly intractable problems could go higher still. Legislation against conspiracy further canalized challenges to superiors.124

Such hierarchical thinking existed generally in a university or collegial context. It was a function of learning and teaching. Students should be humble.125 In the mid-twelfth century, William of Conches refused to concede to Parisian students the right to judge their masters.126 A central purpose of Elias of Trikinghorn’s De disciplina scholarium (1230—40) was to show ‘how the exuberance of the adolescent should be subjected to his master and bound to discipline’.127 Criticism of one’s superiors had a place in satire, not serious thought; students had their own dreadful manners to worry about first.128 Pecham would have given the head (lector) of Franciscan studia the same standing, since he (unlike Merton’s custos) taught his members. This sensitivity can be discerned with respect to academic and university pastoral thought. Peter of Auvergne, commenting between 1272 and 1296 on Aristotle’s Politics, offered a nuanced account of a multitude’s superiority in judgement compared to an individual superior, and his permissions for its right to judge its leader were carefully qualified.129 In the early thirteenth century, Thomas of Chobham talked of masters’ accountability at the Last Judgement for their teaching of students.130 In his university allegory of the Last Judgement, Robert de Sorbon

  • 124 ‘Statuta generalia [. . .] Narbonae an. 1260, Assisii an. 1279 atque Parisiis an. 1292’, cap. 8 on visitation, cap. 7 on correction, respectively 284—92 esp. 8.18, 8.20, 8.22 (287 for ‘Narbonne’, 290 for Assisi and Paris revisions). The regulations are strongly influenced by the sorts of inquisitorial concerns and approaches discussed in Ch. 4 (excessus, infamia, etc). Brooke has shown that cap. 8 is probably a 1239 introduction reacting to Elias’s generalship; cap. 7 both 1260 and perhaps 1244—7 (Early Franciscan Government, 232, 251, 277—8 and App. 4).
  • 125 See Hannah Skoda, Medieval Violence: Physical Brutality in Northern France, 1270—1330 (Oxford, 2013), ch. 4 on student stereotyping.
  • 126 Wilhelm von Conches, Philosophia, ed. Gregor Maurach with Heidemarie Telle (Pretoria, 1980), 88 (book 4, preface).
  • 127 PL 64, cols. 1223—48 at 1225. Cf. the (ideally) subservient matriculating student’s dialogue with his master in the late-fifteenth-century Manuale Scholarium, in Die deutschen Universitaten im Mittelalter, 3—4 (cap. 1).
  • 128 e.g. the 1241 Morale Scolarium of John of Garland (Johannes de Garlandia) a Professor in the Universities of Paris and Toulouse in the Thirteenth Century, ed. Louis John Paetow (Berkeley, Calif., 1927), 225—6, cap. 15, ‘De prelatis voluptatis. . .’: ‘Ut Moysen Ietro, maiores instruo metro’ etc. (l. 381). The following chapter deals with table manners.
  • 129 Peter’s continuation of Aquinas’s commentary on the Politics (for III.11, III.15) in S. Thomae Aquinatis opera omnia: ut sunt in indice Thomistico: additis 61 scriptis ex aliis medii aevi auctoribus, ed. Roberto Busa, 7 vols. (Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt, 1980), vii. 414—15 (Peter’s III cap. 9), 419— 20 (Peter’s III cap. 14); his later quaestio treatment is edited in Christoph Flueler, Rezeption und Interpretation der aristotelischen Politica im spaten Mittelalter, Bochumer Studien zur Philosophie 19, 2 vols. (Amsterdam, 1992), i. 214—16. Both are trans. in Arthur Stephen McGrade, John Kilcullen, and Matthew Kempshall (eds.), The Cambridge Translations of Medieval Philosophical Texts, ii. Ethics and Political Philosophy (Cambridge, 2001), at 230—8, 240—9 (literal commentary); 249—51 (Book 3, quaestio 17). See also Jean Dunbabin, ‘The Reception and Interpretation of Aristotle’s Politics’, in Norman Kretzmann, Anthony Kenny, and Jan Pinborg with Eleanore Stump (eds.), The Cambridge History of Later Medieval Philosophy: From the Rediscovery of Aristotle to the Disintegration of Scholasticism, 1100—1600 (Cambridge, 1982), 723—37 at 733-4. On the scholastic tendency to avoid explicating political problems by analogy with university institutions see Sabapathy, ‘Regulating Community and Society at the Sorbonne’.
  • 130 Thomas de Chobham, Summa confessorum, ed. F. Broomfield, Analecta mediaevalia Namurcensia 25 (Louvain, 1968), 298. The Summa is dated 1215-17 (Joseph Goering, ‘Chobham, Thomas of (d. 1233 x 6)’, ODNB).

discussed how the Chancellor of Paris (i.e. God) will beat both bad students and their teachers if the latter are responsible for the former’s failings at their examination (i.e. at the Last Judgement).[28] That is, in this context a restricted or no emphasis is placed on allowing scholars to hold their betters to account here and now. Their accountability is rather deferred or internalized.

In so far as he was held accountable annually, Merton’s warden lacked such relief. In so far as he is accountable at all the constitution of Merton seemed to subvert a ‘classic’ Benedictine hierarchy. Accountability flows down and up. Pecham was unhappy with the flow; perhaps partly because he approached the question from a Franciscan perspective; partly because colleges were at this point still unknown quantities in regulating the current of accountability. Different ideals of community entailed different arrangements of accountability within them. As this study has shown, however, the flat impunity of office was increasingly untenable in a wide variety of fora. Within collegiate institutions themselves Merton should be seen as one of a number of related experiments exploring how best to arrange the accountability between wardens and fellows.[29]

Charitable college foundations institutionalized a friction between conflicting values. On the one hand students should be humble; on the other colleges often involved them in positions of responsibility, which risked conceitedness.[30] On the one hand was the norm that answerability should follow hierarchy and flow up not down; on the other was the problem that sometimes non-scholarly ‘superiors’ oversaw the institution but scholarly ‘inferiors’ embodied it.[31] Who in this was above, who below?[32] Pecham’s problem could not have been absolutely the principle that the warden was accountable downwards. His minister general could be removed by the general chapter if he was inadequate. Accusations against Elias had indeed led to his deposition by Gregory IX in 1239; Innocent IV deposed Crescentius of Jesi in 1247.[33] The issue seems rather to have been that alongside norms about student humility fellows were the objects of charity. Poor scholars ought to behave as such.[34] That scholars should arrogate authority from the receipt of charity was, as he makes clear, a hard thought for Pecham to think. At the same time Merton’s fellows treated the warden as little more than an obedientiary. This was not so much a struggle between Weberian ‘experts’ and ‘dilettantes’ as one between different experts from different cadres (administrative, scholarly) whose position simultaneously boosted their status in one direction as it undercut it in another.[35] Pure official administrators had an overarching stewardship but merely administered. Fellows embodied the institution but as the recipients of charity. Were Merton a hospital it would be one thing for the brothers running it to have some control over their head. But was the correct comparator for Merton’s fellows a hospital’s administering brothers, or the inmates who were the beneficiaries of its charity?

That there was some conceptual division at Merton between the two ideal types is clear from its constitutional material. The 1274 statutes handle warden’s and scholars’ respective accountabilities apart. The warden is accountable along with the bailiffs and his duties pertain to his administrative competence (in this more estates bursar than academic head).[36] The fellows meanwhile are accountable at the scrutinia, as described above, where their moral and intellectual conduct are the interroganda. The warden should attend the scrutinium, though his ‘life, conduct, and integrity’ were evaluated separately below stairs with the other servants after their accounts had been audited.[37] Pecham may have thought that Merton was a case of the inmates running the asylum. But that was, up to point, what Walter of Merton had designed.

Different views about how most productively to handle the friction at the heart of colleges are reflected in the plurality of constitutional models into the fourteenth century.[38] Definitions inflected accountabilities. In 1341 the Parisian college of Autun specified a one-member, one-vote plebiscite when choosing a head. The whole college was to gather in the chapel and swear an oath to choose the best master, while the senior scholar held the gospels, taking singly and secretly the votes whose result would be announced before them. Only if there was no majority choice did the appointment bounce upwards to the Chancellor of Notre Dame and three Masters of Theology, and failing that, the Bishop of Paris.[39]

Balliol’s 1282 charter describes an Oxford principal who sounds functionally more like a twelfth-century master than either an abbot or a warden. Elected out of the fellowship he clearly belonged to their ordo[40] and retained a scholarly function. He regulated the in-house disputations of the most able before they proceeded to public ones in the schools.144 He had no clear disciplinary remit initially (apart from ensuring Latin was spoken).145 Two external procurators instead provided Balliol’s explicit disciplinary mettle. They validated the scholars’ choice of principal; penalized overspending from the weekly dole according to means; prevented the baiting of poorer members; expelled those refusing to speak Latin; and appointed the poor scholar who received in-house charity.146 Sixty years later the system was deemed inadequate and the 1340 statutes (diverging from the 1280 charter) displaced the principal with a master, an administrator-scholar of a recognizable sort.147

The Sorbonne provides a further contrast.148 It did not appoint its provisor. He was appointed by a broad representative committee of Paris’s archdeacon, the University’s Chancellor and Rector, its Regent Masters in Theology, the deans of Medicine and Canon Law, and the procurators of the Four Nations. It is hard to imagine which other university officials might have been involved. He was likewise accountable to them annually and could be removed by them as they saw fit.149 The impression (post-Robert de Sorbon) of a well-tethered provisor is negatively and tentatively supported by the relative lack of evidence for problems relating to him. This group was more hobbled than the one at Merton. The provisor and members could in no way alienate property.150 As to problems, the Sorbonne’s cartulary contains one document addressing the provisors rights and powers— perhaps implying difficulties—but the two provisorates in the thirty-odd years following Robert de Sorbon’s own do not imply overall the constitutional stress (liveliness?) of a Merton.151 Sorbon had emphasized that ‘we are all as equal fellows’.152 It is hard to tell how far this was an achieved reality. It would be the inter ipsos uisitatas & approbatas’ (Devorguilla of Balliol’s letter/charter of 22 August 1282), in Oxford Deeds of Balliol, #564 at 277.

  • 144 ‘Si uero aliquis sophista ita prouectus fuerit quod merito possit in breui in scolis determinate, tunc ei dicatur a principali quod prius determinet domi inter socios suos [. . .] prefigat principalis diem disputacionis sequentis et disputacionem regat & garrulos cohibeat & assignat sophisma proximo disputandum,’ etc., Oxford Deeds of Balliol, #564 at 279.
  • 145 The principal seems quickly to have filled the vacuum arising from no clear administrative head. Jones, Balliol College, 7.
  • 146 Oxford Deeds of Balliol, #564.
  • 147 See the 1340 statutes of Philip of Somerville in Oxford Deeds of Balliol, #571 esp. at 290—1 (his annual accounting to the whole fellowship or a delegated part of it), 292 (procedures for removing him for mismanagement/delicts). Somerville also established a complicated visitatorial board (abolished in 1364). See Jones, Balliol College, 17—20; Highfield, ‘Early Colleges’, 243.
  • 148 See further, Sabapathy, Regulating Community and Society at the Sorbonne’. There is a helpful map of Parisian colleges in Andre Tuilier, Histoire de PUniversite de Paris et de la Sorbonne, 2 vols. (Paris, 1994), i. between 96—7.
  • 149 CUP, i. #421 (letter of Clement IV, 23 March 1268). Rashdall argued that nevertheless they interfered little (Universitiesof Europe, i. 508 n. 6). But if its appointees were partly placemen, interference might be less necessary.
  • 15° CUP, i. #421; and ##458—9 (letters of Gregory IX, 5 January 1275). See also L. J. Paetow’s note on the university’s jurisdiction over colleges in Rashdall, Universities of Europe, i. 533—6.
  • 151 Though one can infer some problems from Glorieux, Origines de la Sorbonne, i. ##7 (1297), 17, 20 (1318—19). The provisores Guillaume de Montmorency (1274—86), Pierre de Villepreux, (1286— 1304), and Jean de Vallibus (1304—15) spent a good deal of time obtaining or securing property for the college: Glorieux, Origines de la Sorbonne, i. 118—29.
  • 152 Glorieux, Origines de la Sorbonne, i. 40.

more remarkable given Paris’s intellectual and institutional ferment: the ongoing violent struggle between seculars and mendicants of the 1250s and beyond; the 1272 crisis about the university rector’s election; the theological disputes of the 1270s; the 1290s controversy over the University’s chancellor, Berthaud of St Denis; the Arnaud de Villeneuve affair of 1300—1; the university’s involvement in the Templars’ destruction.[41] Perhaps having a ‘live-in’ founder for seventeen years riveted the institutional fault-line that might have been produced by combining poor students of unequal means, the self-regard of an intellectual elite, a semi-administrative warden, some expectation of collegial parity, and traditional hierarchical norms.

Any resulting stability was not wholly at the expense of self-government. Indeed the Sorbonne placed a particular emphasis on temporary, rotating internal offices. This was accountability ‘going across’ peers—parallel to accountabilities going ‘up’ or ‘down’. Thus with its provisor the Sorbonne had two annual procurators and a disciplinary prior (or lator rotuli), four-monthly lesser procurators, elected from fellows, and weekly officials chosen from members.[42] In these respects it was similar to the Parisian Nations, whose proctors were democratically elected but held office for only four to six weeks (similar to the rector of the Faculty of Arts that the Nations went on to elect).[43] Merton had four-monthly bursars too. Stapeldon Hall (a college in all but name) had an annually elected fellow-rector, preventing the highest official from becoming too entrenched. John Maddicott has interestingly suggested that the idea driving that may well have been reforming ideas about fixed-term shrieval tenures, exemplifying again how transferable ideas of official accountability could be.[44] Part of the point must have been to ease the tensions between scholars and administrators by blurring the divisions between them. Likewise, rotating officers presumably reduced, or equalized, the extent to which authority and status attached to persons rather than offices.[45] (Pecham’s point in his Expositio about the minister general being a custos because of function not status was similar.) A related logic clearly lies behind the automatic dismissal and audit of administrative servants at Merton before any reappointment could take place.[46] Reappointment was consequent on satisfactory tenure of office. The academic equivalent was Merton’s scrutinium of intellectual and moral progress itself. Other institutions had such ‘security clauses’.[47] Some attempt to remind office-holders, even so, of their strictly limited authority seems behind the Sorbonne’s complicated system of official key-holders, including a non-office-holding fellow who may have acted like a ‘surety’ (having no office to lose).[48] As a final net, criss-crossing the formal checks and counter-checks and indifferent to office, went mutual supervision—bluntly, spying.[49] As the Spanish College at Bologna said regarding its rectors co-counsellors: ‘where there is much counsel there is much benefit’.[50]

  • [1] 86 Pecham would share an affinity with Mary Douglas. See again her ‘A Feeling for Hierarchy’,esp. her ‘ten principles’ of hierarchy (98, 104), and n.b. 95—6, 109. Her points about the function ofhierarchy being to limit competition and institute authority are at the centre of the Merton case (96).The claim that as a rule hierarchical ‘institutions work to prevent concentrations of power’ (96) workshere. As with inquisitions and clerical hierarchies, there remains a question about justified dismissalfrom office, and whether collegial hierarchies place the barriers too high, or whether that height is agood price to pay for institutional stability.
  • [2] 7 Bonaventurae [ . . . ] Opera omnia, viii. 391, 393—4, reflection on his act of commenting at 391,436-7. 88 Henry Mayr-Harting, ‘The Foundation of Peterhouse, Cambridge (1284), and the Rule ofSaint Benedict’, EHR 103 (1988), 318-38. On Peterhouse see further Roger Lovatt, ‘The Triumphof the Colleges in Late Medieval Oxford and Cambridge: The Case of Peterhouse’, History ofUniversities 14 (1998), 95-142. Gregory IX’s 1235-7 reform of the Benedictine rule (and InnocentIV’s 1253 reissue of it) is an important qualifier of that ‘classic’ position. On the rule and the reformsee p. 217 n. 227. 89 Reg. Peckham, i. 124 (#106). 9° ’Bonaventurae [ . . . ] Opera omnia, viii. 427, also 393, 396 and (on correction) 431-5. 91 For the friars’ Oxford studia see M. W. Sheehan, ‘The Religious Orders 1220-1370’, in Catto(ed.), History of the University of Oxford, i. 193-223 at 198-201. Pure and simple scholae lacked life,legally speaking (Pierre Michaud-Quantin, Universitas: expressions du mouvement communautaire dansle Moyen-Age latin (Paris, 1970), 54). The law could really matter. Lincoln College, Oxford narrowlyescaped collapse after it’s rector’s death in 1474 because its statutes made no provision for a successor:see Virginia Davis, ‘The Making of English Collegiate Statutes in the Later Middle Ages’, History ofUniversities 12 (1993), 1-23 at 13. Balliol needed to seek a papally approved ‘reconciliation’ of divergences between its 1282 and 1340 statutes, Oxford Deeds of Balliol, #573 (1363/4).
  • [3] 2 Roest, History of Franciscan Education, 102, 92 (‘internal’); John R. H. Moorman, A History ofthe Franciscan Order, From its Origins to the Year 1517 (Oxford, 1968), 123-6. 93 Jacques Le Goff, ‘How Did the Medieval University Conceive of Itself?’, Time, Work, andCulture in the Middle Ages, trans. A. Goldhammer (Chicago, 1980), 122-34 at 127-8.
  • [4] On custodies, Francois d’Assise, Ecrits, 192—4 (Regula bullata, cap. 8); Brooke, Early FranciscanGovernment, 130—1, 233—4, 237—43, 266—7, and 106—7, 186 on the burden of office.
  • [5] Merton Muniments, #6 at 24 l. 57; ll. 61—2.
  • [6] 96 Merton Muniments, #6 at 25 ll. 82—4. 97 Merton Muniments, #6 at 26 ll. 97—8.
  • [7] 98 Merton Muniments, #6 at 26 ll. 98—101. This was also the case elsewhere, e.g. Balliol: Oxford
  • [8] Deeds of Balliol, #571 at 296 (1340 statutes).
  • [9] Reg. Peckham, iii. #389 at 812. On custom and law in these contexts see further Sabapathy,‘Regulating Community and Society at the Sorbonne’.
  • [10] Pecham had clearly worked through all the 1274 statutes. He numbers the founder’s kin rule43, which occurs towards the end of the 1274 statutes. His numbering concentrates mostly on early‘chapters’.
  • [11] See Roy Martin Haines, ‘Ghent, Simon (c.1250—1315)’, ODNB; John Le Neve, rev. J.S. Barrow, Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1066—1300 VIII Hereford (London, 2002), 16; John Le Neve,rev. Diana E. Greenway, Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1066—13001 (London, 1968), 8; Registrum Thomede Cantilupo, Episcopi Herefordensis, A.D. 1275—1282, ed. R. G. Griffiths and W W. Capes, C&Y 2
  • [12] The Same would be true today; the warden is not a fellow. The 1274 statutes provide for thewarden being ‘siue de dicta Domo siue aliunde’ (Merton Muniments, #6 at 25 l. 82).
  • [13] Plantagenet England, 1225—1360 (Oxford, 2005), 131 n. 33, quoting Alan Cobban EnglishUniversity Life in the Middle Ages (London, 1999), 235. Prestwich cites as a regrettable portentthe proliferation of administrative staff over and against the number of ‘mere academics’ followingKilwardby’s 1276 injunctions. Given though that Kilwardby’s new offices were given to scholarly fellows, not to ‘external’ or ‘administrative’ officials, the issue would be how far they remained ‘scholarly’or how became ‘administrative’. The issue has not gone away.
  • [14] no Register of Stapeldon, 304—5.
  • [15] in The Customary of the Benedictine Abbey of Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, ed. Antonia Gransden,Henry Bradshaw Society 99 (Chichester, 1973), 36 ll. 18—19 (c.1234).
  • [16] See Customary of the Benedictine Abbey of Bury, introduction; Gransden, ‘A DemocraticMovement in the Abbey of Bury St Edmunds in the Late Twelfth and Early Thirteenth Centuries’,JEH 26 (1975), 25—39; Gransden, A History of the Abbey of Bury St Edmunds 1182—1256: Samsonof Tottingham to Edmund of Walpole, Studies in the History of Medieval Religion 31 (Woodbridge,2007), ch. 5.
  • [17] Bonaventurae [ . . . ] Opera omnia, viii. 427; Francis’s view: Brooke, Early Franciscan Government,106-7, 112.
  • [18] Merton Muniments, #6 at 25 ll. 82, 83. 2 Early Rolls of Merton, 3.
  • [19] 116 Compare Abelard’s fine gradations between the powers of ‘provost’ and ‘deaconess’ in his pro
  • [20] posed double-monastery (Clanchy, Abelard, 257).
  • [21] 117 Highfield, ‘Early Colleges’, 231; Early Rolls of Merton, 68—9.
  • [22] La Regle de Saint Benoit, ed. Adalbert de Vogue, and Jean Neufville, Sources chretiennes 181—6,7 vols. (Paris, 1971—7), i. cap. 4.61, ‘praeceptis abbatis in omnibus oboedire, etiam si ipse aliter—quod absit!—agat, memores illud dominicum praeceptum: “Quae dicunt facite, quae autem faciuntfacere nolite” ’ (cf. Matt. 23: 3).
  • [23] 119 Regle de Benoit, ii. cap. 63, ‘De ordine congregationis’, and caps. 63. 5—10; 63. 15—17.
  • [24] 120 Regle de Benoit, i. caps. 5.4; 5.9. Cf. also ii. cap. 63.12.
  • [25] Regle de Benoit, i. caps. 5.12; 5.14.
  • [26] Regle de Benoit, ii. cap. 63.2—3. Cf. 1 Kings 3 and Daniel 13: 44—62. Cf. also Regle de Benoit, ii.cap. 64.7, citing also Augustine’s ‘Rule’, 15.200—1, and Luke 16: 2 on the unjust steward. Cap. 64.8,cites the Augustinian distinction between prodesse and preesse discussed at p. 135 n. 3. The themeof abbatial accountability to God is the touchstone for his accountability in Benedict’s rule: i. caps.2.37—8; 3.11; ii. 65.22. The cellarer is also directed to it, ii. cap. 31.9. The theme occurs also in theRegula Magistri, probably an earlier text drawing on a common model. Compare La Regle du Maitre,ed. Adalbert de Vogue et al., Sources chretiennes 105—7, 3 vols. (Paris, 1964—5), i. caps 2.32—3;7.55—6; ii. 93.18—23 (the accountable shepherd); Also Regle du Maitre i. prologue 6 (general accountability after death); i. caps. 10.21—2 and ii. 11.51 (monks accountable for every foolish word); ii. caps.11.20—6 (appointment of prior enables the abbot to worry less about his accountability).
  • [27] 123 Reg. Peckham, iii. #589 at 818; cf. Matthew 10: 24 (I thank Sylvie Jaffrey for reminding me ofthis). A ‘regular’ example: Reg. Peckham, ii. #504 at 650—1.
  • [28] Robert de Sorbon, De Consciencia et de tribus dietis, ed. Felix Chambon (Paris, 1902), 30, §24.
  • [29] On fluidity, Highfield, ‘Early Colleges’, 230.
  • [30] Skoda, Medieval Violence, 125, citing norms of humility expected by a number of Parisian colleges of their students.
  • [31] Contrast the long-term academic master and annual ‘administrative’ warden of the AugustinianSt George’s Oxford: Barron, ‘Augustinian Canons’, 252—3.
  • [32] In this spirit, contemporary fellows of St John’s College, Oxford (f. 1555 on the Cistercianfoundation of St Bernard’s College) are advised regarding hierarchy in the Senior Common Room following dinner that ‘the senior Fellow presides (not the President of College even if present) [. . .] ThePresident is simply a member of Common Room and has no authority there’, Malcolm Vale, Noteson the Senior Common Room for Fellows and Lecturers at St John's College (privately printed, 2009), 3.
  • [33] 136 Francois d’Assise, Ecrits, 192 (regula bullata, cap. 8); Brooke, Early Franciscan Government, 161-7, 255.
  • [34] Cf. Gorochov, ‘Notion de pauvrete’.
  • [35] Weber, Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, 572, ‘Einerlei [. . .] der Herr [. . .] stets befindet er sich denim Betrieb der Verwaltung stehenden geschulten Beamten gegenuber in der Lage des “Dilettanten”gegenuber dem “Fachmann” ’.
  • [36] On e.g. the warden’s visitation of Merton’s estates see P. D. A. Harvey, A Medieval OxfordshireVillage: Cuxham, 1240—1400 (Oxford, 1965), 87—90.
  • [37] Their accountings are textually distinct. Merton Muniments, #6 at 23 ll. 47—9, for the accountability of the scholars at scrutiny; at 24 ll. 56—65 for the stewards’ (yconomi) and warden’s annualaccounts.
  • [38] See Maddicott, Founders and Fellowship, 30, 43.
  • [39] The Mediaeval Statutes of the College of Autun at the University of Paris, ed. David Sanderlin,Texts and Studies in the History of Mediaeval Education 13 (Notre Dame, 1971), ch. 5 at 40, ‘pres-tito vero hujusmodi sacramento, dictus antiquior scolaris in Theologia sigillatim, secreto [. . .] votasingulorum de dicto collegio exquirat, sacerdote dicte domus et uno notario publico et testibus suf-ficientibus sibi assistentibus [. . .] Ea omnibus ibidem presentibus publicet in communi et ille in quemomnes vel major pars numero de facto consenserint eligatur.’ The other provisions at 41. Cf. Queen’sOxford c.1340, Statutes of the Colleges of Oxford, i. Queens, 9—10 (repeated voting to break deadlocksfor prepositus) and 13 (election of fellows).
  • [40] ‘Item uolumus quod scolares nostri ex semetipsis eligant unum principalem cui ceteri omneshumiliter obediant in hiis que officium principalis contingunt secundum statuta & consuetudines
  • [41] Luca Bianchi, ‘Gli articoli censurati nel 1241/1244 e la loro influenza da Bonaventura aGerson’, in F. Morenzoni. J.-Y. Tilliette (ed.), Autour de Guillaume dAuvergne (f1249) (Turnhout,2005), 155—71; Glorieux, Origines de la Sorbonne, i. 106—7, 115—23, 128—9; Wei, Intellectual Culturein Medieval Paris, 161—9; CUP, ii. ##569, 571—2, 577, and 592 on Berthaud; Joseph Ziegler, Medicineand Religion, c.1300: The Case of Arnau de Vilanova (Oxford, 1998), 24—8.
  • [42] Glorieux, Origines de la Sorbonne, i. ##1 at 194 (by 1274); 2 (late 1260s—early 1270s?); 8—9(1300—4); 26 (1327); discussion at 97—9 with uncertainty about the dating of #2 at 114, 124;Rashdall, Universities of Europe, i. 508—9.
  • [43] Wei, Intellectual Culture in Medieval Paris, 111.
  • [44] Register of Stapeldon, 304—5; Maddicott, Founders and Fellowship, 41—2; Highfield ‘EarlyColleges’, 231—2. For the fourteenth-century annual computi rectoris that preceded the (re-)election,see Register of the Rectors, Fellows and Other Members on the Foundation of Exeter College, Oxford, ed.Charles William Boase, OHS 27 (Oxford, 1894), 339—48.
  • [45] Marti, Spanish College, 188 notes the dangers of office: ‘officium periculosum est et ualdesuspectum’.
  • [46] 158 Merton Muniments, #6 at 24 ll. 61—5.
  • [47] 1 228, Bishop of Paris to scholars of St Thomas du Louvre: CUP, i. #60 (students to leave aftera year, can be readmitted on basis of previous conduct). Compare the Sorbonne: Glorieux, Originesde la Sorbonne, i. #1 at 195 (removal if no progress in seven years). The accountable distraint envisaged by cap. 61, the security clause, of Magna Carta of course was exacted by inferior of superior.See comment in Robert Bartlett, England under the Norman and Angevin Kings, 1075—1225 (Oxford,2000), 65-6.
  • [48] 160 Glorieux, Origines de la Sorbonne, i. #20 at 213 (1319), the text partly corrupt. The generalproblem in religious communities was longstanding. Cf. e.g. Alexander Ill’s confirmation of the rulingof Archbishop Guillaume aux-Blanches-Mains of Sens, c. 1171, at Chartres granting administrativeresponsibility for the chapter’s lands to small groups of two to four canons, removing the wide-rangingresponsibilities of the four great canon-prepositi whose abuses had not been halted over the previousdecades by obligations to swear various oaths: Cartulaire de Notre-Dame de Chartres, E. de Lepinoisand Lucien Merlet, 3 vols. (Chartres, 1862-5), i. ##33-4 at 119-22 (1114); #57-8 at 155-9 (114955); #86 at 188-90 (8 April 1171/2), comment, lxxxv, xcvii-c.
  • [49] Lupi who spy and report on students who do not speak in Latin: Manuale scholarium, ed.Zarncke, 25-6, 28 (caps. 9, 11), also Seybolt’s trans., 66 n. 4, 72 n. 2; whispering campaigns, MertonMuniments, #13 at 33 (fo. 1v ll. 88-9). On denouncing lecturers in Italy see Alan B. Cobban, ‘MedievalStudent Power’, P&P 53 (1971), 28-66 at 41, 43.
  • [50] Marti, Spanish College, 130 quoting Prov. 11: 14 on the four elected counsellors from differentdisciplines assisting the internally elected, fixed-term rector. Annually they ‘racionem et compotumuniuersalem reddere teneantur’ (250). Luke 16: 2 is again referenced.
 
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