Dating undated medieval charters Chate xxnx
Fortunately, the cathedral’s patrimony survived the greatest disaster to befall the region, since it was not conserved at the departmental archives of la Manche (Saint-Lô), which were almost completely destroyed on 6 June 194410. 1060), occupied the see for over thirty years, but he seems to have focused his attentions on Upper Normandy, where he was particularly involved with the abbey of Fécamp16.Consequently, we are in possession of a cartulary for the cathedral, whose contents will form the basis of this article11. 1026), was also gripped by the desire to retreat to the monastery, and was only prevented from doing so by its abbot15. A reliable but late source, the , suggests that Lanfranc visited Avranches during Hugh’s episcopate17, but while early scholars understood this to indicate the presence of a cathedral school in the city18, most modern authorities are more sceptical19. 1060-1067)20, came from one of the most influential families in the duchy21, and while his episcopate marked the beginning of the reintegration of the diocese into the Norman ecclesiastical mainstream, two important institutions, the chapter and the cathedral itself, remained only half restored22.Like most parts of northern France, the Avranchin suffered heavily following the Northmen incursions of the ninth century2.The region was also ravaged by Breton attacks at this time3, a problem that would continue to plague the area well into the eleventh century4, and, as a result, the bishopric was, like the neighbouring diocese of Coutances, effectively severed from the ecclesiastical chain of command5.The bishop obviously did not struggle to find men of a high quality, for one of them (the canon Serlo) would later become abbot of St. The final years of Michael’s episcopate were dominated by the transition of power in Normandy between William II (1035-1087) and his son Robert Curthose (1087-1106). Davis identified a Turgis who appears in a royal charter issued by William Rufus at Dover on 27 January 1091 as the future bishop of Avranches29, while Charles Haskins dated a charter issued by Ivo Taillebois to 1094, because he believed that the Turgis who witnessed this act was the same man30.Following the failed rebellion of Odo, bishop of Bayeux (c. 1055-1095), in England in March 1088, the duke, in a desperate bid to raise funds, granted the Cotentin and the Avranchin, including the bishopric of Avranches, to his brother Henry, in return for three thousand speculated that the bishop was from the Avranchin, and that he was perhaps a relative of the counts of Avranches, although there is no evidence to justify this28. Although the prevalence of the name noted above means such conclusions are slender, the fact that Turgis was both preceded and succeeded in his see by royal chaplains certainly tempts such a connection.
Known to nineteenth-century antiquarians, but overlooked by modern scholarship, the charters have never been studied despite their significance for the early history of the Avranches chapter.The following article not only discusses the creation of the deanship, an event that saw the completion of a process of renewal that had begun in the diocese at the end of the tenth-century, but also provides critical editions of all five acts.These include hitherto unpublished charters of Hugh of Amiens, archbishop of Rouen. Jean-Luc Leservoisier, conservateur of the fonds ancien of Avranches, who made my recent stay in the city so enjoyable, and who was kind enough to provide wonderful colour digital images of the relevant folia.Duke Robert issued no ducal charter for the cathedral of Avranches throughout his entire reign (his name appears alongside that of the bishop in only one transaction)34, and even under the more organised governorship of William Rufus, the cathedral and bishop (with one exception) are conspicuous by their absence from the corpus of extant royal charters35.Frank Barlow included Turgis among a group of “courtiers” who accompanied Rufus back to England in 1097 after his successful acquisition of Normandy the year before, yet any such intimacy was apparently short lived, since the bishop is never again found in the presence of the king36.