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“The Most Blessed Hilary Held an Estate”: Property, Reform, and the Canonical Life in Tenth-Century Aquitaine

  • Anna Trumbore Jones


This article explores thinking and practice regarding property at houses of canons from the mid-ninth to mid-eleventh centuries, through a case study of the charters of Saint-Hilaire-le-Grand in Poitiers. Since Late Antiquity, Christian orders debated the legitimacy of private property, with most rejecting it in favor of exclusively common holdings. For houses of canons, property became a defining issue in the Central Middle Ages: Carolingian legislation in 816 asserted that canons (unlike monks) could hold private property, while the order of regular canons, which emerged in the eleventh century, rejected it as corrupt. The role of property at houses of canons in the interim period, meanwhile, has been largely neglected by scholars. This essay argues that Saint-Hilaire embraced Carolingian acceptance of private property among canons, but that that stance did not preclude protection of joint property and interest in the common life. The resulting detailed understanding of both the quotidian functioning of property at a tenth-century house and the ideals that drove its regulation inform my concluding comments on two broader topics: the role of wealth and property in a dedicated religious life, and the nature of reform movements in the church of the Central Middle Ages.



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1 The acts of the Council of 1059 are found in Detlev Jasper, ed., Die Konzilien deutschlands und reichsitaliens 1023–1059, MGH Concilia 8 (Hannover: Hahnsche Buchhandlung, 2010), 352–407. The portion of the council devoted to the behavior of canons is found on 394–98. For an overview of Nicholas's papacy, see Dieter Hägermann, Das Papsttum am Vorabend des Investiturstreits: Stephen IX (1057–58), Benedikt X (1058), und Nikolaus II (1058–1061), Päpste und Papsttum 36 (Stuttgart: A. Hiersemann, 2008); for the council of 1059, see ch. 6.

2 Jasper, Die Konzilien deutschlands, 394: “Hildebrandus . . . ait, ‘Nonnulli ex clericali ordine, per Spiritum Sanctum perfectae caritatis igne inflammati . . . noscuntur communem vitam, exemplo primitivae ecclesiae, amplexi simul et professi in tantum, ut nil sibi reservassent proprii, facultate sua vel distributa egenis aut relicta propinquis vel certe oblata Christi ecclesiis.’” Hildebrand's interest in this issue may have stemmed from his own biography: scholars debate whether Hildebrand had been a canon or a Benedictine monk in his early career. H.E.J. Cowdrey argues that Hildebrand was a monk; see Pope Gregory VII, 1073–1085 (Oxford: Clarendon, 1998), 28–30. Uta-Renate Blumenthal argues, conversely, that he was a canon; see Gregor VII: Papst zwischen Canossa und Kirchenreform (Darmstadt: Primus Verlag, 2001), 31–43.

3 Jasper, Die Konzilien deutschlands, 394: “Qui etiam ad maximam suae praevaricationis defensionem assumunt aliquot capitula ex regula illa, quae dicitur canonicis ortatu Ludouvici imperatoris a quo nescitur compilata.”

4 Ibid., 396. Nicholas and the council did not object fundamentally to the collection of writings from the Fathers that form the first part of the decrees of Aachen (cc. 1-113), but rather to elements of the second part, composed for the occasion in 816 (cc. 114-145, esp. 115, 122). On Hildebrand and the question of canons at the Lateran council, see also Blumenthal, Gregor VII, 98–119; Cowdrey, Pope Gregory VII, 45–46; Michel Parisse, “Les chanoines avant les chanoines réguliers,” in Les chanoines réguliers: Émergence et expansion (XIe-XIIIe siècles), ed. Michel Parisse (Saint-Étienne: Publications de l'Université de Saint-Étienne, 2009), 10.

5 Jasper, Die Konzilien deutschlands, 397.

6 Ibid., 396: “velut si Domino dicente: ‘Nisi quis renuntiaverit omnibus, quae possidet, non potest meus esse discipulus,’ ipse e contrario diceret: ‘Nisi quis retinuerit, quae possidet vel acquisierit sibi proprium undecumque praevalet, non potest meus esse discipulus.’”

7 Key passages stating the principle of giving up private property and living on communal holdings are found in Matthew 19:16–21, Luke 14:33, and Acts of the Apostles 4:32–35. Acts 5:1–10 describes the punishment of Ananias and Saphira for not adhering to the rule of common property. For a survey of the apostolic ideal of property in the Early Middle Ages, see David Ganz, “The Ideology of Sharing: Apostolic Community and Ecclesiastical Property in the Early Middle Ages,” in Property and Power in the Early Middle Ages, ed. Wendy Davies and Paul Fouracre (New York: Cambridge University, 1995), 17–30. For an overview of the challenges posed by church property (albeit with an almost exclusively monastic focus), see Rosemary Morris, “The Problems of Property,” in The Cambridge History of Christianity, ed. Thomas F.X. Noble and Julia M.H. Smith, vol. 3: Early Medieval Christianities, c.600-c.1100 (New York: Cambridge University, 2008), 327–344. An encyclopedic treatment of churches held as property is found in Susan Wood, The Proprietary Church in the Medieval West (New York: Oxford University, 2006). It is worth noting that even the management of commonly-held goods could raise anxiety, as pastoral clergy, including bishops, wrestled with the conflicting demands of managing church property and the desire for a more strictly contemplative life (see the origins of Julianus Pomerius's On the Contemplative Life, below fn. 29, 31). The classic statement of the tensions inherent in the episcopal position is the Regula pastoralis of Gregory the Great: Règle pastorale, ed. and trans. Bruno Judic, Floribert Rommel, and Charles Morel, 2 vols., Sources chrétiennes 381–382 (Paris: Éditions du Cerf, 1992).

8 Benedict of Nursia, La règle de Saint Benoît, ed. and trans. Adalbert de Vogüé and Jean Neufville, 7 vols., Sources chrétiennes 181–186 (Paris: Éditions du Cerf, 1971–1977), 33.

9 The prime example of a bishop assembling a community of clerics who followed a monastic life is, of course, Augustine, whose sermons on the subject of his community at Hippo are excerpted at length in Aachen's canons (see below, fn. 39). On Augustine and the formation of his community at Hippo, see Peter Brown, Augustine of Hippo: A Biography (Berkeley: University of California, 1967), 142–145, 198–199; Dereine, Charles, “Chanoines (Des origines au XIIIe siècle),” Dictionnaire historique et géographique ecclésiastiques 12 (1953), cols. 353405 at 357–358. To complicate our picture, some houses in the early Middle Ages included both canons and monks, such as Saint-Hilaire-le-Grand itself before 808 and Saint Martin de Tours; see Dereine, 362–363 and Hélène Noizet, La fabrique de la ville: Espaces et sociétés à Tours (IXe-XIIIe siècle), Histoire ancienne et médiévale 92 (Paris: Publications de la Sorbonne, 2007).

10 As Julia Barrow points out, for clergy in general it was never a requirement to live without private property. For monks, the expectation was higher (although whether those expectations were met in practice is another matter). Canons, as we shall see, are permitted in most normative sources to hold private property, within limits. Exactly how they exercised that right in practice is one of the main subjects of this article. Julia Barrow, The Clergy in the Medieval World: Secular Clerics, their Families, and Careers in North-Western Europe, c. 800-c. 1200 (New York: Cambridge University, 2015), 269–270.

11 The issue of property is treated at length in ch. 31 of Chrodegang's Rule, in which he allows canons to continue to benefit from usufruct of their property, although he is clear that it is only for their lifetime, and that the property must then pass to the church. For editions of that rule, see: Chrodegang Metensis episcopi (742–66) Regula canonicorum aus dem Leidener Codex Vossianus Latinus 94 mit Umschrift der tironischen Noten, ed. Wilhelm Schmitz (Hannover: Hahnsche Buchhandlung, 1889), and more recently Jerome Bertram, ed. and trans., The Chrodegang Rules: Rules for the Common Life of the Secular Clergy from the Eighth and Ninth Centuries, Critical Texts with Translations and Commentary, Church, Faith and Culture in the Mediaeval West (Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate, 2005), 46–48. See also the definitive treatment of Chrodegang's Rule in M.A. Claussen, The Reform of the Frankish Church: Chrodegang of Metz and the Regula Canonicorum in the Eighth Century (New York: Cambridge University, 2004), 94–103; Barrow, Clergy in the Medieval World, 75–79.

12 At Gorze, Chrodegang imposed the Rule of Saint Benedict on the community and made a special point of emphasizing poverty among his monks. As Claussen explains (Reform of the Frankish Church, 29), at Gorze “[Chrodegang] regularly names the beneficiaries of his munificence monachi vel pauperes, and he in fact ties the freedom of abbatial elections to the strictest observance of personal poverty. It seems clear that, for Chrodegang, at least a part of the efficacy of monastic prayer is dependent on monastic poverty. And thus, in Gorze, the house which was most dear to him, he repeatedly and consistently mentions the fact that monks as individuals must own nothing.” By contrast, Chrodegang's vision of property-holding among his canons at Metz is less uncompromising and more complex, allowing for a cleric to continue to benefit from his properties as long as they were given fully to the church of Metz at the canon's death, rather than to his worldly heirs.

13 The critical edition of the Aachen decrees is found in: Concilium Aquisgranense A. 816, ed. Albert Werminghoff, MGH Concilia 2, Concilia Aevi Karolini 1.1 (Hannover: Impensis Bibliopolii Hahniani, 1906), 308–421. Jerome Bertram offers a partial edition and translation (covering the preface and canons 114–145): Chrodegang Rules, 98–174.

14 Aachen ch. 117: Werminghoff, ed., 398; Bertram, Chrodegang Rules, 108–109, 146.

15 Dereine, “Chanoines,” 356–357; Barrow, Clergy in the Medieval World, 71–73. It is also the case that even when provisions were made (in a rule or at a house) for communal living arrangements, this did not mean that all (or even a majority) of clerics participated: Barrow, 287.

16 Gregory of Tours tells us that during the reign of Clovis there already existed a church dedicated to Hilary; it is unclear whether there was already a religious community at that time, although it seems likely that there would have been at least a small group of clerics serving the church: Gregory of Tours, Historia Francorum, ed. Bruno Krusch and Wilhelm Levison, Monumenta Germaniae historica, Scriptores Rerum Merovingicarum, vol. 1, pt. 1 (Hannover: Impensis Bibliopolii Hahniani, 1937–1951), 86. For an overview of the career and significance of Hilary of Poitiers, see the papers in the following volumes: Hilaire de Poitiers, Évêque et docteur: Cinq conférences données à Poitiers à l'occasion du XVIe centenaire de sa mort (Paris: Études augustiniennes, 1968) and Hilaire et son temps: Actes du colloque de Poitiers, 29 septembre-3 octobre 1968 (Paris: Études augustiniennes, 1968).

17 Christopher N. L. Brooke, Churches and Churchmen in Medieval Europe (London: Hambledon, 1999), 98–100. Brooke refers to Saint-Hilaire and the cathedral/baptistery as “major stars” and the smaller churches scattered across the city as “satellites about them.” On the development of the church, fortifications, and surrounding neighborhood of Saint-Hilaire, see Luc Bourgeois, “Le castrum de Saint-Hilaire-le-Grand de Poitiers aux Xe et XIe siècles,” Espace et territoire au moyen âge: Hommages à Bernadette Barrière, ed. Luc Ferran (Bordeaux: Ausonius Éditions, 2012), 409–422.

18 Louis Rédet, Documents pour l'histoire de l’église de Saint-Hilaire-de-Poitiers, Mémoires de la Société des antiquaires de l'Ouest 14 (Poitiers, 1847), no. 3 (pp. 3–5). The original documents of Saint-Hilaire are found in the Archives départementales de la Vienne, series G and pièces restaurées.

19 In addition to Rédet's quite old but scrupulous and still essential edition, scholars studying Saint-Hilaire can now benefit from the Centre national de la recherche scientifique, Traitement électronique des manuscrits et des archives (CNRS Telma) website, which provides photographs and transcriptions of early medieval charters in French archives: Chartes originales antérieures à 1121 conservées en France (CNRS IHRT, 2012), Because Rédet's collection includes both the original charters and documents found in later medieval and early modern copies, there are a number of documents in his collection that do not appear on the website. Citations that follow will use abbreviations to refer to each charter's location in Rédet's edition and, where possible, on the website (CT).

20 Julia Barrow discusses the value of charter witness lists in understanding the hierarchy of clergy in a community: Clergy in the Medieval World, 66–70.

21 This raises the natural question of whether Saint-Hilaire is a representative community, and thus whether it is legitimate to make broader arguments based on it. It is true that in some ways the house is not representative—notably in the number and state of its surviving sources, which make it unusual and thus valuable. It is not possible to answer the question of whether other Aquitanian collegiate churches would look like Saint-Hilaire if all their sources survived. Two things provide reassurance: first, the evidence that does survive from other collegiate churches in the region echoes elements of what is found in Saint-Hilaire's charters. Second, I was fortunate enough to benefit from two recent magisterial and wide-ranging works. First, in Julia Barrow's Clergy in the Medieval World, on houses of canons in northern France, Germany, and England, there are many similarities with what I discovered at Saint-Hilaire (regarding the clerics' relations with their families, their hierarchy of offices, and so on). Second, Anne Massoni kindly shared with me her mémoire d'habilitation, entitled “La sécularité canoniale: Construction d'une spiritualité cléricale (espace français, IXe-XVIe siècle),” before its publication. In Professor Massoni's work as well, I found much common ground with what I saw at Saint-Hilaire. All this gives me confidence that while Saint-Hilaire no doubt had some unique qualities, it is a legitimate case study on which to base broader conclusions.

22 Some of the regulations laid out by Chrodegang of Metz about property in his Rule for canons are very similar to those of Aachen; there is debate, however, about whether Chrodegang's Rule influenced the Aachen clerics: Bertram, Chrodegang Rules, 84–94; Barrow, Clergy in the Medieval World, 81–83. On Chrodegang and property, see Claussen, Reform of the Frankish Church, 94–103; for Chrodegang's regulations on property, see chapter 31 of his Rule (Bertram, Chrodegang Rules, 46–48, 76–79). There did exist a rule for canons that mixed Chrodegang's rule with that of Aachen, which was very influential in England: see Barrow, 85–89.

23 Josef Semmler has done painstaking work on the dissemination of the Aachen legislation: “Die Kanoniker und ihre Regel im 9. Jahrhundert,” in Studien zum weltlichen Kollegiatstift in Deutschland, ed. Irene Crusius, Veröffentlichungen des Max-Planck-Instituts für Geschichte 114, Studien zur Germania sacra 18 (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 1995), 62–109. Semmler charts the influence of Aachen insofar as he is able to find evidence, and asserts that Hildebrand and Nicholas's engagement with it in 1059 is proof that the Aachen decrees still mattered. See also Rosamond McKitterick, The Frankish Kingdoms under the Carolingians, 751–987 (London: Longman, 1983), 112. A list of surviving manuscripts of the Institutio canonicorum is found in Hubert Mordek, Bibliotheca capitularium regum Francorum manuscripta: Überlieferung und Tranditionszusammenhang der fränkischen Herrschererlasse, MGH Hilfsmittel 15 (Munich: Monumenta Germaniae Historica, 1995), 1045–1058. With regard to the influence of Aachen at a given community, scholars have varied in their willingness to assume its presence. Confidence in the influence of Aachen in Aquitaine is found in the work of Becquet, Jean, particularly “Collégiales et sanctuaires de chanoines séculiers en Limousin aux Xe-XIIe siècles,” Bulletin de la Société archéologique et historique du Limousin 103 (1976), 75. For more skepticism about the observance of the Aachen decrees and the pursuit of a common life, see Noizet, La fabrique de la ville, 41–44; and Maureen Miller, The Bishop's Palace: Architecture and Authority in Medieval Italy (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University, 2000), 81. An appealingly balanced approach to the question can be found in Michèle Gaillard, D'une réforme à l'autre (816–934): Les communautés religieuses en Lorraine à l’époque carolingienne (Paris: Publications de la Sorbonne, 2006), 184–187. Yannick Veyrenche points out that the first generation of papal reformers often re-copied the decrees of Aachen with offending passages left out: “‘Quia vos estis qui sanctorum partum vitam probabilem renovatis . . .’: Naissance des chanoines réguliers, jusqu’à Urbain II,” in Les chanoines réguliers, ed. Parisse, 29–69.

24 Saint-Hilaire 3 (pp. 3–5), CT 1057. The subsequent relationship of Saint-Hilaire and Nouaillé is complex: see Saint-Hilaire 4 (pp. 5–7), CT 1058; Saint-Hilaire 50 (pp. 59–60), CT 1152; Saint-Hilaire 53 (pp. 62–63), CT 1154; and Saint-Hilaire 87 (p. 93), as well as Levillain, Léon, “Les origines du monastère du Nouaillé,” Bibliothèque de l’École des chartes 71 (1910), 241298.

25 The letter to Sichar is found in Werminghoff, ed., 456–464; Bertram, Chrodegang Rules, 171–174.

26 On the broader context of Louis's activities in church reform, particularly in cooperation with Benedict of Aniane, see McKitterick, Frankish Kingdoms, 109–124. On the motivation behind the creation of the regulations for canons at Aachen, see Gaillard, D'une réforme à l'autre, 123–129.

27 Josef Semmler, “Mönche und Kanoniker im Frankenreiche Pippins III und Karls des Großen,” Untersuchungen zu Kloster und Stift, Veröffentlichungen des Max-Planck-Instituts für Geschichte 68, Studien zur Germania Sacra 14 (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 1980), 78–111; Noizet, La fabrique de la ville, 33–36; Barrow, Clergy in the Medieval World, 80–81.

28 Another key text on property excerpted in the Aachen proceedings is Jerome's letter 52 to Nepotian on the clerical life: Aachen ch. 94. For a recent analysis and edition of the letter, see Andrew Cain, Jerome and the Monastic Clergy: A Commentary on Letter 52 to Nepotian, with an Introduction, Text, and Translation, Brill Supplements to Vigiliae Christianae: Texts and Studies of Early Christian Life and Language (Leiden: Brill, 2013). With regard to property, Jerome's letter to Nepotian is less interested in technical details of private versus common property than the quoted texts of Augustine or Pomerius; rather, Jerome addresses the appropriate attitude of clerics toward worldly wealth more broadly. The portion of the letter excerpted in chapter 94 of the Aachen decrees begins with Jerome reminding his reader of the definition of the word “clergy” in Greek: it means portion or inheritance, meaning that the clergyman has the Lord as his portion and as a consequence should hold no other riches and live a simple life. Clergymen should not seek to profit from their office, nor should they accept gifts or develop refined tastes; rather, they should expend any wealth they have in hospitality. In an interesting passage, Jerome argues that even actions that can seem virtuous—begging for support, or excessive charity—can be corrupting if motivated by pride or a desire for praise.

29 Pomerius flourished in southern Gaul in the late fifth century and is perhaps most famous today as a teacher of Caesarius of Arles. See Julianus Pomerius, The Contemplative Life, ed. and trans. Sister Mary Josephine Suelzer (New York: Newman, 1947), 3–4; the Latin is found in PL 59:415–520. See Claussen's detailed analysis of Pomerius's influence on Chrodegang: Reform of the Frankish Church, 166–167, 184–203. Note that while Pomerius played a key role in Carolingian thinking on the issue of clerics and wealth, it was never under his own name, as the Carolingians misidentified his work as that of the better-known Prosper of Aquitaine: Devisse, Jean, “L'influence de Julien Pomère sur les clercs carolingiens: De la pauvreté aux Ve et IXe siècles,” Revue d'Histoire de l’Église de France 56 (1970), 285295. On the reasons for the mistaken attribution to Prosper, see M.L.W. Laistner, “The Influence during the Middle Ages of the Treatise De vita contemplativa, and a Survey of Manuscripts,” in Miscellanea Giovanni Mercati, Studi e testi 121–126 (Rome, 1946), 2.344–358 at 347–349.

30 Aachen chs. 106–110 are drawn from the De vita contemplativa, cc. 2.9–2.13.

31 The bishop has not been definitively identified, but may have been Julianus of Carpentras. On the composition of the text, see Suelzer's introduction to her translation of Pomerius, 8, as well as Peter Brown, Through the Eye of a Needle: Wealth, the Fall of Rome, and the Making of Christianity in the West, 350–550 AD (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University, 2012), 485–486.

32 Pomerius, The Contemplative Life, ed. and trans. Suelzer, c. 1.3.

33 Pomerius comments that such property represents the “vows of the faithful, the ransom of sinners, and the patrimony of the poor,” and it is admirable to hold it in trust, as did eminent men such as Paulinus of Nola and Hilary of Arles: The Contemplative Life, ed. and trans. Suelzer, c. 2.9.

34 Pomerius, The Contemplative Life, ed. and trans. Suelzer, c. 2.11.

35 Pomerius counsels clerics who are too weak-willed to give up all their private possessions to keep them but to employ a steward, so as to minimize their own involvement with worldly affairs. That steward would use the property to pay an adequate income to the owner (who should then not accept church income) and also to help the poor: The Contemplative Life, ed. and trans. Suelzer, cc. 2.12–13.

36 Pomerius, The Contemplative Life, ed. and trans. Suelzer, c. 2.10.

37 On Augustine's recruitment into the priesthood, the fate of his monastery when it moved to Hippo, and the development of his vision of communal life, see Brown, Through the Eye, 171–184.

38 Augustine's writings on the religious life are numerous and the process by which they were adopted and used by eleventh-century reform movements was complex. The critical edition of the Augustinian Rule is by Luc Verheijen, ed., La règle de Saint Augustin, 2 vols. (Paris: Études augustiniennes, 1967). On Augustine's composition of the texts, see Dereine, “Chanoines,” 357–358 and George Lawless, OSA, Augustine of Hippo and his Monastic Rule (Oxford: Clarendon, 1987). On the eleventh-century use of Augustine's writings on this subject, see Dereine, 386–391; Veyrenche, “Quia estis . . . ,” 36–40. On the adoption of the Rule of Augustine throughout Europe, see Barrow, Clergy in the Medieval World, 100–114.

39 The two sermons are excerpted nearly in their entirety in Aachen chs. 112 and 113, which close the section of the council's decrees containing patristic and conciliar texts. The Latin text of Sermons 355 and 356 is found in PL 39:1568–1581. For a modern translation of the sermons, which I use here: Augustine of Hippo, Sermons 341–400, ed. and trans. Edmund Hill and John Rotelle, The Works of Saint Augustine (Hyde Park, N.Y.: New City, 1995), 165–183.

40 Augustine, Sermon 355, ch. 2, pp. 165–166.

41 Brown, Through the Eye, 484.

42 Augustine, Sermon 355, ch. 3, p. 167.

43 Ibid., chs. 4–5, pp. 167–169. Augustine includes family disputes over donated property or the potential for inappropriate entanglement of the church in business affairs as examples of such circumstances; for the latter he offers his refusal of a gift from a shipping magnate named Boniface as an example.

44 Brown, Augustine of Hippo, 409–411.

45 Augustine, Sermon 355, ch. 6, p. 169.

46 Ibid., 169–170.

47 Ibid., ch. 3, 174–175.

48 Ibid., Sermon 356, chs. 4–10, pp. 175–178.

49 Ibid., ch. 13, 179–180.

50 Aachen ch. 115: Werminghoff, ed., 397; Bertram, Chrodegang Rules, 145.

51 Ibid.

52 Aachen ch. 116: Werminghoff, ed., 398; Bertram, Chrodegang Rules, 145.

53 Aachen ch. 120: Werminghoff, ed., 399–400; Bertram, Chrodegang Rules, 147–148.

54 Aachen ch. 121: Werminghoff, ed., 400; Bertram, Chrodegang Rules, 149. In order to remedy this inequality, at least in the matter of sustenance, the council argued that all canons should receive an equal amount of food and drink. Aachen ch. 122 goes on to specify exactly how much food and drink the canons should receive. It also exhorts certain canons to charity, asserting that a canon who has “ample funds at their own and the church's disposal, during a time of dearth, must assist the poor who are maintained by the church out of their own resources, with charity and humility” (Werminghoff, ed., 401–403; Bertram, Chrodegang Rules, 149–151).

55 Aachen ch. 123: Werminghoff, ed., 403–404; Bertram, Chrodegang Rules, 152.

56 These include Fridebestus of Poitiers, who is named in a charter in 834 (Saint-Hilaire 4 [pp. 5–6], CT 1058); Frotier I of Poitiers, who appeared in 876 (Saint-Hilaire 7 [pp. 10–11], CT 1064); and Hecfrid of Poitiers, who received the house into his power in ca. 894 (Saint-Hilaire 12 [pp. 16–17], CT 1074)—although Hecfrid did not use the actual abbatial title in surviving documents. For more on the identity and activity of the early abbots of Saint-Hilaire, see Favreau, Robert, “Les écoles et la culture à Saint-Hilaire-le-Grand de Poitiers des origines au début du XIIe siècle,” Cahiers de civilisation médiévale 3 (1960), 473474.

57 Saint-Hilaire 18 (pp. 22–23), CT 1109. William calls himself comes vel abba summi pontificis domni nostri Hylarii, or some variation thereof, in all his charters for Saint-Hilaire.

58 From William IV onward, the dukes tended to style themselves dux et abbas, or some variation of that formulation. Two interesting exceptions: first, when a duke gave a major donation, he sometimes left off his abbatial title, as did William IV Iron-Arm in ca. 970 and 989 (Saint-Hilaire 39 [pp. 44–45], CT 1140; Saint-Hilaire 50 [pp. 59–60], CT 1152). Second, in William V the Great's first charter (Saint-Hilaire 71 [pp. 78–80], CT 1200) seeking to regulate the holding of Saint-Hilaire's property, he formulated his position rather more tentatively: “ego Wilelmus, dux Aquitanorum, qui . . . etiam abbatiae sancti Hylarii vice abbatis presidere videor.”

59 On the practice of lay abbacy, see Constance Brittain Bouchard, Rewriting Saints and Ancestors: Memory and Forgetting in France, 500–1200 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, 2015), 142–145 and 185–186. On the ducal family of Poitiers and its relationship to the Aquitanian church in particular, see Bourgeois, “Le Castrum,” 412; Treffort, Cécile, “Le comte de Poitiers, duc d'Aquitaine, et l’Église aux alentours de l'an mil (970–1030),” Cahiers de civilisation médiévale 43 (2000), 395445; Head, Thomas, “The Development of the Peace of God in Aquitaine (970–1005),” Speculum 74, no. 3 (July 1999), 656686; Anna Trumbore Jones, Noble Lord, Good Shepherd: Episcopal Power and Piety in Aquitaine (Leiden: Brill, 2009), ch. 3. For examples of the duke-abbots returning land to the house: Duke William V the Great (r. 993–1029) gave up all customs that he and his men held at the house to its clerics (Saint-Hilaire 77 [p. 85], CT 1211), while William's third son, William VII (r. 1039–1058), returned an altar to Saint-Hilaire that his predecessors had held (Saint-Hilaire 79 [pp. 86–87], CT 1225). For more on the dukes' activity in regulating property-holding, see below, section III.

60 Choral offices mentioned include the cantor and praecantor, the paraphonista and subparaphonista. On choir officers in a monastic context, see Fassler, Margot E., “The Office of Cantor in Early Western Monastic Rules and Customaries: A Preliminary Investigation,” Early Music History 5 (1985), 2951; Julia Barrow treats cantors at communities of canons in Clergy in the Medieval World, 303–304. Among school officials, a grammaticus is mentioned in the mid-tenth century; other evidence for who directed the school in this era is found in Favreau, “Les écoles et la culture à Saint-Hilaire-le-Grand,” 474–475. For the most part, the scribes are not given titles; the charters merely state, “X wrote this.” However, there is one charter from the beginning of our period in which a notarius appears (Saint-Hilaire 12 [pp. 16–17], CT 1074); just after our period, in 1068, we find the first mention of a cancellarius of the house (Saint-Hilaire 84 [pp. 91–92]).

61 We can follow the tenures of various successive treasurers: Launonus appears in 913 (Saint-Hilaire 13 [p. 17]), while Alboin (later bishop of Poitiers) appears in 924—one of only two times the title edituus is used (Saint-Hilaire 15 [pp. 19–20], CT 1091). Ebles of Limoges, brother of Duke William Tow-Head, had a long tenure, first appearing in April 940 as claviger vel rector, and a final time with the title in ca. 976 (Saint-Hilaire 43 [pp. 49–50], CT 1143; see also Bourgeois, “Le Castrum,” 412–14 on Ebles's activities). After Ebles's death, treasurers named include Savaricus (from ca. 980 [Saint-Hilaire 45 (p. 52), CT 1145] to ca. 997 [Saint-Hilaire 60 (pp. 68–69), CT 1169]), Gosfridus/Gauzfredus (from ca. 997 to after ca. 1001—more below, fn. 107), Girardus in 1017–1023 (Saint-Hilaire 74 [p. 83], CT 1206), Fulbert of Chartres in 1019–1028 (Saint-Hilaire 76 [pp. 84–85]), and Joscelin (beginning in 1067 [Saint-Hilaire 83 (p. 90), CT 1229]). Of the various titles listed above, any given treasurer might be named by more than one title in different documents—for example, Savaricus was archiclavus in February 989 (Saint-Hilaire 48 [pp. 56–57]) and claviger in another document from the same year (Saint-Hilaire 49 [pp. 57–58]). I find only one instance with two treasurers: Saint-Hilaire 60 from ca. 997 lists both Savaricus and Gosfridus as archiclavus—might this have represented a transition moment in the office?

62 For multiple prepositi in one charter, see Saint-Hilaire 36 (pp. 40–41), CT 1135; Saint-Hilaire 41 (pp. 46–48), CT 1142; Saint-Hilaire 67 (pp. 75–76), CT 1184; Saint-Hilaire 71 (pp. 78–80), CT 1200; Saint-Hilaire 72 (pp. 80–82), CT 1201; and Saint-Hilaire 78 (pp. 85–86), CT 1213. Furthermore, different provosts appeared in charters in the same time frame, as did Rotgarius and Rodericus in the mid-950s: Saint-Hilaire 23 (pp. 27–28), CT 1118 and Saint-Hilaire 24 (p. 29), CT 1119.

63 See below, fn. 92–93. Julia Barrow argues (Clergy in the Medieval World, 304) that in general treasurers at houses of canons were in charge of sacred vessels, vestments, and the maintenance of the church, while the provost was assigned to distribute common goods to the holding of individual canons (Barrow, 294–296). At Saint-Hilaire, however, the treasurers do seem to have had a greater involvement in matters of property—as I will argue below, some of that property may have been intended particularly to support the treasurer's duties. Why this development occurred at Saint-Hilaire is unknown; the eminence of some of the treasurers—and in the case of Ebles of Limoges, his intimacy with the abbot—may be an explanation for their increased prominence in matters of property.

64 It is common in other areas of Europe for the term “prebend” to be used for land held from a church by an individual cleric (Barrow, Clergy in the Medieval World, 294–296). That term is used very rarely at Saint-Hilaire, in only three documents from this time period (Saint-Hilaire 19 [pp. 23–24], CT 1106; Saint-Hilaire 32 [pp. 36–38]; and Saint-Hilaire 72 [pp. 80–82], CT 1201). Rather, the charters here use the term “benefice” to describe these holdings (see, among many examples, Saint-Hilaire 33 [pp. 38–39], CT 1132; Saint-Hilaire 48 [pp. 56–57]; and Saint-Hilaire 51 [pp. 60–61]).

65 Saint-Hilaire 13 (p. 17). Ingelricus and his wife also gave lands to Nouaillé: P. de Monsabert, ed., Chartes de l'abbaye de Nouaillé de 678 à 1200, Archives historiques du Poitou 49 (1936), no. 37 (pp. 66–68) and 47 (pp. 82–84).

66 Saint-Hilaire 13 (p. 17): “tradimus atque de nostra potestate in tuam tradimus dominationem, ad habendum, tenendum, possidendum et faciendum exinde quod elegeris jure hereditario.” Another example comes in Saint-Hilaire 28 (p. 33), CT 1123, from March of 960, in which two laypeople—a mother and son—sold an allod in Poitou to Ebles, bishop of Limoges and treasurer of Saint-Hilaire. Although Ebles was a member of the house, the document seems to indicate that he purchased the land in question for his own use.

67 Saint-Hilaire 31 (p. 36), CT 1128; Saint-Hilaire 22 (pp. 26–27), CT 1117.

68 Examples include a man's wedding gift to his wife, complete with extensive quotation from the Bible and praise for the blessing provided by a good wife (Saint-Hilaire 52 [pp. 61–62], CT 1153) and a sale of an allod from one family to another (Saint-Hilaire 66 [p. 75], CT 1176). While the presence of these documents hardly represents a “lay archive” on any grand scale, it does fit with the assertions made by scholars such as Warren Brown that lay people regularly kept documents at monasteries and religious houses in the tenth century: Brown, , “When Documents Are Destroyed or Lost: Lay People and Archives in the Early Middle Ages,” Early Medieval Europe 11 (2002): 351354. See also Kosto, Adam J., “Laymen, Clerics, and Documentary Practices in the Early Middle Ages: The Example of Catalonia,” Speculum 80, no. 1 (2005), 6063; more generally, see Warren C. Brown, Marios Costambeys, Matthew Innes, and Adam J. Kosto, eds., Documentary Culture and the Laity in the Early Middle Ages (New York: Cambridge University, 2013). Another possibility is that if the property exchanged by the laypeople later became part of the holdings of Saint-Hilaire, the documents recording the history of that property came with it and entered the house's records for that reason. This seems logical, although I have not been able to find any specific cases in which estates named in the “private” lay charters reappear in the common property.

69 Such donors—whether laymen or canons—may have sought to establish prayers for themselves by the canons, often on the anniversary of their deaths. Ebles of Limoges, treasurer of Saint-Hilaire, refers explicitly to such prayer in a gift: Saint-Hilaire 43 (pp. 49–50), CT 1143. I believe that the only other charter referring specifically to prayer on a death anniversary is Saint-Hilaire 80 (pp. 87–88), CT 1227, in which Hugh of Châtellerault and his wife asked for prayers in exchange for gifts: “et [clerici] convenerunt ut, eis defunctis, eorum anniversarium in martirologio beati Hylarii scriberetur, et unoquoque anno in eorum anniversario pro eis tres missae canerentur et signa sonarent.” In other charters, both canons and laymen refer in a more general way to prayers offered after the donor's death, including Saint-Hilaire 30 (pp. 34–35); Saint-Hilaire 39 (pp. 44–45), CT 1140; Saint-Hilaire 49 (pp. 57–58); Saint-Hilaire 57 (p. 66).

70 In another example, from ca. 955, Roderic, the provost of Saint-Hilaire, made a gift to the house that consisted of the church of Saint-Pierre de Paizé and half its belongings. Roderic held Saint-Pierre through an inheritance from his mother: Saint-Hilaire 24 (p. 29), CT 1119.

71 Saint-Hilaire 73 (pp. 82–83), CT 1203. Despite the fact that the land in question lay in a strategic location just outside the southern gate of Saint-Hilaire, it was clearly private property that was only later turned over by Rainardus and Iterius to the common holdings of the house. This is not unusual: the very next charter (Saint-Hilaire 74 [p. 83], CT 1206) shows a donation of hereditary property that existed within the walls of the castrum of Saint-Hilaire. Clearly, proximity to the house buildings did not rule out the existence of private property. For a study of the properties and buildings directly around the main church of Saint-Hilaire, see Bourgeois, “Le castrum.”

72 Saint-Hilaire 73 (p. 83), CT 1203: “quia alodum meum quem emi a Salomone cantore, et Iterius mecum, ut hec carta computat, do beato Hylario pro remedio animae meae, ponens hanc cartam super corpus eius, tali conventione ut, dum superstes fuero, teneam sub censu denariorum VI, nemine contradicente, et post meum discessum habeant fratres beati Hylarii in suum dominicatum.” The different hand is not noted by Rédet but is visible in the original document.

73 Another example of a cleric's private land being given into the common land is found in Saint-Hilaire 24 (p. 29), CT 1119.

74 Saint-Hilaire 43 (pp. 49–50), CT 1143. Similar language is found in Saint-Hilaire 69 (p. 77), CT 1186.

75 Saint-Hilaire 37 (p. 42), CT 1136 and Saint-Hilaire 39 (pp. 44–45), CT 1140; see also Saint-Hilaire 67 (pp. 75–76), CT 1184/1185 for another mention of the communia fratrum. Serfs who labored on the house's lands were called the familia fratrum and also belonged to all the canons: Saint-Hilaire 5 (pp. 7–8); Saint-Hilaire 83 (p. 90), CT 1229.

76 Saint-Hilaire 80 (pp. 87–88), CT 1227.

77 Saint-Hilaire 30 (pp. 34–35); see also Saint-Hilaire 49 (pp. 57–58) and Saint-Hilaire 57 (p. 66).

78 Saint-Hilaire 24 (p. 29), CT 1119.

79 Saint-Hilaire 17 (p. 21), CT 1105. Because the gifts were made to Hilary, the donors and their relatives were drawn under the saint's protection and accrued benefits therefrom. On this relationship between donors and saints, see Stephen D. White, Custom, Kinship, and Gifts to Saints: The Laudatio Parentum in Western France, 1050–1150 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 1988), 156–158; Megan McLaughlin, Consorting with Saints: Prayer for the Dead in Early Medieval France (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University, 1994).

80 This sentiment among donors to religious houses has been documented by scholars including Barbara Rosenwein, To Be the Neighbor of Saint Peter: The Social Meaning of Cluny's Property, 909–1049 (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University, 1989), 75–77, 137–139; McLaughlin, Consorting with Saints. A layman named Robert, for example, stated that he “gave my allod to our most excellent lord Hilary, which my mother gave to me, for the support of the brothers serving God there.” In exchange for this gift, Robert continued, Hilary would aid him in entering heaven and the canons would forever remember him in their prayers: Saint-Hilaire 30 (pp. 34–35).

81 Ebles's request is Saint-Hilaire 26 (pp. 30–32), CT 1120: “qualiter accessit ad nostrum sublimitatem Ebolus, episcopus et claviger supradicti domni Hylarii, subtiliter obsecrans ut ad quendam suum hominem nomine Ucbertum terram ex suo beneficio et ex teshauro jam dicti sancti Hylarii . . . concederemus.” Savaricus's exchange is Saint-Hilaire 45 (p. 52), CT 1145: “Primus dedit jam nominatus Savaricus de suo beneficio . . . quod est ex ratione beati Hylarii, pertinente ex thesauro.” The charter describing the bordering land is Saint-Hilaire 55 (pp. 64–65). Other examples of this phrasing are found in Saint-Hilaire 38 (pp. 42–43), CT 1138; Saint-Hilaire 54 (pp. 63–64), CT 1166; and Saint-Hilaire 62 (pp. 71–72), CT 1171. There are also three mentions of the luminarium (fund for lighting) of Saint-Hilaire, all quite early in the house's record: Saint-Hilaire 1 (pp. 1–2), CT 1053; Saint-Hilaire 8 (pp. 11–12), CT 1065; Saint-Hilaire 17 (p. 21), CT 1105. It may have been the case that in later years, the funds for lighting were subsumed into the larger fund for church upkeep, controlled by the treasurer. On the luminarium, see Paul Fouracre, “Eternal Light and Earthly Needs: Practical Aspects of the Development of Frankish Immunities,” in Property and Power in the Early Middle Ages, ed. Wendy Davies and Paul Fouracre (New York: Cambridge University, 1995), 68–78.

82 Saint-Hilaire 41 (pp. 46–48), CT 1142: “quidam clericus noster nomine Adalbaldus prepositus, deprecatus est nos ut aliquid ex fraterna terra, quod est ex ratione beati Hylarii . . . concedere deberemus.” Other examples include Saint-Hilaire 36 (pp. 40–41), CT 1135; Saint-Hilaire 40 (pp. 45–46); Saint-Hilaire 42 (pp. 48–49); Saint-Hilaire 46 (pp. 53–54), CT 1146; Saint-Hilaire 48 (pp. 56–57); Saint-Hilaire 50 (pp. 59–60), CT 1152; and Saint-Hilaire 55 (pp. 64–65).

83 For examples of this formulation, see Saint-Hilaire 30 (pp. 34–35); Saint-Hilaire 49 (pp. 57–58); and Saint-Hilaire 57 (p. 66).

84 Saint-Hilaire 40 (pp. 45–46): the land in question is described as “ex fraterno frausto, quod est ex ratione beati Hilarii.” Similar example at Saint-Hilaire 18 (pp. 22–23), CT 1109.

85 Saint-Hilaire 32 (pp. 36–38). In another case, William granted land to a cleric named Adraldus but also to his brothers Constantine and Gilbert, who were laymen: Saint-Hilaire 48 (pp. 56–57).

86 See, for example, Saint-Hilaire 40 (pp. 45–46); Saint-Hilaire 41 (pp. 46–48), CT 1142; Saint-Hilaire 42 (pp. 48–49); and Saint-Hilaire 46 (pp. 53–54), CT 1146.

87 Saint-Hilaire 55 (pp. 64–65) and Saint-Hilaire 56 (pp. 65–66), CT 1167.

88 Saint-Hilaire 58 (p. 67), CT 1168.

89 Examples include: Saint-Hilaire 51 (pp. 60–61); Saint-Hilaire 60 (pp. 68–69), CT 1169; Saint-Hilaire 61 (pp. 70–71), CT 1170; Saint-Hilaire 63 (pp. 72–73), CT 1172. For cases of laypeople transferring their benefice to a canon, see Saint-Hilaire 54 (pp. 63–64), CT 1166 and Saint-Hilaire 70 (p. 78). A particularly involved case saw Geoffrey, a priest of Saint-Hilaire, receive as a benefice land belonging to a church dependent on Saint-Hilaire: Saint-Hilaire 18 (pp. 22–23), CT 1109. Roughly one year later, Geoffrey gave a portion of the same land to a man named Girardus, who was presumably a layperson, as no mention is made of clerical status: Saint-Hilaire 21 (p. 26), CT 1111. Geoffrey granted the land in a five-year lease, and he required that both he and Girardus would pay an annual fee to Saint-Hilaire. Other examples are found at Saint-Hilaire 26 (pp. 30–32), CT 1120; Saint-Hilaire 36 (pp. 40–41), CT 1135; Saint-Hilaire 38 (pp. 42–43), CT 1138; Saint-Hilaire 51 (pp. 60–61); Saint-Hilaire 60 (pp. 68–69), CT 1169; Saint-Hilaire 61 (pp. 70–71), CT 1170; Saint-Hilaire 63 (pp. 72–73), CT 1172.

90 For example, William Tow-Head discussed a benefice that was held by two laymen, Viscount Savari and his vassal Elias, but was subsequently transferred to two other laypeople, Hostrenus and his wife, with the expected caveat that the new owners would continue to pay the house an annual fee: Saint-Hilaire 20 (pp. 24–25), CT 1107 from January 942. For other examples see Saint-Hilaire 59 (p. 68) and Saint-Hilaire 78 (pp. 85–86), CT 1213.

91 One such case occurs when the priest Girorgius asked William Tow-Head for a share of one of the house's estates: Saint-Hilaire 25 (pp. 29–30). There are two charters where the name of the person soliciting the gift is the same as the person receiving it, but the phrasing does not make it entirely clear whether they are the same person: Saint-Hilaire 46 (pp. 53–54), CT 1146 and Saint-Hilaire 67 (pp. 75–76), CT 1184/1185.

92 Saint-Hilaire 62 (pp. 71–72), CT 1171, from October 997. Here his name is spelled Gosfridus; elsewhere it is rendered Gauzfredus. Similar transactions involving William Iron-Arm as abbot took place in Saint-Hilaire 40 (pp. 45–46); Saint-Hilaire 41 (pp. 46–48), CT 1142; Saint-Hilaire 42 (pp. 45–49); and possibly Saint-Hilaire 46 (pp. 53–54), CT 1146.

93 These officials may have had a more prominent role in property oversight at Saint-Hilaire because the duke of Aquitaine served as abbot for much of our period; the duke/abbot was almost certainly not able to supervise the house's assets as closely as would a dedicated resident abbot.

94 Salomon first held the title of deacon and then transitioned to titles relating to his role in the choir: precentor (Saint-Hilaire 45 [p. 52], CT 1145) in ca. 980; paraphonista (Saint-Hilaire 63 [pp. 72–73], CT 1172) in 997; and in one case both clericus and cantor (Saint-Hilaire 58 [p. 67], CT 1168) in 988–96. Saint-Hilaire 63 (CT 1172) makes clear that the same Salomon (paraphonista) requesting that particular gift was also the scribe of that document—and thus presumably the scribe who appears in many other documents in this period. While there is no document that shows Salomon holding both the title levita and one of the titles related to the choir, I have inferred this based on the relative rarity of the name in the documents as well as the fact that both the levita and the paraphonista held land surrounding the small church of Sainte-Triaise (see below, fn. 95 and 99). Robert Favreau also raises the intriguing—and ultimately quite convincing—possibility that Salomon may have been a schoolmaster at Saint-Hilaire, based on Greek found in three charters as well as the title given to him by an early modern cleric: “Les écoles et la culture,” 474.

95 This is, without doubt, a long career, but not outside the realm of possibility, given that canons could be ordained to offices such as those Salomon held at a quite young age (Barrow, Clergy in the Medieval World, 40–42). Salomon's family appeared even earlier in the house's records, in a document from the spring of 923 (Saint-Hilaire 14 [pp. 18–19], CT 1090), in which a married couple, Fredebaldus and Arlindis, joined their four sons in giving property to another couple. The four sons are named in the body of the charter: Salomon, who was at the time a priest at Saint-Hilaire (and who was the uncle of our Salomon), Tancilo, Aliradus, and Adalbaldus (who would also become a priest at Saint-Hilaire—see Saint-Hilaire 27 [p. 32], CT 1121 from March 959). This was the first of several occasions on which the family members would appear together in the documents of the house: Arlindis sold an allod to two of her sons (Tancilo and Aliradus) in 939 (Saint-Hilaire 16 [p. 20], CT 1104); two more of the brothers (Salomon and Adalbaldus) were mentioned in and signed a document in the 940s or 950s (Saint-Hilaire 22 [pp. 26–27], CT 1117). In another case, the elder Salomon sold a piece of land near the castrum of Saint-Hilaire to his brother and fellow-canon Adalbaldus. The land in question bordered another property that Adalbaldus already held; as it appears to be a private transaction between the brothers, it seems that Adalbaldus was trying to build his holdings in that particular part of the city: Saint-Hilaire 27 (p. 32), CT 1121. In one document, our Salomon (the cantor and scribe) appeared with his uncle, also named Salomon (Saint-Hilaire 33 [pp. 38–39], CT 1132). The elder Salomon gave to his nephew a benefice from Saint-Hilaire; the land was part of the estate of the church of Sainte-Triaise, which belonged to Saint-Hilaire and was located very near the basilica (see below, n. 99). Another charter—Saint-Hilaire 34 (p. 39), CT 1133—definitely concerned the younger Salomon and may have been signed by the elder. The elder Salomon held the titles of sacerdos or presbyter as well as subdecanus; on occasion the broader clericus was also used: Saint-Hilaire 31 (p. 36), CT 1128; Saint-Hilaire 33 (pp. 38–39), CT 1132. On uncle-nephew relations among clerics—including the pattern of naming future clerics after their cleric uncles—see Barrow, Clergy in the Medieval World, 117–135.

96 Saint-Hilaire 45 (p. 52), CT 1145; Saint-Hilaire 73 (pp. 82–83), CT 1203; Saint-Hilaire 34 (p. 39), CT 1133.

97 Saint-Hilaire 33 (pp. 38–39), CT 1132; Saint-Hilaire 45 (p. 52), CT 1145; Saint-Hilaire 58 (p. 67), CT 1168.

98 Saint-Hilaire 54 (pp. 63–64), CT 1166. These transactions could also go in the opposite direction—Salomon asked, in 997, if part of his benefice could be given as a precarial grant to a lay couple: Saint-Hilaire 63 (pp. 72–73), CT 1172.

99 Saint-Hilaire 33 (pp. 38–39), CT 1132; Saint-Hilaire 34 (p. 39), CT 1133; Saint-Hilaire 63 (pp. 72–73), CT 1172. Indeed, much of the property held by Salomon's family seems to have centered around the church of Saint-Triaise. Triaise (Troecia) was a fourth-century ascetic woman who was drawn to Poitiers by the holy reputation of Hilary; the bishop later approved of her decision to live a reclusive life in a cell near his church. For basic information on Triaise herself, see Henri Beauchet-Filleau, Pouillé du diocèse de Poitiers (Niort and Poitiers: L. Clouzot, 1868), 16. The church built in honor of Triaise remained the center of a parish in Poitiers into the sixteenth century: Bourgeois, “Le castrum,” 410; Hilary Bernstein, Between Crown and Community: Politics and Civic Culture in Sixteenth-Century Poitiers (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University, 2004), 282. The church of Saint-Triaise no longer exists, but a twelfth-century bas-relief from that church does survive, showing Hilary blessing Triaise: Emile Mâle, L'Art réligieux du XIIe siècle en France (Paris: A. Colin, 1922), 206.

100 For example, Saint-Hilaire 54 (pp. 63–64), CT 1166 and Saint-Hilaire 58 (p. 67), CT 1168.

101 Saint-Hilaire 45 (p. 52), CT 1145.

102 Aachen, ch. 120 (Werminghoff, ed., 399–400; Bertram, Chrodegang Rules, 147–48) condemns any “pursuit of wealth”; still, it is worth noting that the main concern of Aachen appears to be that those with private wealth do not impose on the church by also taking incomes from it (or at least not above appropriate levels). Aachen is silent on the building of estates, rather than explicitly condemning it.

103 Saint-Hilaire 81 (pp. 88–89), CT 1228: “habebam quandam terram sub castello sancti Ylarii juxta fluvium Biberis, quam tenuerant parentes mei et in qua molendinum duarum rotarum fundaverunt. Unde tandem beati presulis canonici mecum rationem ponentes correxerunt me, dicentes neque me neque parentes meos satis recte rem tenuisse. Quod equidem ego diligentius mente disquirens, rem quoque cum aliis retractans, ad ultimum vero predictum edificium ex propria terra sancti Ylarii, ubi nunc erat, mutatum injuste comperi. Ergo, quia michi injustum visum est servum aliquid dominum defraudare, pro mee anime salute, sive pro redemtione parentum meorum, qui non satis bene rem predictam tenuerant, assensum prebui postulationi canonicorum, jam dictam terram cum edificio beato presuli devote persolvens.”

104 Another fascinating case of a layperson using property to petition the saint and later to correct a relationship with the house involved the viscomital family of Châtellerault, near Poitiers: Saint-Hilaire 80 (pp. 87–88), CT 1227 and Saint-Hilaire 89 (pp. 95–96). In 1055, Viscount Hugh and his wife, Gerberga, issued a moving charter in which they described their desperation for a living son; all their previous children had died in infancy. They had returned an income to Saint-Hilaire and in return, the saint must have aided them, as they were given a living child, whom they named Boso and whom they promised to the saint upon his baptism. Because they committed their son to join the community, they were given a precarial grant by the clerics, who also agreed to pray for them after their death. Roughly two decades later, Boso, now a grown man holding the title of viscount, acknowledged that he had not fulfilled the promise of his parents and joined the community of canons (although, as he pointed out, he had only been “tiny and without knowledge” when the pledge was made). In order to remedy the loss to the house, he returned certain lands and incomes to Saint-Hilaire. On the house of Châtellerault, see Garaud, Marcel, “Les vicomtes de Poitou (IXe-XIIe siècles),” Revue historique de droit français et étranger 4th ser., 16 (1937), 426449.

105 Saint-Hilaire 46 (pp. 53–54), CT 1146: “eas res nostre auctoritatis scriptas cuidam clerico nomine Radfredo et duobus successoribus eius, quoscumque elegerit ex canonicis iam dicti confessoris, concedere deberemus.” Other examples of such grants from William Iron-Arm include Saint-Hilaire 32 (pp. 36–38); Saint-Hilaire 40 (pp. 45–46); and Saint-Hilaire 42 (pp. 48–49).

106 Saint-Hilaire 9 (pp. 12–14), CT 1069: “quia adiit clemenciam serenitatis nostre venerabilis abbas Ebolus, junctis secum proceribus nostris Ubaldo et Heriberto, et deprecati sunt ut villas de potestate precellentissimi confessoris Christi Hilarii a prefato abbate fratribus delegatas in diversis usibus eorum necessariis.” Why did the abbot approach the king of France for this confirmation, rather than a political authority closer to home? The answer probably lies partly in the political context of Aquitaine: it was a time of contested rule in the duchy, and the dukes of Aquitaine had yet to take up the position of leadership at Saint-Hilaire that they would later hold. On the political context, see Alfred Richard, Histoire des comtes de Poitou, 778–1204, 2 vols. (Paris: A. Picard, 1903), 1: 44–73. This power vacuum in Aquitaine may have encouraged those who cared for the house's welfare to look to royal protection. Indeed, King Odo made another major decision about the welfare of Saint-Hilaire at the end of the ninth century, granting the house into the keeping of Bishop Hecfrid of Poitiers (r. ca. 878–900), presumably for protection during the political turmoil: Saint-Hilaire 12 (p. 16), CT 1074. How far the kings in this period could intervene directly in Aquitaine is uncertain, but it seems that the house saw it as useful and desirable to have the prestige and protection of a royal charter (at least into the mid-tenth century), as demonstrated by the fact that William Tow-Head and his brother, Ebles of Limoges, sought another royal charter protecting Saint-Hilaire's property in 942 from King Louis IV d'Outremer: Saint-Hilaire 19 (pp. 23–24), CT 1106.

107 Gauzfredus first appears with the title of treasurer in this charter: Saint-Hilaire 65 [p. 74], CT 1175, in ca. 997. He last appears with the title in a charter from ca. 1001 (Saint-Hilaire 69 [p. 77], CT 1186). There follow a handful of charters with the name Gauzfredus, without title, in the witness lists; it is unclear whether this is the same Gauzfredus, and if he was still treasurer. The next named treasurer, Girardus, appears in a charter from ca. 1017–1023: Saint-Hilaire 74 (p. 83), CT 1206.

108 Saint-Hilaire 65 (p. 74), CT 1175: “seculi imminente fine.”

109 Saint-Hilaire 65 (p. 74): “Unde sit ut res quas sancti patres sanctae ecclesiae contulerunt, nunc vi tollantur, nunc alienantur, nunc ab injustis ministris vindicentur, et solo nomine sanctae ecclesiae relicto, omnis utilitas aeclesiasticorum fundorum quibuslibet indignis et sceleratis famuletur.”

110 Saint-Hilaire 65 (p. 74): “Tractavimus ergo communi consilio ut aeclesiae nostrae, quae a diversis tenentur, cum exocupate et deliberate ab his a quibus tenentur fuerint . . . Eodem quoque modo et de alodis nostris statuimus ut, cum exocupati fuerint, in communem revertantur dominationem.”

111 Saint-Hilaire 65 (p. 74): “fideles viri eligantur qui fidelitate sancto Hylario fratribusque jurata eos ad providendum suscipiant, et reditus eorum fideliter in communi cella reportant.”

112 Saint-Hilaire 71 (pp. 78–80), CT 1200 and Saint-Hilaire 72 (pp. 80–82), CT 1201.

113 The charters themselves both include the date of “1015 from the incarnation of the Lord,” and Thomas Head accordingly dates them to 1015. The charters' editor, Rédet, gave the date of 1016, as does the CNRS Telma website. The list of eminent signatories persuaded Thomas Head that the context for these charters may have been a council of the Peace of God movement: Peace and Power in France around the Year 1000,” Essays in Medieval Studies 23 (2006), 56. Others remain unconvinced that this is necessarily a Peace gathering, but the eminence of those on the witness list remains striking nonetheless: Jones, Noble Lord, Good Shepherd, 97–98.

114 Saint-Hilaire 71 (pp. 78–79): “Si quis, cui regendarum rerum cura commissa est, ea que suae dicioni subjecta sunt non equo moderamine disponit, et per neclegenciam sive incuriam ea paulatim in peius ruere et ad deteriora retro fluere patitur, noverit se superni judicis iram incurrisse, sueque animae ruinam preparasse.”

115 Saint-Hilaire 77 (p. 85), CT 1211.

116 Saint-Hilaire 71 (p. 79): “beneficia vel casamenta pravo commercio distracta, et ab utilitate loci prorsus alienata video.”

117 Saint-Hilaire 72 (p. 80): “ne ita a propriis ministris Dei sponsa remaneret viduata.”

118 William was not advocating for a simple “majority rule” approach, however—he argued that even if a lesser number of canons espoused a particular position, the provost should follow them if it was the correct path: Saint-Hilaire 71 (p. 79). On concern regarding a provost's power, see Barrow, Clergy in the Medieval World, 295.

119 Saint-Hilaire 71 (p. 79).

120 Saint-Hilaire 72 (p. 81): “In his rebus propter suos parentes nullus reclamet hereditatem. . .”

121 Saint-Hilaire 72 (p. 81): “ea quidem racione ut, si quis iterum presumpserit vendere, inprimis justo condempnatus judicio omnia sua perdat, et loci solatium non habeat, sed ut latro et perjurus canonici dignitatem derelinquat.”

122 The first example that I can find of a decree made simply by “the canons of Blessed Hilary” comes in Saint-Hilaire 90 (pp. 96–97), CT 1235, from October 1077. There are further references to the canons as a group (rather than to a single representative) in subsequent charters: Saint-Hilaire 92 (pp. 99–100); Saint-Hilaire 93 (pp. 100–102); Saint-Hilaire 94 (pp. 102–103), CT 1253 and so on. “Chapter” appears in 1080: Saint-Hilaire 94 (pp. 102–103), CT 1253.

123 The emphasis on clerical celibacy is seen in the refusal to allow the sons of priests and other clerics to join the canons: Saint-Hilaire 91 (pp. 97–99), CT 1251. On the apostolic community in Burgundy, see Saint-Hilaire 94 (pp. 102–103), CT 1253.

124 Privileges and rulings of Gregory VII are found at Saint-Hilaire 86–88 (pp. 93–95), dating from March and April of 1074. Two of these documents (Saint-Hilaire 86 [JL 4831] and 87 [JL 4853]) are reproduced in Erich Caspar, ed., Das Register Gregors VII, MGH Epistolae selectae in usum scholarum 2, 2 volumes (Berlin: Weidmannsche Buchhandlung, 1920–1923), nos. 1.54 (pp. 81–82) and 1.73 (pp. 104–105). Reference is also made to Saint-Hilaire in Caspar, ed., nos. 2.23–2.24 (JL 4896–4897) (pp. 155–156). Translations of these documents are found in H.E.J. Cowdrey, The Register of Pope Gregory VII, 1073–1085: An English Translation (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), 59–60, 76–77, and 115–116. All these documents concern a dispute between Saint-Hilaire and the cathedral church and bishop of Poitiers. It appears that Gregory's rulings were triggered by complaints from the cathedral canons and a defense of Saint-Hilaire by Archbishop Joscelin of Bordeaux (r. 1060–1086), who was also treasurer of Saint-Hilaire. Julian Führer studies disputes between cathedral chapters and Augustinian houses in France under Louis VI the Fat in König Ludwig VI. von Frankreich und die Kanonikerreform, Europaïsche Hochschulschriften Reihe III: Geschichte und ihre Hilfswissenschaften 1049 (Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2008). A final document of Gregory regarding Saint-Hilaire—which, unlike the others, survives in the original—is not included in Caspar or Cowdrey: JL 4862; Saint-Hilaire 88 (pp. 93–95), CT 1231. This document protects Saint-Hilaire's property from any interference (including from the bishop of Poitiers) and was apparently solicited by Joscelin of Bordeaux.

125 The ruling on clerical celibacy, for example, came in 1078/9 from William VIII (Guy-Geoffrey), Duke of Aquitaine (r. 1058–1086). While William supported some aspects of papal reform, he often modified the zeal of the more radical reformers; here he acted on the advice of Joscelin of Parthenay, archbishop of Bordeaux, who, as we have seen, was also treasurer of Saint-Hilaire. Notably, while Guy-Geoffrey followed the will of Gregory VII and Hugh of Die in forbidding the sons of clerics to join Saint-Hilaire, he modified the papal decree to allow any such men who had already been made canons to remain at the house. On Joscelin and Guy-Geoffrey, see Claire Taylor, Heresy in Medieval France: Dualism in Aquitaine and the Agenais, 1000–1249 (Woodbridge: Boydell, 2005), 43; Jean Dunbabin, France in the Making, 843–1180 (New York: Oxford University, 2000), 159. Stephen Vanderputten's model of reform (see below, fn. 131) as a combination of internal leadership and change combined with some external ideas is pertinent here.

126 Geoffrey Koziol vividly evokes the portrayal of this era in scholarship: Is Robert I in Hell? The Diploma for Saint-Denis and the Mind of a Rebel King (Jan 25, 923),” Early Medieval Europe 14 (2006), 233267 at 233–238. This characterization of the tenth-century church is enshrined in Émile Amann and Auguste Dumas, L’Église au pouvoir des laïques (888–1057), vol. 7 of Histoire de l’Église depuis les origins jusqu’à nos jours, ed. Augustin Fliche and Victor Martin (Paris: Bloud and Gay, 1940). Patrick Geary comments perceptively on the fact that much of what historians think they know about the tenth century—including its characterization as corrupt and unreformed—comes from eleventh-century authors, who shaped our understanding of their own period and their past to fit their own agendas: Phantoms of Remembrance: Memory and Oblivion at the End of the First Millennium (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University, 1994), 7. In addition, as Julia Barrow points out, historians are often reliant both on medieval monks writing about canons (since monks left many more prescriptive texts), and on modern scholars who were “regular” canons themselves and had little interest in those who did not fit that label: Clergy in the Medieval World, 71–73, 91. For an example of a monk disdainful of canons, see Michel Parisse, “Être moine ou chanoine à la fin du IXe siècle,” Au cloître et dans le monde: Femmes, hommes et sociétés (IXe-XVe siècle), ed. Patrick Henriet and Anne-Marie Legros (Paris: Presses de l'Université de Paris-Sorbonne, 2000), 91–101.

127 For an analysis of the neglect of another aspect of the tenth-century church—the role of the bishop—see John S. Ott and Anna Trumbore Jones, “Introduction,” The Bishop Reformed: Studies of Episcopal Power and Culture in the Central Middle Ages, ed. Ott and Jones (Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate, 2007), 6–13.

128 Gerd Tellenbach, The Church in Western Europe from the Tenth to the Early Twelfth Century, trans. Timothy Reuter (New York: Cambridge University, 1993), 157–162.

129 Julia Barrow, “Ideas and Applications of Reform,” in The Cambridge History of Christianity, ed. Noble and Smith, vol. 3: Early Medieval Christianities, 345–362.

130 For example, John Eldevik effectively problematizes labels such as “Gregorian” or “imperial” when related to the careers of individual bishops: “Driving the Chariot of the Lord: Siegfried I of Mainz (1060–1084) and Episcopal Identity in an Age of Transition,” in The Bishop Reformed, ed. Ott and Jones, 161–188. John Ott discusses the challenges posed to scholars by the concept of reform in the first chapter of his book, Bishops, Authority, and Community in Northwestern Europe, c. 1050–1150, forthcoming from Cambridge University. I thank Professor Ott for letting me consult his manuscript before publication. An excellent collection of essays examining how the reform movement unfolded in practice is Michelle Fournié, Daniel Le Blévec, and Florian Mazel, eds., La réforme “grégorienne” dans le Midi (milieu XIe-début XIIIe siècle), Cahiers de Fanjeaux 48 (Toulouse: Éditions Privat, 2013). Kriston Rennie argues that local canon law collections can provide evidence for how different areas of Europe adopted reform ideas and mixed them with local concerns: The Collectio Burdegalensis: A Study and Register of an Eleventh-Century Canon Law Collection, Mediaeval Law and Theology 6 (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 2013).

131 Steven Vanderputten, Monastic Reform as Process: Realities and Representations in Medieval Flanders, 900–1100 (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University, 2013), 186.

132 Even collections whose titles suggest that they reach back into the tenth century often in reality keep their focus squarely on the post-1059 era: Jean Becquet, Vie canoniale en France aux Xe-XIIe siècles (London: Variorum Reprints, 1985); Jean Châtillon, Le mouvement canonial au Moyen Âge: Réforme de l’église, spiritualité, et culture, Bibliotheca Victorina 3 (Turnhout: Brepols, 1992); Anne Massoni, ed. Collégiales et chanoines dans le centre de la France du Moyen Âge à la Révolution: Ancienne province ecclésiastique de Bourges (Limoges: Presses universitaires de Limoges, 2010); Roselyne Le Bourgeois, Anne Massoni, and Pascal Montaubin, eds., Les collégiales et la ville dans la province ecclésiastique de Reims (IXe-XVIe siècles), Publications de C.A.H.M.E.R. 23 (Amiens: C.A.M.H.E.R., 2010); Michel Parisse, ed. Les chanoines réguliers; Jean-Charles Picard, ed., Les chanoines dans la ville: Recherches sur la topographie des quartiers canoniaux en France (Paris: De Boccard, 1994); La vita comune del clero nei secoli xi e xii, Atti della Settimana di studio: Mendola, settembre 1959, Miscellanea del centro di studi medioevali 3, 2 vols. (Milan: Vita e pensiero, 1962). Furthermore, a volume devoted to research tools and techniques for religious communities in the Middle Ages basically ignores the existence of canons before the late eleventh century: André Vauchez and Cécile Caby, eds., L'Histoire des moines, chanoines et religieux au moyen âge: Guide de recherche et documents, L'Atelier du médiéviste 9 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2003). For a review of scholarship on tenth century canons, see Anna Trumbore Jones, “‘Customs Confirmed by Reason and Authority’: The Function and Status of Houses of Canons in Tenth-Century Aquitaine,” in Where Heaven and Earth Meet: Essays on Medieval Europe in Honor of Daniel F. Callahan, ed. Michael Frassetto, Matthew Gabriele, and John D. Hosler, Studies in the History of Christian Traditions 174 (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2014), 101–108. For a survey of French scholarship on either side of the advent of regular canons, see Massoni, Anne, “Un nouvel instrument de travail pour la communauté scientifique: Le repertoire des collégiales séculières de France à l’époque médiévale,” Revue d'histoire ecclésiastique 102, nos. 3–4 (2007), 915922. There are a few areas of Europe that have seen more work on tenth-century canons, often due to the efforts of one dedicated scholar. See, for example, the work of Brigitte Meijns on Flanders, most notably: Aken of Jeruzalem?: Het ontstaan en de hervorming van de kanonikale instellingen in Vlaanderen tot circa 1155, 2 vols. (Leuven: Universitaire Pers Leuven, 2000); L'ordre canonial dans le comté de Flandre depuis l’époque mérovingienne jusqu’à 1155: Typologie, chronologie et constants de l'histoire de fondation et de réforme,” Revue d'histoire ecclésiastique 97, no. 1 (2002) : 558.

133 See, for example, the essays in M.-H. Vicaire, ed. Le monde des chanoines (XIe-XIVe siècles) Cahiers de Fanjeaux 24 (Toulouse: Éditions Privat, 1988). Barrow gives an overview of the movement toward the adoption of the Rule of Augustine: Clergy in the Medieval World, 100–114.

134 Yannick Veyrenche, “Quia vos estis . . . ” in Les chanoines réguliers, ed. Parisse, 29–69, and “Chanoines et réformes canoniales dans les pays rhodaniens,” in La réforme grégorienne dans le Midi, ed. Fournié, Le Blévec, and Mazel, 419–443.

135 Parisse, “Les chanoines avant les chanoines réguliers,” in Les chanoines réguliers, ed. Parisse, 10.

136 Pierre Bonnassie, Pierre-André Sigal, and Dominique Iogna-Prat, “La Gallia du Sud, 930–1130,” in Hagiographies: Histoire internationale de la littérature hagiographique latine et vernaculaire en Occident des origines à 1550, Corpus Christianorum Hagiographies 1 (Turnhout: Brepols, 1994), 291.

137 Common prayer is mentioned in Louis the Pious's charter establishing Saint-Hilaire as a house of canons in 808 and it reappears intermittently thereafter: Saint-Hilaire 3 (pp. 3–5), CT 1057; for other examples see Saint-Hilaire 6 (pp. 9–10), CT 1062; Saint-Hilaire 7 (pp. 10–11), CT 1064; Saint-Hilaire 9 (pp. 12–14), CT 1069; Saint-Hilaire 20 (pp. 24–25), CT 1107; Saint-Hilaire 30 (pp. 34–35); Saint-Hilaire 43 (pp. 49–50), CT 1143; Saint-Hilaire 49 (pp. 57–58); and Saint-Hilaire 57 (p. 66), among others. As Julia Barrow notes, the term vita communis was rare; the concern, however, was not: Clergy in the Medieval World, 98–100.

138 The earliest charter that could be labeled as a strictly “private” transaction (as discussed above) comes in 893 (Saint-Hilaire 10 [pp.14–15], CT 1071); they were still appearing in the eleventh century, after the reform charters of Gauzfredus and William.

139 For the standard charter form that shows the abbot (from William Tow-Head onward) endorsing requests by the treasurer or provost, see Saint-Hilaire 18 (pp. 22–23), CT 1109; Saint-Hilaire 20 (pp. 24–25), CT 1107; Saint-Hilaire 23 (pp. 27–28), CT 1118; Saint-Hilaire 25 (pp. 29–30); Saint-Hilaire 26 (pp. 30–32), CT 1120; Saint-Hilaire 32 (pp. 36–38); Saint-Hilaire 36 (pp. 40–41), CT 1135; Saint-Hilaire 38 (pp. 42–43), CT 1138; Saint-Hilaire 40 (pp. 45–46); Saint-Hilaire 41 (pp. 46–48), CT 1142; Saint-Hilaire 42 (pp. 48–49); Saint-Hilaire 46 (pp. 53–54), CT 1146; Saint-Hilaire 51 (pp. 60–61); Saint-Hilaire 60 (pp. 68–69), CT 1169; Saint-Hilaire 61 (pp. 70–71), CT 1170; Saint-Hilaire 62 (pp. 71–72), CT 1171; Saint-Hilaire 63 (pp. 72–73), CT 1172. The dates of these charters range from 941 onward. For a reference to common decision-making regarding a gift, see Saint-Hilaire 39 (pp. 44–45), CT 1140, ca. 970.

Mary Doyno, Anna Harrison, Brigitte Meijns, and John Ott read early drafts of this essay and offered invaluable critiques. The audience of a panel at the International Medieval Congress in Kalamazoo in May 2014 provided thought-provoking suggestions—I am grateful to Julia Barrow and Theo Riches, in particular, for their comments. I owe thanks to Anne Massoni for many things: for reading the article in draft; for her generosity in sharing her expertise and unpublished work with me; and for the invitation to speak to a seminar for doctoral students and faculty at the Université de Limoges in November 2014. That occasion provided extremely stimulating discussion and new ideas to consider; I thank in particular Cécile Treffort for her thoughts on my paper. I would like to thank the staff at the Archives départementales de la Vienne in Poitiers for helping me so graciously during my visit to see the charters of Saint-Hilaire. I benefited from the scrupulous work of the three anonymous readers for Church History, who made excellent suggestions that strengthened the essay greatly. I also thank Stephanie Askeland and Adelheid Gäbel for their assistance in preparing this article. Any errors that remain are mine alone. Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to remember with gratitude and fondness the late Thomas Head. It was Tom—docens verbo et exemplo—who first pointed me to Poitiers and to the riches found in the records of Saint-Hilaire.

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