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Rome as the centre of the universe: papal grace and music patronage*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 December 2008

Pamela F. Starr
University of Nebraska


In 1450 Giovanni Rucellai, a Florentine visitor to Rome, counted 1022 inns ‘with signboards’, and a quantity of other hostelries. For centuries, Rome had been a magnet that drew the faithful by the tens of thousands to its venerable walls. The reason, of course, was that it was the ancestral home of the Holy See – the centre of the Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Although urbs Roma could not boast of this honour throughout the entire Middle Ages, by the middle of the fifteenth century, with the reign of Nicholas V, the Holy See was securely re-established at Rome, never to depart again.

The flood of religious pilgrims to the Holy City, during Jubilee years and at other times, certainly accounted for a large part of the crowds of visitors to Rome. It is not, however, the Rome of the pilgrim that will concern us here, but the city that housed the papal Curia, the vast bureaucracy established to assist the pontiff with the temporal and spiritual responsibilities of his office. Thousands of petitioners came to Rome not to seek plenary indulgence but to secure for themselves a particular and specific papal Grace.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1992

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This article uses the following abbreviations: ASV, Archivio Segreto Vaticano; ASR, Archivio di Stato di Rome; RS, Registra Supplicationum; RV, Registra Vaticana; RL, Registra Lateranensia; A, Annatae; SP, Sacra Penitentiaria; IE, Introitus et Exitus; l.p.t., libra parvorum turonensis (small pound of Tours); fl., papal florin.

1 Stinger, C. L., The Renaissance in Rome (Bloomington, IN, 1985), p. 37Google Scholar.

2 For the gratia see O'Neill, W., Papal Rescripts of Favor (Washington, DC, 1930)Google Scholar; D'Amico, J., Renaissance Humanism in Papal Rome, Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science, 101st ser., 1 (Baltimore, 1983), pp. 21ffGoogle Scholar; Naz, R., ‘Rescrit’, Dictionnaire de droit canonique (Paris, 19351942), vii, pp. 607–35Google Scholar; Katterbach, B., Referendarii utriusque signaturiae a Martino V ad Clementem IX, Studi e Testi 55 (Vatican City, 1931), pp. xixivGoogle Scholar; and additional references presented below.

3 For the history and description of the variouso fondi of the Vatican Archives, particularly as they relate to the period of this article, see Boyle, L., A Survey of the Vatican Archives and of its Medieval Holdings (Toronto, 1972)Google Scholar. Boyle also surveys the comparatively smaller number of fifteenth-century papal documents currently housed in the Archivio di Stato in Rome (p. 48). A fuller discussion of these documents is presented in Lodolini, E., L'Archivio di stato di Roma (Rome, 1960), pp. 6584Google Scholar.

4 All of the information gleaned from these documents will, in due course, be stored in ren*arch, the Renaissance archival database for music, currently housed at Columbia University under the direction of Professor Leeman Perkins.

5 Franz Haberl set the stage with two monographs, one on the career of the quondam papal musician Guillaume Du Fay and another that attempted to investigate the means by which the Renaissance popes supported their own cappella pontificia – both works depending heavily on documents from the Vatican Archives. See his Bausteine für Musikgeschichte, I: Wilhelm Du Fay (Leipzig, 1885) and iiiGoogle Scholar: Die römische ‘Schola Cantorum’ und die päpstlichen Kapellsänger bis zur Mitte des 16. Jahrhunderts (Leipzig, 1888)Google Scholar, both volumes reprinted together (Hildesheim, 1971). Although many studies in this century have utilised information about benefices to good effect in documenting the life of Renaissance musicians (see Reynolds, C., ‘Musical Careers, Ecclesiastical Benefices, and the Example of Johannes Brunet’, Journal of the American Musicological Society (hereafter JAMS), 37 (1984), pp. 4997, n. 3CrossRefGoogle Scholar, for a substantial list of such studies), there are comparatively fewer recent works that attempt to deal systematically with the beneficial system as an element of music patronage. These include Noble, J., ‘New Light on Josquin's Benefices’, Josquin des Prez: Proceedings of the International Josquin Festival-Conference Held at the Juilliard School at Lincoln Center in New York City, 21–25 June 1971, ed. Lowinsky, E. E. and Blackburn, B. J. (London, 1976), pp. 76102Google Scholar; Sherr, R., ‘The Papal Chapel ca. 1492–1513 and its Polyphonic Sources’ (Ph.D. dissertation, Princeton University, 1975)Google Scholar; Lockwood, L., ‘Strategies of Music Patronage in the Fifteenth Century: The Cappella of Ercole I d'Este’, Music in Medieval and Early Modern Europe: Patronage, Sources and Texts, ed. Fenlon, I. (Cambridge, 1981), pp. 227–48Google Scholar; idem, Music in Renaissance Ferrara, 1400–1505 (Oxford, 1984), pp. 173–95; Reynolds, ‘Musical Careers’; Perkins, L., ‘Musical Patronage at the Royal Court of France under Charles VII and Louis XI (1422–83)’, JAMS, 37 (1984), pp. 507–66Google Scholar; Starr, P., ‘Music and Music Patronage at the Papal Court, 1447–1464’ (Ph.D. dissertation, Yale University, 1987)Google Scholar; and Planchart, A., ‘Guillaume Du Fay's Benefices and his Relationship to the Court of Burgundy’, Early Music History, 8 (1988), pp. 117–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

6 Studies useful for the evolution of the papal provision of benefices include: Heintschel, D., The Medieval Concept of an Ecclesiastical Office, Catholic University of America Canon Law Studies 363 (Washington, DC, 1956)Google Scholar; Mollat, G., ‘Bénéfices ecclésiastiques’, Dictionnaire de droit canonique, ii (Paris, 19351942), pp. 407ffGoogle Scholar; idem, La collation des bénéfices ecclésiastiques sous les papes d'Avignon, Bibliothèque de l'Institut de Droit Canonique, Université de Strasbourg 1 (Paris, 1921); and Barraclough, G., Papal Provisions: Aspects of Church History, Constitutional, Legal and Administrative, in the Later Middle Ages (Oxford, 1935)Google Scholar. See also Starr, ‘Music and Music Patronage’, pp. 15–31, and Reynolds, ‘Musical Careers’, pp. 52–3.

7 Codex iuris canonici (Rome, 1918), can. 1409Google Scholar.

8 I have discussed these conditions at some length in the paper ‘From Cradle to Grave: New Light on the Careers of Renaissance Musicians’, presented at the annual spring meeting of the American Musicological Society Midwest Chapter, Milwaukee, 5–6 April 1991.

9 Christopher Reynolds discusses the phenomenon of musicians' itinerancy in great detail in a chapter of his forthcoming book on fifteenth-century music and musicians at St Peter's in Rome (I thank Professor Reynolds for kindly supplying me with a draft of this chapter). See also idem, ‘Southern Pull or Northern Push?: Motives for Migration in the Renaissance’, Atti del XIV Congresso della Società internazionale di musicologia, Bologna, 27 August–1 September (Bologna, 1990), pp. 155–61; Fallows, D., ‘The Contenance angloise: English Influence on Continental Composers of the Fifteenth Century’, Renaissance Studies, 1 (1987), pp. 189208CrossRefGoogle Scholar; and Haggh, B., ‘Itinerancy to Residency: Professional Careers and Performance Practices in 15th-Century Sacred Music’, Early Music, 17 (1989), pp. 358–66Google Scholar.

10 See especially Lockwood, ‘Strategies of Music Patronage’; idem, Music in Renaissance Ferrara, pp. 185–95; Reynolds, ‘Musical Careers’; and Starr, P., ‘The Ferrara Connection: A Case Study of Musical Recruitment in the Renaissance’, Studi Musicali, 18 (1989), pp. 317Google Scholar.

11 It was but part of the ‘good lordship’ of Renaissance princes to provide a comfortable retirement for the members of their household chapel, either with benefices within their collation (as, for example, the dukes of Burgundy, who were richly endowed with ecclesiastical patronage with which to reward members of their household), or with help in acquiring benefices from Rome. For the patronage by the dukes of Burgundy, see Wright, C., Music at the Court of Burgundy, 1364–1419, Musicological Studies 28 (Henryville, PA, Ottawa and Binningen, 1979), pp. 6770Google Scholar; Marix, J., Histoire de la musique et des musiciens de la cour de Bourgogne sous le règne de Philippe le Bon (1420–1467) (Strasbourg, 1939; repr. Geneva, 1972), 157202Google Scholar; Strohm, R., Music in Late Medieval Bruges (Oxford, 1985), pp. 1141Google Scholar; and Planchart, ‘Guillaume Du Fay's Benefices’, pp. 134–8. The Vatican records for the years 1447–71 show that members of the Burgundian chapel fared exceptionally well with benefices acquired through Rome.

12 For example, in my study of the papal chapel that covers the years 1447 to 1464 (‘Music and Music Patronage’, pp. 114–98) I document the beneficial histories of each of its musicians. Although each singer possessed the same advantages, resident at the papal Curia and employed by the pope – the ultimate source of patronage through benefices – they had widely diverging degrees of success in the pursuit of benefices. And the most fortunate in this respect were by no means always the most senior or the most illustrious. The inevitable conclusion is that here, as with musicians outside the papal sphere, much depended upon the canniness of the individual seeker after benefices.

13 Candes-St-Martin is a small village in Touraine, near the confluence of the Loire and Vienne rivers, and the site of a medieval church of note dedicated to St Martin. I thank Professor Leeman Perkins for having helped clarify the location of this benefice of Okeghem.

14 Okeghem is known to have held these benefices: the Dignity of Treasurer, collegiate church of St Martin in Tours; the Dignity of Provost, with canonry, at St Martin in Candes-St-Martin; a canonry at the cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris; Chaplaincy of the altar of St Louis, collegiate church of St Benoît, Paris; and a canonry at the cathedral of Chartres.

For the relevant documents, see ASV RS 595, fols. 148v–149r and RL 629, fol. 80v (Notre Dame, Paris); RS 717, fols. 210v–211r and a document contributed by Jeremy Noble to the ren*arch database (Chartres); and the documents cited in note 16 below (Candes-St-Martin). For recent literature on the benefices of Okeghem see Perkins, ‘Musical Patronage at the Royal Court of France’, pp. 523–7; idem, ‘Ockeghem, Johannes’, The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. S. Sadie, 20 vols. (London, 1980), xiii, pp. 489–90; Lesure, F., ‘Ockeghem à Notre-Dame de Paris (1463–1470)’, Essays in Musicology in Honor of Dragan Plamenac on his 70th Birthday, ed. Reese, G. and Snow, R. (Pittsburgh, PA, 1969), pp. 147–54Google Scholar; and Wright, C., Music and Ceremony at Notre Dame of Paris, 500–1550 (Cambridge, 1989), pp. 303–5Google Scholar.

15 The fact was reported by Vaucelle, E. R. in ‘Les Annates du diocèse de Tours, 1421–1521’, Bulletin Trimestriel de la Société Archéologique de Touraine, 16 (19071908), p. 116Google Scholar. Recent articles that make use of this information include Reynolds, ‘Musical Careers’, p. 62, n. 40, and Perkins, ‘Musical Patronage at the Royal Court of France’, pp. 532–4.

16 The documents are, in chronological order (in the ASV): RV 513, fols. 14 and 17v–19r; RS 595, fol. 148; RL 629, fols. 81v–83r; A 17, fol. 183v; IE 467, fol. 32r; ASR MC 841, fol. 157v; and ASV RS 647, fol. 232.

17 So advises the anonymous author of a late fifteenth-century handbook on the acquisition of benefices, Practica cancellariae apostolicae saeculi XV. exeuntis, ed. Schmitz-Kallenberg, L. (Münster, 1904), pp. 41–2Google Scholar.

18 On the role and duties of the procurator at the papal court, see Jacob, E. F., ‘To and From the Court of Rome in the Early Fifteenth Century’, Essays in Later Medieval History (Manchester, 1968), pp. 5878Google Scholar; Kirsch, J., ‘Andreas Sapiti, englische Prokurator an der Kurie im 14. Jahrhundert’, Historisches Jahrbuch, 14 (1893), pp. 582603Google Scholar; Clergeac, A., La Curie et les bénéficiers consistoriaux: Étude sur les communs et menus services, 1300–1600 (Paris, 1911), pp. 5677Google Scholar; Heckel, R., ‘Das Aufkommen der ständigen Prokuratoren an der päpstlichen Kurie’, Miscellanea Francesco Ehrle, ii, Studi e Testi 38 (Vatican City, 1924), pp. 290321Google Scholar; and Barraclough, G., ‘Praxis Beneficiorum’, Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte, Kanonische Abt. 27 (1938), pp. 94ffGoogle Scholar.

19 A calendar of the benefices sought in Rome by Puyllois can be seen in Starr, ‘Music and Music Patronage’, pp. 287–8.

20 Figures for Du Fay and Binchois come from Fallows, , Dufay, p. 216Google Scholar.

21 His name is associated only with the supplication for the benefice at St Martin in Candes-St-Martin, but Puyllois probably lodged another supplication for Okeghem at the same time, for a canonry at Notre Dame in Paris. Both supplications bear the same date, and appear consecutively in the papal register.

We know of only two other instances when musicians at the papal court served as procurators for colleagues. The veteran papal singer Johannes Hurtault assisted Johannes Regis to his scholastria at St Vincent in Soignies (1464); and Nicholas Rembert, sometime singer at San Pietro and an official in the apostolic Chancery, represented Tinctoris in his quest for a canonry at the cathedral of Liège (1476). (For Hurtault, see ASV A 15, fol. 39v; Rembert's role is discussed in Noble, ‘New Light on Josquin's Benefices’, pp. 81–4 and Reynolds, ‘Musical Careers’, p. 62).

22 For the more protracted and detailed discussion of the process of acquisition of Okeghem's benefice, see Starr, ‘Music and Music Patronage’, pp. 31–62. The narrative relies heavily on the primary source Practica cancellariae, as well as secondary literature cited below. A more condensed description of the process of acquiring a benefice can also be found in Sherr, ‘Papal Chapel’, pp. 10–12.

23 For public notaries, see Barraclough, G., Public Notaries and the Papal Curia (London, 1934)Google Scholar. There is a formidable quantity of literature on the papal supplication. The oldest and newest treatments are the most useful: the Practica cancellariae, pp. 1–15, and Frenz's, Thomas exhaustive study, Die Kanzlei der Päpste der Hochrenaissance (1471–1527), Bibliothek des Deutschen Historischen Instituts in Rom 63 (Tübingen, 1986)CrossRefGoogle Scholar. Other useful studies include Katterbach, B., Specimina supplicationum ex registris vaticana (Rome, 1927)Google Scholar; Calendar of Scottish Supplications to Rome, 1418–1422, ed. Lindsay, E. R. and Cameron, A. I., Publications of the Scottish History Society, 3rd ser., 23 (Edinburgh, 1934)Google Scholar; Berlière, U., Suppliques de Clément VI (1342–1352), Analecta Vaticano-Belgica 1 (Rome, 1906), pp. ixxiiGoogle Scholar; Rabiskauskas, P., Diplomatica pontificia, 3rd edn (Rome, 1972), pp. 45140Google Scholar; and Pitz, E., Supplikensignatur und Briefexpedition an der Römischen Kurie im Pontificat Papst Calixtus III, Bibliothek des Deutschen Historischen Instituts in Rom 42 (Tübingen, 1972)Google Scholar.

24 See Practica cancellariae, p. 2. Errors in style might cause the Curial bureaucracy to reject the supplication out of hand. Errors in fact, including incorrect orthography, might ultimately cause the papal provision to be invalid in law. In the Registers of Supplications at the Vatican one sees countless examples of the reformatio, a document presented expressly to correct factual error in the original supplication.

25 See Van den Nieuwenhuizen, J., ‘De koralen, de zangers en de zangmeesters van de Antwerpse O.-L.-Vrouwekerk tijdens de 15e. eeuw’, Antwerps Katedraalkoor, ed. Schrooten, P. (Antwerp, 1978), pp. 40 and 47-8Google Scholar. See also Starr, ‘Music and Music Patronage’, pp. 162–3 and 168–9.

26 Fallows, David (‘The Life of Johannes Regis, 1425 to 1496’, Revue Belge de Musicologie, 43 (1989), p. 157, n. 86)CrossRefGoogle Scholar, also endorses this version of the name as one that is used by ‘all sources with any claim to a connection with the composer’.

On the authority of the version of musicians' names found in Vatican documents, see Starr, ‘Music and Music Patronage’, pp. 43–4 and 54–5. Hence the version of Johannes Puyllois's name used in the present article – the version that appears in all supplications and papal bulls that bear this composer's name.

27 ASV RV 513, fols. 14 and 17v-19r, dated 4 January 1464. This is the papal response to a supplication from Louis IX, dated 17 April 1463, submitted on behalf of various nominees, courtiers, familiars and many members of his chapel. The letter confirms the provision of expectative graces, and also bestows the requisite dispensations for clerics who held two or more ‘incompatible’ benefices. For a discussion of this document see Perkins, ‘Musical Patronage at the Royal Court of France’, p. 533, n. 68.

28 On the uses (and frequent abuses) of expectatives, see especially Mollat, , Collation, pp. 6975Google Scholar and idem, ‘Expectatives’, Dictionnaire de droit canonique, v, pp. 678–90; Tihon, C., ‘Les expectatives in forma pauperum’, Bulletin de l'Institut Historique Belge de Rome, 5 (1925), pp. 51118Google Scholar; and Baix, F., ‘De la valeur historique des actes pontificaux de collation des bénéfices’, Hommage à Dom Ursmer Berlière (Brussels, 1931), pp. 5766Google Scholar.

29 Classic studies of the effects of the Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges and its abrogation on relations between France and the Holy See are Valois, N., Histoire de la Pragmatique Sanction de Bourges sous Charles VII, Archives de l'Histoire Religieuse de la France 4 (Paris, 1906)Google Scholar; Bourdon, P., ‘L'abrogation de la Pragmatique et les règles de la chancellerie de Pie II’, Mélanges d'Archeologie et d'Histoire, 28 (1908), pp. 207–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Salvini, J., ‘L'application de la Pragmatique Sanction sous Charles VII et Louis XI au chapitre cathédral de Paris’, Revue d'Histoire de l'Eglise de France, 3 (1912)Google Scholar, passim. See especially Bourdon, ‘L'abrogation’, pp. 214–18, on the correspondence between Pius II and Louis XI about privileges to be granted to the royal crown for the presentation of benefices in France.

30 The typical signature of the Referendarius read ‘concessum ut petitur in praesentia dom. nostri papae’. Supplications actually signed by the pope bore a version of the phrase ‘fiat ut petitur’. For the Referendarius, see Katterbach, B., Referendarii utriusque signaturiae a Martina V ad Clementem IX, Studi e Testi 55 (Vatican City, 1931)Google Scholar; idem, Specimina, pp. i–xvii; and Frenz, , Kanzlei, pp. 91–7Google Scholar.

31 See Célier, L., Les dataires du xve siècle et les origines de la Daterie apostolique, Bibliothèque des Ècoles Françaises d'Athènes et de Rome 103 (Paris, 1910), pp. 71ffGoogle Scholar; and Frenz, , Kanzlei, pp. 97100Google Scholar.

32 On the Registry of Supplications see especially Katterbach, , Specimina, pp. ixviiiGoogle Scholar; Calendar of Scottish Supplications, pp. i–xx; Pitz, , Supplikensignatur, pp. 150Google Scholar; and Frenz, , Kanzlei, pp. 100–4Google Scholar.

The Practica cancellarie (p. 20) alerts the procurator to the possibility of long delays between the dating and the registering of a supplication. Puyllois would undoubtedly have contrived, either by personal influence or through monetary incentives, to see that his supplication was processed within the statutory three days.

33 Three recent studies treat exhaustively the offices of the Apostolic Chancery and its expedition of the papal bull of provision: Pitz, Supplikensignatur; Frenz, Kanzlei; and Schwarz, B., Die Organisation kurialer Schreiberkollegien von ihrer Entstehung bis zur Mitte des 15. Jahrhunderts, Bibliothek des Deutschen Historischen Instituts in Rom 37 (Tübingen, 1972)Google Scholar.

34 ASV RL 629, fol. 83. The date of registration of the bull, 9 October 1466, appears at the end of the document. Following the date is the name Antonio de Piscia, one of two regentes cancellariae, who were charged with the final proof-reading of the registry copy; and, finally, the amount of the total fee assessed for the letter. (See Frenz, , Kanzlei, pp. 128–31.)Google Scholar Note that the process of expedition of this papal bull took nearly six months, from the official dating of the supplication (24 May 1466) to its final copying into the papal registers.

35 See Starr, ‘Music and Music Patronage’, pp. 57–8.

36 ASV A 17, fol. 183v, note added to the right-hand margin of the original pledge to pay the annates (See Appendix 1, document 1B). This payment is corroborated in ASV I.E. 467, fol. 32r, and ASR MC 841, fol. 157v.

37 Procurators customarily charged a handsome fee for their services, one that included reimbursement for the numerous fees and tips involved in the procurement of a papal provision (see, for example, Jacob, ‘To and From the Court of Rome’). We have no way of knowing whether money changed hands between Okeghem and Puyllois – over and above, of course, the probable reimbursement for the fees advanced by Puyllois. One would prefer to imagine that Okeghem might have rewarded his former musical colleague in a more appropriate currency, that of new sacred polyphony apt for performance by the members of the papal chapel. But this must remain only conjecture. At the least, we may infer in this act of procuration an instance of written communication between the two musicians.

38 ASV RL 483 fol. 295r–295v. At the time of my discovery of this document, in 05 1984, Du Fay scholars were unaware of its existence. Shortly after the announcement of its discovery and discussion of its significance in my paper to the AMS National Meeting in Baltimore, 1988, Professor Alejandro Planchart also discussed the document in his article ‘Guillaume Du Fay's Benefices’ (p. 139). The letter is published for the first time as document 3 in Appendix 1 below.

39 Fallows, , Dufay, p. 69Google Scholar. Fallows bases this conclusion on the fact that Du Fay's name does not appear in the virtually complete payment records of the ducal chapel for the years 1451–1458.

40 I am obliged, however, to register a small caveat here. The wording of the document is as follows: ’… pro quo dilectus filius nobilis vir Ludovicus Dux Sabaudiae asserens te dilectum consiliarium suum et magistrum ac primum capellanum capellae suae fore' (italics mine). The connotation of the word ‘fore’ is probably to be understood from the perspective of the author of the letter to Du Fay, Pope Nicholas, as referring to the legal status of the composer when he actually petitioned for a specific benefice in Savoy (a status that would confer priority in the collation to certain benefices in Savoy). So even if the letter does not absolutely confirm the fact of Du Fay's status as the magister cappellae of the duke's chapel in January 1454, it certainly demonstrates the intention of both Du Fay and the duke that the composer would be ensconced in that position when he submitted a petition for the benefice alluded to in this letter. Although the letter by no means rules out the possibility that Du Fay was already installed in 1454, it is possible that the duke's petition to the pope had been drawn up in hopeful anticipation of that fact — as, indeed, an aggressive tool of recruitment.

I thank Katherine Gill for her helpful suggestions with respect to the interpretation of the language in the papal letter to Du Fay.

41 Bouquet, M., ‘La cappella musicale dei duchi di Savoia dal 1450 al 1500’, Rivista Italiana di Musicologia, 3 (1968), pp. 244–5Google Scholar.

42 See Planchart, ‘Guillaume Du Fay's Benefices’, p. 132, for a discussion of Du Fay's degree and a list of the five documents that mention the degree, which was most probably conferred between 1436 and 1439. The papal bull is the only official Vatican document that contains this information, and, as I shall maintain below, its inclusion in this particular document was quite deliberate.

43 See Planchart, ‘Guillaume Du Fay's Benefices’, pp. 169–71, for a corroborative view. Professor Planchart has examined many papal documents that bear the composer's name, and he has confirmed that the version used here is common to all of them.

44 Thanks to the oft-cited letter from Du Fay to Piero and Giovanni de' Medici, dated 22 Febravery either 1454 or 1456, we can guess that Du Fay's procurator in this matter was the Florentine ambassador to Savoy, Francesco Sachetti, who had recently assisted Du Fay ‘when I was in need of something from the court of Rome’. See D'Accone, F., ‘The Singers of San Giovanni in Florence’, JAMS, 14 (1961), pp. 318–19Google Scholar; also Wright, C., ‘Dufay at Cambrai’, JAMS, 28 (1975), p. 190Google Scholar; and Fallows, , Dufay, p. 71Google Scholar.

45 Pastor, , History of the Popes, ii, pp. 41–2Google Scholar; Delaruelle, E., Labande, E. R. and Orliac, P., L'église au temps du Grand Schisme et de crise conciliaire (1378–1449), i (Paris, 1962), p. 313Google Scholar.

46 Planchart, ‘Guillaume Du Fay's Benefices’, pp. 132–3. The fact that Du Fay failed to include this information even in his all-important papal supplication of 1436 for the canonry at Cambrai suggests to me that he had not obtained the degree by that time. The benefice was reserved as a prebenda libera jurista, and may have been provided to Du Fay in anticipation of his receiving the degree. (See Wright, ‘Dufay at Cambrai’, p. 186.)

47 Planchart, ‘Guillaume Du Fay's Benefices’, p. 132.

48 Two documents from the 1450s testify to this: ASV RL 505, fols. 82r–83v, dated 20 April 1455, a renewal of the dispensation for Bartholomeus Chuet to retain his canonry in the cathedral of Geneva, which required either the status of nobility or a university degree more advanced than the B.dec. held by Chuet; and RS 461, fol. 114r–114v, dated 22 July 1452, a request for a creatio in nobilem, the granting of a patent of nobility to Johannes Clisse and to other musicians in the duke's chapel so that they might qualify to hold prebends in the cathedrals of Lausanne and Geneva.

49 The possible evidence from Du Fay's letter to the Medici should be mentioned here. If the later dating, preferred by Wright, is used, then the letter may allude to help furnished by Sachetti to Du Fay in a second petition to the papal court. If we accept the earlier dating, as suggested by D'Accone, then Du Fay must be referring to Sachetti's assistance in procurating the petition that yielded the papal bull of 1454. Although Wright's arguments are persuasive, I am inclined towards the earlier date of 1454, simply because there is absolutely no other evidence of a second supplication presented by Du Fay (see the references cited in note 44).

50 For Du Fay's benefices, see Baix, F., ‘La carrière “bénéficiale” de Guillaume Dufay’, Bulletin de l'Institut Historique Belge de Rome, 8 (1928), pp. 265–72Google Scholar; Fallows, Dufay, passim; Wright, ‘Dufay at Cambrai’; and Planchart, ‘Guillaume Du Fay's Benefices’.

51 Planchart, ‘Guillaume Du Fay's Benefices’, p. 139.

52 Fallows, , Dufay, p. 71Google Scholar.

53 See Starr, ‘Music and Music Patronage’, pp. 208–19, for a discussion of the relative undesirability of benefices in Italy.

54 See, for example, Strohm, R., Music in Late Medieval Bruges (Oxford, 1985), pp. 1041Google Scholar; Forney, K., ‘Music, Ritual and Patronage at the Church of Our Lady, Antwerp’, Early Music History, 7 (1987), pp. 157CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Haggh, B., ‘Music, Liturgy, and Ceremony in Brussels, 1350–1500’ (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Illinois, 1988), pp. 97226Google Scholar; idem, ‘Itinerancy to Residency’; Wright, , Music and Ceremony at Notre Dame, pp. 1827 and 165–95Google Scholar; Wegman, R., ‘Music and Musicians at the Guild of Our Lady in Bergen op Zoom, c. 1470–1510’, Early Music History, 9 (1990), pp. 175249CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Robertson, A. Walters, ‘The Mass of Guillaume Machaut in the Cathedral of Reims’, Plainsong and Polyphony in the Later Middle Ages and Renaissance, ed. Kelly, T. (Cambridge, 1991), pp. 100–39Google Scholar; and Schreurs, E., ‘Het muziekleven in de Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk van Tongeren (circa 1400–1797)’ (Ph.D. dissertation, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, 1990)Google Scholar. (I thank Barbara Haggh for the last citation, and for her substantial notes on the dissertation, which was not available to me when writing this article.)

55 See Appendix 2 for a list, arranged by geographical region and diocese, of the churches that submitted papal supplications.

56 The petition from the collegiate church of Ste Croix in Cambrai [4] is the only one to state directly that the eight choral vicars to be appointed to permanent posts would fill in for eight permanently absent canons. (The number in brackets refers, in all cases, to the number of the document as listed in Appendix 2.)

57 Consider, for example, Reinhard Strohm's succinct assessment of the problem: ‘Because many singers of the [Burgundian] ducal chapel held their prebends in absentia, the collegiate church actually subsidized the music of the court’ (Music in Late Medieval Bruges, p. 23). This ‘subsidy’, moreover, worked to the actual detriment of music at the collegiate church.

58 Anne Walters Robertson (‘The Mass of Guillaume de Machaut’) reports that as early as 1352 the chapter of the cathedral of Rheims sought papal approval for a restructuring of capitular funding to pay the salaries of choral vicars, as well as four pueri choriales, who were needed to remedy the dwindling number of canons present in choir for daily services. Unfortunately, the copy of the original papal supplication, one of the earliest of this type to be reported, has not been preserved in the Vatican Archives.

59 Haggh, ‘Music in Brussels’, pp. 101–5.

60 ‘Guerras, mortalitates, et pestes’, as the collegiate church of St Wolfram in Abbeville (Amiens diocese) puts it [1]. Apparently, no church in northern France or the Low Countries was immune from the sharp decline in the value of property from which prebendial income and endowments were principally derived during the fifteenth century. See Denifle, H., La désolation des églises, monastères, et hospitaux en France pendant la guerre de cent ans (Paris, 1897), especially ii, pp. 761–4Google Scholar, for a general discussion relating to France; and Haggh, ‘Music in Brussels’, pp. 115–21 and 221–5, for the specific impact upon music in churches in the Low Countries.

61 But see Forney, ‘Music, Ritual and Patronage’, p. 6, discussing the papal bulls of John XXIII (1414) and Martin V (1430), which provide twelve chaplaincies in Our Lady of Antwerp for musicians to sing services in discant. Strohm, , Music in Late Medieval Bruges, p. 17Google Scholar, discusses an endowment of 1421 for a choral foundation that would establish a daily polyphonic mass.

62 The requirement of residency appears in the wording of nearly all the petitions. Only the chapter of St Germain in Thèux [14] stipulated the hiring of non-resident singers.

63 See Wright, ‘Dufay at Cambrai’, pp. 195–6, and see Appendix 1, document 4 below for a partial transcription and translation of a petition by the cathedral of Cambrai from 1453. It is possible that the canon Du Fay had a hand in the drawing-up of this document. He was serving as master of the petits-vicaires just before leaving for Savoy in 1452.

64 On the role of music training and performance in the maîtrises of this period, see Becker, O., ‘The Maîtrise in Northern France and Burgundy during the Fifteenth Century’ (Ph.D. dissertation, George Peabody College for Teachers, Nashville, TN, 1967)Google Scholar. For a recent and thorough analysis of the workings of the maîtrise at the cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, see Wright, , Music and Ceremony at Notre Dame, pp. 165–95Google Scholar.

65 Numerous recent studies demonstrate that choirboys took part in polyphony in churches throughout northern France and the Low Countries by the middle of the fifteenth century. See especially Haggh, ‘Music in Brussels’, pp. 154–68; Strohm, , Music in Late Medieval Bruges, pp. 13, 22–3, and 36–8Google Scholar; Forney, ‘Music, Ritual and Patronage’, pp. 7–8 and 38; and Higgins, P., ‘Tracing the Careers of Late Medieval Composers: The Case of Philippe Basiron of Bourges’, Acta Musicologica, 62 (1990), pp. 128CrossRefGoogle Scholar. Even at Notre Dame in Paris, where the performance of polyphony was ostensibly prohibited in the early fifteenth century, the choirboys were instructed in this art. And by the end of the century the choirboys took regular part in performance of polyphony at Notre Dame (Wright, , Music and Ceremony at Notre Dame, pp. 166–9 and 173–4Google Scholar).

66 The cathedral lodged two separate supplications. The first stipulated 24 l.p.t.; three years later, the figure was doubled. Both documents indicate that the organist himself would be responsible for carrying out repairs and tuning the instrument.

67 Such merging is termed ‘incorporation’ by Barbara Haggh (‘Music in Brussels’, pp. 115–21), and could involve either chaplaincies controlled by the chapter or those administered under lay endowments.

68 The funds from the suppression of this parish church, 130 l.p.t., accrued to the newly established office of psalleta, whose master of the choirboys was Alanus Juvenis, a councillor of the Duke of Brittany. One suspects that pressure from the ducal court was applied to persuade Jean Lohaer to resign his parish church in favour of Juvenis and the psalleta.

69 ‘… quatuor honestis viris cantoribus… [in] scientia [et] arte musicae specialiter eruditis quisque vocem habeat sufficienter fortem et altum ac psalmodie ecclesie congruentem’ [31].

70 ‘Quatuor probis viris literatis honeste vite morum et literatum scientia instructis in famosa universitate graduatis et specialiter qualificatis scilicet magistris, licentiatis aut baccalauris formatis in teologia vel adminus actu studentibus universitate et in proximis formandis seu licentiatis in altero iurium assegnarentur et conferrentur’ [32].

I thank Katherine Gill for her kind assistance in examining the original of this document in the Vatican Archives, when my own copy proved defective. Dr Gill informs me that the phrase ‘baccalaureus formatus’ was used to refer to one of the four ranks of faculty at the University of Paris.

71 The standard work on the history of the Sacra Penitentiaria is Göller, E., Die päpstliche Poenitentiarie von ihrem Ursprung bis zu ihrer Umgestaltung unter Pius V, Bibliothek des Kgl. Preussischen Historischen Instituts in Rom 3–4 and 7–8 (Rome, 1907, 1911)Google Scholar. Also useful are Lea, H., A Formulary of the Papal Penitentiary of the Thirteenth Century (Philadelphia, PA, 1892)Google Scholar; idem, ‘The Taxes of the Papal Penitentiary’, English Historical Review, 8 (1893), pp. 424–33; and Chouet, P., ‘Pénitencerie apostolique’, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique (Paris, 1923), xii, 1, cols. 1138–68Google Scholar.

72 Tamburini, F., ‘Il primo registro di suppliche dell'Archivio della Sacra Penitenzieria Apostolica (1410–1411)’, Rivista di Storia della Chiesa in Italia, 23 (1969), pp. 384427 (esp. 420–5)Google Scholar.

73 On the archives of the Sacra Penitentiaria, see especially Tamburini, ‘Il primo registro’; idem, ‘Note diplomatiche intorno a suppliche e lettere di Penitenzieria (sec. xiv-xv)’, Archivum Historiae Pontificiae, 11 (1973), pp. 195–8 and 475–7; idem, ‘Un registro di bolle di Sisto IV nell' Archivio della Penitenzieria Apostolica’, Palaeographica, diplomatica, et archivistica: studi in onore di Giulio Battelli, ii, Storia e Letteratura 140 (Rome, 1979), pp. 375–405; and Fink, K., ‘Das Archiv des Sacra Poenitentiaria Apostolica’, Zeitschrift für Kirchengeschichte, 83 (1972), pp. 8892Google Scholar.

74 Fink, ‘Das Archiv’, p. 92. Permission must now be obtained from the office of the Apostolic Penitentiary, located at the Palazzo della Cancelleria in Rome. I was extremely fortunate to be present in the Vatican Archives in 1983, when this fondo was, for a short period, made entirely available to the public without the need for obtaining special permission. Very few music historians have yet taken full advantage of this valuable resource.

75 Göller, , Päpstliche Poeniteniarie, iii, pp. 50–3Google Scholar.

76 A sociological aside: petitioners were required to indicate the precise circumstances of their birth. The number of clergy in the fifteenth century born of illicit unions between members of the clergy (such as priests and nuns) is quite astonishing. Or perhaps not so, since a career in the church was probably the best means of advancement for an illegitimate child, especially one with patronage only among the clergy.

77 See, for example, Alejandro Planchart's recent theory about the probable illegitimate birth of Du Fay. Professor Planchart bases this conclusion on information gleaned from a papal document that suggests that the composer had failed to obtain the necessary dispensation for the defectus natalium before acquiring a particular benefice (Planchart, ‘Guillaume Du Fay's Benefices’, p. 118).

78 ASV, SP, 4, fols. 11v and 13r; SP 4, fol. 52r; SP 17, fols. 99v and 191r; SP 6, fol. 392r; SP 31, fol. 196.

79 ASV SP 3, fol. 203v; SP 10, fol. 170r.

80 Crimes of violence could also result in the loss of benefices. See Starr, ‘Music and Music Patronage’, pp. 184–6, for the story of Petrus Landrich, a papal musician who was forced to withdraw a petition for a benefice in the diocese of Utrecht because he had killed an assailant in self-defence.

81 ASV SP 17, fol. 119r; SP, fols. 133V, 181r and 190v.

82 The only musician alleged to have brandished a weapon was Guillermus de Cault, who again required absolution for another violent crime in 1476 (SP 24, fol. 102r). The very act of bearing a weapon was a violation of canon law for a member of the clergy. One reads petitions from clergy in which the presence of a deadly weapon is euphemised as ‘a knife for the paring of fruit’. (See, for example, ASV RS 655, fols. 205v–206v, a description of an altercation between two Benedictine monks of Poitiers.)

83 ASV SP 9, fol. 134r, published for the first time, as document 5 in Appendix 1.

84 Inventaire-sommaire des archives départementales antérieures à 1790: Indre-et-Loire, ii, Archives Ecclésiastiques, ser. G, Clergé Séculier, ed. Grandmaison, C. (Tours, 1882), pp. iiiii and 1276Google Scholar.

85 Most recently discussed in ‘Antoine Busnois and Musical Culture in Late Fifteenth-Century France and Burgundy’ (Ph.D. dissertation, Princeton University, 1987), pp. 125–36; and In hydraulis Revisited: New Light on the Career of Antoine Busnois’, JAMS, 39 (1986), pp. 6976 and 86Google Scholar.

86 The version of his name in the document from St Martin is ‘Antonius Bunoys’, which is more than once associated in contemporary documents with the alternative version, ‘de Busne’ (seeHiggins, , ‘In hydraulis Revisited’, pp. 83–4Google Scholar). As with the orthographies Du Fay, Okeghem and Puyllois discussed above, the use of the version ‘Anthonius de Busne’ in a document emanating from the papal Curia confers upon that version a distinct air of authority.

87 It is, nevertheless, the earliest allusion to specific benefice held by Busnoys, and the only one not located in Burgundian territories. For benefices held by Busnoys, see Higgins, , ‘In hydraulis Revisited’, pp. 51–3Google Scholar; idem, ‘Antoine Busnois’, pp. 114–24; and B. Haggh, ‘New Documents from the Low Countries’, paper read at the Capitol Chapter meeting of the American Musicological Society, 20 January 1990. (I am grateful to Professor Haggh for providing me with a copy of this paper.)

88 One might even be tempted to speculate whether one of these highly prized benefices was the cause of the quarrel between Busnoys and the priest. Perhaps the priest had balked the composer of this desirable appointment.

89 Paula Higgins has informed me that she is in possession of new documents that similarly suggest that Busnoys ‘was a composer of considerable stature already in 1465’ (private communication to the author, 26 September 1990).

90 For the possibility that Busnoys also received his education in Tours, perhaps at the maîtrise at St Martin, see Higgins, , ‘In hydraulis Revisited’, pp. 74–6Google Scholar.

91 Both Perkins, Leeman (The Mellon Chansonnnier, ed. Perkins, L. and Garey, H., i (New Haven, CT, 1979), p. 17)Google Scholar and Paula Higgins (‘Antoine Busnois’, pp. 247–50) have commented on the frequent pairing of the two composers in the pages of the theoretical works of Tinctoris, a pairing that suggests ‘that he knew [these composers] better than by reputation alone’ (Mellon Chansonnier, i, p. 17). Higgins has further suggested that the three men enjoyed a period of geographic proximity, a conclusion drawn from information provided by Ronald Woodley, which places Tinctoris at the University of Orlé ans during 1462–3 (and possibly from as early as 1457. (See his Johannes Tinctoris: A Review of the Documentary Biographical Evidence’, JAMS, 34 (1981), pp. 225–8Google Scholar.) As Higgins points out, the city of Orléans is a mere seventy miles up-river from Tours.

92 Higgins, ‘Antoine Busnois’, pp. 138–46, 241–4; idem, ‘In hydraulis Revisited’, pp. 76–83.

93 Perkins, L., ‘The L'homme Armé Masses of Busnoys and Okeghem’, Journal of Musicology, 3 (1984), pp. 363–91CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

94 Taruskin, R., ‘Antoine Busnois and the L'homme armé Tradition’, JAMS, 39 (1986), p. 273Google Scholar.

95 Higgins, ‘Antoine Busnois’, p. 143. She notes also that Okeghem held, from 1458 at the latest, a provostship at St Martin.

96 Chevalier, B., Tours, ville royale (1356–1520), Publications de la Sorbonne, MS Recherches 14 (Paris, 1975), pp. 243–7Google Scholar; as cited in Higgins, ‘Antoine Busnois’, p. 144. See also idem, ‘Tracing the Careers of Late Medieval Composers’, pp. 15–16; Perkins, ‘Musical Patronage at the Royal Court of France’, p. 539; Kendall, P., Louis XI (New York, 1971), pp. 116–18Google Scholar; and Tyrrell, J., Louis XI (Boston, MA, 1980), p. 63Google Scholar.

97 For the full text and translation of In hydraulis, see Perkins, ‘L'homme armé Masses’, p. 364. See also Higgins, , ‘In hydraulis Revisited’, pp. 75–6Google Scholar, and idem, ‘Antoine Busnois’, pp. 148–58.

98 Linden, H. Vander, Itinéraires de Philippe le Bon, due de Bourgogne, 1419–1467, el de Charles, comte de Charolais, 1433–1467 (Brussels, 1940), pp. 435–6Google Scholar, as reported by Barbara Haggh in her communication to the editor of JAMS, 40 (1987), p. 143.

99 Tyrrell, , Louis XI, p. 51Google Scholar, and Kendall, , Louis XI, pp. 114–18Google Scholar. The latter author discusses the efforts made by the new French king immediately after his coronation to recruit the friendship of the Count of Charolais. It is extremely likely, therefore, that Charles visited Tours as an honoured guest of Louis.

100 We do not know the precise dates of the attacks planned by Busnoys. I would estimate, given the time required for the processing of a supplication at the papal court (between three and six months), that his actions probably took place in the autumn of 1460. The interval of a year would not, I think, be sufficient completely to stamp out gossip in the chapter about the imbroglio involving Busnoys.

101 Higgins, Paula (‘In hydraulis Revisited, pp. 75)Google Scholar establishes the informal connection with the Burgundian court, implicit in the motet In hydraulis, as having occurred between 1465 opport and 1467. In ‘Tracing the Careers’, p. 16, n. 70, she further narrows the period to early 1467.

102 See, for example, Lockwood, L., ‘Aspects of the “L'Homme armé” Tradition’, Proceedings of the Royal Music Association, 100 (19731974), p. 109Google Scholar; Fallows, D., Dufay, pp. 201–2Google Scholar; Haggh, ‘Communication’, and the response by Richard Taruskin immediately following. (But see Higgins, ‘Antoine Busnois’, p. 97, n. 170; and idem, review of Strohm's, R.Music in Late Medieval Bruges, in JAMS, 42 (1989), pp. 155–6, n. 15Google Scholar, for a dissenting view.) The career and character of Charles of Burgundy is compellingly set forth in Vaughan, R., Charles the Bold: The Last Valois Duke of Burgundy (London, 1973)Google Scholar.

103 See especially the article by Taruskin, Richard (‘Antoine Busnois’) and the various responses to that article, JAMS, 40 (1987), pp. 139–53 and 576–80Google Scholar.

104 Taruskin, ‘Antoine Busnois’; W. Prizer, ‘The Order of the Golden Fleece and Music of the Fifteenth Century’. I am very grateful to Professor Prizer for kindly sending me a copy of this paper. (See also his Music and Ceremonial in the Low Countries: Philip the Fair and the Order of the Golden Fleece’, Early Music History, 5 (1985), pp. 133–53Google Scholar, for observations on Burgundian ceremonial and music that also apply to the period under discussion.)

105 To use Richard Taruskin's apt locution (Taruskin, , ‘Communication to the Editor’, JAMS, 40 (1987), p. 149)Google Scholar.

106 ‘Catalyst’ should not, however, be confused with specific commission. I entirely agree with William Prizer, who suggests that a direct commission from Charles in 1461 would have been not only unlikely but also inappropriate, since Charles was not then the official head of the Order of the Golden Fleece. (Prizer, ‘Order of the Golden Fleece’). But the encounter might have provided at least a reason for Busnoys to cast about for a suitable project with which to impress a potential future employer.

107 It is extremely difficult to pinpoint the precise time within the period 1461–5 at which Busnoys might have set to work on his Missa L'homme armé. I incline towards a later date, if only because the chanson ‘Il sera pour vous / L'home armé’, which so patently appears to have influenced the composition of the mass, has been dated convincingly to 1464. (See Fallows, D., ‘Robert Morton's Songs: A Study of Styles in the Mid-Fifteenth Century’ (Ph.D. dissertation, University of California at Berkeley, 1978), pp. 202–44Google Scholar.) I concur with Dr Fallows that the text of this chanson points conclusively to authorship by a colleague of Simon Le Breton's in the Burgundian chapel, and that Simon's retirement from the chapel in 1464 would have been the most obvious occasion for its performance (though its composition might have antedated the official occasion for its performance by some time). One is reminded that Okeghem made two visits to Cambrai, in 1462 and in 1464; that on both occasions he was the guest of Guillaume Du Fay, a close friend and neighbour of Simon Le Breton; and that Du Fay's residence was only a block from the suggestively named Maison de L'homme armé. (See Wright, ‘Dufay at Cambrai’, pp. 208–12.) The temptation is strong to wonder if Okeghem was the courier who brought the chanson to the attention of Busnoys in Tours in 1464 or even as early as 1462. For a hypothesis of the transmission of the ‘L'Homme armé’ tradition that in part supports my construction, see Lockwood, ‘Aspects of the ‘L'Homme armé’ Tradition’, p. 110.