The document printed below survives in the mid-thirteenth-century cartulary of the abbey of Sainte-Geneviève at Paris. It confirms a settlement in which Master Herbert appears as one of eleven ‘assessors’ assisting the papal legate, Peter of Pavia, acting alongside a group of French and Italian dignitaries, including Herbert's fellow masters at Paris: Gerard Pucelle, Bernard of Pisa and Stephen of Tournai. The settlement was known to Beryl Smalley, but not Herbert's confirmation, which came to light only in January 2018, as the present volume was going to press. Although in many ways a standard instrument, merely confirming Herbert's presence at the legate's settlement, Herbert's choice of intitulatio, as ‘clerk of St Thomas, our glorious martyr’, is remarkable, demonstrating both his customary magniloquence and his determination, after 1170, to be seen dwelling constantly in Becket's shadow. Even the opening formula of the document declares this, being adapted from the first epistle of St John (1 John 1:1–3), the words of the disciple ‘whom Jesus loved’, witnessing to the truth of his master's teaching. Perhaps even more remarkably, Herbert, like St John the Evangelist, adopts the first person plural. This at a time when even bishops and were not always entirely confident in abandoning the first person singular. Before we attribute these features to Herbert's particular vanity, however, we should note that the quotation from St John occurs in others of the letters corroborating the legatine settlement, as does the first person plural. Although it is also worth noting here that the abbot and prior of Saint-Victor, in these same circumstances, employ first person singular. Herbert's seal, referred to at the end of the letter, is now lost. Can we doubt that it showed one of the earliest images of Becket's martyrdom?
Notification by Master Herbert of Bosham of his presence at a settlement made at Saint-Martin-des-Champs Paris, according to papal authority, by Peter (of Pavia), cardinal priest of S. Crisogono, papal legate, in disputes between the abbey of Sainte- Geneviève and Thibaut and Eudes the sons of Ranier de Val, two men of Vanves (Hauts-de-Seine, cant. Clamart), over services owing to the abbey.[June 1174 x July 1178]