1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Hallam, Robert

HALLAM, ROBERT (d. 1417), bishop of Salisbury and English representative at the council of Constance, was educated at Oxford, and was chancellor of the university from 1403 to 1405. In the latter year the pope nominated him to be archbishop of York, but the king objected. However, in 1407 he was consecrated by Gregory XII. at Siena as bishop of Salisbury. At the council of Pisa in 1409 he was one of the English representatives. On the 6th of June 1411 Pope John XXIII. made Hallam a cardinal, but there was some irregularity, and his title was not recognized. At the council of Constance (q.v.), which met in November 1414, Hallam was the chief English envoy. There he at once took a prominent position, as an advocate of the cause of Church reform, and of the superiority of the council to the pope. In the discussions which led up to the deposition of John XXIII. on the 29th of May 1415 he had a leading share. With the trials of John Hus and Jerome of Prague he had less concern. The emperor Sigismund, through whose influence the council had been assembled, was absent during the whole of 1416 on a diplomatic mission in France and England; but when he returned to Constance in January 1417, as the open ally of the English king, Hallam as Henry’s trusted representative obtained increased importance. Hallam contrived skilfully to emphasize English prestige by delivering the address of welcome to Sigismund on his formal reception. Afterwards, under his master’s direction, he gave the emperor vigorous support in the endeavour to secure a reform of the Church, before the council proceeded to the election of a new pope. This matter was still undecided when Hallam died suddenly, on the 4th of September 1417. After his death the direction of the English nation fell into less skilful hands, with the result that the cardinals were able to secure the immediate election of a new pope (Martin V., elected on the 11th of November). It has been supposed that the abandonment of the reformers by the English was due entirely to Hallam’s death; but it is more likely that Henry V., foreseeing the possible need for a change of front, had given Hallam discretionary powers which the bishop’s successors used with too little judgment. Hallam himself, who had the confidence of Sigismund and was generally respected for his straightforward independence, might have achieved a better result. Hallam was buried in the cathedral at Constance, where his tomb near the high altar is marked by a brass of English workmanship.

For the acts of the council of Constance see H. von der Hardt’s Concilium Constantiense, and H. Finke’s Acta concilii Constanciensis. For a modern account see Mandell Creighton’s History of the Papacy (6 vols., London, 1897).  (C. L. K.)