Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Pandulf

PANDULF (d. 1226), papal legate and bishop of Norwich, is usually identified with Pandulfus Masca, a member of a noble Pisan house of that name, who was made cardinal-priest of the Twelve Apostles by Lucius III in December 1182, discharged some important papal legations, and wrote the lives of some of the popes (Muratori, Rer. Ital. Scriptores, vol. iii. pt. i. p. 276; cf. however, Mas Latrie, Trésor de Chronologie, c. 1188, who refers to Cardella, Memorie Storiche de' Cardinali, i.) Ciaconius, in his life of Pandulf Masca, has also told us that he was made subdeacon by Calixtus II (1119–1124), so that, if the received identification is accepted, our Pandulf must have died more than a hundred years after receiving the subdiaconate. Moreover, Ciaconius so early as 1677 clearly pointed out the error of identifying Pandulf the English legate with Pandulf Masca. Nevertheless the identification is still often made, and even in so accurate a work as Dr. Stubbs's ‘Registrum Sacrum Anglicanum’ (p. 38) the bishop of Norwich is called ‘Pandulf Masca.’ But it is quite clear that the later Pandulf was never a cardinal at all (he is only called cardinal in John of Ypres' Chron. de St. Bertin in Bouquet, xviii. 604), and when he first crosses English history is regularly described as the pope's subdeacon simply (see the life of Pandulfus Masca in Ciaconius, Hist. Pontificum Rom. et S. R. E. Cardinalium, i. 1114–15, Rome, 1677; cf. also Muratori, Rer. Ital. Scriptores, vol. iii. pt. i. pp. 276–8, which corrects and adds to the biography of Ciaconius).

Pandulf was a Roman by birth (Ann. Worcester, p. 404), and became a clerk of the papal court under Innocent III. When the quarrel between Innocent III and King John with regard to the disputed succession to the archbishopric of Canterbury had already lasted more than four years, John began to realise the necessity of ending the struggle, and besought the pope to send envoys to treat with him about peace (Ann. Burton, pp. 209–10). Innocent accepted the English king's advances, and selected Pandulf for the mission, along with a knight of St. John named brother Durandus. Pandulf is variously described as ‘magister’ (Ann. Osney, p. 55), ‘domini papæ subdiaconus’ (Matt. Paris, ii. 531; Wykes, p. 56), and ‘quidam de capellanis domini papæ’ (Ann. Margam, p. 36). The pope calls both envoys ‘familiares nostros,’ and in Magna Charta and other official documents Pandulf is called ‘domini papæ subdiaconus et familiaris’ (cf. John's submission, Fœdera, i. 115; Ann. Burton, p. 218). The nuncios reached England at the end of July 1211 (‘post festum S. Jacobi;’ Ann. Waverley, p. 266). As they travelled through England they were received with extraordinary demonstrations of popular rejoicing (Ann. Osney, p. 55; Wykes, p. 56). John came back from his Welsh expedition to meet them in August at Northampton. A great council of nobles also assembled at the same place. The Burton ‘Annals’ (pp. 209–217) preserve a long and almost suspiciously minute and circumstantial account of the negotiations that ensued. The nuncios demanded the restoration of Langton and the exiled bishops. John answered angrily that he would hang Langton if he could catch him, and that he was only bound to obey the pope in things spiritual. Pandulf replied that John was equally bound to obey the pope in things temporal as in things spiritual. A long and angry historical controversy ensued, in which Pandulf said that John was striving to uphold the infamous laws of William the Bastard, rather than the excellent laws of St. Edward. At last Pandulf formally promulgated John's excommunication, and declared the English absolved from their allegiance. John did his best to frighten Pandulf, and hanged and mutilated various criminals in his presence to break his resolution. But the undaunted subdeacon remained firm, and actually saved one of the criminals, who was a clerk, from the royal sentence. John did not venture to do violence to the papal envoys, and they safely returned to the continent. The only results of the mission were that some of the king's clerks returned with them to open up further negotiations with the pope (Ann. Margam, p. 31), and that the interdict was slightly relaxed in the case of dying persons (Ann. Waverley, p. 271). Pandulf now joined Stephen Langton and the exiled bishops in Flanders (Ann. Dunstable, p. 36). He then returned to Rome (Ann. Osney, p. 55; Ann. Margam, p. 31). Perhaps he accompanied Langton, who also went to Rome about the same time. It should be added that some writers, including Dr. Pauli (Geschichte von England, iii. 365–6), reject the whole story of this first mission, believing it to be based upon the fancy of the Burton annalist, who described the great scene between the king and the papal envoy. But, though this is certainly suspicious, there seems other evidence for the fact of the mission (Ann. Waverley, p. 271; Ann. Margam, pp. 30–1; Cont. Flor. Wig. ii. 169; Flores Hist. ii. 140; Matt. Paris, Hist. Major, ii. 531; Chron. Rotomagensis in Bouquet, xviii. 360). Many of these writers, however, may simply copy the Burton and Waverley annalists; the silence of earlier writers like Walter of Coventry (ii. 211), and the absence of any reference to the matter in either English or papal documents, make for the sceptical view.

John's difficulties now came to a crisis, and the negotiations renewed by his envoys at Rome were vigorously pressed forward. On 27 Feb. 1213 Innocent wrote to John, announcing a fresh embassy. Pandulf and Durand were again the nuncios. They brought with them the hard conditions of John's submission, drawn up at Rome with the consent of John's envoys (Flores Hist. ii. 143; Calendar of Papal Letters, i. 37). Passing through France, Pandulf saw Philip Augustus, and forbade him invading England until the mission was accomplished. Two templars preceded Pandulf over the Channel. Early in May they were graciously received by John at Ewell, near Dover. On 13 May Pandulf himself saw the king at Dover, and threatened him with immediate French invasion if he would not submit to the holy see. On 15 May John's humiliation was completed.

Before numerous witnesses John formally surrendered his crown to Pandulf, as the pope's proctor, and received it back from the nuncio's hands as a fief of the holy see (the documents of submission and reconciliation are printed in the Annals of Burton, pp. 218–223; Rymer, Fœdera, i. 108, 111–12; Epp. Innocentii III, ed. Migne. The impression produced in Europe is well illustrated in W. Brito's Philippidos in Bouquet, xvii. 233). Pandulf received 8,000l. as an instalment of the compensation promised for the damage sustained by the church during the interdict. Matthew Paris tells us, in his rhetorical way, how Pandulf trampled this money under foot as an earnest of the future subjection of England to Rome (Hist. Major, ii. 546). Pandulf seems soon after to have returned to France, where he gave the 8,000l. to the exiled bishops, and persuaded them to go back to England. The return of Langton and the bishops ended the acute phase of the struggle.

Pandulf held an interview with Philip Augustus at Gravelines (Bouquet, xviii. 604, but cf. ib. 565, which says at Calais), where the French were waiting to invade England. Philip thought himself cheated by the pope, and was very angry with Innocent and his agent for accepting the submission of John, and thus frustrating his expected easy conquest of England. But Pandulf was soon back again in England, where he now busied himself in settling the complicated details that still remained to be arranged before the relations of England and Rome again became normal. A personage of greater weight than the humble subdeacon now appears on the scene. Nicholas, cardinal bishop of Tusculum, was appointed papal legate before 6 July, and sent to England to complete Pandulf's work. He arrived in England about Michaelmas. Pandulf was jointly commissioned with him to inquire about arrears of Peter pence due to the pope from England (Epp. Inn. III, iii. 960, ed. Migne). He was also still employed in collecting money to compensate the sufferers from the interdict, in mediating between John and the Welsh, and other business. He attended the solemn relaxation of the interdict by the legate and Langton at St. Paul's (Flores Hist. ii. 148). He exacted 100,000 marks from John for damages (Cal. Papal Letters, i. 40; Epp. Inn. III, iii. 953, ed. Migne). The records of Evesham (Chron. Evesham, pp. 231–4) show how his heavy hand was felt in every monastery in England.

Pandulf at this time constantly crossed and recrossed the Channel (‘ultro citroque discurrens,’ Walt. Cov. ii. 223). In June 1214 he was at Anjou (Fœdera, i. 122). Matthew Paris says that he was now sent to Rome by the legate, against whose actions the English bishops had appealed. This must have been early in 1214. At Rome he fought fiercely with Simon Langton [q. v.], who was also there (Hist. Major, ii. 571–2). But it was a defeat for Pandulf that the bishop of Tusculum's mission was brought to an end, though this fact necessitated his own presence again in England. He remained in this country for nearly all the rest of John's reign. He was at the king's side during the critical struggle of 1215 (ib. ii. 589). He is mentioned in the preamble to Magna Charta as one of the faithful band who adhered to John to the last, and by whose counsel the great charter of liberties was issued on 15 June 1215 (Select Charters, p. 296). In article 62 of the charter Pandulf is associated with the archbishops of Canterbury and Dublin, and some other bishops, as sureties for the general pardon and pacification promised by the king (ib. p. 305). But John immediately sought means of repudiating his word, and saw no better way out of his difficulties than to keep the pope and Pandulf thoroughly on his side. The bishopric of Norwich had been vacant since the death of John's old minister, Bishop Grey, in 1214. On 18 July he urged the prior and convent to make an election, according to the advice of Peter des Roches [q. v.] and other prelates, and the mandate of the pope. Before 9 Aug., on which day he is described as bishop-elect, Pandulf seems to have been in some way elected to the vacant see (Pauli, iii. 443, from Rot. Pat. p. 152. Le Neve, Fasti Eccl. Angl. ii. 460, ed. Hardy, is certainly wrong in putting the election as late as 1218). In August 1216 Pandulf is described by the pope as bishop-elect (Cal. Papal Letters, i. 141; cf. also Ann. Dunstable, p. 43; Ann. Tewkesbury, p. 61; and Ann. Worcester, p. 405). All these three chroniclers date the election in 1215. The Worcester ‘Annals’ also say he was elected ‘præcepto domini papæ.’ But there may well have been some irregularity in the election. On 16 Aug. a papal letter was laid before the assembled bishops at Brackley, when the archbishop was ordered to excommunicate the king's enemies, and Pandulf was associated with Peter des Roches, bishop of Winchester, and the abbot of Reading in compelling obedience to this mandate (Walt. Cov. ii. 223). John now persuaded Pandulf to go to Rome and explain to Innocent the miserable plight of his new vassal (Rymer, Fœdera, i. 135; cf. Matt. Paris, ii. 613). On 13 Sept., the same day, Pandulf witnessed at Dover a charter to St. Oswald's Priory, at Nostell (Cal. Papal Letters, i. 52). He was there on 4 Sept. (Fœdera, i. 137). But before Pandulf had started for Rome Innocent III issued on 25 Aug. a bull quashing Magna Charta. The arrival of the bull in England doubtless made Pandulf's journey unnecessary. Anyhow, he remained in England, where he now ventured to excommunicate by name the leaders of the baronial party, who in their turn appealed to the Lateran council then about to sit (Walt. Cov. ii. 224). Langton now resolved to set out for Rome, but Pandulf suspended him on the eve of his taking ship (Coggeshall, p. 174; Matt. Paris, ii. 629–630. Walt. Cov. (ii. 225) says followed him across the Channel and suspended him abroad). John seized Langton's estates, and Innocent confirmed Pandulf's action. After the barons in their despair had called on Louis of France, the arrival of Cardinal Gualo, a new papal legate, again relegated Pandulf to the subordinate position which he had held during the mission of Nicholas of Tusculum.

Pandulf's movements during the first two years of the reign of Henry III are not easy to trace. His name occurs in few English state papers, and the chroniclers tell us little of his movements. The ‘Annals of Worcester’ (p. 409) make the ‘bishop of Norwich’ present at the new Worcester Cathedral on 7 June 1218, and this could only have been Pandulf. But he may well have spent most of his time at the papal curia, where he is now described as ‘papal notary’ (Cal. Papal Reg. i. 56) and the ‘pope's chamberlain’ (ib. i. 57). He obtained by the papal favour various benefices in England, including preferment in the dioceses of Salisbury and Chichester, as well as the church of Exminster, which, however, was contested against him by one Adam Aaron, who claimed to be in lawful possession of it, and had a sufficiently strong case for Honorius III to refer its examination to the archbishop of Canterbury on 18 July 1218 (ib. i. 56). Pandulf was also charged with the collection of a crusading twentieth (ib. i. 57), an employment which may well have brought him again to England. He was not, however, consecrated to the bishopric of Norwich, though now generally recognised as bishop-elect. On 12 Sept. 1218 Pandulf was appointed papal legate in England, in succession to Cardinal Gualo, who had begged for leave to retire from the thankless post (ib. i. 58). A few days earlier (4 Sept.) Pandulf was allowed to ‘provide for’ his ‘kinsman Giles,’ a papal subdeacon, with any suitable benefice in his diocese, despite Giles already holding the distant archdeaconry of Thessalonica (ib. i. 58). And on the same day Honorius issued an injunction that the bishops in whose diocese Pandulf possessed benefices were not to molest him or dispose of his rights (ib. i. 58). A nephew of Pandulf, who took his uncle's name, was included in his household during his legation in England (ib. i. 70).

Gualo left England on 23 Nov. 1218, and Pandulf arrived on 3 Dec. (Coggeshall, p. 263; cf. Ann. Waverley, p. 291). The new prelate's arrival synchronised with most important events in England. William Marshall, earl of Pembroke, died in May 1219, and with him expired the exceptional authority entrusted to the regent. The ministers now governed in the name of the youthful king. Hubert de Burgh, the justiciar, and Peter des Roches, bishop of Winchester, the tutor of the king, were the most important of these. The chancellor had been practically suspended, and his functions were carried out by a vice-chancellor, Ralph Neville. Hubert and Peter were not in agreement between themselves. These circumstances made it easy for Pandulf to practically exercise the first place in the state, John's surrender of the kingdom having given the pope an admitted temporal authority in addition to the spiritual authority inherent in his office. From the death of Pembroke to his own recall in the summer of 1221, a space of rather more than two years, Pandulf almost acted as king of England.

The success of Pandulf's administration is the best proof that his love of money was not incompatible with statesmanlike capacity. Truces were made with France and Scotland, the revenue was increased, the country prospered under the peace, and the absence of the leaders of the civil war on crusade gave men time to forget the ancient dissensions. The young king was crowned a second time at Westminster, on which occasion Pandulf, though present, judiciously left to Archbishop Langton the duty of officiating at the ceremony (Ann. Dunstaple, p. 57). Pandulf's correspondence, printed in Shirley's ‘Royal Letters’ (vol. i.), shows, however, that no details of government were too minute to occupy the legate's attention. We find him appointing colleagues to the sheriffs in their work of collecting the revenue (Royal Letters, i. 27), stimulating the sluggishness of the justiciar and the bishop of Winchester in repressing the Jewish usurers (ib. i. 35), and taking so active a part in the administration of Gascony that the first business of a returned seneschal was to seek out an interview with him (ib. i. 49). Though suffering from ill-health, Pandulf did not relax his efforts. He undertook troublesome journeys to Wales or the borders in the vain hope of pacifying Llywelyn. He vigorously used the papal name to put down ‘adulterine castles.’ He drove away usurping castellans from royal castles, and would not allow any subject to have more than one such stronghold in his charge. He secured faithful custodians for the remaining strongholds, and forbad the election of new castles (Ann. Dunst. p. 65; Royal Letters, i. 100, 121, 535, cf. p. xxiii). He excommunicated the Earl of Albemarle for delaying to surrender his castles. He procured the resumption of large tracts of royal domain. He persuaded the king of Man to surrender his island to the pope, as John had surrendered England (Cal. Papal Letters, i. 69). The communes of southern France wrote imploring his protection, or justifying their conduct (Royal Letters, i. 122, 132, 141). In peremptory tones he bade the ministers put down robberies, or redress his servants' grievances.

Though not specially greedy for himself, Pandulf obtained from the pope permission to convert for the payment of his debts, ‘as far as it can be done without scandal,’ the proceeds of non-conventual churches in his diocese and the manors in his gift (Cal. Papal Letters, i. 68). Nor was his influence less upon the church than on the state. The large number of letters of Honorius III calendared in Mr. Bliss's ‘Calendar of Papal Letters’ shows that in most matters Pandulf acted in direct obedience to his master's injunctions, though the same source gives plenty of evidence of the self-restraint of pope and legate alike, and of their desire to avoid giving cause for scandal. Pandulf filled up bishoprics and smaller benefices at his pleasure, appointing, for example, John, abbot of Fountains, by papal provision to the bishopric of Ely (ib. i. 74; Walt. Cov. ii. 241), receiving the resignation of bishop William of Saint Mère l'Eglise of London (Ann. Dunst. p. 65), and protecting foreign holders of English preferments against the greediness of English lords and their clerks (Royal Letters, i. 77). He attended some famous ecclesiastical ceremonies, such as the translation of St. Thomas of Canterbury (Ann. Bermondsey, p. 454), where he also gave place to Langton to officiate at the ceremony in his own cathedral. It was by Pandulf's advice that Langton ordered the feast of St. Thomas the Martyr to be observed in England with the same solemnities as a Sunday (Walt. Cov. ii. 246). Pandulf attended the laying of the first stone of the present Salisbury Cathedral (Ann. Tewkesbury, p. 66). He busied himself in promoting a crusade, obtaining a graduated tax from England, which was destined to help the king of Jerusalem (Ann. Dunstaple, p. 67); but he allowed the necessities of state to absolve Hubert de Burgh from the crusading vow which he had taken (ib. p. 128; Cal. Papal Letters, i. 63). It is strongly to Pandulf's credit that an English chronicler (Flores Hist. ii. 173) should testify emphatically to the legate's great services in appeasing the still hot factions of England and in ending the last remnants of civil war.

Despite Pandulf's tact, his great activity and high-handed action could not but provoke opposition. He joined with Peter des Roches in demanding the appointment of a Poitevin noble to act as seneschal of Poitou and Guienne in succession to Geoffrey Neville (d. 1225) [q. v.], who had resigned in November 1219. But the cry of the citizens of Niort that there could come no worse calamity to the land than the investment of one of their feudal neighbours with royal authority over them was answered by Hubert de Burgh, who, after a long struggle, procured the appointment of an English seneschal. Henceforth Pandulf and the justiciar were sworn enemies. But Pandulf had already an enemy in Archbishop Langton. When he first came to England, Honorius III had directed him not to seek for consecration as bishop of Norwich, on the ground that as bishop-elect he did not owe the obedience to his metropolitan which naturally followed upon his consecration (Royal Letters, i. 533). But despite this, Langton persisted in attempts to bring him under his jurisdiction, so that Pandulf had to get a second bull from Rome to keep him free from the primate's authority. Langton and Hubert now seem (Shirley's Preface to Royal Letters, i. xxiv–xxvi) to have joined together to make Pandulf's position impossible. Langton, thwarted at home, went to Rome, where his great influence prevailed upon Honorius to promise that, so long as Langton lived, the legatine power should be discharged by the archbishop of Canterbury, and that no special legate a latere should be sent to England (Ann. Dunstaple, p. 74). The pope must have written to Pandulf ordering him to resign his legation. On 19 July 1221 Pandulf solemnly resigned his functions in the presence of several bishops at Westminster (Flores Hist. ii. 172–3). Langton himself did not get back from Rome until August.

The legate's abrupt retirement was smoothed over by his being sent by the king on a mission to Poitou to procure a prolongation of the truce (Ann. Dunstaple, p. 75). From Poitou he went to Rome. There was no longer any reason for delaying his consecration to the bishopric to which he had been elected seven years before. On 29 May 1222 Pandulf was consecrated bishop of Norwich by Honorius III in person (Ann. Waverley, p. 296).

Pandulf's name is not very closely associated with the English diocese, though he made some contributions towards the repair of the fabric of his church (Cotton, p. 394). He was still attached to the service of Henry III. In 1223 he was present at the funeral of Philip Augustus at Saint Denis (Guil. Armoricus in Bouquet, xvii. 115). It was believed in England that he urged the pope not to allow Philip's son Louis VIII to be crowned until he had redeemed a former oath of restoring Normandy to England. But ‘notwithstanding this,’ says the chronicler, ‘Louis was duly crowned’ (Ann. Dunst. p. 81). After the coronation Pandulf was sent by Henry III, along with the bishop of Ely, to demand from Louis the fulfilment of his former promises, but nothing came of this (Ralph de Coggeshall, p. 191; Matt. Paris, iii. 77–8).

Pandulf soon after appears again at Rome, where in 1225 he gave good advice with a strong Anti-French bias to Henry III's proctors at the curia (Royal Letters, i. 257). He died at Rome (Ann. Waverley, p. 302) on 16 Aug. 1226 (Cont. Flor. Wig. ii. 174; John de Tayster in Pertz's Mon. Germ. Script. xxviii. 587). Stubbs (Reg. Sacrum Anglicanum, p. 38) puts his death on 16 Sept. His body was taken to England and buried in Norwich Cathedral (Cotton, p. 394; Weever, Funeral Monuments, p. 869).

[Annals of Margam, Tewkesbury, Burton, Osney, Wykes, Dunstaple, Bermondsey, and Waverley in Annales Monastici (Rolls Ser.); Cont. Flor. Wig. (Engl. Hist. Soc.); Royal Letters of the Reign of Henry III, vol. i., with Dr. Shirley's very important Preface (Rolls Ser.); Matthew Paris's Hist. Major, vols. ii. and iii. (Rolls Ser.); Flores Historiarum, ii. (Rolls Ser.); Bliss's Calendar of Papal Registers,
Letters, vol. i. 1198–1304; Ralph de Coggeshall (Rolls Ser.); Rymer's Fœdera, vol. i. pt. i. (Record edit.); Walter of Coventry (Rolls Ser.); Epistolæ Innocentii III in Migne's Patrologia Latina, vols. ccxvi. ccxvii.; Godwin, De Præsulibus Angliæ (1743), pp. 429–30; Le Neve's Fasti Eccl. Angl. ii. 460, ed. Hardy; Stubbs's Const. Hist. vols. i. and ii., and Select Charters; Pauli's Geschichte von England, vol. iii.; Pearson's Hist. of England, especially ii. 124–8; Ciaconius's vitæ Pontificum et Cardinalium, vol. i.]

T. F. T.