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Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 28.djvu/144

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Hubert
Hubert
138

uncle or his grandfather. His surname is usually given by Latin writers as 'Walteri;' but in some contemporary documents it is found agreeing in case with the christian name (‘de Huberto Waltero,’ Pipe Roll, l.c.); and we have no clue to its origin. Hubert's family lived in Suffolk or Norfolk. He is said to have been born at West Dereham (Tanner, Not. Monast., Norfolk, xxi.). He and his brothers (one of whom became ancestor of the Butlers of Ormonde [see Butleṙ, Theobald]) seem to have been brought up in Glanville's household (Mon. Angl. vi. 899); he became one of Glanville's chaplains or clerks, and was so much in his confidence that he was afterwards said to have ‘shared with him in the government of England’ (Gerv. Cant. ii. 406). In 1184 and 1185 he appears as a baron of the exchequer (Madox, Hist. Exch. c. vi. sec. iii.; Form. Angl. p.217); and in 1185 he was one of six envoys employed by Henry II to negotiate with the monks of Canterbury about the election of a primate. Next year he was made dean of York, and in September was one of five persons nominated by the York chapter for the vacant see; the king, however, rejected all five. In April 1189 Hubert appears as a justice of the curia regis at Westminster (Fines, ed. Hunter, i. pref. xxiii); a little later he seems to have been acting as protonotary, or vice-chancellor, to Henry in Maine; in September the new king, Richard, appointed him bishop of Salisbury; and Archbishop Baldwin consecrated him on 22 Oct. In February 1190 Richard summoned him to Normandy, and he accompanied king and primate to the Holy Land. There he won universal esteem by his zeal and energy in relieving the wants of the poorer crusaders. After Baldwin's death he became the chief spiritual authority in the host; and he was also Richard's chief agent in negotiation with Saladin. As Richard's representative he headed the first body of pilgrims whom the Turks admitted to the sepulchre, and after Richard's departure he led back the English host from Palestine to Sicily. There he heard of the king's captivity; he at once went to visit him, and came back to England in April 1193 charged to act as one of the commissioners for the collection of the ransom, and closely followed by a royal mandate for his election to the see of Canterbury. Elected by the chapter 29 May, by the bishops next day, he was enthroned and received his pall 7 Nov. At the close of the year Richard appointed him justiciar; in this capacity he took a leading part in the suppression of John's attempt at revolt; as archbishop he officiated at Richard's second crowning at Winchester, 17 April 1194; and in May the king's departure over sea left him virtual ruler of England.

To keep the country in obedience and to supply Richard's ceaseless demands for money was Hubert's task during the next four years, and the credit of the constitutional and administrative progress made in those years is wholly due to him. His policy was based on the principles which he had seen put in action by Glanville under the inspiration of Henry II. Since April 1193 he had been engaged, conjointly with the other justiciars and the queen-mother, in raising the 100,000l. required for Richard's ransom. For the measures taken on this occasion he only shared the responsibility with his colleagues and with the king himself; but they were probably due to his initiative. The demands made upon the country were a scutage from the tenants-in-chivalry, a tax of two shillings per carucate from the socage tenants, a fourth of personal property from every free man, the year's wool from the Cistercians and Gilbertines, and the treasures of the great churches. The first was matter of course; the last was wholly exceptional, excused by exceptional need; the second was in effect a revival of the Danegeld under the less offensive name of ‘hidagium’ or ‘auxilium carucatarum’ (Madox, Hist. Exch. c. xv. sec. iv.); the third marked an important advance in the direct taxation of personal property as introduced by Henry II; and the fourth, commuted for a money-payment, was ‘an important precedent for the raising of revenue on and through the staple article of English production.’ To these taxes was added a tallage on the towns and royal demesnes, assessed as usual by the justices itinerant whom Hubert sent out, after Richard's departure, on their annual visitation tour, with a commission which by its extension and definition of the pleas of the crown, its appointment of elective officers (who grew into the modern coroners) to keep those pleas in every shire, and its elaborate regulations for the election of the juries of presentment, forms a landmark in the development of Henry II's plans of reform. Next year (1195) Hubert issued an edict requiring every man above the age of fifteen years to take an oath for the maintenance of public peace, before knights appointed for the purpose in every shire; from this sprang the office first of conservators, and later, of justices of the peace. At the close of the year he negotiated with William, king of Scots, a treaty of marriage between William's eldest daughter, and Richard's nephew Otto, which was never carried out, but served the good purpose of