Open main menu

Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 46.djvu/113

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


ham, after being ‘hidden under a bushel’ for five months, was quashed by Innocent III (Coldingham, xxi, xxiii, in Hist. Dunelm. Script. pp. 29–31). In 1214, on the removal of the papal interdict, he was elected to the see of Chichester. To his cathedral he gave the manor of Amport, Hampshire, and endowed a prebend with the church of Hove (Stephens, Chichester, pp. 72–3). In 1216 he is mentioned as one of the executors of King John.

In 1217 he was translated to Salisbury, to the general joy, as he had been ‘pugil fidelis et eximius’ against the anti-national claims of the dauphin Louis (Wanda, pp. 4, 5). In 1222 he was one of the arbitrators who gave the award exempting the abbey of Westminster from the jurisdiction of the bishop of London (Matt. Paris, iii. 75; Wilkins, Conc. i. 598). In August 1223 he was one of the four bishops sent on the death of Philippe Auguste to demand Normandy from Louis VIII (Matt. Paris, iii. 77; Ann. Mon. iii. 81).

But the most important work of Poore's life was the removal of the see of Salisbury to New Sarum, and the erection of the present magnificent Early-English cathedral of Salisbury. This plan had been long contemplated (see letters of Peter of Blois, e.g. No. 104; Matt. Paris, iii. 391; Sarum Charters, pp. 267–9; Reg. S. Osmund, vol. ii. pp. cii–cvi, 1–17, 37 sqq.; Wilkins, Conc. i. 551. sqq.; Dodsworth, Salisbury, pp. 107–121). Eventually the bishop, with the chapter's concurrence, sent special envoys to Rome, obtained from Honorius III a bull dated 29 March 1219, and chose a site ‘in dominio suo proprio’ named Myrfield or Miryfield, i.e. Maryfield (Willis), Merryfield (Godwin), or Maerfelde = boundary-field (Jones). A wooden chapel and cemetery were at once provided, and some of the canons sent to collect funds in various dioceses. The formal ‘transmigratio’ was on 1 Nov., and the foundations were laid with great solemnity on 28 April 1220, the bishop laying five stones—for the pope, Langton, himself, Earl William and Countess Ela of Salisbury—and the work soon received the support of the king and many nobles (Wanda, pp. 5–15; Matt. Paris, iii. 391; Ann. Mon. i. 66, which says that Pandulph laid the five stones). A poem on the subject by the court poet, Henry d'Avranches (cf. Warton, Hist. of Poetry, i. 47), exists in the Cambridge University Library, and is quoted by Matthew Paris.

The work went on quietly for five years, and the bishop must have full credit for the organisation and the provision of funds for the work. On 28 Sept. 1225 he consecrated a temporary high altar in the lady-chapel, and two others at the end of the north and south aisles, endowing the ‘vicars choral’ with the church of Bremhill (Sarum Charters, pp. 116–19), or possibly that of Laverstock (Leland, Inscr.), which is still served by them. Next day the public consecration of the whole site took place, Langton preaching to an enormous audience; the king and the justiciar (De Burgh) came on 2 Oct. and again on 28 Dec. (Wanda, pp. 38–40). In March 1226 Poore administered the last sacrament to William de Longespée [q. v.], the first person to be buried in the cathedral (ib. p. 48; Matt. Paris, Hist. Min. ii. 280), and on 4 June translated from Old Sarum the bodies of Bishops Osmund, Roger, and Joscelin. A letter dated 16 July 1228, in which he urges the chapter to press Gregory IX to canonise Osmund, is the latest document in which Poore is described as bishop of Sarum (Wanda, p. 88).

Poore also commenced the episcopal palace, and built the original ‘aula’ and ‘camera’ (1221–2) with the undercroft. The greater part of his work, recently identified, still remains as the nucleus of the present building (Bishop [Wordsworth] of Salisbury's ‘Lecture,’ in Wilts Arch. Mag. vol. xxv.). He carefully organised the cathedral system by important statutes passed by the chapter under his influence (Reg. S. Osmund, ii. 18, 37, 42). His Salisbury constitutions (dated by Spelman c. 1217, and by Wilkins c. 1223) bear a strong resemblance to those supposed by Wilkins to have been promulgated by Richard De Marisco [q. v.] at Durham about 1220 (cf. Wilkins's ‘Concilia,’ i. 599, Labbe's ‘Concilia,’ xi. 245–70, and ‘Sarum Charters,’ pp. 128–63). Bishop Wordsworth is of opinion that the Durham constitutions are of later date, and are simply Poore's own revision for use at Durham of his Sarum constitutions (see Canon Jones's Note in Sarum Charters, p. 128).

For the city of New Sarum Poore procured a charter from Henry III about 1220, besides those which he gave himself (Hatcher and Benson, Salisbury, pp. 728–31), and the systematic arrangement of the town in rectangular ‘places’ or ‘tenements,’ still known as squares or chequers, is attributed to him. Tradition connects his name with the foundation of the still existing Hospital of St. Nicholas by Harnham Bridge. It is clear that he assisted it, and procured the donations of Ela of Salisbury (c 1227), but the ‘ordinatio’ of 1245, providing for the master, eight poor men, and four poor women, assigns the honours of founder to Bishop