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A letter from Hincmar of Reims (between May 3, 845 and February 847)


Translated letter: 

To Bertha, abbess of the monastery of Avenay, about the troubles the brothers and servants of the monastery of Altvillar and other towns of the church of Reims were suffering from her men, since she came into this kingdom. Whence he asks that she order diligence and attention to be given lest the church suffer so many and such unaccustomed damages from her proximity, from which it ought to have comfort and joy for her good life and sober conversation. If she did so, she would cause God to be appeased with her and would conciliate holy Mary and saint Remigius, from whom she would also have episcopal indulgence. If however she made light of correcting her men, he, though reluctantly, would beat at the ears of the king so that if it were necessary and the thing escalated to such a degree, he would avail himself of ecclesiastical ministry according to the canon rules against her and her men.

Original letter: 

Bertae abbatissae Avennaci monasterii pro impedimentis, quae fratres ac servientes monasterii Altvillaris aliarumque villarum Remensis ecclesiae patiebantur ab hominibus ipsius, postquam in hoc regnum illa devenerat. Unde petit, ut diligentiam studiumque adhiberi iubeat, ne tanta et sic insolita preiudicia haec patiatur ecclesia de ipsius vicinitate, de qua solamen et gaudium pro ipsius bona vita et sobria conversatione habere debebat. Quod si egisset, Deum proinde placabilem sibi faceret et sanctam Mariam sanctumque Remigium sibi conciliaret, ab ipso quoque obsequium episcopale haberet. Si vero suos corrigere parvipenderet, ipse, licet invitus, aures regis inde pulsaret, ut, si necesse foret ut in tantum causa excresceret, ministerium ecclesiasticum secundum regulas canonicas in eam suosque exereret.

Historical context: 

Hincmar has had complaints from the monastery of Altvillar about Bertha's actions against them. When she failed to do anything about it, he wrote to her mother, queen Ermengard, who defended her daughter, insisting Altvillar had committed the first offence. Hincmar replied he knew nothing of that, but would ask the king to investigate.

Printed source: 

MGH, SS, 13.548, Flodoardi Historia Remensis Ecclesiae III, 27


between May 3, 845 and February 847