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A legal decision


Translated letter: 

Adela, countess, daughter of William king of the Angles and queen Matilda, greetings in Christ to all the faithful of God.  In the 1101st year from the incarnation of  the Lord, the dispute between the monks of Rebais and the church of Ste. Foy of Conques which was aired at length was conducted to a nicety with the help of divine grace in favor of the church of Coulommiers.  The following discussion will make known the dispute and the origin of the dispute to all the children of Christ and of holy mother church. 

Count Thibaud, son of count Odo, inspired by divine grace, granted the said Coulommiers church to the church of Ste. Foye; to the confirmation of which grant he sent the silver chalice by which he confirmed the gift he had made to the church of Conques [by] his own messengers.  That count, wishing the gift he had made to remain untroubled and unbreakable, visiting the Conques church as a faithful/worshipper and by his own presence and with a gold vessel he testified to the gift which he, absent, had made to Conques, with many of his people present and giving witness to this gift and many monks of that monastery of Conques as well as of other professions being present, testified that he had made it for the second time.  It is quite amazing and far removed from the principle of constancy that said count when he came back home changed his mind and changed the gift;  the Coulommiers church which he had given to the church of Conques by the arrangements described, he took away, with wrath stifling reason.   Thus the monks of the Rebais church not, it is said, without the taint of simoniac heresy nor by attack, but rather rising up with the assent of the aforesaid count, snuck into it [the church].  What’s more, by this pact the Conques monks lost the church granted to their church by the aforesaid arguments, which is shameful to relate. The monks of Rebais received [it] in the manner we described.  For a long time with the Conques monks making their claim and those of Rebais remaining in their usurpation, the case was aired in several councils and with the archbishop of Lyons, legate of the Roman see, but yet, while count Thibaud was alive, nothing was decided.  And over the course of many years after the death of count Thibaud, under his successor and son my lord Henry and me, his wife, countess Adela, daughter of William, king of the Angles, and queen Matilda, the case remained undiscussed.  And so in that year in which the said count Henry my lord was to go to Jerusalem, with many bishops joining, of Laon, Soissons, and Paris, and also with several counts and barons, he decreed and enjoined me to order the hearing of the suit between the monks of Conques and Rebais and to impose the supreme hand on their dissension.  On the day established, therefore, the abbot of Rebais with his monks and accomplices and that brother Arnald by name whom the church of Conques had sent before me in the case, they came together as summoned, namely with the bishops Walter of Meaux, and Milo of Troyes and Arnoul abbot of Lagny as well, a judgment was worked out from the complaints of Arnald and the narration of the [monks of] Rebais, by my named bishops and abbot and the clerics of those churches.  Which having been brought before me and established in public, that the abbot of Rebais and his monks had unjustly held the church of Coulommiers and by firm truth convicted as guilty of invasions, so I restored the Coulommiers church to the monks of Conques with the force of judgment and canonical authority, on the 5th kalends of February, such sentence given before me expelled Rebais and introduced Conques into its proper rights. 

So that the memory of this business in the manner which we have related should remain stable, we have decreed that the names of those who heard the case as well as those who gave the sentence be attached below:  Walter, bishop of Meaux, Milo bishop of Troyes, Arnoul, abbot of Lagny, Guicher, prior of Coxiac, Mannasses, archdeacon, Reginald, chaplain of the countess, Reginald, son of Milo of Bray, Odo, precentor of the church of Troyes, Ansel, and those of Troyes, two clerics of Meaux, Walter and Gislebert, and Durand and Roger, clerics of countess Adela, and Bernard, priest, and all the clerics; barons:  Hugh Flavus, Walter (Gualcer) of La Ferté, Albert of Montmaure, Arner Maingot, Hugh of Donjon, Robert of Turre, son of Hagon, Odo of Darnestal, and Bartholomew, Albert of Lagny, Guandelbert of Troyes, Teolf of Chateau Thierry, Adam of La Croix, Gervase of Mont Ste. Marie, soldiers/knights; Burdin of Alturre and his brother Heldier, Hugh, pantler, and his brother Guiabert, Peter of Lagny, Lambert provost of Coulommiers, Bernered of Mont Englealdi, Rosce, deacon, Galler, toll-gatherer, Raoul cellerer/butler, Raoul, son of Albuin, Gelald of Turre, servants of the lady, Walter of Châteaudun, Serlo, Rolland, Henry, usher, and many others, soldiers/knights as well as others, whom it would be [too] long to enumerate.

Sign of countess Adela.  Sign of her son Thibaud.  Roger, cleric of the king of the Angles, wrote this charter.

I therefore, Raoul son of Alboin of the castrum of Coulommiers and my wife grant to the lord God and most holy Foye, virgin of Conques and abbot Bebon and his congregation the property of Ledbergine, and the whole land that is situated over the road of the new mill which I am known to have, and the whole rent of the new mill which issues from it from the day of the feast of St. Andrew up to the nativity, fish and other things and two arpents of fields and half of the field of Bardulf.



Original letter: 

Adgia comitissa Willelmi regis Anglorum et Matildis regine filia omnibus Dei fidelibus in Christo salutem.  Anno ab incarnacione Domini MC primo, dissensio, que inter Resbacenses et sanctae Fidis Conchensis aecclesie monachos, pro aecclesia Columbariensi diu fuerat ventilata, ad unguem, divina gratia adjutrice, perducta est.  Universis itaque Christi sanctaeque et matris aecclesiae filiis et dissensionem et dissensionis originem tractatus subsequens intimabit.  Teobaldus comes, Odonis comitis filius, prefatam Columbariensem aecclesiam aecclesie sanctae Fidis Conchensis, divina gratia inspirante, concessit; ad cujus concessionis confirmationem calicem argenteum per quem donum quod Conchensi aecclesiae fecerat confirmaret proprios nuncios destinavit.  Volens etiam memoratus comes donum quod fecerat inconcussum et irrefragabile permanere, Concensem aecclesiam devotus visitans, et propria sua persona praesencia et cifo aureo per quem donum Columbariensis aecclesie quod absens Concensi concesserat testaretus, suorum multis praesentibus et hujus doni testimonium perhibentibus et ipsius Conchensis cenobii multis tam monachis quam alterius professionis astantibus, secundo se fecisse testatus est. Mirandum valde et a constanciae racione vehementer extraneum, predictus comes reversus ad propria, mutato animo, mutavit et donum; aecclesiam Columbariensem quam premissis inditiis Conchensi aecclesie dederat, ira rationem suffocante, subtraxit.  Hanc ergo Resbacensis aecclesiae monachi, non, ut dicitur, absque heresis simoniacae contagio nec per hostium sed ascendendo potius, annuente prenominato comite, subintrarent.  Quid plura, hoc pacto Concenses monachi sic suae aecclesiae sibique concessam argomentis prenotatis ecclesiam perdiderunt, quam, quod dictum nefas est.  Resbacenses modis quos prescripsimus acceperunt.  Diu itaque Concensibus monachis reclamantibus et Resbacencibus in hujusce modi usurpatione manentibus, res est in plerisque conciliis et apud Lugdunensem archiepiscopum Romane sedis legatum aliquandiu ventilata, sed tamen, vivente Teobaldo comite,  nullatenus diffinita.  Pluribus quoque annorum decursibus post Teobaldi comitis obitum, sub domino meo Henrico ejus successore et filio et me ejus uxore Adela comitissa, Willelmi regis Anglorum et Matildis regine filia, res extitit indiscussa.  Eo itaque anno quo predictus dominus meus comes Henricus, iturum se Jerosolimam, adjunctis cum plurimis episcopis, Laudunensi, Suessioni, Parisiensi, comitibus quoque et nonullis baronibus, decrevisset, mihi injunxit ut inter Concenses et Resbacenses monachos causam tractari preciperem et eorum dissensioni supremam manum inponerem.  Statuto ergo die, abbas Resbacensis cum suis monachis ac conplicibus et ille frater Arnaldus nomine, quem Concensis aecclesia miserat ante me in causam, vocati conveniunt, episcopis Waltero scilicet Meldensi et Milone Trecensi Arnulfo quoque Latiniaci abbati praesentibus, ex Arnaldi reclamatione et Resbacensium narratione, a memoratis episcopis et abbate meisque et ipsorum episcoporum clericis est extorta sentencia.  Que ante me perlata et in medium constitua, abbatem Resbacensem et ejus monachos injuste Columbariensem aecclesiam tenuisse et reos invasionis inconcussa veritate convincit, sicque Concensibus monachis aecclesiam Columbariensem judicii vigore et canonica auctoritate restitui, V itaque kalenda februarii, ante me taliter data sentencia Resbacensem expulit et Conchenses in jus proprium introduxit.  Ut autem et hujus negocii modis quos praediximus diffiniti memoria stabilis valeat permanere, tam eorum qui audiere quam eorum qui dedere sentenciam nomina esso subnectenda decrevimus:  Galterius Meldensis episcopus, Milo Trecensis episcopus, Arnulfus abbas Latiniaci, Guicerius prior Coxiaci, Mannasses archidiaconus, Raginaldus comitisse capellanus, Raginaldus filius Milenis de Braio, Oddo precentor Trecensis aecclesiae, Ansellus, et hii Trecenses, Meldenses duo clerici, Walterus et Gislebertus, Durantus quoque et Rogerius Adele comitisse clerici, et Bernardus et presbyter, et hii omnes clerici; barones:  Hugo Flavus, Gualcerius de Feritate, Albertus de Monte Mauri, Arnerius Maingot, Hugo de Dangione, Rodbertus de Turri filius Agenonis, Oddo de Darnestallo, et Bartolomeus, Albertus de Latiniaco, Guandelbertus de Trecis, Teolfus de Chastello Teodorici, Adam de Cruce, Gervasius de Monte sanctae Mariae, milites; Burdinus de Alturre, et Heldierus frater ejus, Hugo panetarius et Guiabertus frater ejus, Petrus de Latiniaco, Lambertus Columbariensis prepositus, Berneredus de Monte Englealdi, Rosce decanus, Gallerius telonearius, Radulfus cellerarius, Radulfus filius Albuini, Gelaldus de Turri, servientes dominae, Walterius de Castriduno, Serlo, Rollandus, Henricus hostiarius, multi quoque alii tam militum quam aliorum quos enumerare perlongum est.   

Signum Adele comitisse.  Signum filii ejus Tedbaldi.  – Rotgerius, clericus regis Anglorum, scripsit cartam istam.

Ego igitur Radulfus filius Alboini castri Colummari et uxor mea concedo domino Deo et beatissimae Fidi virgini Concensi et abbati Beboni et congregationi ejus mansum Ledbergine, et totam terram quae sita est supra viam novi molendini quae mihi videtur habere, et de molendino novo totam rentam que ab eo exit a die festivitatis beati Andreae usque ad nativitatem, tam pisces quam alias res et duo aripenda pratorum et dimidium in campo Bardulfi. 


Historical context: 

When he went to the Holy Land, her husband left Adela to settle the dispute between Rebais, a local abbey, and the distant Conques over the priory of Coulommiers.  The problem arose because Stephen’s father, Thibaud III, had changed his mind about his gift to Conques and gave the priory to Rebais instead.  The dispute went on for decades until Adela convened a tribunal of bishops and clerics.  This charter is a record of the decision made in favor of Conques.  See LoPrete, Adela of Blois, 119-21, and App.1, #32.

Printed source: 

Gustave Desjardins, Cartulaire de l’Abbaye de Conques en Rouergue (Paris:  Alphonse Picard, 1879), 340-42, #470.