Fitzjocelin, Reginald (DNB00)

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FITZJOCELIN, REGINALD (1140?–1191), archbishop-elect of Canterbury, son of Jocelin de Bohun, bishop of Salisbury, and nephew of Richard de Bohun, bishop of Coutances (1151–79), of the house of Bohun of St. George de Bohun, near Carentan, was born about 1140, for he is said to have been thirty-three in 1174 (Anglia Sacra, i. 561), and was brought up in Italy, whence he was called the Lombard (Bosham, Materials for Life of Becket, iii. 524). He was made archdeacon of Salisbury by his father, and was reckoned a young man of prudence, industry, high spirit, and ability. Like most of the young archdeacons of his time he loved pleasure, and was much given to hawking (Peter of Blois, Ep. 61). In early life he was one of the friends of Thomas, possibly while Thomas was chancellor, and in 1164 received from Lewis VII the abbey of St. Exuperius in Corbeil (Archæologia, l. 348). During the progress of the quarrel between Henry II and Archbishop Thomas the archbishop excommunicated Reginald's father, the Bishop of Salisbury. Reginald, who had a strong affection for his father, wholly withdrew from the archbishop, and became one of his most dangerous and outspoken opponents. He was constantly employed by the king, who sent him on embassies to Pope Alexander III in 1167 and 1169, and the archbishop complained of his boasting of his success at the papal court (Ep. Becket, vi. 643). On 15 Aug. 1169 Henry sent him to meet the pope's commissioners at Damfront, and shortly afterwards Thomas wrote of him in violent terms, declaring that he had betrayed him, had spoken disrespectfully of the pope and the curia, and had advised Henry to apply to the pope to allow some bishop to discharge duties that pertained to his see (ib. vii. 181). Peter of Blois, who was much attached to Reginald, sent a letter to the archbishop's friends, defending his conduct, chiefly on the ground that he was acting in support of his father (ib. p. 195). After the murder of the archbishop he was sent in 1171 to plead the king's innocence before the pope (ib. pp. 471–5; Hoveden, ii. 25). The see of Bath having been vacant for more than eight years, the king, in 1173, procured the election of Reginald, who, in company with Richard, archbishop elect of Canterbury, went to procure the pope's confirmation. On 5 May 1174 he wrote to the king, saying that though the pope had consecrated Richard his own matter was still undecided. Before long he obtained his desire by, it is said, offering the pope a purse of money (De Nugis Curialium, p. 35). He was consecrated at S. Jean de Maurienne by the archbishops of Canterbury and Tarentaise on 23 June, after having cleared himself by oath of all complicity in Thomas's death, and brought forward witnesses to swear that he had been begotten before his father became a priest (Diceto, i. 391). His election scandalised Thomas's party, and while it was yet unconfirmed Peter of Blois wrote a letter, declaring that it was unfair to speak of him as one of the archbishop's persecutors and murderers, that he had loved the archbishop, and only turned against him for his father's sake (Epistolæ, Becket, vii. 554).

Immediately after his consecration Reginald went to the Great Chartreuse, and persuaded Hugh of Avalon to come over to England and take charge of the house which the king had built at Witham in Somerset (Magna Vita S. Hugonis, p. 55); he then rejoined the archbishop, early in August consecrated the church of St. Thomas the Martyr at St. Lo (Somerset Archæol. Proc. xix. 11, 94), and on the 8th met the king at Barfleur (Benedict, i. 74). On 24 Nov. he was enthroned by the archbishop (Diceto, i. 398). He enriched the church of Wells, added to the canons' common fund, founded several new prebends, and, as there is reason to believe, built a portion of the nave of the church. He appears to have desired to strengthen the cathedral organisation by bringing the rich abbey of Glastonbury into close connection with it, for he made the abbot a member of the chapter, set apart a prebend for him, and erected the liberty of the abbey into an archdeaconry. He granted two charters to the town of Wells, creating it a free borough. At Bath he founded the hospital of St. John in 1180 for the succour of the sick poor who came to use the baths there. He obtained from Richard I a charter granting to him and his successors in the see the right of keeping sporting dogs throughout all Somerset. He continued to take an active share in public affairs. In 1175 he was at the council which the archbishop held at Westminster in May (Benedict, i. 84); in March 1177 he attended the council called by the king which met at London to arbitrate between the kings of Castile and Navarre (ib. pp. 144, 154), and two months later attended the councils which Henry held at Geddington and Windsor. He was appointed one of the commissioners sent in 1178 by the kings of England and France to put down the heretics of Toulouse, and in company with the Viscount of Turenne and Raymond of Châteauneuf tried and excommunicated the heretical preachers there. Then, in company with the abbot of Clairvaux, he visited the diocese of Albi, and thence proceeded to the Lateran council which was held in the March of the following year (ib. pp. 199–206, 219; Hoveden, ii. 171 ). He was on terms of friendship with the king's natural son Geoffrey, and in 1181 persuaded him to resign his claim to the see of Lincoln. In 1186 he promoted the election of Hugh of Avalon to the bishopric of Lincoln, was present at the council of Eynsham, near Oxford, and attended the marriage of William the Lion, the Scottish king, at Woodstock (Benedict, i. 351). At the coronation of Richard I on 3 Sept. 1189 he walked on the left hand of the king when he advanced to the throne, the Bishop of Durham being on his right (ib. ii. 83). He attended the council of Pipewell held on the 15th (Hoveden, iii. 15), and was probably the ‘ Italus’ who unsuccessfully offered the king 4,000l. for the chancellorship ({sc|Richard of Devizes}}, p. 9). The next year he obtained the legatine office for the chancellor, Bishop William Longchamp (ib. p. 14); he seems to have been requested to make the application when he and others of the king's counsellors crossed over in February to meet Richard in Normandy. He took the side of Geoffrey against the chancellor, and in October 1191 assisted in overthrowing Longchamp (Benedict, ii. 218). The monks of Christ Church found in him a steady and powerful friend during their quarrel with Archbishop Baldwin. In this matter he largely employed the help of his kinsman, Savaric, archdeacon of Northampton, the cousin, as he asserted, of the emperor. When the death of Baldwin was known in England the monks, on 27 Nov., elected Reginald to the archbishopric, acting somewhat hastily, for they were afraid that the suffragan bishops would interfere in the election (Gervase, i. 511). The justiciar, Walter of Coutances, is said to have desired the office, and the ministers called in question the validity of the election. Reginald went down to his old diocese to secure the election of Savaric as his successor, and as he was returning was, on 24 Dec., seized with paralysis or apoplexy at Dogmersfield in Hampshire, a manor belonging to the see of Bath. On the 25th he sent to the prior of Christ Church, bidding him hasten to him and bring him the monastic habit. He died on the 26th, and was buried near the high altar of the abbey church of Bath on the 29th (Epp. Cantuar. pp. 354, 355; Richard of Devizes, pp. 45, 46, where an epitaph is given). Peter of Blois notices that he who had no small hand in causing the demolition of the archbishop's church at Hackington, dedicated to St. Stephen and St. Thomas the Martyr, died on St. Stephen's day, and was buried on the day of St. Thomas (Epp. Cantuar. p. 554).

[Materials for the history of Thomas Becket, archbishop, iii, vi, vii (Rolls Ser.); Walter Map's De Nugis Curialium (Camden Soc.); Benedictus Abbas, i. and ii. passim (Rolls Ser.); Ralph de Diceto, i. and ii. (Rolls Ser.); Roger de Hoveden, ii. and iii. (Rolls Ser.); Magna Vita S. Hugonis (Rolls Ser.); Memorials of Rich. I, ii, Epp. Cantuar. (Rolls Ser.); Gervase, i. (Rolls Ser.); Peter of Blois, Epistolæ, ed. Giles; Richard of Devizes (Engl. Hist. Soc.); Wharton's Anglia Sacra, i. 561; Reginald, bishop of Bath, Archæologia, l. 295–360; Reynolds's Wells Cathedral, pref. lxxxi; Freeman's Cathedral Church of Wells, pp. 70, 170; Somerset Archæol. Soc.'s Journal, xix. ii. 9–11; Dugdale's Monasticon, vi. 773; Cassan's Bishops of Bath and Wells, p. 105.]

W. H.