Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 05.djvu/358

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Boniface
Boniface
350


Historica), tom. i. 1880, pp. 1-23; Fabricius Bibl. Latina, 1754, i. 258; Hist. Lit. de la France, tom. iv. 1738, pp. 92-120; Haddon and Stubbs`s Councils, vol. iii. 1871; Milner audi Haweis’s Hist. of the Church of Christ, 1847, iii. ch. iv.; Millman’s Hist. Latin Christianity, 2nd ed. 1857, ii. 54 sqq.; Mosheim's Eccles. History (ed. Stubbs), 1863, i. 474-7 ; Robertson's Hist. Christian Church, 1874, bk. iv. cap. v.; T. Gregory Smith in Dict. Christ. Biog.]

E. M. T.

BONIFACE of Savoy (d. 1270), archbishop of Canterbury, was the eleventh child of Thomas I, count of Savoy, by his second wife, Marguerite de Faussigny. The date of his birth is uncertain; but in his early youth he was destined for an ecclesiastical career. The numerous stock of the house of Savoy had to be provided for, and Boniface seems to have accepted a clerical life as a means of political advancement. As a boy he entered the Carthusian order, and while yet a young man was elected in 1234 bishop of Belley, near Chambery. In 1241 he was given the administration of the bishopric of Valence in Dauphiny during avacancy. His connection with England was due to the marriage of Henry III with Eleanor, second daughter of Raymond Berengar, count of Provence, and Beatrix of Savoy, a sister of Boniface. The needy members of the house of Savoy used their relationship with the queen of Henry III as a means of seeking their fortune in England, The see of Canterbury, vacant by the death of Edmund Rich, was considered an excellent provision for Boniface. The king’s nomination was made in 1241, and the monks of Christ Church were not bold enough to resist. But there were rapid changes in the papacy and a long vacancy; and it was not till the end of 1243 that the election of Boniface was confirmed by Pope Innocent IV, soon after his accession.

In 1244 Boniface visited England for the first time. He was a man of a practical turn of mind, and gave his attention first to the financial condition of his see. He found that he inherited a considerable debt from his predecessors, and that the king had still further impoverished the possessions of the archbishopric during the vacancy. He showed his discontent, and the leaders of the reforming party had hopes that he would not be a mere instrument of the king. Bishop Grosseteste of Lincoln welcomed him, and begged him to prevail on the king to end a vacancy of the see of Winchester arising from the resistance of the chapter to the nomination of another of the king’s uncles (Grosseteste, Ep. No. 36). With this request Boniface complied, and brought about a reconciliation between the king and the man chosen by the chapter. Probably he wished for the help of the English bishops to reppir the shattered finances of the archbishopric. He demanded that the yvhole province of Canterbury should aid in paying off the debt, and wished to gain the consent of the suffragans to this demand, For this purpose he joined with his suffragans in opposing the king’s nomination of Robert Passelew to the see of Chichester, on the ground that he had not sufficient theological knowledge. It was an objection which might have been urged against himself; but Boniface was not concerned with consistency. The king appealed to the pope; but Boniface carried his point, and the king’s nominee was rejected. Thus Boniface asserted his independence of the king, and showed his capacity as a man of business by organising a more economical management o the ternporalities of the arch-bishopric. He contrive to raise some money in England, and at the end of 1244 set out for the council of Lyons.

At Lyons he was consecrated by Pope Innocent IV on 15 Jan. 1245. His brother Philip was archbishop of Lyons, and was a military prelate, of whose forces the pope had need. Boniface, who was young, bold, and handsome, aimed also at a military career. Durin the council he commanded the pope’s guard, and obtained from the pope a grant of the first fruits of vacant benefices within the province of Canterbury for seven years. Thiswas given on the plea of paying off the debt on the archbishopric. Having thus provided for the only duty of an arch-bishop which seemed to him important, he devoted himself to family politics, and did not return to England till the end of 1249, when he was enthroned at Canterbury on 1 Nov. His main object still was to amass money, and for this purpose he copied the procedure of the great ecclesiastical reformer of the age, Bishop Grosseteste, and instituted a rigorous visitation of his diocese. What Grosseteste undertook to restore discipline, Boniface pursued to impose fines. The monks of Christ Church were made to pay for deviating from their rules, and the monks of Feversham and Rochester fared no better. But Boniface was not content with the visitation of his own diocese. He proceeded to extend it to the whole province of Canterbury. He went to London, and instead of taking possession of his palace of Lambeth he borrowed the home of the bishop of Chichester. This was a sign that he did not intend to stay in England and the monks resolved to resist the archbishop’s claim to carry off their revenues for his own political