Poor, Herbert (DNB00)

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POOR or PAUPER, HERBERT (d. 1217), bishop of Salisbury, was son of Richard of Ilchester, bishop of Winchester [see Richard] (Madox, Formulare Anglicanum, pp. 47, 52). Richard Poor [q. v.], who succeeded him as bishop of Salisbury, was his younger brother. Dr. Stubbs suggests that he was connected with Roger Poor [see Roger], and therefore also with Roger of Salisbury and Richard FitzNeale. Canon Rich Jones conjectured that Poore was in this case the equivalent not of ‘pauper,’ but of ‘puer’ or the Norman ‘poer,’ a knight or cadet of good family (cf. Anglo-Saxon ‘cild’). He has also pointed out that near Tarrant in Dorset, where Herbert's brother Richard was born, there are places called Poorstock and Poorton.

Herbert was probably employed under his father in the exchequer, but the first mention of him is in 1175, when he was one of the three archdeacons appointed by Archbishop Richard of Canterbury; afterwards, in 1180, the archbishop reverted to the ancient practice, and made Herbert sole archdeacon. On 11 Dec. 1183 Herbert, in his capacity of archdeacon, enthroned Walter de Coutances [q. v.] as bishop of Lincoln. On 25 July 1184 he was one of the commissioners sent by Henry II to the monks of Christ Church, Canterbury, to warn them to prepare for the election of an archbishop (Gervase, i. 309). From 1185 to 1188 he had custody of the see of Salisbury (Madox, Hist. of Exchequer, i. 311, 634). Herbert was a canon of Lincoln and of Salisbury. In May 1186 the chapter of the former see elected him as their bishop, but Henry II refused his consent. A little later the majority of the canons of Salisbury, in their turn, chose Herbert for bishop, and on 14 Sept. 1186 the king gave his assent; but the minority appealed to the pope, on the ground that Herbert was the son of a concubine, and the election came to naught (Gesta Henrici, i. 346, 352). On 29 Sept. 1186 Herbert enthroned his successful rival, Hugh, as bishop of Lincoln. In May 1193 he appealed to the pope against the election of Hubert Walter as archbishop, on the ground that the king was in captivity and the English bishops were not present at the election (Rog. Hov. iii. 213). In 1194 the canons of Salisbury, having no dean, unanimously elected Herbert for their bishop. The election was confirmed by Archbishop Hubert on 29 April. Herbert was at this time only in deacon's orders, but on 4 June he was ordained priest, and on 5 June was consecrated by Hubert in St. Katharine's Chapel at Westminster. He was enthroned at Salisbury on 13 June.

From 1195 to 1198 Herbert was one of the justices before whom fines were levied. On 16 June 1196 he was at Rouen with Walter of Coutances. At the council of Oxford in February 1198, when Hubert demanded in the king's name a force of three hundred knights to be paid three shillings a day each, Herbert, who represented the older traditions of the exchequer, supported St. Hugh of Lincoln in his successful resistance to the demand (Magna Vita S. Hugonis, pp. 248–9). For his share on this occasion Herbert was, by Richard's orders, deprived of his possessions in England, and compelled to cross over to Normandy; but he was soon reconciled to the king, and returned home on 8 June. He was present at the coronation of John on 27 May 1199. On 19 Sept. 1200 he was one of the papal delegates who sat at Westminster to effect a reconciliation between Archbishop Geoffrey and the chapter of York, and on 22 Nov. was at Lincoln when the king of Scots did homage to John. On 14 Dec. 1201 he was summoned to join the king in Normandy. His name occurs on 2 Jan. 1205 as receiving a present of six tuns of wine (Cal. Rot. Claus. i. 37). In 1207 Herbert fled to Scotland with Gilbert de Glanville [q. v.] to escape the constant vexation from the king. However, on 27 May 1208, he was present at Ramsbury (Reg. S. Osmund, i. 190). On 21 Jan. 1209 Innocent III wrote to Herbert with regard to the dower of Berengaria, widow of Richard I, and on 14 May directed him, in conjunction with Gilbert de Glanville, to publish the interdict (Cal. Papal Registers, i. 33, 35; Migne, Patrologia, ccxvi. 268). In 1212 Herbert and Gilbert de Glanville were entrusted with a mission to release the Scots from their allegiance to John. During the interdict Herbert had been deprived of the lands of his see, but restitution was ordered to be made on 18 July 1213 (Cal. Rot. Pat. p. 101). After this there is no reference of importance to Herbert. He died in 1217, according to some statements on 9 May, but other authorities give 6 Feb. His obit was observed at Salisbury on 7 Jan. He was buried at Wilton. Herbert is noteworthy in the history of the see of Salisbury for having conceived the design of removing it from Old Sarum to a more suitable site on the plain. He obtained the sanction of Richard I through the aid of Hubert Walter and his design, which was delayed by the troubles of the next reign, was eventually carried out by his brother and successor, Richard Poor (Reg. S. Osmund, ii. 3, 4; Peter of Blois, Epistola 104). A letter from Peter of Blois to Herbert consoling him on his afflictions apparently belongs to 1198 (ib. Epist. 246).

[Annales Monastici, Roger of Hoveden, Ralph de Diceto, Gervase of Canterbury, Roger of Wendover, Gesta Henrici Secundi (attributed to Benedict of Peterborough), Register of S. Osmund, Sarum Charters (all in Rolls Ser.); Le Neve's Fasti Eccl. Angl. i. 38, ii. 595; Stubbs's Preface to Hoveden, vol. iv. p. xci; Cassan's Lives of Bishops of Salisbury; Wiltshire Archæological Magazine, xviii. 217–24, art. by W. H. R. Jones; Foss's Judges of England, i. 405–6; Eyton's Itinerary of Henry II; Hoare's History of Wiltshire, vi. 37; other authorities quoted.]

C. L. K.