Baldwin (d.1190) (DNB00)

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BALDWIN (d. 1190), archbishop of Canterbury, was born at Exeter of poor parents. He received an excellent education, both in secular and religious learning, and bore a high character. He took orders, and was made archdeacon by Bartholomew, bishop of Exeter. Monastic in his tastes, Baldwin disliked the state and business which surrounded him as an archdeacon. He resigned his office, and became a monk of the Cistercian abbey of Ford in Devonshire. He entered on his new life with ardour, and within a year was made abbot. His literary work was done either wholly, or at least for the most part, while he held that office. In 1180 he was made bishop of Worcester. While Henry II was at Worcester in 1184, a man of good family, named Gilbert of Plumpton, was tried for forcibly carrying off an heiress, and was condemned to death. It was generally believed that many of the charges brought against Gilbert were false, and were included in the indictment to secure his condemnation. Baldwin was strongly urged to interfere to save him. He determined to do so, but was only just in time. The rope was actually round Gilbert's neck, when the bishop galloped up and called to the executioners to loose him, saying that their work might not be done on that day, for it was Sunday and a festival. A pardon was afterwards obtained from the king. The incident illustrates the bishop's character, which was at once wavering and impulsive. Baldwin was elected archbishop in the same year. His election was disputed; for the monks of Christ Church chose the abbot of Battle, while the bishops of the province chose Baldwin. The monks refused to agree in the choice of the bishops, and proceeded to elect Theobald, cardinal-bishop of Ostia, The king interfered, and after some difficulty persuaded the monks to choose the bishop of Worcester, on the express condition that the claim of the bishops to elect should be disallowed. It was probably during the course of this dispute that Baldwin was employed by the king in a negotiation with Rhys ap Gruffydd, prince of South Wales. The new archbishop is described by his friend, Giraldus Cambrensis, as a gloomy and nervous man. gentle, guileless, and slow to wrath, very learned and religious. This character, as Dr. Stubbs has shown (Epp. Cantuar., Introd., Rolls Series), is perhaps not inconsistent with 'the errors of temper, harshness, arbitrary severity, and want of tact' which he manifested in the long dispute with his convent; for he was weak of purpose and of an impulsive nature. His religious character is illustrated by the saying that, of the three archbishops, 'when Thomas came to town, the first place to which he went, was the court, with Richard it was the farm, with Baldwin the church.' Pope Urban III, who was his enemy, addressed him in a letter as 'the most fervent monk, the zealous abbot, the lukewarm bishop, the careless archbishop.' As a simple monk Baldwin was fervent in spirit, and when he was invested with authority he did not exercise it negligently, but in a way which was unwelcome to the pope.

The privileges granted by the predecessors of Baldwin made the monks of Christ Church practically independent of the archbishop. Fresh dignity was conferred upon their convent by the martyrdom of St. Thomas. Over the large revenues of their church its titular ruler had no control. His claim on their obedience was disregarded, and he was looked upon by the chapter either as the instrument of their will, or as a stranger whose interests were different from their own. The house was no mere monastic foundation. The monks, as the congregation of the metropolitan church, cast off the bondage of monastic discipline. Princely hospitality and luxurious living reigned within the monastery. Trains of servants waited on the brethren and consumed the revenues of the house. While the archbishop had scanty means of rewarding his clerks and officers, he saw the community of which he was the nominal head indulging in lavish expenses. The independence of the convent was grievous to Baldwin as archbishop, and its luxury disgusted him as a Cistercian. When he was received by the monks, he expressed a hope that he and they would be one 'in the Lord.' His course of action was not such as was likely to promote unity. He determined to raise a great collegiate church, in which he might provide for men of learning such as his nephew, Joseph the poet. The monks believed that he intended to supersede their cause. Of the famous quarrel which arose in this matter a full and interesting account has been given by Dr. Stubbs in his introduction to the volume of Canterbury letters, which record each stage in the proceedings. The year after his enthronement Baldwin seized certain offerings (xenia) paid to the convent. He decided on building a college for secular priests at Hakington, about half a mile from Canterbury. The monks appealed to Rome, and begged the kings of England and France uphold their cause. Before long most of the princes, cardinals, bishops, and great monasteries of western Europe took one side or the other in the quarrel. The archbishop was upheld by Henry. He suspended the appellant monks, and refused to obey the papal orders commanding him to restore the prior, to discontinue his building, and to give the property of the convent. When the pope issued a second mandate, Ranulf Glanvill, the justiciar, forbade its execution. On the death of Urban the king openly adopted the cause of Baldwin. In 1188 two monks were sent to the archbishop, who had just come to England from Normandy to offer him the usual welcome on his return. Without admitting them to his presence he excommunicated them and seized their horses. The convent stopped the services of the church, and sent letters to Henry the Lion and Philip of Flanders, asking their help. On the other hand, Henry wrote to Pope Clement, declaring that 'he Would rather lay down his crown than allow the monks to get the better of the archbishop.' The convent was kept in a state of blockade for eighty-two weeks. On the death of Henry II Baldwin tried to effect a reconciliation. He failed, and broke out into violent threats against the subprior. In order to reduce the convent to submission, he appointed to succeed the prior, who had died abroad, one Roger Norreys, who was wholly unfit for the post. King Richard visited Canterbury in November 1189, and effected a compromise of the dispute. Baldwin gave up his college at Hakington, and deposed his new prior. On the other hand it was declared that the archbishop had a right to build a church where he liked, and to appoint the prior of the convent, and the monks made submission to him. In virtue of this agreement he acquired by exchange from the church of Rochester twenty-four acres of the demesne of the manor of Lambeth, and there laid the foundation of a new college.

Meanwhile, in 1187, Baldwin made a legatine visitation in Wales, a part of their province which none of the archbishops of Canterburv had yet visited. The tidings having arrived of the loss of Jerusalem and of the holy cross, Henry II held a great council at Geddington for the purposes of a crusade. There, 11 Feb. 1188, Baldwin took the cross, and preached for the cause with great effect. In the Lent of that year the archbishop, accompanied by Ranulf Glanvill and by Giraldus, the archdeacon of St. David's, made a tour through Wales, preaching the crusade. Entering Wales by Hereford, he spent about a month in the southern and a week in the northern principality. At Radnor the crusading party was joined by Rhys ap Gruffydd and other noble Welshmen. The archbishop made this progress a means of asserting his metropolitan authority in Wales, for he performed mass in each of the cathedral churches 'as a mark of a kind of investiture' (Itin. Kamb. ii. 1; see also Introd. by Mr. Dimock to Giraldus Cambrensis, vi., R.S.). Vast crowds of Welshmen took the cross. A history of the expedition was written by Giraldus. The crusade was delayed by the quarrel of Richard with his father. Soon after his return from Wales Baldwin was sent by the king to pacify Philip of France, but was unsuccessful in his mission. He was with the king during his last illness. He seems to have had considerable influence with Henry. In 1185 he prevailed on him to release his queen. He now strongly exhorted him to confession. He forbade the marriage of John with the heiress of the Earl of Gloucester on the ground of their kinship, but his prohibition was disregarded. In 1189 he officiated at the coronation of Richard, and attended the council which the king held at Pipewell in that year. At this council Geoffrey, the king's brother, was appointed to the archbishopric of York. Baldwin asserted the rights of his see by claiming that the new archbishop should not receive ordination from any one save from himself, and appealed to the pope to uphold his claim.

In March 1190 Baldwin set out on the crusade in company with Hubert, bishop of Salisbury, and Ranulf Glanvill. They parted with the king at Marseilles, as they went straight on to the Holy Land. They arrived at Tyre on 16 Sept., and at Acre on 12 Oct. During the illness of the patriarch, Baldwin, as his vicegerent, opposed the adulterous marriage of Isabel, the heiress of the kingdom, the wife of Henfrid of Turon, and Conrad, the marquis of Montferrat, and excommunicated the contracting and assenting parties. The crusading army made an attack, 12 Nov., upon the camp of Saladin. Before the battle Baldwin, in the absence of the patriarch, absolved and blessed the host. Nor was he wanting in more active duties. He sent to battle two hundred knights and three hundred attendants who were in his pay, with the banner of his predecessor, St. Thomas, borne on high before them; while he, in company with Frederick of Swabia and Theobald of Blois, guarded the camp of the crusaders. The excesses of the army weighed heavily on the spirit of the aged prelate. He fell sick with sorrow, and was heard to pray that he might be taken away from the turmoil of this world; 'for,' said he, 'I have tarried too long in this army.' He died 19 Nov. 1190. During his illness he appointed Bishop Hubert his executor, leaving all his wealth for the relief of the Holy Land, and especially for the employment of a body of troops to guard the camp.

The works of Baldwin which have been preserved are a Penitential and some discourses in manuscript in the Lambeth library, of which a notice is given in Wharton's 'Auctarium' of Usher's 'Historia Dogmatica,' p. 407; two books entitled 'De Commendatione Fidei,' and 'De Sacramento Altaris,' and sixteen short treatises or sermons. While these works do not display any great learning, they prove that Baldwin had a wide acquaintance with the text of Scripture. The book on the 'Sacrament of the Altar' was printed at Cambridge with the title, 'Reverendissimi in Christo Patris ac Domini, Domini Baldivini Cantuariensis Archiepiscopi, de venerabili ac divinissimo altaris sacramento sermo. Ex præclara Cantabrigiensi Academia, anno MDXXI. Finis adest felicissimus,' 4to. It is printed by John Siberch, who styles himself, in the dedication to Nicholas, bishop of Ely, 'primus utriusque linguæ in Anglia impressor,' and is one of the earliest books known to have been printed at Cambridge (Ames, Typog. Antiq. ed. Herbert, iii. 1412; Brunet, Manuel du Libraire, i. 624). Baldwin's works are contained in the 'Bibliotheca Patrum Cisterciensium,' tom. v. 1662, from which they have been reprinted verbatim, with the remarkable error which makes Oxford the birthplace of Baldwin and the see of Bartholomew, by Migne in his 'Patrologiæ Cursus Completus,' tom. cciv.

[Epp. Cantuar. ed. Stubbs, R.S.; Gesta Regis Henrici. ed. Stubbs, R.S.; Roger of Hoveden, ed. Stubbs, R.S.; Ralph of Diceto; Gervase. Act. Pontif. and Chron.; Giraldus Cambrensis, De Sex Episc. vit., De rebus a se gestis, Itin. Kambriae, De Instruc. principum, i-vii, ed. Brewer and Dimock, RS.; Richard of Devizes; Roger of Wendover; Introductions to Memorials of Rich. I, by Dr. Stubbs. R.S.; Hook's Archbishops of Canterbury, vol. ii.]

W. H.