Haymo of Faversham (DNB00)

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HAYMO of Faversham (d. 1244), Franciscan and fourth general of the order, was born at Faversham, Kent. After studying in England he went to Paris, where, according to Leland, he was reputed the most Aristotelian of Aristotelians. He was already a priest and famous preacher when he was received into the Franciscan order at St. Denys by Gregory of Naples on the Thursday before Good Friday, in what year is unknown. Haymo preached a sermon on the occasion, taking for his text Psalm cxxv. 1 (Vulgate). Shortly afterwards he appears to have returned home, being one of the first Franciscans to come to England; his virtues and eloquence gave him great influence in promoting the extension of his order. Later on he went back to Paris, and was sent as a lecturer to Tours, Bologna, and Padua. In 1233 he was chosen by Gregory IX to go as one of his envoys to endeavour to bring about a union with the Greek church. Haymo and his companions first held a discussion at Nicæa and thence went to Constantinople, and finally attended a synod at Nymphæa in Bithynia; the mission, however, proved abortive (see full account of its proceedings in Labbe, Concilia, xxii. 277–320; and Wadding, Ann. Ord. Min. ii. 319–49). Haymo played a great part in some of the early troubles of the order. By his influence Gregory of Naples, ‘minister Franciæ,’ was removed from his office, and those whom he had imprisoned were released. In 1238 he was instrumental in obtaining the deposition of Elias, the second general of the order, and made a journey to Rome for this purpose. In the chapter held on this occasion Haymo was appointed ‘minister Angliæ,’ but held the office only one year, during which time he received into the order Ralph de Maidstone, bishop of Hereford, and allowed the friars to enlarge their buildings. In 1240 he was made fourth general of the order. His rule was marked by the first and last general chapter of the ‘diffiniti.’ Haymo died at Anagnia in Italy in 1244; his tomb bore the inscription:

Hic jacet Anglorum summum decus Haymo minorum,
Vivendo frater, hosque regendo pater,
Eximius lector, generalis in ordine rector.

He must have been an old man, for in 1238 he is spoken of as ‘iste senex vir bonus et breviloquus.’ His virtues earned him the title of ‘Speculum honestatis.’ He was employed by Gregory IX (Trithemius wrongly says by Alexander IV) to correct and edit the ‘Breviarium Romanum,’ and is said to have added the rubrics. Haymo also wrote: 1. ‘De Missæ Caerimoniis,’ printed in the ‘Monumenta Ordinis Minorum’ (ii. 287), Salamanca, 1511, and in the ‘Liber familiaris Clericorum,’ Venice, 1561. 2. ‘Super magistrum sententiarum’ (Leland says that he had seen this work). 3. ‘Sermones per annum.’

[Eccleston's De Adventu Fratrum Minorum, in Monumenta Franciscana, i. 34, 45–51, 59, ii. 23–5; Leland, De Scriptoribus, pp. 280–1; Bale, iv. 27; Pits, p. 340; Tanner's Bibl. Brit.-Hib. pp. 386–7; Wadding's Script. Ord. Min. ed. 1806, p. 111; Sbaralea's Suppl. in Script Ord. S. Francisci, ed. 1806, pp. 333, 728; Fabricius, Bibl. Lat. Med. Æv. iii. 180, ed. 1754; Du Boulay's Hist. Univ. Paris, iii. 687.]

C. L. K.