1196 he procured a second privilege from the pope, together with an order to the archbishop to put him in possession of the abbey, and a letter inhibiting the monks from electing an abbot. His agents took these to Glastonbury in February 1197, and the monks sent a protest to the archbishop, who told them that they were too slack in their own cause, for the bishop did not sleep, and that Savaric would have had possession before then if he had not hindered him (Domerham p. 369). Savaric was sent to Richard by the emperor to propose a compensation for the king's ransom, and in October was with Richard at Rouen. The archbishop, in November, unable longer to delay obedience to the pope's orders, commanded the monks to obey the bishop, and Savaric's proctors took possession of the abbey. Savaric went to England, and is said to have begun to distress the monks. In 1198, however, the king encouraged them in their appeal to the new pope, Innocent III, and in August, acting on the archbishop's advice, deprived Savaric of the abbey and took it into his own hands. He employed Savaric along with other bishops at this time to propose terms of reconciliation to Geoffrey (d. 1212) [q. v.], archbishop of York. In October he gave the monks authority to elect an abbot, and in November they elected William Pyke (Pica). The next day Savaric sent his official and others to the abbey to announce that he had excommunicated Pyke and his supporters.
On Richard's death Savaric renewed his attempts on Glastonbury. He was present at John's coronation on 27 May 1199, and is said to have purchased the king's assent to his taking possession of the abbey. On 8 June Bernard, archbishop of Ragusa (called in Hearne's Adam de Domerham, ii. 382, ‘Arragonensis’), and the archdeacon of Canterbury were sent with royal letters to insist on the submission of the monks and to enthrone Savaric, who accompanied them with a band of armed men. He had the gates of the abbey forced, and was enthroned in the church. His guards shut the recalcitrant monks in the infirmary and kept them without food until the next day, when he summoned them to the chapter-house and there had some of them beaten before him, and induced most of the convent, some by fear and others by cajolery, to submit to him. It was probably at this time that he caused one of the beneficed clerks of the abbey to be beaten in his presence so grievously that the man died a few days afterwards (ib. p. 406). He then accompanied the king to Normandy, and later went to Rome, where the monks were pressing their appeal. It was believed that he applied for leave to deprive Bath of its cathedral dignity and transfer his see to Glastonbury (Rog. Hov. iv. 85), and it is asserted that he had actually done so by King Richard's authority (Ralph de Coggeshall, p. 162), but this is erroneous. A long record of the outrages committed by him and his agents was laid before the pope, who in 1200 annulled Pyke's election, confirmed the union of the churches of Bath and Glastonbury, ordered Savaric to abstain from violence, and appointed commissioners to draw up terms between him and the abbey. Pyke died at Rome on 3 Sept., and at Glastonbury it was believed possible that Savaric had caused him to be poisoned (Domerham, ii. 399). In October and November Savaric was in attendance on the king at Lincoln and elsewhere. The award of the pope's commissioners, made in 1202 and confirmed by the pope, gave the abbey to Savaric, assigned to him and his successors certain of its estates calculated to bring in a fourth of the revenue of the house, gave him rights of patronage and government, and ordered that he should bear his proportion of the liabilities of the convent, and should make compensation to certain whom he had injured (ib. pp. 410–25). Savaric, having thus gained the victory in his long conflict, became gracious to the monks, and conferred some benefits on the convent (ib. p. 422). He made some grants to the Wells chapter, which had strenuously supported him in his struggle with Glastonbury, and he carried out what was evidently a definite policy of strengthening the secular chapter of the church of Wells, which, though not in his day a cathedral church, was of prime importance in his bishopric, by bringing into it the heads of the greater monastic houses within, or connected with, his diocese; for besides annexing the abbacy of Glastonbury to his see, he founded two new prebends and attached them to the abbacies of Athelney and Muchelney, and, after some dispute, prevailed on the abbot of Bec in Normandy to hold the church of Cleeve in Somerset as a prebend of Wells (Wells Cathedral Manuscripts, pp. 13, 22, 25, 29, 34, 294; Church, p. 119). He instituted a daily mass at Wells in honour of the Virgin, and another for all benefactors, and endowed a daily mass for his own soul, and ordered that a hundred poor should be fed on his obit. He granted a charter to the city of Wells, and prevailed on King John to grant one also in 1201 (ib. pp. 386–91). When the treasures of churches were seized to make up Richard's ransom, he saved the treasure of