Skip to main content

Anonymous of York


Referred to also as the Norman Anonymous, is the title given by H. Böhmer to a series of 31 tractates found in the Cambridge, Corpus Christi, MS 415, written in several hands in the early 12th century. Some historians (H. Böhmer and N. F. Cantor) have proposed that they were composed by a single author, viz, the Norman Archbishop gerard of york (110108), and that York was the place of composition. Others have accepted the idea of single authorship but changed the person and location to Abp. William Bona Anima of Rouen (10791110). Multiple authorship also is suggested. Böhmer's thesis has generally prevailed. Although six tracts (nos. 8, 9, 10, 18, 21, and 31) present ideals of gregorian reform, the majority attack papal authority and defend royal and episcopal rights; canonical election is rejected, lay investiture and clerical marriage are vindicated. The most important tract is no. 24a De consecratione pontificum et regum (Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Libelli de lite 3:662679) on lay investiture and theocratic monarchy. Apart from the novelty and extremism of its political and theological ideology, of interest to historians of political theory, the collection has had no influence. It probably was never published.

Bibliography: Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Libelli de lite 3:642687. h. bÖhmer, Kirche und Staat in England und in der Normandie im XI. und XII. Jahrhundert (Leipzig 1899). h. scherrinsky, Untersuchungen zum sogenannten Anonymus von York (Würzburg 1940). g. h. williams, The Norman Anonymous of 1100 A.D. (Cambridge, MA 1951). n. f. cantor, Church, Kingship, and Lay Investiture in England, 10891135 (Princeton 1958).

[j. gilchrist]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Anonymous of York." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . 21 Mar. 2019 <>.

"Anonymous of York." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . (March 21, 2019).

"Anonymous of York." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Retrieved March 21, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.