Boniface of Savoy, Bl.

views updated


Carthusian monk, archbishop of Canterbury; b. c. 1207; d. Sainte-Hélène, Savoy, July 14, 1270. The son of Thomas I, count of Savoy, Boniface entered La Grande-Chartreuse at an early age. In c. 1232 he became bishop of Belley in Burgundy, serving as administrator of the Diocese of Valence as well in 1239. As uncle of Eleanor of Provence, Henry III's queen of England, he was elected archbishop of Canterbury in 1241 to succeed Abp. Edmund of Abingdon, but he was confirmed only in 1243. In 1244 he arrived in England, was involved in the governmental crisis of that year, and made the first of his two metropolitan visitations. At the Council of Lyons (1245), he succeeded in gaining for Canterbury province the first fruits, or annates, of vacant benefices for the next seven years. When he returned to England in 1249, he was finally enthroned. Also in 1249 he made his second reforming visitation, during which he was opposed by the chapter of Saint Paul's Cathedral and the priory of St. Bartholomew in the Diocese of London. This led to excommunications, which Rome annulled in 1251. In 1254 he accompanied Prince Edward I when he married Eleanor of Castile. Boniface was involved in the governmental crises of 1258 to 1265, the so-called Barons' War. In 1258 he compiled constitutions for reformin the tradition of robert grossetestewhich were later used by Abp. john peckham. When his reform measures were published in 1261, Henry III caused Pope Urban IV to refuse them confirmation. In 1263 and 1264 Boniface pleaded for Henry III at the court of Louis IX of France. Boniface spent his last years in Savoy. His cult was approved in 1838 by Pope Gregory XVI.

Feast: July 14 (Savoy, Sardinia, and Carthusians), formerly on July 15 and 21.

Bibliography: matthew paris, Historia Anglorum Historia minor, ed. f. madden, 3 v. (Rerum Britannicarum medii aevi scriptores 44; London 186669) v. 3. innocent iv, Register , ed. e. berger, v. 2 (Bibliothèque des Écoles françaises d'Athènes et de Rome, 2d ser.; Paris 1885). c. w. previtÉ-orton, The Early History of the House of Savoy (Cambridge, Eng. 1912). g. strickland, "Ricerche storica sopra il B. Bonifacio de Savoia," Miscellenea di storia Italica, 3d ser. 1 (1895) 349432. f. m. powicke, The Thirteenth Century (2d ed. Oxford 1962). r. foreville, "L'Élection de B. de S. au siège primatial de Canterbury ," Bulletin philologique et historique (jusqu'à 1610) du Comité des travaux historiques et scientifiques 1 (1960) 435450.

[v. i. j. flint]