Richard de Mores (Ricardus Anglicus)
RICHARD DE MORES (RICARDUS ANGLICUS)
Important English canonist, priest, and Augustinian canon; b. Lincolnshire, date unknown; d. Dunstable (Diocese of Lincoln), Apr. 9, 1242.
Life. He was the first canonist of English origin to teach at the school of Bologna, where he also published a number of influential writings in the last decade of the twelfth century. In the tradition of the schools, he was known merely as "Richard the Englishman," and many wrong guesses as to his identity have been made over the centuries by historians and bibliographers of canon law. It is now established that he was Richard de Mores (or Morins), prior of the Augustinian canons at Dunstable from 1202 to his death, and author of a substantial portion of the Dunstable Annals. He left a record of his long tenure as prior, but of his early years we know only what can be deduced from his canonistic writings. He first studied the arts before turning to law. His first canonical treatise places him in a group of Anglo-Norman canonists in Paris (c. 1186–87); given the date of his death, he would not have been much older than 25 at that time. About ten years later he was regent master in Bologna. During the interval he may or may not have taught for some time in England, but in all probability he had connections with the civil law glossators of the Vacarian School in Oxford. In Bologna he completed within a brief span of years a surprising number of works. Since none of these contain any reference to the decretals of innocent iii (1198–1216), we may presume that Richard was back in England by 1198. He was a canon of the Augustinian house of Merton when elected prior of Dunstable in 1202. He was ordained to the priesthood on Sept. 21, 1202. Matters of administration, visitations, and commissions entrusted to him by pope and king, by legates and bishops, filled the second half of his life, except for one brief interval. On his way back from the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) he remained in Paris for a year to attend courses in theology. In 1239, three years before his death, and when he was close to 80 years of age, he acted as one of the judges in a controversy between London and Canterbury on the metropolitan's right of visitation.
Writings. The canonistic works of Richard de Mores all antedate his long years in office as prior of Dunstable; with the exception of his Summa de ordine iudiciario, they exist only in manuscript tradition. In 1965 critical editions of the other canonistic works were in preparation for the Monumenta Iuris Canonici under the general editorship of the Institute of Medieval Canon Law. Summa questionum, written in Paris (c. 1186–87), probably represents a formal course of questiones given on Fridays (questiones veneriales in one of the manuscripts); this book of his youth is closely related to the anonymous Anglo-Norman summa, Omnis qui iuste (Lipsiensis ) and the Summa questionum of master honorius, both of the same period and school. Later, in Bologna, Richard did not include it in the list he gave of his writings in the prologue to the Distinctiones (below). The works of his Bolognese years were all completed c. 1196 to 1198, although they were probably much longer in preparation. They are Summa brevis, an elementary introduction (consisting partly of mnemonic verse) to gratian's Decretum; Distinctiones decretorum, one of his most important works (at least 16 manuscripts are preserved today), systematically presenting the concepts and problems contained in the Decretum in the form of analytical diagrams; Argumenta or Notabilia decretorum, probably lost; Summa de ordine iudiciario, a treatise on canonical procedure that was widely read and annotated in its day (for editions, see bibliography); Casus decretalium, a summary of the contents, chapter by chapter, of Bernard of Pavia's Breviarum extravagantium —the compilation of decretals that had just then been adopted in Bologna as a new subject in the curriculum (known later as Compilatio I ); Apparatus decretalium, one of the first and most influential commentaries of glosses on the new compilation and an important source for tancred's Glossa ordinaria on Compilatio I and, indirectly, for bernard of parma's Glossa ordinaria on the decretals of gregory ix; and Generalia or Brocarda, general maxims and commonplaces drawn from the texts of the new compilation, each rule presented with a string of pros and cons and a dialectical solution of the antinomies. Richard published his Generalia both as part of the Apparatus decretalium and as a separate collection.
Bibliography: Magistri Ricardi Anglici ordo iudiciarius ex codice Duacensi …, ed. c. witte (Halle 1853). l. wahrmund, ed., "Die Summa de ordine iudiciaris des Ricardus Anglicus," in Quellen zur Geschichte des römisch-kanonischen Processes im Mittelalter, v. 2.3 (Innsbruck 1915). "Annales prioratus de Dunstaplia" in Annales Monastici, v. 3, ed. h. r. luard, Rerum Britannicarum medii aevi scriptores, 244 v. (London 1858–96; repr. New York 1964–) 1866. f. gillmann, "R. A. als Glossator des Compilatio I," Archive für katholisches Kirchenrecht 107 (1927): 575–655. s. kuttner, Repertorium der Kanonistik (Rome 1937) 222–227, 323–325, 398, 417–418. j. c. russell, Dictionary of Writers of Thirteenth-Century England (New York 1936) 111–113, the first to identify the canonist as Richard de Mores. s. kuttner and e. rathbone, "Anglo-Norman Canonists of the Twelfth Century," Traditio 7 (1949–51): 329–339, 353–358. c. lefebvre, "Recherches sur les manuscrits des glossateurs de la Compilatio Ia: L'Oeuvre de R. A.," Congrès de droit canonique médiéval, … 1958 (Louvain 1959). e. m. meijers, Études d'histoire du droit, ed. r. feenstra and h. f. fischer, v. 3 (Leiden 1959) 278–279. s. kuttner, Dictionnaire de droit canonique, ed. r. naz, 7 v. (Paris 1935–65) 7:676–681, full bibliog.