Roger of Worcester

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Bishop; b. c. 1133; d. Tours, France, Aug. 9, 1179. He was the son of Earl Robert of Gloucester (d. 1147) and grandson of henry i of England. He was educated at Bristol with his cousin (later henry ii) and at Paris under robert of melun. Roger doubtless owed his swift promotion to his royal connections, but was Thomas beck et's choice for the See of worcester, and was consecrated by him at canterbury on Aug. 23, 1164. The most spiritual, steadfast, and courageous of Becket's supporters, "the morning star which illuminates our sad story," he was uniquely loyal to his consecrator without entirely losing the favor of King Henry II. From 1167 he shared the archbishop's exile, and was absent from England in 1170 when Becket was murdered, returning only in 1172. Before and after Becket's martyrdom, he unswervingly upheld the principles for which the archbishop contended, but with moderation and concern for the authority of the king. His work as bishop and canonist was of outstanding importance, and he was an eminent judge-delegate who, with bartholomew of exeter, was described by Pope alexander iii as one of "the twin lights" illuminating the English Church. Roger left a striking record of his judicial activities in the primitive English decretal collections from the mid-1170s, whereas his surviving acta throw light on his concern for his diocese. He was present at richard of canter bury's synod at Westminster in 1175 and possibly at the Third lateran council of 1179.

Bibliography: a. morey, Bartholomew of Exeter: Bishop and Canonist (Cambridge 1937). m. g. hall (Mrs. M. Cheney), Roger of Worcester: 116479 (B. Litt. diss. unpub. Oxford 1940). m. cheney, "The Compromise of Avranches of 1172 and the Spread of Canon Law in England," English Historical Review 56 (1941): 177197. d. knowles, The Episcopal Colleagues of Archbishop Thomas Becket (Cambridge, Eng. 1951). c. duggan, Twelfth-Century Decretal Collections and Their Importance in English History (London 1963).

[c. duggan]

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Roger of Worcester

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