Page images

sacred ministry, and to leave them in monasteries, at an age too young to permit of their performing even the lowest functions of ostiarius or lector: when, nevertheless, it was desirable that a mark should be set upon them, that they were no longer merely secular."


As to the shape, and fashion of the tonsure, many writers have not hesitated to trace it up to the authority of S. Peter himself. For instance, Rabanus Mau"Sunt quidam doctorum, qui asserunt, diversas ob causas Petrum apostolum hunc ritum primum sumpsisse primitus.' "42 But long before his time, Bede records an epistle of the abbot Ceolfrid, about the year 710, to whom an application had been made, for an opinion, concerning the variety of tonsures: who says; "inter omnes tamen, quas reperimus tonsuras, nullam magis sequendam nobis amplectendamque jure dixerim ea, quam in capite suo gestabat ille, cui se confitenti Dominus ait, 'Tu es Petrus.'--Neque vero ob id tantum in coronam attondemur, quia Petrus ita attonsus est; etc." 43 And such would seem to be still

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

The excerpts however of his contemporary Egbert, although they recognize the tonsure of S. Peter, follow another common view taken by the early canonists: "Exordium tonsuræ a Nazaræis incepit, qui crine servato post vitæ magnæ continentiam caput radebant, ut devotionem Domino consecrarent." Wilkins. Conc. tom. 1. p. 111. I am not speaking of the varieties of the tonsure in that age, but of its supposed original. The disputes which took place in the eighth century as to the proper shape of the ton

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

ALKON CAMER, Is it rim oci expressa licenI as #lem cinare subjectas tantum.

Aur understand this to have Se v 20 gulde waring fe pontifical vestTRANA SIÀ I was: and that if performed peracij, the endeming of the tonsure is still per


[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

I would remark here that not only bishops, but priests, by special permission, or privilege, as in the case of abbots, were permitted to confer the tonsure: and even the minor orders. Thus, the Pupilla laid down: "Episcopus et nullus inferior eo, potest ordines conferre auctoritate propria et ordinaria potestate. Alii vero non episcopi, ut abbates, ex privilegio vel speciali permissione possunt minores ordines conferre. Sacros autem solus episcopus.” 47

At a very late period we find the tonsure ordered to be given to those scholars, who were to be educated at the expense of the cathedral establishments throughout the realm. The legatine constitutions of cardinal Pole divide these scholars into two classes, according to their age: and further direct: "Incedent autem omnes, utriusque sint classis, cum tonsura et vestitu clericali, eodemque vivendi modo utentur, et divinis in ecclesia officiis inservient." 48 And that this was not a new custom, we may conclude from what Knyghton says of the early years of archbishop Edmund, in the reign of Henry II. "In primis annis, capitis dolore ita acriter vexatus est, ut in literis de

sitions of Balsamon and Zonaras upon the 14th and 35th Apostolical canons: Bevereg. Pandect. tom. 1. p. 9. 24.

Pars. vij. Cap. 2. A. Compare Cap. 1. C. Modern writers of the Roman church limit this, to cases of special dispensation from the court of Rome.. There is a privilege extant, of pope Innocent VIII. in 1489, giving to some Cistercian abbots power to ordain to the diaconate. This

has been a great perplexity to the later canonists, and some deny that the privilege was really granted. See Henriquez, Summa, in add. ad lib. X. de Ord. Vuitasse de Ord. pars. 1. 5. 2. Morinus. Exercit. xi. Cap. 2. Hallier. de Ord. tom. 2. p. 274.

48 Wilkins. Conc: tom. 4. p. 125. The same archbishop, also, in the "Reformatio Angliæ," orders the like habit and tonsure, for the poor scholars. p. 24.

[ocr errors]


71 mine : Fi, ar

DSS Tasara doloris

MOCHI DE cater atton

The same writer also

Talo of the Sends in Edmum best.e audsetes ad nume assess cbstructis

Castre, as obIris There are Kas deres or concealNi boly orders Dons under

the lit way, some sythe dress of Newith: Cle

curentes faerint in

རིང་། ་ུ་ཀཀ་ F::IES E:52 2cum

T Harm ups tonsuram
CV VÕe preteriti tem-
And the poems (so-

Tair Luas shury befice this time,
NAME IN JOSE, e token of the
• We generiske resuram despicit,
Like some men
TISÈN Je press if the midle ages desired
WAII DE occupation and pur-

[ocr errors]

• De ervas Angie Scria inser, princ, edit. Anglia Xtiana. X. zm. L. p pist.

SAN Se Lisa m anecdote from Forda Seva chronicon, Lib. viij. e. 18. cited in a note to Giraldus Cambr. de

* Thorpe. Ancient laws. &c. voi. 2. p. 255.

* Wilkins. Conc. tom. 1. p.


uits, as little different from laymen as they could be; Sic inter laicos clerus defloruit."53 Lastly, one of ne visitation articles for the diocese of London, in Q. Mary's reign, enquires: "Item, whether they and very each of them doth go in priestly apparel and abit, having their beards and crowns shaven? or vhether any of them doth go in laymen's habits and ipparel, or otherwise disguise themselves, that they cannot easily be discovered or known from laymen?" "

There was a difference, it is quite clear from the English councils, between the "tonsura" and the "corona": although the two are frequently confounded, and sometimes both meant by the use of either term alone. When both are named, one must doubtless be understood to relate to the length of the hair, the other to the bare circle on the top of the head: the shaven crown. I shall cite some canons directed to this point. Of York, in 1195. " Statuimus etiam, ut clerici, qui ab episcopo coronam susceperunt, tonsuram habeant, et coronam." Of the provincial council at Oxford, in 1222: "ut nec ipsi, nec alii clerici comam nutriant, sed honeste tonsi et coronati convenienter incedant." Of a synod at Lambeth, in 1261: “Item statuimus, quod omnes -- qui privilegio clericali gaudere voluerint, tonsuram decentem, et coronam rasi capitis deferant competentem. The following sup

[blocks in formation]


the tonsure: and early in the eighth century, we find this specified, among the excerpts of Egbert, (citing Fructuosus,) in the case of a criminous monk: “coronam capitis, quam gestat, amittat." Ibid. tom. 1. p. 105.

55 Wilkins. Conc. tom. 1. p.

« PreviousContinue »