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Electio et Consecratio atque Coro

natio novi Regis.

VOL. III.

B

Ordo Novum Regem in Regno
Constituendi.1

CONSTITUTO hujusmodi actionis die, summo mane dominus metropolitanus, et cæteri præsules, cum clero in ecclesia congregentur, ut grex Christi, quid populo suo Christus inspiraverit, cum mentis devotione præstolantes. In curia Regis comites, proceres, cives, nobilesque cuncti conveniant, ad disponendum sagaciterque tractandum, tam de principis novi electione quam de legum atque consuetudinum regni confirmatione.

The order of the Coronation of K. Ethelred, A. D. 978, preserved in the British Museum, Cotton MS. Claudius, A. iij., has the following short rubric at the

commencement.

"Incipit consecratio regis, quem de conventu seniorum per manus producant duo episcopi ad ecclesiam, et clerus hanc decantet antiphonam duobus episcopis præcinentibus. Firmetur.' etc."

In the same volume is contained the order of the coronation of K. Henry I. This begins with the following rubric, and with it agree another MS. in the same collection, Tiberius, B. viij.; the Winchester pontifical; an imperfect Sarum MS. in the Bodleian, Rawl. C. 40; and a MS. pontifical, also imperfect, in Trinity College, Dublin. MS. B. 3. 6.

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The order for Edwd. II. (Bodl. MS. Rawl. C. 425.) has a longer rubric, viz. "Ordo novum regem in regno constituendi.

"Die quo consecrandus est novus rex, summo mane conveniant prælati et nobiles in palatio regali apud Westmonasterium, tractaturi de novi consecratione principis, et de legibus et consuetudinibus regni confirmandis, et firmiter statuendis: ita quod provideatur aliquis locus in dicto palatio, super quem hæres regis regnaturus, cum omni mansuetudine et reverentia, elevetur, ipso tamen prius, ut moris est, balneato, et induto mundissimis

Quibus consentientibus, et id idem in omnibus consona voce acclamantibus, cum omni mansuetudine ac reveren

vestibus, et caligis tantummodo calciato. His peractis, ordinetur in ecclesia per archiepiscopos, episcopos, abbatem, et conventum Westmonasterii, et alios, processio in cappis sericis, cum textis, et thuribulis, et aliis quæ processioni conveniunt. Et sic induti processionaliter regi futuro occurrant in palatio antedicto, et sic ipsum processive in ecclesiam ducant, ipsoque introducto atque in pulpito in sede sibi apta collocato, hæc antiphona ab omnibus decantetur: Firmetur.' etc."

With this agrees the Exeter pontifical: except in its title; which is somewhat singular. "Coronatio regis secundum consuetudinem ecclesia Westmonasteriensis."

And an imperfect English pontifical in the British Museum, Harleian MS. 561, begins with a still more particular reference to the Westminster muniments. "Hic est ordo secundum quem rex debet coronari, pariter et inungi, secundum cronicas et registra in abbathia Westmonasterii inventa."

I have no doubt that the "textus" spoken of above, was some splendid copy of the Four Gospels, or of the selected Gospels, which was specially preserved at Westminster to be used either on this great occasion only of a co

ronation, or at other very solemn processions. Or possibly, it was the copy of the Gospels, upon which the coronation-oath was to be taken. I have made some remarks upon this, in the preliminary dissertation and I would also refer the reader to the dissertation on Service Books, Vol. I. p. lij., and to the extract from Giraldus, in the "Supplement" to p. Ivij.

* The custom of assembling the archbishops and bishops of the realm is as ancient as the office itself of a Coronation; it has been always held to be necessary not only that the new sovereign should be crowned by the Primate, or a Bishop appointed by him, but also with as large an attendance of the clergy, more especially of the highest degree, as could be obtained. Peter Damian proves that this was not confined to England only he says, in a passage of his lxix th Sermon, cited by Catalani: "Cum enim tantæ nobilitatis sanguis vel genere, vel nobilitate consecratur in regem, religio cum nobilitate totius regni viribus convocatur. Astat hinc primatum, metropolitanorum, et episcoporum gloriosa societas: illinc ducum, comitum, castellanorum, non spernenda nobilitas. Procedit medius homo super homines regnaturus constitutus agmine personali."

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