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Medieval Sourcebook:

To the most reverend man of religion the lord Sacrist of (Bury) St. Edmund (Suffolk), the Archdeacon of Ely's Official: Greeting in Him who is the true salvation of all.

We notify your lordship by these presents that John of the Moat, painter, and Beatrice of Ely-At-Lanes-End, wife of Peter of Soham but adhering to the adulterous embraces of the said John, have merited the sentence of greater excommunication launched by us for their repeated contumacy and manifest offence. We have caused this sentence to be solemnly published through each of the parish churches of the city of Ely on Sundays and holy days, and have further forbidden anyone to presume to communicate in any way with them or either of them during the period of the said excommunication on pain of the same treatment. They have in no way feared to reject the Church's keys in pertinaciously persisting under this excommunication for a long time now thus tainting the Lord's flock as far as in them lies. They have, however, moved away in search of refuge to various places sometimes in southern parts, sometimes to the north. We have heard from trustworthy people that they now lurk at St. Edmunds and reside in your jurisdiction. We therefore require and request of your Discretion as strongly as we may that, as part of the mutual cooperation which Ordinaries [ecclesiastical authorities operating jurisdiction] are bound to offer each other, and since the said John and Beatrice are known to be living in your parts, you should please have them and those communicating with them publicly denounced as excommunicate and most strictly avoided by everyone, until they return, blushing with shame, to the bosom of Holy Mother Church and earn the right the benefit of absolution from us. If it pleases you to act on the aforesaid matters, we shall be bound to do for you the same or a greater service. May your reverend lordship flourish and grow strong through the daily round. Given at Cambridge the 3rd of the Ides of August A.D. 1289.

[The Letter-Book of William of Hoo, ed. A. Gransden (Suffolk recs. soc. v, 1963, no. 48; copied also as no. 79 omitting personal names etc. under the title "Letter from an Ordinary to prosecute a sentence against a fugitive".]


Translation by Paul Hyams of Cornell University. See his Course Page?. He indicated that the translations are available for educational use. He intends to expand the number of translations, so keep a note of his home page.

This text is listed as part of the Internet Medieval Source Book. The Sourcebook is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted texts related to medieval and Byzantine history.

Paul Halsall April 1996

The Internet History Sourcebooks Project is located at the History Department of  Fordham University, New York. The Internet Medieval Sourcebook, and other medieval components of the project, are located at the Fordham University Center for Medieval Studies.The IHSP recognizes the contribution of Fordham University, the Fordham University History Department, and the Fordham Center for Medieval Studies in providing web space and server support for the project. The IHSP is a project independent of Fordham University.  Although the IHSP seeks to follow all applicable copyright law, Fordham University is not the institutional owner, and is not liable as the result of any legal action.

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