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Medieval Sourcebook:
Roger of Hoveden:
The Order of Coronation of Richard I, 1189


First came the bishops, abbots, and large numbers of the clergy, wearing silken hoods, preceded by the cross, taper-bearers, censers, and holy water, as far as the door of the king's inner chamber; where they received the before-named duke, and escorted him to the church of Westminster, as far as the high altar, in solemn procession, with chaunts of praise, while all the way along which they went, from the door of the king's chamber to the altar, was covered with woollen cloth. The order of the procession was as follows: First came the clergy in their robes, carrying holy water, and the cross, tapers, and censers. Next came the priors, then the abbots, and then the bishops, in the midst of whom walked four barons, bearing four candlesticks of gold; after whom came Godfrey de Lucy, bearing the king's cap [of maintenance], and John Marshal by him, carrying two great and massive spurs of gold. After these came William Marshal, earl of Striguil, bearing the royal sceptre of gold, on the top of which was a cross of gold, and by him William Fitz-Patrick, Earl of Salisbury, bearing a rod of gold, having on its top a dove of gold. After them came David, earl of Huntingdon, brother of the king of Scotland, John, earl of Mortaigne, the duke's brother, and Robert, earl of Leicester, carrying three golden swords from the king's treasury, the scabbards of which were worked all over with gold; the earl of Mortaigne walking in the middle. Next came six earls and six barons, carrying on their shoulders a very large chequer, upon which were placed the royal arms and robes; and after them William de Mandeville, earl of Aumarle, carrying a great and massive crown of gold, decorated on every side with precious stones. Next came Richard, duke of Normandy, Hugh, bishop of Durham, walking at his right hand, and lteginald, bishop of Bath, at his left, and four barons holding over them a canopy of silk on four lofty spears. Then followed a great number of earls, barons, knights, and others, both clergy and laity, as far as the porch of the church, and dressed in their robes, entered with the duke, and proceeded as far as the choir.

When the duke had come to the altar, in presence of the archbishops, bishops, clergy, and people, kneeling before the altar, with the holy Evangelists placed before him, and many relics of the saints, according to custom, he swore that he would all the days of his life observe peace, honor, and reverence towards God, the Holy Church, and its ordinances. He also swore that he would exercise true justice and equity towards the people committed to his charge. He also swore that he would abrogate bad laws and -unjust customs, if any such had been introduced into his kingdom, and would enact good laws, and observe the same without fraud or evil intent. After this they took off all his clothes from the waist upwards, except his shirt and breeches; his shirt having been previously separated over the shoulders; after which they shod him with sandals embroidered with gold. Then Baldwin, archbishop of Canterbury, Pouring holy oil upon his head, anointed him king in three places, on his head, breast, and arms, which signifies glory, valour, and knowledge, with suitable prayers for the occasion; after which the said archbishop placed a consecrated linen cloth on his head, and upon that the cap which Geoffrey de Lucy had carried. They then clothed him in the royal robes, first a tunic, and then a dalmatic ; after which the said archbishop delivered to him the sword of rule, with which to crush evildoers against the Church: this done, two earls placed the spurs upon his feet, which John Marshal had carried. After this being robed in a mantle, he was led to the altar, where the said archbishop forbade him, in the name of Almighty God, to presume to take upon him this dignity, unless he had the full intention inviolably to observe the oaths and vows before mentioned which he had made ; to which he made answer that, with God's assistance, he would without reservation observe them all. After this, he himself took the crown from the altar and gave it to the archbishop; on which, the archbishop delivered it to him, and placed it upon his head, it being supported by two earls in conseqaence of its extreme weight. After this, the archbishop delivered to him the sceptre to hold in his right hand, while he held the rod of royalty in his left; and, having been thus crowned, the king was led back to his seat by the before-named bishops of Durham and Bath, preceded by the taper-bearers and the three swords before-mentioned. After this, the mass of our Lord was commenced, and, when they came to the offertory, the before-named bishops led him to the altar, where he offered one mark of the purest gold, such being the proper offering for the king at each coronation; after which, the bishops before-named led him back to his seat. The mass having been concluded, and all things solemnly performed, the two bishops before-named, one on the right hand the other on the left, led him back from the church to his chamber, crowned, and carrying a sceptre in his right hand and the the rod of royalty in his left, the procession going in the same order as before. Then the procession returned to the choir, and our lord the king put off his royal crown and robes of royalty, and put on a crown and robes that were lighter; and, thus crowned, went to dine; on which the archbishops and bishops took their seats with him at the table, each according to his rank and dignity. The earls and barons also served in the king's palace, according to their several dignities; while the citizens of London served in the cellars, and the citizens of Winchester in the kitchen.

From Roger of Hoveden: The Annals, comprising The History of England and of Other Countries of Europe from AD 732 to AD 1201, trans. Henry T. Riley, 2 Vols. (London: H.G. Bohn, 1853; rep. New York AMS, 1968), Vol 2, pp. 117-19


This text is 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.

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© Paul Halsall July 1997
halsall@murray.fordham.edu