Account of a Tour in Normandy, Volume 2 eBook

Dawson Turner
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 249 pages of information about Account of a Tour in Normandy, Volume 2.
throne, than he rewarded Odo with the earldom of Kent, and appointed him his viceroy in England, whilst he himself crossed the channel, to superintend his affairs in Normandy.  But the mind which was proof against difficulties, yielded, as too commonly happens, to prosperity.  Nothing less than the papacy could satisfy the ambition of Odo:  he abused the power with which he was invested in a flagrant manner; and William, finally, disgusted with his proceedings, arrested him with his own hand, and committed him prisoner to the old palace at Rouen, where he continued till the death of the monarch.—­The sequel of the story is of the same complexion:  more plots, attended now with success, and now with disgrace; till at length the prelate resolved to expiate his sins by a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and died on his journey, at Palermo.—­Such was Odo in his secular character:  as a churchman, historians unanimously agree that he was most zealous for the honor of his diocese, indefatigable in re-building the churches which time or war had destroyed, liberal in endowments, munificent in presents, and ever anxiously intent upon procuring a supply of able ministers, establishing regular discipline, and reforming the morals of the flock committed to his charge.

The Bishop of Bayeux has at all times claimed the distinction of being regarded the first among the suffragan bishops of the Norman church.  In the absence of the archbishop, he presides at, the ecclesiastical assemblies and councils.  His revenue, before the revolution, was estimated at one hundred thousand livres:  per annum.  The see, in point of antiquity, even contests for the priority with Rouen.  From time immemorial, the chapter has enjoyed the right of mintage; and they appear to have used it till the year 1577, at which time their coin was so much counterfeited, that they were induced to recal it by public proclamation.  Their money, which was of the size of a piece of two sous, was stamped, on one side, with a two-headed eagle, and the legend moneta capituli; and on the obverse, with the letter V, surrounded by the word Bajocensis.  The eagle was probably adopted, in allusion to the arms of the see, which were, gules; an eagle displayed with two heads, or[93].—­Another privilege of the chapter was, that no person of illegitimate birth could be allowed to hold place in it, under any pretext or dispensation whatever.—­Among their peculiar customs, they imitated that of the see of Rouen, in the annual election of a boy-bishop upon Innocents’-day; a practice prevalent in many churches in Spain and Germany, and notoriously in England at Salisbury.  The young chorister took the crozier in his hands, during the first vespers, at the verse in the Magnificat, “He has put down the mighty from their seats, and has exalted the humble and meek;” and he resigned his dignity at the same verse in the second vespers.—­The ceremony was abolished in 1482.

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Account of a Tour in Normandy, Volume 2 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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