WIFE SUES TO GET HER HUSBAND BACK
Greeting etc. A little pauper woman, A. de B., came to me in
tears and made a complaint that C. de D. some time ago contracted
marriage with her by exchange of words expressing consent de presenti;
later a case was brought between them before the Commissary of
E. exercising jurisdiction by authority of the Ordinary [ie church
officer commissioned by the bishop to hold an ecclesiastical court
on his behalf]. After discussion of the merits of the case, he
adjudged the aforesaid C. de D. (Ivo) to the same woman as her
husband by a definitive sentence, as we see more fully contained
in the acts [documentary record] written up on this matter and
sealed with the Official's seal. But the same C. transferred to
the town of H. with the intention of evading the aforesaid sentence
and married, as it is said, another woman to whom he holds assiduously
"de facto" (since he could not do it "de iure")
to the grave danger of his soul and the scandal of very many.
We therefore ask you, in the interest of mutual cooperation and
for the salvation of the souls imperilled thereby, to warn the
aforesaid C., and induce him as effectively as you can, to give
up this adulteress, if he has her, and then to receive back the
said A. as his wife and treat her with marital affection; otherwise
you should compel him to do this by sentencing him to suspension
and excommunication from day to day as necessary. You should then
signify to us how you have executed our request on God's account
by your letters patent. Given etc.
[The Letter-Book of William of Hoo, ed. A. Gransden (Suffolk recs. soc. v, 1963, no. 124.]
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