Compromise and Integration: A Study of the 1243 Dispute Between the Bishop of Valencia and the Knights Hospitaller–by Ryan Storr

The Knights Hospitaller were no stranger to legal conflict in Valencia; they clashed with rival military orders, the Cistercians, and the bishops of Valencia and Tortosa.[1] In 1243, Arnau, the bishop of Valencia, instituted legal proceedings against the Hospitallers. Hospitaller-owned churches in Valencia had precipitated the conflict by refusing to pay any ecclesiastical taxes to the bishop for four years. The 1243 arbitration charter introduced the issues of the dispute, stating:

In the name of Christ, let all know well that since a controversy should have been conducted for a long time between the venerable Arnau, bishop and chapter of Valencia, from one party, and Hugh de Folcalquier Castellan of Amposta and the Hospitaller brothers in Valencia and for the others of the diocese having been established, from the other party, under the venerable examination of the archbishop of Tarragona for the peace and grace of God, regarding the churches of Cullera, Silla, Torrente, Montroy and Amacasta, and those of the Valencian diocese and the tithe rights and the first fruits and all other things, which they were able to watch over for the bishop and chapter of the church within diocesan law for maintaining jurisdiction or privileges.[2]

The immediate issues of the 1243 conflict centered on the ownership of lands, the appointment of proper rectors, the collection of ecclesiastical revenues, such as the tithe, first fruits and burial fees, and the Order’s responsibility for the spiritual welfare of Christians. However, these were indicative of larger concerns, the foremost being the centralization of the diocese around the bishop in the frontier areas of Iberia.[3] Bishop Arnau, who had been elected the second bishop of Valencia in the summer of 1243, worked assiduously to construct the diocese and to defend diocesan rights. The Order’s ownership of these village parishes represented competition over financial resources and threatened the bishop’s authority over these parishes. In addition, Bishop Arnau expressed concern for the proper management of ecclesiastical activities at Hospitaller parishes. Therefore, he reserved the right to appoint rectors and to visit churches. The second and larger issue was the integration of exempt religious-military orders within the diocesan structure. Many religious organizations justified their refusal to pay the tithe due to prior exemptions granted to them by the generous Aragonese monarchs, who sought to encourage the settlement of frontier regions by religious orders. Thus, the 1243 dispute highlights the Hospitaller transition from an active fighting force in Valencia to an occupation organization that focused on the acquisition of revenue and spiritual care.[4] It was one of the first ecclesiastical compromises between the Bishop of Valencia and religious-military orders; thus it set a precedent for other military orders, especially the Knights of Santiago and Calatrava, in the diocese.[5]

During the thirteenth-century Iberian crusades (cumulatively known as the reconquista), military Orders such as the Knights Hospitaller supported the king’s campaigns with men, material, and money. With their participation, the Muslim states fell one by one to Christian armies: Cordoba in 1236, Seville in 1248, and Valencia in 1238. The conquest of the Muslim kingdom of Valencia, which began approximately in 1232 and continued throughout the 1250s, proved a massive undertaking by King Jaume I of Aragon-Catalonia (1213-1276). The subjugation of Valencia nearly doubled the Christian kingdom of Aragon and, along with the previous conquest of Majorca, accelerated Catalan power in the Mediterranean.[6] However, the post-conquest situation in Valencia was managed chaos. Secular and ecclesiastical authorities attempted to consolidate Christian control of the region and to establish an ecclesiastical structure, which had not existed in the region since the Muslim invasion of 711. As a result, the Hospitallers received numerous estates from King Jaume in compensation for military support. The Order utilized these lands to colonize Valencia through Christian resettlement, and thereby provided a unique solution to the kingdom’s instability. While the extent of their military presence is often debated, it is clear from twelfth- and thirteenth-century sources that they protected frontier regions with soldiers and defensive structures.[7] Following the conquest, the Hospitallers became active participants within the regular diocesan structure – a role that has received scant scholarly attention.[8]

Traditional historiography emphasizes the military and colonizing role of the Knights, rather than their religious identity. Overall, research on the Hospitallers in thirteenth-century Valencia remains somewhat sparse,[9] while scholarship on the Valencian church generally omits the Hospitaller’s ecclesiastical activities. However, the Order owned churches, appointed rectors, buried the faithful, and provided spiritual comfort to believers.[10] There has been limited scholarship regarding the legal proceedings of ecclesiastical organizations in Valencia, but scholars working on this region have noted the importance and quantity of these conflicts.[11] For example, Thomas Barton compares the consolidation of the Tortosa and Lleida dioceses through tithe conflicts in order to modify the previous historiographical paradigm of the frontier diocese.[12] The 1243 dispute, therefore, encompasses several overlapping but distinct historiographical traditions within the context of post-conquest Valencia: the thirteenth-century Valencian church, the Knights Hospitaller, and medieval arbitration.

The Dispute

Hospitaller ownership of parish churches was a common practice throughout Europe and a well-established source of revenue; moreover, in Valencia these churches formed part of Hospitaller-organized efforts to repopulate the kingdom with Christians. In 1154, Pope Anastasius IV had permitted the Order to operate parish churches within the diocesan structure for the care of laypersons, and parish taxes proved a profitable revenue source for the Order.[13] Limited documentation exists for the Valencian parish structure, including the Hospitaller-owned churches, until the inventory of King Pere of Aragon, 1276-1285; therefore, the 1243 arbitration charters represent some of the only sources for Hospitaller ecclesiastical activity and the parish structure in Valencia.[14]

In 1243, Bishop Arnau of Valencia was the third bishop appointed to office after Jaume’s 1238 conquest.[15] The diocese of Valencia had been established only five years earlier (no bishop or formal church structure existed under Muslim rule) and faced serious external and internal difficulties. Before his term in Valencia, Arnau had served as an archdeacon in Lleida, which had been conquered by Aragonese-Catalan forces in 1149. Thus, he had experience with the difficulties of a recently established diocese. He served as Bishop of Valencia for five years until 1248 when he transferred to the diocese of Zaragoza, where he remained bishop until his death in 1271.[16] Arnau came from a noble family in Ribagorza, which may explain his transfer to Zaragoza and involvement in local politics there; his 1248 inventory reflects that he traveled with a sizable retinue.[17] Documentation regarding Arnau’s activities and person remains scarce since none of his writings survived, if they ever existed, and archival materials only pertain to official acts. The documents in Valencia’s ecclesiastical archives reflect Arnau’s priorities to establish the parish system, insure the proper care of souls, manage the church’s finances and mitigate the influence of religious-military orders in the kingdom of Valencia. The 1243 dispute, therefore, serves as a case study for the Arnau’s efforts to construct the diocese of Valencia.

The Bishop and the Hospitallers resolved their disagreement over the Order’s role in the diocese through an arbitration, which was conducted on October 28 and 29, 1243. Hugh de Forcalquier, Master of the Hospitallers in Aragon-Catalonia argued the Order’s case, and Bishop Arnau de Peralta represented the Valencian chapter.[18] The Archivo de la Catedral del Valencia [hereafter ACV] contains the two charters that record the details of the compromise: Pergaminos no. 1315 (Oct. 28, 1243), and no. 4104 (Oct. 29, 1243).[19] These two settlement charters are the focus of this article. Pergamino no. 1315, composed by the public notary Guillem de Jacca, introduced the dispute and set up the framework for the arbitration: the parties, penalties, appeal process, and issues to be disputed.[20] The scribe Dominic de Binenafar wrote pergamino no. 4104 on the following day, which resolved the conflict’s three major points: ecclesiastical taxes (both for Christians and Muslims), defunctions or burial fees, and the Order’s spiritual responsibility to the laity.[21]

The arbitration required each party to concede certain points in order to incorporate the Hospitallers in the diocese, and while certain outcomes favored one party or another, neither the bishop nor the Hospitallers could claim a complete legal victory.[22] Bishop Arnau asserted his authority over the Order’s ecclesiastical activities; confirmed his visitation rights in order to insure the proper conduct of the Hospitaller-owned parishes; and retained significant portions of diocesan taxes. The consolidation of episcopal authority was an important issue within the 1243 dispute, because religious-military orders flooding into Valencia post-conquest challenged the traditional rights of the bishop to collect incomes and to supervise the parishes. Thus the incorporation and regulation of the Order’s parishes within the diocesan structure was a strategy by the bishop to strengthen his authority and to limit the power of the Hospitallers as an exempt organization.[23] The Hospitallers, meanwhile, sought to utilize parish churches as an investment. In order to do so, it was to their advantage to integrate the churches within the diocesan structure. While the Knights were financially responsible for the upkeep of the churches and the salary of the rector, they exercised the right to collect ecclesiastical taxes, such as the tithe, first-fruits, or burial fees, from local inhabitants. The 1243 compromise served the interests of both parties and codified the hierarchical relationship among ecclesiastical organizations.

Given the early date of the 1243 conflict, and the isolation of the villages, it is reasonable to assume that the disputed churches were the only ones in Amacasta, Cullera, Montroy, Silla and Torrente. The secular clergy probably lacked the resources to establish parishes in rural locations two years after the fall of Valencia City, while King Jaume and the Hospitaller Master Hugh de Folcalquier were still campaigning in the south. The Hospitallers established commanderies in Torrente, Silla, and Cullera, but little information exists regarding the level of ownership for Montroy and Amacasta. This network of Hospitaller parishes remained a feature of the Valencian landscape until Hospitaller holdings were transferred to the Order of Montesa in 1318.[24] 

Arbitrations such as this were a frequent method of conflict resolution throughout twelfth- and thirteenth-century Europe, as the secular clergy fought to curb the privileges and exempt status of new religious-military orders; the most notable of these disputes involved the mendicant orders in the late thirteenth-century.[25] Similar to the rise of the military orders in the early twelfth-century, the great mendicant orders, the Franciscans and Dominicans, received extensive ecclesiastical privileges from the papacy and were granted special exemptions. The bull Cum a nobis petitur (1250) granted the friars burial rights, and despite papal restrictions, such as Etsi animarum, the mendicants competed with the clergy over burial rights, tithes and other ecclesiastical incomes. Mendicant privileges became a major issue at the 1274 Council of Lyons and persisted until Boniface VIII issued the infamous Super Cathedram in 1300.[26] The bull settled the numerous thirteenth-century conflicts between the mendicant orders and the French clergy and provided a framework for the integration of the mendicants within dioceses across France.

Ramon de Siscar, Bishop of Lleida, served as the arbitrator for the 1243 dispute; he heard the arguments of each party; and negotiated a compromise favoring the diocesan bishop and chapter:

The said bishop (and chapter) has submitted to arbitration by Raymond Bishop of Lleida promising in turn to keep the arbitration, judgment and agreement, perpetually giving to the same bishop unimpeded power to proceed, judge, arbitrate, settle and assign concerning all previous issues, both with the present party and the absent one.[27]

The document also contained a provision for an appeal, if either party disagreed with the results of the arbitration, although it never occurred. It was stipulated that the archbishop of Tarragona, Pedro de Albalat (1238-1251), could reexamine the case and provide a final judgment:

Thus moreover, if anything should be uncertain or vague, they should be allowed a settlement, which they should plead before the archbishop of Tarragona, since it was under the examination of the bishop of Lleida.[28]

Tarragona was the highest ecclesiastical authority within the Crown of Aragon, and if the appeal to the archbishop failed, then both parties could petition the papacy.[29] Cases in ecclesiastical courts could become entangled in a series of appeals, therefore, arbitrations proved a more efficient method of resolution, with minimal costs and rapid results.[30]

Compilations of canon law, such as the Siete de Partidas, or Gratian’s Decretum, provided a theoretical framework for ecclesiastical issues, but the practical application at the diocesan level often differed from this. The 1215 Fourth Lateran Council transferred the tithe issue to local bishops, who negotiated individual compromises with religious orders over the amount to be rendered to the bishop.[31] The 1243 dispute represents the first settlement between the Bishop of Valencia and a military order regarding ecclesiastical issues.


Tithe and First-Fruits

The key issues in the 1243 arbitration were the Hospitaller’s possession of the tithe and first fruits taxes.[32] After Jaume’s conquest, the Valencian diocese was in a state of chaos, disordered and lacking in funds; the number of dispute settlements in the Valencia archives reflects the struggles of bishops to establish and organize the diocese.[33] Arnau confronted numerous difficulties during his episcopate, but the extant documentation, in my judgment, indicates that he gave priority to organizing the diocese’s finances. He focused particularly on the tithe, which was the lifeblood of the diocese. Tithe conflicts raged throughout the thirteenth and into the fourteenth century, as nobles and religious-military orders competed for position and privileges in the kingdom.[34] The tithe was a contentious issue for religious orders and the Valencian diocese, because financial solvency frequently corresponded with institutional survival. The orders were desirous of ecclesiastical incomes in order to found houses and ensure their continuity. Thus Valencian bishops negotiated with these orders to retain the diocese’s portion of the tithe, although they never received the entire revenue.

The compromise reached in the 1243 case required the Hospitallers to give up exclusive ownership of the tithe and to divide the revenue equally between the bishop and the order. However, the Knights were permitted to retain all revenues from the first fruits and lay donations:

The Bishop and Chapter of Valencia in the churches of Silla, Torrente, Montroy, Amacasta and in all churches that the said brothers, when given by the present lord, should receive, rescue, and free from the hands of the Saracens with or without weapons, should hold the entire half of the tithe by their right, and the other half (of the tithe) should apply to the abovementioned brothers without the hindrance of the bishop and chapter with all first fruits, defunctions, oblations and other pertaining rights in whatever manner for the churches.[35]

The tithe compromise of one-half has some precedent in other disputes, but no standard existed. The terms of the 1243 compromise certainly created a model for later arbitrations with other military-religious orders in Valencia. The settlement achieved the objectives of Bishop Arnau: it provided much needed revenue to the diocese, while curbing the exempt status of the Order, and permitted the Hospitallers to benefit financially from their interactions with the laity. The charter required the Hospitallers to maintain the parish churches under the authority of the bishop, thus confirming the Order’s place within the diocese. The Hospitallers also agreed to repay Bishop Arnau his one-half portion of the tithes for the previous four years when the Order had not paid taxes. Arnau was not recompensed for the first-fruits, since the Order retained the tax exclusively for itself:

But from the church’s profits, possessions, tithes and first-fruits the Hospitallers received before, we recommend and arbitrate that the castellan and brothers should restore the incomes for four years to the bishop and chapter through the fixed portion that we indicate to the chapter and bishop according to the abovementioned tax on each possession.[36]

No evidence exists to indicate whether the order repaid these revenues. The compromise fixed Hospitaller tithe payments to the bishop at one half of all revenues, except the defunctions, first-fruits and oblations that they collected from their parish churches—an agreement that was not contested by the order.

The 1243 arbitration also focused on the Hospitaller’s obligations to the bishop for services rendered by Muslims on the Knights’ lands, and it determined that taxes paid by these inhabitants were subject to the one-half tithe payment to the bishop.[37] The Knights were required to pay their portion of the tithe to the bishopon all revenues and crops gained from the Muslim labor:

Indeed, we understand the collection and payment made of the whole tithe, that the brothers should tithe the returns or produce from everything they receive from the Saracens, except the questia, without injustice or wrongful exaction. The brothers are ordered that on behalf of the arbitration that they should not diminish returns by fraud of the church in whatever manner, from which the bishop and chapter should hold and receive their tithe portion, as it was said above.[38]

Many Christian landowners employed Muslim labor as sharecroppers, or exarici, to work the land, in order to avoid tithe payments.[39] The papacy expressed concern over the lack of Muslim tithe payments, which they considered defrauding the church and extending an advantage to Muslims and Jews over Christians. The 1243 compromise prevented this exemption. The tithe encompassed all forms of revenue, including taxes, similar to the modern income tax. The arbitration, however, allowed the Hospitallers to retain the questia, a secular tax obtained from the Muslim populace, without paying the bishop his one-half portion.[40] The Order, therefore, paid no tithe tax on the tax they collected. The charter does not indicate why the questia tax was exempted from tithe payments or if the Muslim populace paid the tithe.[41] No consistent picture of Muslim tithe payment in the post-conquest kingdom has emerged from the extant documentation, but disputes such as the 1243 arbitration shed some light on the fiscal relationship between the landownership of the military orders and Muslim inhabitants.[42] The compromise seems to have satisfied both parties: the bishop prevented a potential loss of ecclesiastical revenue by requiring the Order to tithe on all Muslim revenues, and the Hospitallers benefited financially from the right to collect a tax without paying the tithe on it.

Burial Fees

In 1216, Pope Honorius III justified the Order’s use of burial revenue, which included bequests of arms and horses, in order to continue military campaigns against the Muslims in the Holy Land.[43] The burial fees for the five parishes were among the disputed revenues that the Order kept for itself, since few monetary streams proved as profitable or consistent.[44] The episcopal chapter was unwilling to renounce its claim to all burial fees; as a result, they wanted to limit the Order’s exempt status. The arbitration charter required the Hospitallers to pay to the bishop “a quarter part of all bequests, defunctions, donations, annual gifts, purple vestments of lectors, offerings of bread, resources, candles, monies and everything from any lector of whatever ancestry.”[45] The Hospitallers, however, kept all donated weapons and horses free from taxation, in order to protect the Order’s assets and to mount campaigns in the kingdom. The arbitration charter stated:

And in all the defunctions of those, who chose to be buried near the Hospitaller cemetery, the bishop and chapter should have one quarter except horses and arms, in which the bishop and chapter should not be able to claim anything for themselves.[46]

The hostile nature of the Valencian frontier made it imperative for the brothers to equip themselves. The one-quarter portion was a standard compromise between military orders and bishops; mendicant orders would negotiate the same settlement later in the thirteenth century.[47]

The direct payment of this income to the bishop supports the supposition that the Hospitaller-controlled churches were the only spiritual presence in these locations, since no secular clergy were compensated in the 1243 dispute.[48] The 1243 arbitration also confirmed the rights of the Knights Hospitaller to bury laypersons in their cemetery without harassment from parish chaplains:

Moreover, the brothers are permitted the body of those, who chose to be buried with cross and possession, to be carried to their cemetery to be buried freely and without impediment. They should not be harassed by parish chaplains over the conferring of defunctions in the canonical portion, but the bishop and chapter shall defend the brothers from their molestations.[49]

The arbitration clearly prevented the Order from becoming a supplemental religious establishment and emphasized that the Order’s churches operated with the same legitimacy as a secular diocesan parishes. At the same time, the compromise accommodated the Knights, who received the majority of the fiscal and material patronage of laypersons tax-free.

Hospitaller Parish Ownership

The Hospitallers owned and operated parish churches throughout Western Europe; however, their role as monks has received little study, despite the fact that the Order spent the bulk of their time and energy in this capacity. Military campaigns were infrequent and the majority of brothers were not stationed anywhere near a combat zone.[50] The order’s ownership of the Valencian churches highlights an underappreciated aspect of the Order: a spiritual responsibility to the laity. Hospitaller-owned parishes were preferred burial sites and the recipient of sizable donations, because of the order’s reputation as a crusading order.[51] The frontier nature of Valencia suggests that the churches in the 1243 dispute were the only churches in the villages of Cullera, Silla, Torrente, Montroy and Amacasta.[52] Thus, there was no competition from secular churches and the Order garnered all ecclesiastical revenues from these locations. The Hospitaller parish in Valencia City, for example, received 4,000 solidi in ecclesiastical revenue from laypersons between 1238 and 1255.[53] Several gaps remain concerning the Order’s parish churches, such as their interactions with the laity, the education of its rectors, and the Order’s management of their parishes. Yet the 1243 arbitration makes clear the bishop’s concern with the proper conduct of the parish churches in his diocese, while at the same time recognizing the Hospitallers’ responsibilities to the laity.

The Hospitallers’ right of appointment gave them considerable influence in these communities, since the rector was also responsible for the religious instruction of the laity. The Order appointed rectors from the secular clergy to operate these parishes under their supervision, because Hospitaller priests were few in number and only intended for the spiritual welfare of the brothers.[54] This spiritual care was important for newly settled Christians that lived within the Order’s jurisdiction in the Kingdom of Valencia. For the newly settled citizens of the city of Valencia and its surrounding parishes, the Knights Hospitaller, as the elite of the crusading forces, must have represented a living testament to the success of the Christian cause in the region.

Visitation fee

Bishops throughout the Latin Church were required by canon law to conduct “visitations” of the parish churches in their diocese as part of their pastoral duty, in order to manage discipline, finances, charitable aspects, and the proper care of souls.[55] The churches owed a hospitality fee to their bishop on an annual basis even if he did not conduct a visitation. This was preferred by the orders, since lodging and entertaining the bishop and his retinue was extremely expensive. Pergamino no. 4104 stated:

They (the Hospitallers) should hold and receive procurators (episcopal agents) with the bishop and archbishop in the abovementioned churches, which they are owed by reason of visitation of the location, and likewise the bishop should hold the correction and obedience of clerics. But no church dioceses should be vacant and vicars ought to be established. The brothers should present qualified persons to the bishop who will assign suitable property for the good of the church and they will receive the care of the souls.[56]

The Hospitallers obtained the right to appoint clerics under the Bishop’s supervision; and by receiving episcopal visitations, they placed their churches under the Bishop’s authority and confirmed their spiritual responsibilities towards laypersons. Meanwhile, the diocese’s right of visitation limited the Order’s exempt status, since military orders in other dioceses were free from visitation, and reaffirmed the Bishop’s authority over religious matters in Valencia.

Tithe exemption

The arbitration also contained a tithe exemption for the rectors appointed by the Hospitallers, and reminded the order of its responsibilities to the laity. Parish priests on the frontier were given a minimal salary to support themselves but often supplemented this with agricultural production.[57] The October 29 document granted each parish rector a tithe exemption for twenty-four kaficia (a dry goods measurement) of produce from a twenty-five acre (vigeribus) plot of land. The tithe exemption was probably intended to support the parish rector; in addition, the bishop required each rector to be “assigned a suitable property for the good of the church.”[58] The first fruits tax, bequests and defunctions, which Valencian Hospitallers retained in full, may have also partially supported the parish priests. Here again, the compromise accommodated both party’s objectives. The Hospitaller’s right to present rectors and the tithe exemptions integrated its parishes within the diocese structure. Bishop Arnau, meanwhile, confirmed his authority over the exempt Order by retaining his right to appoint rectors and to visitation.


The Hospitaller arbitration established a precedent, in my estimation, regarding ecclesiastical revenues and responsibilities within the diocese that was repeated in future compromises between military orders and the bishop. The 1243 dispute influenced the 1255 arbitration between the Hospitaller parish and the regular parish churches in Valencia City regarding ecclesiastical authority and revenue.[59] This later compromise directly cited the 1243 Hospitaller settlement and obtained similar results that confirmed the Hospitaller’s integration within the city and granted the parishes churches one-quarter of Hospitaller burial revenues.[60]

Bishop Arnau also engaged in two separate arbitrations with the Knights of Santiago and the Knights of Calatrava in the early months of 1246 that contained nearly identical results as the 1243 settlement: one half division of tithe payments, the Orders retention of the first fruits, and the payment of one-quarter of all burial fees to the bishop.[61] A comparison between the 1246 cases and the 1243 dispute reveals similarities in the format, disputed issues, and outcome.

Arnau, as the second of a series of thirteenth-century bishops who sought to establish a diocese in Valencia, integrated the churches of the military orders within the episcopal structure and codified their exempt status. Arnau’s predecessor, Ferrer de Pallarés, and subsequent bishops shared these objectives of consolidation and integration, as evidenced by the arbitration agreements negotiated throughout the thirteenth century. The bishop’s concern for the proper management of parishes also appears in the 1246 disputes: “thus moreover, in the four abovementioned places, it should have two episcopal procurators annually and two archdeacons.”[62] The series of episcopal compromises with the Knights of Santiago and Calatrava over similar ecclesiastical issues helps to confirm the precedence set by the 1243 dispute and demonstrates the integration of military orders within the rapidly evolving Valencian diocese. Bishop Arnau utilized the series of arbitrations with military orders to consolidate his authority over the diocese of Valencia and curb the independence of exempt military orders.

The Hospitallers held a prominent place in Valencian society not only as an elite military order, but also as a spiritual and economic power. The 1243 dispute permitted the Order to operate parishes as a form of investment, to provide for the spiritual welfare of Christians in Valencia, to present clerics, and to bury Christians. The arbitration also incorporated the Hospitallers into religious life in Valencia under the supervision of the bishop. Bishop Arnau, in turn, recovered a significant portion of ecclesiastical taxes, insured the proper conduct of the parishes through visitation rights, appointed rectors, and asserted his ecclesiastical authority. He was the first Valencian bishop to curb the Order’s exempt status in the post-conquest kingdom and established an ecclesiastical precedent for other religious-military orders. Early Valencian bishops were crucial to the stabilization of the kingdom and relied on legal compromises to consolidate their authority and to create an ecclesiastical structure that established a firm legal precedent. The success of the arbitration permitted the Hospitaller Order to become a major influence in the spiritual and social fabric of Valencia. It created a precedent that shaped future compromises with the military orders over ecclesiastical revenue and spiritual responsibilities. Moreover, the series of compromises reinforced the Valencian bishop’s authority over the diocese. The 1243 dispute provides a case study of a much larger, kingdom-wide conflict over the tithe and demonstrates efforts of the ecclesiastical officials throughout Europe in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries to curb the privileges of exempt religious-military orders, foreshadowing conflicts between the secular clergy and the mendicant orders.

Ryan Storr completed his Master’s Degree from Western Michigan University in 2011.
He is interested in the ecclesiastical responsibilities of Military Orders,
particularly the Knights Hospitaller, within the Crown of Aragon and
conflict resolution through arbitration.

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Compromise and Integration: A Study of the 1243 Dispute Between the Bishop of Valencia and the Knights Hospitaller by Ryan Storr is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License

[1] This article is based on the second chapter of my MA thesis, Hospitaller Legal Disputes in Thirteenth Century Valencia, Western Michigan University, 2011; the two arbitration charters from 1243, which I transcribed and edited, appear in full in the thesis appendix. These documents were examined, photocopied, and translated on a research trip to the Valencia cathedral archives (Archivo Catedral de Valencia) in December of 2009.

[2] Archivo Catedral de Valencia [ACV] Pergamino no. 4104: “Nouerint universi quod cum questio verteretur inter dominum Arnaldum Valentinum episcopum et capitulum eiusdem ecclesie ex parte una et Hugonem de Follalquerio castellanum Emposte et fratres domus hospitalis Jherusalemitani in Valencia et eiusdem diocesi constitutos, ex altera, super ecclesiis de Cullera, de Cilla, de Torrent, de Montroy, et de Amacasta et earum juribus, que ad episcopum et capitulum lege diocesiana vel jurisdictionis vel privilegiorum obtentu spectare poterant et fructibus earundem pro bono pacis et concordie super praedictis ecclesiis et earum juribus: necnon super omnibus aliis ecclesiis et juribus, possessionibus, defunctionibus usque modo habitis et possessis vel in futurum habendis et possidendis.” These documents and their copies remain unedited and are stored in the ACV, although they appear in Robert I. Burns, The Crusader Kingdom of Valencia: Reconstruction on A Thirteenth-Century Frontier, 2 vols. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1967), p. 185. I will refer to these documents by date instead of number for the rest of this work.

[3] Exempt privileges, such as the right to retain tithe revenues or freedom from episcopal visitations, were granted to the Hospitallers by the papacy through a series of bulls that began in the twelfth century. Despite attempts to define exempt status through papal councils, these privileges were negotiated locally in each diocese between the bishop and the order’s local representatives. The rights of exempt orders in the Middle Ages varied considerably with no definite standard. The 1243 dispute represents the first attempt of the bishop of Valencia to systematize the Hospitallers right of exemption in Valencia and King Jaume, although frequently involved in ecclesiastical affairs in the kingdom, did not attempt to define the Hospitaller’s exempt privileges. Jonathan Riley-Smith, The Knights of St. John in Jerusalem and Cyprus c. 1050-1310 (London: Macmillan & Co, 1967), pp. 38-39. Luis García-Guijarro Ramos, Papado, Cruzadas y Órdenes Militares, Siglos XI-XIII (Madrid: Ediciones Catedra, 1995), particularly chapter seven, “La Orden de San Juan de Jerusalén: Peculiaridades Transitorias e Identidades Profundas Con Otras Experiencias Monásticas Coetáneas.” The integration of the Order of Santiago within Spanish dioceses is closely documented in Derek Lomax’s La Orden de Santiago (1170-1275) (Madrid: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas Escuela de Estudios Medievales, 1965).

[4] Historians have debated the Order’s military role in the kingdom, because the majority of the extant documentation was administrative and legal in nature, and Jaume’s chronicle only mentions Folcalquier and his brothers in passing. Thus the Order’s role in the reconquest and its martial character remain unclear, but evidence suggests that as Valencia transitioned from a combat zone to a subjugated kingdom, the Order concentrated on the improvement of its Valencian assets. The Order’s reluctance to commit resources to the Al-Azraq campaign may demonstrate this shift in priorities.

[5] Bishop Arnau engaged in two separate arbitrations with the Knights of Calatrava, ACV Pergamino no. 1317 (January 27, 1246, and the Knights of Santiago ACV Pergamino no. 463 (February, 1, 1246). The arbitrations duplicated the compromises of the 1243 dispute with the Hospitallers. Burns, Crusader Kingdom, vol. 1, pp. 11, 17, and 54. No kingdom-wide arbitration exists for the Templars in Valencia, but tithe compromises over individual properties appear in other documents, such as ACV, Pergamino no. 2437 (January 19, 1262), which required the Templars to pay two thirds of the tithe on a farm.

[6] The Valencian reconquest is best documented by Jaume’s autobiography: Jaume I of Aragon, The Book of Deeds of Jaume I of Aragon: a translation of the Medieval Catalan Llibre dels Fets, trans. Damian Smith and Helena Buffery (Hampshire, England: Ashgate, 2003). See also Pedro López Elum, La Conquista y Repoblación Valenciana durante el Reinado de Jaime I (Valencia: Ajuntament de Xativa; Ajuntament de Biar, 1995).

[7] Burns, Crusader Kingdom, pp. 185. The Hospitallers settled in the Crown of Aragon in the beginning of the twelfth century and within a century had attained considerable prestige in the kingdom. The order reached its apex of power and influence during the Valencian crusade when it, along with other military orders, served as the nucleus of King Jaume’s army. King Jaume’s account of the invasion in his autobiography, the Book of Deeds, described the multifarious roles of military orders as combatants, moneylenders, landowners, advisors, and monastics. As the frontier became more secure in the second half of the thirteenth century, the Hospitallers lost their military importance and maintained a minimal military presence. Burns, one of the first to study the Hospitallers’ role in thirteenth-century Valencia, briefly discussed the arbitration documents in his succinct subsection on the order. Most research focuses on the activities of the Hospitallers in the Holy Land and little work exists for the Hospitallers in Spain, particularly Valencia. Historians such as Anthony Luttrell, Pierre Bonneaud and Maria Bonet Donato have conducted considerable research on the order within the Crown of Aragón in the fourteenth and fifteen centuries, but for the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, scholarship is limited. Fernando Llorca’s Una fundación del siglo xiii, San Juan del Hospital de Valencia remains out of print. María Luisa Ledesma Rubio’s Templarios y Hospitalarios en el reino de Aragón (Zaragoza: Guara, 1968) provides a general history for both orders. The work of Luttrell and Bonet Donato is cited below; for Bonneaud, see Le Prieure de Catalogne, le Couvent de Rhodes et la Couronne D’Aragon 1415-1447 (Le Vigan: Etudes et Communication, 2004).

[8] Burns, Crusader Kingdom, 2, pp.324. Valencia prior to Jaume’ conquest, unlike urban centers in Andalusia or Castile that retained a significant Christian population, was devoid of a bishop, churches or diocesan structure. It is unlikely, although the lack of documentary evidence prevents a definite conclusion, that a Christian community survived in the kingdom. The Hospitaller owned-parishes, therefore, represented the first ecclesiastical presence in these villages since the Muslim conquest in 711.

[9] The main works on the Hospitallers remain Enric Guinot Rodríguez, “La Orden de San Juan del Hospital en la Valencia Medieval,” Aragón en la Edad Media, 14-15 (1999), pp. 721-742; Maria Bonet Donato, La Orden del Hospital en la Corona de Aragón: Poder y gobierno en la Castellania de Amposta (s. XII-XV) and Carlos Ayala Martínez, Las Órdenes Militares hispánicas en la Edad media (siglos XII-XV) (Madrid: Marcial Pons, 2003). Chapter ten of Burns’ Crusader Kingdom, entitled “The Military Orders as Frontier Institutions,” remains the only work in English on the order in Valencia. Burns cited the 1243 arbitration charters in that chapter, which provided the impetus for this project.

[10] Scholars such as Roque Chabás y Lloréns and José Sanchís y Sivera have made substantial contributions to Valencian ecclesiastical history, but it is the prolific research of Robert Burns that shaped scholarship on the Valencian church and the post-conquest kingdom. His Crusader Kingdom comprehensively examined the church in Valencia as an economic, societal and colonizing organization on the frontier of the reconquest. Chabás y Lloréns is cited below; for Sanchís y Sivera, see La Iglesia Parroquial de Santo Tomás de Valencia. Monografía histórico-descriptive (Valencia: F. Vives Mora, 1913), and La Catedral de Valencia: guía histórica y artistic (Valencia: F. Vives Mora, 1909).

[11] Mark Meyerson’s multiple monographs on interfaith relations and the work of Deborah Blumenthal have explored the immense documentation for the fourteenth- and fifteenth- century secular courts. The ecclesiastical archives in Valencia contain numerous arbitration charters and scholars have employed this documentation within larger themes: Robert Burns’ Crusader Kingdom, Brian Catlos’ The Victors and the Vanquished: Christians and Muslims of Catalonia and Aragon, 1050-1300 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), and Enric Guinot Rodriguez, Feudalismo en Expansión en el Norte Valenciano: antecedentes y desarrollo del señorío de la Orden de Montesa. Siglos XIII y XIV (Castellón: Diputación de Castellón, 1986). Catlos and Enric analyzed ecclesiastical lordship as a facet of the resettlement of Valencia and focused on land exploitation.

[12] Thomas W. Barton, “Constructing a diocese in a post-conquest landscape: a comparative approach to the lay possession of tithes,” Journal of Medieval History 35 (2009): 1-33. Burns described Valencia as a frontier diocese, which operated under a unique set the difficulties, such as tithe usurpation, resulting from the reconquest. Peter Linehan, “Segovia: a ‘frontier diocese’ in the thirteenth century,” English Historical Review, 96 (1981): 481-508. Linehan challenged the frontier model and concluded that interior dioceses confronted the similar issues as those on the frontier. He revisited the issue in a case study that compared the organization of the dioceses of Lleida and Tortosa. He found the distinction between frontier and interior derived not from a unique set of problems, but that frontier dioceses required additional time to resolve these issues.

[13] J. Delaville Le Roulx, Cartulaire général des Hospitaliers de S. Jean de Jérusalem (1100-1310) 4 vols. (Paris: E. Leroux, 1894-1906), 1:226, pp. 174-175. Michael Gervers, “The Commandery as and Economic Unit in England,” in La Commanderie, instutions des ordres militaries dans l’Occident Médiéval edited by Anthony Luttrell and Léon Pressouyre (Paris: Comité des travaux historiques et scientifiques, 2002), pp. 245-261. He concluded that ecclesiastical taxes from parishes were the order’s main source of revenue for English commanderies.

[14] Reconstructing Valencian parishes in the first half of the thirteenth-century is challenging due to the lack of evidence. King Pere II’s inventory listed parishes in Cullera, Silla and Torrente, but did not differentiate between the parishes of the secular clergy or the religious orders. Cullera was a more prominent town than the other holdings, so it probably had at least one other parish aside from the Hospitallers.

[15] The first bishop of Valencia, Bishop Ferrer de Pallarés, was appointed in 1240 and murdered by bandits in the spring of 1243. Burns, Crusader Kingdom, 1, pp. 22, and 24. See also chapter three of D. Roque Chabás y Lloréns, Episcopologio Valentino 2 vols. (Valencia: Imprenta De. F. Vives Mora, 1909), entitled “Segundo Obispo: D. Arnaldo de Peralta.” Arnau de Peralta served as an archdeacon in the diocese of Lleida before he was appointed as bishop of Valencia in June 1243. Burns, Crusader Kingdom, vol. 1, p.18. The bishop of Valencia was also the most important ecclesiastical figure in the corts or parliament of the kingdom of Valencia, along with the bishops of Segorbe and Tortosa, the masters of the Temple and Hospital, and the abbots of Benifasá and Valldigna.

[16] It was in Zaragoza in 1250 that he presided over one of the few ritual murder trials in Spain, which purported that the Jewish populace of Zaragoza murdered the altar boy Dominguito de Val. Bishop Arnau, according to later chronicles, organized a procession for his death and confirmed the martyr cult of Dominguito de Val. Wifredo Rincón García, Santo Dominguito de Val, Mártir Aragonés: Ensayo Sobre su Historia, Tradición, Culto e Iconografía (Zaragoza: Delegación del Gobierno en Aragón, 2003).

[17] Burns, Crusader Kingdom, vol. 1, pp. 22 and 24.

[18] These representatives possessed political, administrative and religious clout in the newly conquered kingdom. ACV Pergamino no. 1315: “Hugonem de Follalquerio castellanum Emposte et fratres domus hospitalis Jherusalemitani in Valencia.” Jaume, The Book of Deeds, pp. 114, and 137: “now, we had made Hugh de Forcalquier master in our land, which we had asked of the grandmaster of Ultramar (Hospitaller Grand Priory in the Levant), and he was a man whom we loved very much, and he us.” Forcalquier was elected Master of the Aragonese Priory in 1224 and retained this office until his death in 1245. He received high praise throughout the Book of Deeds, and served the king as a friend, advisor, and diplomatic representative.

[19] See note 2. Pergamino no. 2313 is a copy of the original document, no. 1315, and appears in the Cathedral cartulary. The original is a typical charter in its dimensions, format and signatures; the cartulary copy, however, is in a paginated format with copied signatures not originals. The content of the text for both of these documents is exactly the same. D. Roque Chabás y Lloréns, Episcopologio Valentino, pp. 58.

[20] ACV Pergamino no. 1315: “signum Guillelmi de Jacca publici notarii Valentie.” Based on his will and extant documents, he was a well-established and succesful notary.

[21] Christian laypersons throughout Europe paid a series of ecclesiastical taxes to their local parish: the tithe was a ten-percent tax on all income to support the diocesan structure; the first fruits tax, which varied from ten percent to one-seventieth of all revenues, was exclusively for the maintenance of parish churches; and defunctions allowed the laity to obtain a proper burial at their local church. Giles Constable, Monastic Tithes from their origins to the Twelfth Century (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1964), p. 12.

[22] Warren C. Brown and Piotr Górecki, “What Conflict Means: The Making of Medieval Conflict Studies in the United States, 1970-2000,” in Conflict in Medieval Europe, edited by Brown and Górecki (Aldershot, England: Ashgate, 2003), pp. 1-36. Brown and Górecki demonstrated that medieval legal disputes represented negotiated agreements between both parties, rather than unilateral judgments. Work done on medieval Catalonia supports this view: Adam Kosto’s study of the convenientia agreements in Catalonia and Paul Freedman’s research on the diocese of Vic demonstrate a restructuring of the social order through negotiations between rival parties. Adam J. Kosto, Making Agreements in Medieval Catalonia: Power, Order, and the Written Word, 1000- 1200 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001); Paul H. Freeman, Diocese of Vic: tradition and regeneration in Medieval Catalonia (New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1983).

[23] See note 3 for a discussion of exemptions. Arnau initiated the arbitration with the Hospitallers, in order to consolidate his authority and to construct a diocese, but it would be overly simplistic to attribute his actions to a desire for greater power. Bishops were responsible for every aspect of diocesan affairs: the appointment of rectors, cure of souls, ecclesiastical finances, consolidation of military-religious orders, the maintenance of churches and the care of the poor. Numerous citations from canon law describe the responsibilities of bishops: Aemilius Friedberg, and Emil Friedberg, eds. Corpus Juris Canonici (Graz: Akademische Druck- U. Verlagsanstalt, 1959).

[24] The commandery was a unit of organization within the Hospitaller Order, by which an individual brother or a small group managed whatever estates the Order controlled in the region. Jonathan Riley-Smith, “The Origins of the Commandery in the Temple and the Hospital,” in La Commanderie, pp. 11.Cullera appears in a dispute with Jaume I over Cullera castle in 1240. A compromise was reached between the parties with a shared holding of the castle. ACV Pergamino no. 1307; López, La Conquista y Repoblación, pp. 67-68. One settlement charter survived for the Hospitaller commandery of Silla: Manuel Betí, “Carta-puebla de Cilla, otorgada por Fr. Hugo de Follalquer, Castellan de Amposta en 31 octubre de 1243,” in Boletín de la Sociedad Castellonense de Cultura Vol. 2 No. IV (Castellon de la Plana: Castellonense de Cultura, 1921), pp. 23-28. Burns concluded that Torrente was a major commandery based on Llorca’s San Juan del Hospital. On the transfer of holdings to the Order of Montesa, see Alan Forey, The Fall of the Templars in the Crown of Aragon (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing, 2001).

[25] The various conflicts with the Hospitallers, Knights of Santiago, and Knights of Calatrava in the thirteenth century demonstrate the wish of the Valencian bishop to limit the exempt status of the orders and integrate them within the episcopal fabric. These disputes are briefly examined in Burns’ Crusader Kingdom of Valencia, but further research is possible due to the extant archival materials. The bishop and church of Valencia pursued this the strategy of consolidation and integration through compromise with mendicant orders in the kingdom. Jill R. Webster, Per Déu o per diners: els mendicants i el clergat al País Valencià (Catarroja: Afers, 1998).

[26] John Moorman, A History of the Franciscan Order: from its Origins to the Year 1517 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1968), pp. 94, 122, 177, 202, 339, and 340; C. H. Lawrence, The Friars: The Impact of the Early Mendicant Movement on Western Society (London: Longman Group, 1994), pp. 160-163; and D. L. Douie, The Conflict Between the Seculars and the Mendicants at the University of Paris in the Thirteenth-Century (London: Blackfriars, 1954). For Super Cathedram see August Potthast’s Regesta Pontificum Romanorum, pp. 1992, no. 24913.

[27] ACV Pergamino no. 1315: “compromiserunt in dominum Raimundum episcopum Ylerdensem promittentes ad invicem se dicti episcopi arbitrium, laudum, vel compositionem perpetuo seruaturos; dantes eidem episcopo potestatem liberam procedendi, laudandi, arbitrandi, componendi et diffiniendi super iamdictis omnibus, utraque parte praesente vel altera.”

[28] ACV Pergamino no. 1315: “siquid dictum fuerit dubium vel obscurum ita tamen quod ea que super iamdictis ecclesiis et earum juribus coram domino Terraconense archiepiscopo fuerunt actit[at]a valeant sedem, quod de jure fuerit sub examine episcopi Ylerdensis.” Lawrence McCrank. “Restoration and Reconquest in Medieval Catalonia: The Church and Principality of Tarragona, 971-1177” (Ph. D. Diss., University of Virginia, 1974). Peter Linehan, The Spanish Church and the Papacy in the Thirteenth Century (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1971), pp. 63. Pedro de Albalat was considered a highly influential reformer in his archdiocese. He visited the Valencian Cathedral a year prior to the arbitration to oversee its correct administration of the diocese.

[29] Hospitallers frequently appealed to the papacy over ecclesiastical issues: ACV Pergaminos nos. 5988 (August 16, 1263), and 4647 (July 16, 1263).

[30] James Brundage, The Medieval Origins of the Legal Profession: Canonists, Civilians, and Courts (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2008), pp. 139, 356, 443, 445, 448, and 459. Lawyers were a necessity in formal legal recourse in order to understand the complexities of canon law, but their retainer fees could often outweigh the benefits of winning the suit. The Church courts as a matter of policy encouraged to parties to compromise on their differences, through informal agreements. Paul Freedman, The Diocese of Vic: Tradition and Regeneration in Medieval Catalonia (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1983), pp. 115, 120, 124, and 136.

[31] For canons on the tithe see: Gratian, “Decretum Magistri Gratiani,” in Corpus Juris Canonici, ed. by Aemilius Friedberg, and Emil Friedberg (Graz: Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1959), c. 42, XVI, q. 1, p. 774, c. 66, XVI, q. 1, pp. 784, c. 1, XVI, q. 7, pp. 800, and c. 8, XVI, q. 7, pp. 802. Also, Robert I. Burns, ed. Siete Partidas, vol. 1 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001), pp. 226- 230. The contemporary Castilian legal compilation Las Siete Partidas, compiled by King Alfonso X, “the Wise” (1221-1284), described the tithe as between one-fortieth and one-seventieth of all Christian income. No definite source on the tithe in the Kingdom of Aragon exists for the thirteenth century, but canon law and the Siete de Partidas provide some indication of tithing norms.

[32] See footnote 18.

[33] Bishop Ferrer de Pallarés, the predecessor of Arnau, made the diocesan struggle for ecclesiastical revenue more acute, when he surrendered one-third of the tithe and first fruits in 1241 to King Jaume. Elías Olmos Canalda and Miguel Bordonau Mas, Inventario de los pergaminos del Archivo Catedral de Valencia (Valencia: Arzobispado, Diputación Provincial y Ayuntamiento de Valencia, 1961), and Burns, in “A Medieval Income Tax: the Tithe in the Thirteenth-Century Kingdom of Valencia.” Speculum, 41, no. 3 (July 1966), p. 441.

[34] Burns, Crusader Kingdom, vol. 1, pp. 149, and chapter nine, “Ending the Tithe War.” Jaume attempted to resolve the conflicts in 1254, 1258, 1260, and finally in 1268. ACV Pergamino no. 2360.

[35] ACV Pergamino no. 4104: “episcopus et capitulum Valentinum in ecclesiis de Cilla, de Torrent, de Montroi et de Amacasta et in omnibus ecclesiis, quas dicti fratres hospitalis dante domino praesente accipient, eripient aut liberabunt de manibus sarracenorum cum armis vel sine armis, habeant dimidiam decimarum omnium iure suo et praedictis fratribus altera dimidia sine inquietationeepiscopi et capituli ap[p]licentur cum omnibus primitiis, defunctionibus, oblationibus et aliis iuribus quoquomodo pertinentibus ad ecclesias supradictas.”

[36] ACV Pergamino no. 4104: “De fructibus vero quos hospitalarii percipiunt de possessionibus, ecclesiis, decimis et primitiisantedictis ita laudamus et arbitramur quod castellanus et fratres memorati restituant episcopo et capitulo fructus quat[t]uorum annorum perceptos per rata portione quam iuxta taxationem praedictam in singulis possessionibus adindicavimusepiscopo et capitulo memoratis.”

[37] Alan Forey, “The Military Orders and the Conversion of Muslims in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries,” Journal of Medieval History, 22 (2002): 1-22. This is one of the few scholarly articles that focus on the interactions between the Hospitallers and the Muslim inhabitants on their lands.

[38] ACV, Pergamino no. 4104: “collectionem quidem et praestationem decimarum omnium praedictarum sic intelligimus faciendam, quod redditus omnes sive proventus quos dicti fratres a sarracenis percipiunt decimentur, excepta questia sive exactione iniusta vel iniustis, siquid vel siquas provoluntatis arbitrio duxerint faciendas. Quos inquam redditus fratres praedicti in fraudem ecclesie non diminuant quoquomodo.”

[39] Thomas W. Barton, “Muslims in Christian Countrysides: Reassessing Exaricus Tenures in Eastern Iberia,” Medieval Encounters 17 (2011): 236. The exaricus was a type of landholding status, like sharecropping, in the Christian kingdom that derived from the Muslim practice of the sharik. It appears that exaricii were given agricultural lands by Christian landlords in return for a portion of their harvest.

[40] ACV, Pergamino no. 4104.

[41] Burns, Islam under the Crusaders: Colonial Survival in the Thirteenth-Century Kingdom of Valencia (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1973), pp. 105-106:  “Muslims normally paid no tithe.” Pergamino no. 1304 ACV “Que sunt vobis cum conditione subiecti dum tali modo permaneant, sarraceni vero populati in terras libere acquisitis, dent integram decimam de omnibus.” Brian Catlos’s Victors and the Vanquished, pp. 181-182, provided a more detailed analysis. Catlos argues that Muslims were not required to tithe from lands that they held prior to the reconquest, but the tithe was required for lands or assets attained after the conquest. As John Boswell notes, “The question of tithes is as perplexing to the historian as it apparently was to the Muslims.” Boswell, The Royal Treasure: Muslim Communities under the Crown of Aragon in the Fourteenth Century (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1977), p. 200.

[42] Pascual Ortega, Musulmanes en Cataluña: las comunidades musulmanes de las encomiendas Templarias y Hospitalarias de Ascó y Miravet (siglos XII-XIV) (Barcelona: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones científicas institución milá y fontanels, 2000), and Brian Catlos’ Victors and the Vanquished.

[43] J. Delaville Le Roulx, Cartulaire, pp. 173-74, no. 226; and Dominic Selwood, Knights of the Cloister: Templars and Hospitallers in Central-Southern Occitania c. 1100- c. 1300 (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 1999), pp. 94-96. Laypersons paid fees to their local parish in order to receive a Christian burial. However, many persons also chose to bequeath monies and goods to the Order as a symbol of respect and in exchange for spiritual intercession.

[44] The bull Christiane fidei religio (1154) gave the Hospitallers the right to possess churches for the care of the faithful, which included burial rights.

[45] ACV Pergamino no. 2391: “quarta parte omnium legatorum, defuntionum, obventionum, novenalum anniversariorumanimalium, lectorum purpurarum vestium, oblationum panis et viri et candelarum et denarioum et omnium aliorum legatorum cuiscumque generis.” The Hospitallers negotiated with the parish clergy in Valencia City in 1255 over the ecclesiastical income and their exempt status.

[46] ACV Pergamino no. 4104: “et in defunctionibus omnium eorum, qui apud cimiteria hospitalis elegerint sepeliri quartam habeant episcopus et capitulum Valentinum exceptis equis et armis, in quibus nullum ius possint sibi episcopus et capitulum vendicare… Ceterum de possessionibus a militibus vel laicis vel quibuscumque aliis acquisitis vel in posterumacquirendis sive ad ipsos fratres quocumque titulo devolutis vel devolvendis, episcopus et capitulum ius suum illesum retineant.”

[47] Burns, Las Siete de Partidas, p. 176: “where no certain custom was in existence in that country governing how much the church should receive, it should have the fourth part of the bequest; no one can avoid giving it by alleging that it is not customary to give anything for this reason.”

[48] A separate dispute, for example, occurred in 1255 regarding burial fees in Valencia City, where the Hospitallers entered into arbitrattion with the city’s rectors, who felt the order was usurping their income (ACV 2391). While the tithe was the exclusive domain of the bishop, local rectors received burial fees directly from the laity. Thus conflicts over defunctions involved both military-religious orders and the surrounding parish clergy, who frequently appealed to the bishop for support. For further evidence, see the mendicant disputes discussed in note 25.

[49] ACV Pergamino no. 4104: “liceat autem fratribus supradictis corpora eorum, qui apudipsos elegerint sepeliri cum cruce et possessione ad cimiterium suum libere et sine impedimento tumulanda deferre, nec a capellanis parochialibus inquietentur super conferenda sibi in defunctionibus canonica portione, sed episcopus et capitulum praedictos fratres ab illorum inquietatione defendant.”

[50] Selwood, Knights of the Cloister, pp. 1-2: “The daily life led by a European brother was one of a monk following a religious life. His was a vocation as real as that of a Benedictine, Cistercian, or any other member of the ordo monasticus.” Anthony Luttrell, “L’oeuve religieuse des Hospitaliers á Rhodes: 1309-1439” in Studies on the Hospitallers after 1306: Rhodes and the West (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing, 2007), article XXIV, p. 105, notes: “Toutes les activités d’un ordre de type religieux-militaire, comme était le cas de l’Hôpital, n’étaient pas militaires, mais elles étaient toutes religieuses. Les actions de l’Hôpital, soit liturgiques, caritatives, hospitaliéres et meme militaires, étaient de caractére essentiellement religieux.” (“Not all the activities of a religious-military order, like the Hospital, were military, but they were all religious. The activities of the Hospital,  liturgical, charitable, medical and even military, were essentially of a religious character.”)

[51] Jonathan Riley-Smith, Templars and Hospitallers as Professed Religious in the Holy Land (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 2010), p. 21; and Helen Nicholson, The Knights Hospitaller (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2001), p. 85. Confraternities associated with a particular Hospitaller parish also received a similar treatment. They would make an annual donation to maintain their membership, and in turn, these confratres or consorors were taken care of in their old age and received a Christian burial in the Hospitaller cemetery.

[52] The Valencian diocese’s emphasis on the rapid establishment of parishes often meant that the rectors were poorly educated and did not execute their position with the necessary professionalism or pastoral vigor. Damian J. Smith, Innocent III and the Crown of Aragon: the Limits of Papal Authority (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing, 2004), pp. 176-177.

[53] ACV Pergamino no. 2391. The arbitration of 1255 between the Hospitallers and Valencia City’s rectors contained this estimate for the Valencia City parish since its founding in late 1238 and indicates the Order’s popularity. For example, Guillem Boneti Junioris gave a bequest to be buried in the Hospitaller cemetery in Valencia City. Archivo del Reino de Valencia, Clero Pergamino no. 2103.

[54] J. Burgtorf, The Central Convent of Hospitallers and Templars: History, Organization, and Personnel (1099/1120-1310) (Leiden: Brill, 2008), pp. 327-331. Nicholson, The Knights Hospitaller, pp. 79 and 81.

[55] C. R. Cheney, Episcopal Visitation of Monasteries in the Thirteenth Century (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1931), pp. 62 and 72.

[56] ACV, Pergamino no. 4104: “quod in praedictis ecclesiis episcopis et archidiaconisloci procuratores,que ratione visitationis debentur, habeant et percipiant, necnon et episcopus habeat correctionem et obedientiam clericorum. Cum vero dicte ecclesie vacauerint aut vicarii in ipsis instituendi fuerint dicti fratres personas ydoneas episcopo representent, quibus assignent de bonis ecclesie congruam portionem et ab episcopo curam recipiant animarum.”

[57] Burns, Crusader Kingdom, vol. 1, p. 66.

[58] ACV, Pergamino no. 4104: “sane de omnibus terris habitis et habendis quas in Valentina civitate vel diocesi dicti fratres propriis manibus vel sumptibus duxerint excolendas, similiter episcopus et capitulum Valentinum dimidiam percipiant decimarum, exceptis viginti quinque vigeribus bonum in tota diocesis, quorum unumquodque contineat viginti quatuor kaficia admensuram Valentie, de quibus nihil percipiantepiscopus et capitulum memora[t]i.” The separate arbitration with the Hospitaller church at Cullera (August 31, 1244) contained these same stipulations.

[59] ACV Pergamino no. 2391 (September 28, 1255). Burns discusses the conflict briefly in Crusader Kingdom, vol. 1, pp. 187.

[60] ACV Pergamino no. 2391.

[61] Knights of Calatrava, ACV no. 1317 (January 27, 1246) with copies ACV Pergaminos no. 2317 and no. 2318 (January 27, 1246), and the Knights of Santiago ACV Pergamino no. 463 (February, 1, 1246 with copies ACV Pergamino no. 787, no. 5009, and no. 2319 (February 1, 1246). These documents remain unedited and were investigated during my 2010 research trip to the ACV.

[62] ACV Pergamino no. 1317: “ita tamen, que in quatuor locis praenominatis habeat episcopos duas procurationes annuatim et archdiaconus duas, ut superius est distinctum.”



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