« VorigeDoorgaan »
—that is the object of his first visit, and there he partakes of food. As for the poverty of the cloister, he neither experiences it nor troubles his head about it.” Nay, “the holy father, who has been prescribing a rule of life for the brethren, shortly proceeds to destroy with his own sharp teeth and stomach the commandment as to not eating flesh which he has enjoined.” 1
The Abbeys of St. Mary at Kirkstall and St. Mary of Roche (Sanctæ Mariæ de Rupe) mutually illustrate each other; and, in fact, it is only by an examination of the singularly perfect remains of the first that we are enabled to eke out the slender materials for an imaginary reconstruction of the last. The resemblance in style between the two is very obvious, and has been frequently noticed by architects
i Vide Poems of Walter Mapes, Camden Society, pp. 185, 186; and
“ Venienti occurritur
cum pane, vino, piscibus ; in domum introducitur stratam juncis et floribus ; mensali mensa tegitur, discumbit lotis manibus ; dies ista deducitur
illud in primis visitat';
“Pater sanctus qui fratribus
vivendi normam posuit,
“Hinc facturus scrutiniam
ad abbatiam equitat ; intrat infirmitorium,
and antiquaries. Though the foundation-deeds of Roche, unfortunately, bear no date, the tradition which points to 1147 is confirmed by internal evidence; and the only difficulty is to account for the close correspondence of the contemporary work at Kirkstall without adopting the untenable hypothesis of a common architect. It is certain, however, that the abbeys of the twelfth century were not built by architects, in our sense of the word, at all. As Mr. William Morris (Lectures on Art) has well said, it was not by “the great architect carefully kept for the purpose and guarded from the common troubles of common men” that the treasures of medieval architecture were designed and ornamented, but “sometimes, perhaps, it was the monk, the ploughman's brother; oftenest his other brother, the village carpenter, smith, mason, what not—a common fellow, whose common everyday labour fashioned works which are to-day the wonder and despair of many a hard-working 'cultivated architect.'” “So you see,” he adds, “ there was much going on to make life endurable in those times. Not every day, you may be sure, was a day of slaughter and tumult, though the histories read almost as if it were so; but every day the hammer chinked on the anvil, and the chisel played about the oak beam, and never without some beauty and invention being born of it, and consequently some human happiness.”
Now while Abbot Alexander and his monks were busy at Kirkstall they can hardly have been at work at Roche; and since the separation of the head that plans from the hand that executes was then unknown, we can only find in these twin abbeys a remarkable illustration of the uniformity of contemporary Cistercian work. No picturesque details of the founding of Roche Abbey have come down to us, and it was not even known till comparatively lately from what parent house it was colonised. But the thirteenth century chronicle of Hugh de Kirkstall, already referred to in connection with Fountains, must be considered to have settled this question.
Newminster, itself re-founded by a colony from Fountains, “rivalled the fruitfulness of its mother. It conceived and brought forth three daughters, Pipewell, Sawley, and Roche.”
From Newminster, then, came the men ; and the dateless charters will tell us from whence came the land for the monastery of St. Mary of the Rock. From these we learn that Richard de Busli, lord of Maltby, and Richard the son of Turgis, called also
1 In Hunter's South Yorkshire we are told that it is uncertain whether Roche was founded from Fountains, Rievaulx, or the continent. 1 The double dedication of a Cistercian house, viz. to St. Edward as well as to St. Mary, is noticeable.
Richard de Wickersley, lord of Hooton, each gave certain lands, agreeing to be called joint founders of the monastery. The monks, with whom rested the choice of a site, decided in favour of the Maltby side of the stream, and there accordingly they settled. The history of the monastery was not eventful. John de Busli, confirming the grants of Richard, his father, reserves the aerie of sparrow-hawks—eria sperueriorum ; and Hunter (South Yorkshire) points out that the tenure of Bawtry was by the render of a sparrow-hawk yearly from the De Buslis to the Fossards. At the same time, the monks obtain liberty to make a ditch, bounding their fields between the wood of Maltby and the fields of Sandbeck, leaving, however, two roads, viz. Bolgate and the road to Blithe.
In 1319, the Abbot and convent of “St. Mary-atSt. Edward's Place," Netley, of the Cistercian order, sell all their rights in the manor of Laughton to the monks of Roche. In the seventh year of Innocent VI (1361), complaints about the monks and conversi of Roche seem to have reached the ears of the Cardinal Priest of St. Mark, and he instructs the Abbot that if he shall find his brethren guilty of laying violent