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Gerard, Archbishop Of York

GERARD, ARCHBISHOP OF YORK (d. 1108), archbishop of York under Henry I., began his career as a chancery clerk in the service of William Rufus. He was one of the two royal envoys who, in 1095, persuaded Urban II. to send a legate and Anselm's pallium to England. Although the legate disappointed the king's expectations, Gerard was rewarded for his services with the see of Hereford (1096). On the death of Rufus he at once declared for Henry I., by whom he was nominated to the see of York. He made difficulties when required to give Anselm the usual profession of obedience; and it was perhaps to assert the importance of his see that he took the king's side on the question of investitures. He pleaded Henry's cause at Rome with great ability, and claimed that he had obtained a promise, on the pope's part, to condone the existing practice of lay investiture. But this statement was contradicted by Paschal, and Gerard incurred the suspicion of perjury. About 1103 he wrote or inspired a series of tracts which defended the king's prerogative and attacked the oecumenical pretensions of the papacy with great freedom of language. He changed sides in 1105, becoming a stanch friend and supporter of Anselm. Gerard was a man of considerable learning and ability; but the chroniclers accuse him of being lax in his morals, an astrologer and a worshipper of the devil.

See the Tractatus Eboracenses edited by H. Bochmer in Libelli de lite Sacerdotii et Imperii, vol. iii. (in the Monumenta hist. Germaniae, quarto series), and the same author's Kirche und Staat in England und in der Normandie (Leipzig, 1899).

(H. W. C. D.)

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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