Calendar of Papal Registers Relating To Great Britain and Ireland: Volume 12, 1458-1471. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1933.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.

'Preface', in Calendar of Papal Registers Relating To Great Britain and Ireland: Volume 12, 1458-1471, (London, 1933) pp. v-xii. British History Online [accessed 13 April 2024]


The present volume extends from the year 1458 to the year 1471 and consequently, for the period from 1458 to 1464, corresponding to the pontificate of Pius II, overlaps the preceding volume of the Calendar. This is due to the circumstance that, for want of space, only the Vatican Registers of Pius II could be included in volume XI, the Lateran Registers of that Pope being reserved, therefore, to be calendared in the present volume. The volume thus comprises the contents, as far as they come within the scope of the Calendar, of the Lateran Registers of Pius II (fn. 1) and the Vatican and Lateran Registers of Paul II. (fn. 2)

Like the Lateran Registers of Calixtus III, those of Pius II were formerly artificially divided by the Chancery officials, probably in the 17th–18th centuries for indexing purposes, into six Anni or sets of Libri or Registers, corresponding to the number of years in the pontificate, and were accordingly numbered: An. i. Lib. i, An. i. Lib. ii, An. i. Lib. iii, etc., An. ii. Lib. i, An. ii. Lib. ii, An. ii. Lib. iii, etc., and so on with the Libri of Anni iii, iv, v and vi. (fn. 3) Moreover, as in the case of the Lateran Registers of Calixtus III, (fn. 4) so also in the case of the Registers of Pius II, the contents were very briefly summarized in a MS. Index which still survives. This Pius II Indice, in which the subject matter of the various bulls is alphabetically arranged under the names of the dioceses concerned, (fn. 5) is in two volumes. Volume I, comprising those dioceses whose names begin with the letters of the first half of the alphabet, is lettered on the back: Pii PP. II. Tomus I. Ann. i. ii, and is now numbered ‘Indice 328.’ Volume II, comprising the dioceses corresponding to the second half of the alphabet, is similarly lettered, with the substitution of ‘Ann. iii. iv. v. vi,’ and is numbered ‘Indice 329.’

This Indice of the Registers of Pius II has the same defects as the Calixtus III Indice. The names of dioceses are often mis-spelt, and thereby confused with one another. (fn. 6) They are also occasionally indexed under the wrong letter of the alphabet. (fn. 7) Even the references to Liber and Annus are not always correctly given in the Indice. (fn. 8) Errors of fact also occur, as well as many mistakes in spelling, due to misreading or misunderstanding of the personal and place names in the Registers. (fn. 9) Especially common, as might be expected from Italian scribes, are errors in the spelling of Insular surnames, errors in the spelling of the Christian names being naturally less frequent. (fn. 10) Moreover, the same arid brevity characterises the Rubricelle of the Pius II Indice which was a feature of the Indice of the Registers of Calixtus III. This excessive brevity is incidentally illustrated by the above-mentioned Killaloe and Cork summaries. (fn. 11) Other examples are furnished by two bulls which are analysed on pp. 102 and 103 below, and which receive very scant treatment in the Indice, the first as ‘Lincolinen. [sic]. Prior et conventus de Sancto Neoto. Co[m]missio,’ and the second as ‘Aliaden. [sic]. Indulgentia.’

In addition to these defects, the Indici of Calixtus III and Pius II have in common another and even more serious drawback, arising from the circumstance that they are both based upon a purely artificial division of the Libri or Registers of each pontificate into the same number of yearly sets, namely six, professedly corresponding to six pontifical years. As Calixtus III was Pope for little more than three years, the fictitious character of the division of the Registers of his pontificate into 6 Anni is obvious. (fn. 12) On the other hand, the pontificate of Pius II lasted from 3 Sept. 1458 to 14 Aug. 1464, almost exactly six years, so that to this extent the arrangement adopted by the Pius II Indice is in accordance with fact. In reality, however, as may be seen at a glance from the Concordance printed below (p. xvii), the Pius II Indice is no less artificial than its Calixtus III predecessor. For, whereas the first five of the six Anni, or yearly sets into which it divides the once existing 104 Libri of the pontificate, comprise exactly 19 Libri apiece, the sixth and last set, although it corresponds almost exactly to a whole year, comprises only the 9 Libri which remain. This almost symmetrical arrangement of the Pius II Registers into five equal annual sets of 19, and one of 9, is evidently as artificial as the similar arrangement adopted in the Calixtus III Indice. (fn. 13)

In one respect only has the Pius II Indice an advantage, from the point of view of the modern searcher, over its Calixtus III predecessor, namely, in the larger number of lost Registers of which it has, however briefly, preserved for us the contents. The Lateran Registers of Pius II which have been lost since the Indice was compiled are, in fact, very much more numerous than those of Calixtus III. Leaving out of account the Lateran Register No. 534A, (fn. 14) the surviving Registers of the six years of the pontificate of Pius II, dealt with in the present volume, are 68 in number, (fn. 15) whereas the number of Registers summarized in the Indice is 104 (viz. 5 + 19 + 9, as above). The number of Lateran Registers of Pius II lost since the Indice was compiled is therefore no less than 36. (fn. 16) The number of Pius II's Lateran Registers lost is thus slightly more than seven times as great as that of the lost Registers of Calixtus III. (fn. 17) The Pius II Indice renders, therefore, a correspondingly greater service, as is shown by a comparison between the long list of Rubricelle of lost bulls, extracted from the Pius II Indice and printed below, and the short Calixtus III list printed in the preceding volume of the Calendar. (fn. 18) The contents of this Pius II list are duly incorporated in the Index at the end of the present volume. (fn. 19)

Notwithstanding, however, the debt which the searcher thereby owes to the Pius II Indice, it is evident, for the reasons given, that the existence of the Indice could not dispense an editor from the obligation of systematically examining the Registers themselves, page by page, in like manner as was shown to be necessary in the case of the Registers of Calixtus III. (fn. 20) This is strikingly shown by the table printed on pp. xl-xli below, in which a comparison is made between the number of items yielded by the Pius II Indice and the number actually derived from the pages of the Registers themselves and printed in the Calendar. Especially will it be seen from this table that the contents of at least three of the existing Lateran Registers are altogether omitted from the Indice. (fn. 21) It may be presumed that these Registers were for some reason not forthcoming when the Indice was compiled, but were at a later period restored to their place. It is possible that through a mistake which was easily made and was, in fact, occasionally made, they had been wrongly labelled and had got misplaced amongst the Registers of some later Pope Pius, so that their contents may yet figure in some subsequent Indice.

The Lateran Registers of Paul II, too, have their MS.Indice. As in the case of the Indici to the Registers of Calixtus III and Pius II, the basis on which it is arranged is two-fold. In the first place, the names of the dioceses mentioned in the Registers are arranged under the letters of the alphabet. In the second place, the dioceses under each letter are arranged under the successive Anni or years of the pontificate and the Libri or Registers artificially assigned to each year. (fn. 22) Thus, under the letter ‘A’ are gathered together from the Registers of the whole pontificate all the dioceses whose names begin with that letter, sub-headings comprising all the ‘A’ dioceses in the Registers, one after the other, of the first year, thus, An. i. Lib. i, An. i. Lib. ii, An. i. Lib. iii, and so on to the last of the Paul II Registers, viz. An. vii. Lib. xviii. The same process is repeated under the letter ‘B,’ with the same sub-headings, An. i. Lib. i, An. i. Lib. ii, etc., and so on throughout the rest of the alphabet. Unfortunately, the Indice is incomplete. The two volumes which survive carry the alphabetical arrangement as far only as the letter ‘O’ (viz. A-E + F-O), a third volume, which probably sufficed for the rest of the alphabet, having disappeared. The two survivors are labelled on the back ‘Paulus II. Tom. I’ and ‘Paulus II. Tom. II,' respectively, and are numbered 330 and 331 in the series of MS. Indici in the Archives.

Not only does the Paul II Indice resemble its predecessors in its construction. It also resembles them in its errors, so closely, indeed, that to describe it in detail would be to do little more than repeat the descriptions of the earlier Indici. For example, dioceses are again indexed under the wrong letters, (fn. 23) the error being due in some cases to the indexer's mis-reading of the initial letter of the name of the diocese in the Register. (fn. 24) Similar misreadings of the initial letters of surnames also occur. (fn. 25)

The Concordance printed below (fn. 26) shows the Libri to which the 112 surviving Lateran Registers of Paul II correspond. It also shows that the basis of the arrangement of the Paul II Indice by Anni and Libri is as artificial as that adopted in the Calixtus III and Pius II Indici. Its division of the Libri of Paul II into 7 Anni corresponds, it is true, with the actual length of the pontificate, which was almost exactly seven years. The very symmetrical distribution amongst the 7 Anni of the pontificate of the 150 Lateran Registers which existed when the Indice was compiled, viz. 22 Libri to each of the first six years and 18 to the seventh year is, however, obviously unreal. (fn. 27)

Of these 150 Registers of Paul II only 112 survive, as mentioned above, so that 38 have been lost, almost exactly a quarter of the original number, a circumstance which gives to the Indice almost the only value it possesses. A list is accordingly appended below of the brief Rubricelle or summaries given in the Indice of the bulls in the lost Registers which concern the Calendar. The Indice being unfortunately incomplete, as mentioned above, this list is necessarily incomplete in the same proportion. It comprises, therefore, only bulls concerning those dioceses whose names begin with the letters of the alphabet from ‘A’ to ‘O.’ For the same reason it is impossible to make a comparison between the number of bulls summarized in the Indice and the number of bulls calendared in the present volume, such as it was possible to make in the case of the Lateran Registers of Pius II. (fn. 28)

The Editor has again pleasure in acknowledging the help of Cav. W. H. Grattan Flood, Mus. Doc., M.R.I.A., who has looked through the proofs, and made various suggestions on points of Irish nomenclature and topography.

The Index of Persons and Places and the Index of Subjects have again been compiled by Mr. S. C. Ratcliff, M.A., of the Public Record Office, to whom the Editor is also indebted for many useful suggestions made whilst the sheets were passing through the press.

J. A.. Twemlow.


  • 1. viz. Registers 534A to 599 of the Lateran series (below, pp. 1–228).
  • 2. viz. Registers 519 to 545 of the Vatican series (below, pp. 229–392), and Registers 600 to 712 of the Lateran series (below, pp. 393 sqq.).
  • 3. For this artificial division of the Lateran Registers of Pius II into Anni and Libri, see more fully below, p. vii. And for a similar arrangement of the Registers of Calixtus III, see the Preface to Cal. XI.
  • 4. For the two Indici to the Registers of Calixtus III, see the same Preface.
  • 5. With a few exceptions similar to those noted, ibid., pp. ix-x. Thus, the bull in favour of the Hospital of Santo Spirito in Sassia at Rome (below, p. 80) is indexed by the compiler of the Indice under ‘Urbe.’
  • 6. e.g. ‘Laonensis’ (recte Laoniensis, Killaloe), instead of ‘Leonensis’ (St. Polde-Léon, in Brittany), under Liber xii, anno i (i.e. Reg. Lat. 548A now 548), f. 65;see below, p. 49, note. The same error ‘Laonen.’ for ‘Leonen.’ occurs under Lib. vi, an. vi (i.e. Reg. 595), f. 108. Again, ‘Londonensis,’ instead of ‘Lodouensis' (Lodève, dep. Hérault. in the south of France), under Lib. xiv, an. ii (i.e. Reg. Lat. 555), f. 73. Similarly, ‘Rossanen.’ (Rossano, in Calabria) is written instead of ‘Poznanien.’ (Posen, in Poland), under Lib. v, an. iv (i.e. Reg. 579), f. 221, so that the reference to the diocese is indexed under the letter R, instead of under P.
  • 7. Thus, a mention of ‘Valentin.’ and one of ‘Venetiarum’ are misplaced under T, both on f. 212 of vol. ii of the Pius II Indice. In like manner a mention of Paderbo[r]nen. has got into the B group of dioceses, from Liber vii, anno v.
  • 8. Three examples are given below, p. 49, note, p. 131, note 3, and p. 223, note 4, where it has not been possible to identify the Registers and folios to which the Indice refers. Minor errors of the same nature may be mentioned. Thus for f. 278 (below, p. 27), the Indice has ‘258’; for f. 298 (below, p. 42), it has ‘198’; for f. 156 (below, p. 65), it has ‘186’; and for f. 145 (below, p. 133), it has ‘103.’
  • 9. Thus, in the Rubricella or brief summary of Lib. iv. an. v (i.e. Reg. Lat. 588), f. 19: Laonen. [sic] Matt. electus Laonen. Ecclesia per obitum, cum conclusionibus et dispensatione etatis, ‘etatis’ is an error for ‘natalium’; see below, p. 187. Similarly, in the still briefer Rubricella of Lib. iv, an. vi (i.e. Reg. 597A), f. 246: Corkagen. Michael episcopus. Retentio, ‘Michael’ is an error for ‘Milo’; see below, p. 222.
  • 10. e.g. ‘Livising’ for ‘Cwsing’ (below, p. 6); ‘Ansall’ for ‘Anscill’ (below, p. 10); ‘Franciscus Hanimult’ for ‘Gauuinus de Hantmulton’ (recte Hammulton, i.e. Hamilton, below, p. 153).
  • 11. In the preceding note but one.
  • 12. See the Preface to vol. xi of the Calendar.
  • 13. See Cal. xi, Preface, p. vii.
  • 14. See ibid., p. 363, note.
  • 15. viz. Nos. 535–599, plus 548A, 560A and 597A, i.e. 68 Registers, comprising 15 Registers for an. 1 (Nos. 535–548A), 12 for an. 2 (Nos. 549–557, 559, 560 and 560A), 10 for an. 3 (Nos. 558 and 561–569), 11 for an. 4 (Nos. 570–579, and 581), 9 for an. 5 (Nos. 582–590), and 10 for an. 6 (Nos. 591–597, 597A, 598 and 599). One Register, No. 580, belongs to both an. 2 and an. 3.
  • 16. A slightly different result is at first sight given by the Concordance printed below. In that table the number of blank spaces, representing Registers recorded in the Indice but no longer existing, is 39. The Concordance is, however, not quite accurate, and its total of 39 lost Registers reduces itself on closer inspection to 36.See the notes on pp. xvii-xviii below, showing that the ‘Concordantia’ omits the modern Registers 560A, 580 and 582, so that the number of Registers which it suggests to have been lost is reduced from 39 to 36.
  • 17. viz. 5, see Cal. xi, p. vi.
  • 18. Pp. xxv-xxvi.
  • 19. The list of the lost Calixtus bulls on pp. xxv-xxvi of vol. xi of the Calendar was printed too late to be similarly incorporated in the Index of that volume.
  • 20. See Cal. xi, pp. vi and xxiii.
  • 21. viz. Reg. Lat. 560A (below, pp. 98–100), 580 (below, pp. 160–163) and 582 (below, pp. 167–168). They are omitted from the list of surviving Registers in the Concordance printed below, pp. xvii sqq. The same comparative table shows, moreover, in the case of several other Registers, that to have depended on the Indice alone, instead of examining the Registers themselves, would have resulted in the omission from the Calendar of a very considerable number of items.
  • 22. As in the case of the Indici of Calixtus and Pius II. See also below, p. x.
  • 23. Ianuen. (Genoa) and Ispalen. (recte Hispalen, Seville) are indexed under G. In the former case the indexer may have had in mind the Italian form. Similarly Ortan. (Orte) occurs several times under H. as Hortan.
  • 24. e.g. twice ‘Helmoren.’ for ‘Kelmoren.’ (recte Kilmoren, Kilmore, viz. in An. 3, Libri 15 and 16—Reg. Lat. 638, f. 34d and 637, f. 294, below, pp. 513 and 511, in bulls concerning ‘Joannes Culmartayn’ [sic] and ‘Malachias Osirudei’ [sic], respectively). Similarly ‘Tuamen.’ is misread once as ‘Ivamen.,’ and is therefore indexed under I. In one instance the scribe has inadvertently written the name of the person concerned where he ought to have put the name of the diocese, thus:
    Isabella (instead of Ispalen.) Isabella de Guzman, abbatissa monasterii S. Agnet is Ispalen. Facultas deputandi visitatorem pro reformatione monasterii
  • 25. e.g. the Indice has ‘Kermont’ for ‘Lerment’ (below, p. 438 or Lermont, as the name may also be read).
  • 26. Pp. xvii sqq.
  • 27. An example taken at random illustrates this unreality. In the Paul II Indice is the following rubricella or brief summary of a bull of that Pope:
    [Liber] 8 [Anni] 2 Elphinensis Malachias Oinochan (recte Omochan) Decanatus [vacans] certo modo [Folio] 140
  • 28. See below, pp. xl-xli.