Saturday 14 February 2015

Robert de Hangest, Canon of Beauvais Cathedral

I have been exploring the Collection Bucquets-Aux-Cousteaux, which includes copies, extracts, and summaries of the earliest records of Beauvais cathedral, to see if there is any more material potentially relating to the so-called Beauvais Missal. Indeed there is.

In fact, there is quite a lot of potentially-relevant material, and some of it is rather complex, so I've decided to spread the discussion of it over multiple blogposts. Most of it concerns the Missal in the 15th century, so for now I will just share a small tidbit that concerns in the 14th century.

Regular readers will know that in September 1356 Robert de Hangest, canon of Beauvais cathedral, gave his Missal to the cathedral on condition that he be remembered with an obit after his death, and an inscription in the Missal itself records that his death was to be commemorated on 3 November.

In the provenance section of a Christie's catalogue to which I contributed, I speculated:
"presumably Robert made the gift in September, knowing he was close to death, and died on November 3."
This speculation was not based on any firm evidence, only on the closeness between the months of September and November, and the fact that if Robert had owned the book since its manufacture at some date within about a decade of 1300, he would have been fairly old by 1356.

The Beauvais records settle the matter. They include a list of "Chanoines de la cathedrale" from 1315 onwards, in which "Rob. de Hangest" appears under the year 1344, doubtless the year in which he became a canon:
Under 1356 there is a list of sixteen names, presumably men who became canons in that year, then a space, then "Mort de m.[?] de Hangest":
So, this confirms that he did indeed die in 1356, as I had speculated; in that year 3 November (the day after All Souls day), was a Thursday.

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