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Report No. a270

Honorius, Magister

d. c.1210–1213


Alternative Names

Honorius of Kent



May be the Honorius who received a benefice at Willesborough through a letter of Lucius III in 1184 or 1185. Honorius probably spent the years 1185–95 at Paris studying and perhaps teaching law, although he did witness a charter in England in 1192. H. wrote the Summa ‘De iure canonico tractaturus’ at Paris very close to 1188 and the Summa quaestionum soon therafter. From 1195, Honorius was in the service of the Archbishop of York. H. also served the King in the dispute over the election of Hubert Walter’s successor as Archbishop of Canterbury. Honorius was imprisoned in 1208 for unknown reasons and not, as had been thought, for failure to pay 300 marks owed to the crown for letters of protection. He died in prison by 1213.



No. 1

Summa ‘De iure canonico tractaturus’, c.1188. Formerly identified as the Summa Laudunensis; treated as anonymous in much of the twentieth–century scholarship.

No. 2

Summa decretalium quaestionum.


Text(s) – Manuscripts

No. 1

Summa ‘De iure canonico tractaturus’, c.1188.


Laon, BM 371bis, fol. 83r–170v

No. 2

Summa decretalium quaestionum.


Bamberg, Staatsbibl. Can. 45, fol. 23–39


Douai, BM 640, fol. 1–42a


Kaliningrad, Universitätsbibl. 21, fol. 44–75


Laon, BM 371(bis), fol. 171–176v


Leipzig, Universitätsbibl. 984, fol. 90–110


Paris, BN lat. 14591, fol. 50–83ra


Zwettl, Stiftsbibl. 162, fol. 179–213


Text(s) – Modern Editions

No. 1

Summa ‘De iure canonico tractaturus’.

Modern Editions

Edited by, among others, R. Weigand in Magistri Honorii Summa ‘De iure canonico tractaturus’ , 3 vols. (MIC A 5–3; Città del Vaticano 2004–2010).

No. 2

Summa decretalium quaestionum.

Modern Editions

Portions of this work bearing on marriage doctrine (i.e the third and final part) have been edited and published by B. Grimm in Die Ehelehre des Magister Honorius: Ein Beitrag zur Ehelehre der anglo-normannischen Schule (SG 24; Bologna 1989) 231–3.



T. Genka, ‘The Distinctiones Tria consideranda sunt in electione in the Oxford, Bodleian MS Barlow 41’, BMCL, 36 (2019) 286–297.

M. Perisanidi, ‘Anglo-Norman Canonical Views on Clerical Marriage and the Eastern Church’, BMCL, 34 (2017) 113–142.

R. Weigand, ‘The Transmontane Decretists’, in The History of Medieval Canon Law in the Classical Period, 1140–1234: From Gratian to the Decretals of Pope Gregory IX, W. Hartmann and K. Pennington, ed. (History of Medieval Canon Law 6; Washington DC 2008) 192, 197–200.

B. Grimm, Die Ehelehre des Magister Honorius: Ein Beitrag zur Ehelehre der anglo-normannischen Schule (SG 24; Roma 1989).

R. Weigand, ‘Die anglo-normannische Kanonistik in den letzten Jahrzehnten des 12. Jahrhunderts’, in Proceedings Cambridge, P. Linehan, ed. (MIC C–8; Città del Vaticano 1988) 259–63.

T. Lenherr, Die Exkommunikations– und Depositionsgewalt der Häretiker bei Gratian und den Dekretisten bis zur Glossa ordinaria des Johannes Teutonicus (Münchener Theologische Studien 3, Kan. Abt. 42; München 1987) 229–32, 236–37.

S. Kuttner, ‘Retractationes VII’, in Gratian and the Schools (London 1983) 31.

R. Weigand, ‘Bemerkungen über die Schriften und Lehren des Magister Honorius’, in Proceedings Salamanca (MIC C–6; Città del Vaticano 1980) 195–212. (Excerpts from both Summae 206–212.)

H. Müller, Der Anteil der Laien an der Bischofswahl: Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Kanonistik von Gratian bis Gregor IX. (Kanonistische Studien und Texte 29; Amsterdam 1977) 125–26, 130–31.

R. Weigand, Die Naturrechtslehre der Legisten und Dekretisten von Irnerius bis Accursius und von Gratian bis Johannes Teutonicus (Münchener Theologische Studien 3. Kan. Abt. 26; München 1967) 201–203.

R. Weigand, Die bedingte Eheschliessung im kanonischen Recht (Münchener Theologische Studien 3, Kan. Abt. 16; München 1963) 1.189–97.

G. Couvreur, Les pauvres ont-ils des droits? Recherches sur le vol en cas d’extrême nécessité depuis la Concordia de Gratien (1140) jusqu’à Guillaume d’Auxerre († 1321) (Analecta Gregoriana 111; Roma 1961) 55, 127.

N. Vilain, ‘Prescription et bonne foi du Décret de Gratien (1140) à Jean d’André († 1348)’, Traditio, 14 (1958) 147.

S. Kuttner, ‘Anglo Norman Canonists of the Twelfth Century’, Traditio, 7 (1949/51) 304–310.