Richard de Morins

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Richard de Morins also known as Ricardus Anglicus, Richard of Mores, Richard de Mores, Ricardus de Mores. (c.1161–1242) was an English canon lawyer. He was Archdeacon of Bologna, and taught law at the University of Bologna. On his return to England, he was a canon of Merton Priory, before becoming prior at Dunstable Priory in 1202.


Nothing is known of his parentage, but he seems to have been a personage of importance, and a lay namesake who held lands in Berkshire is several times mentioned in the Close and Patent Rolls as in John's service. In February 1203, Morins was sent by the king to Rome, in order to obtain the pope's aid in arranging peace with France, and returned in July with John, cardinal of S. Maria in Via Lata, as papal legate. In 1206, the cardinal constituted Morins visitor of the religious houses in the diocese of Lincoln. In 1212, Morins was employed on the inquiry into the losses of the church through the interdict. He also acted for the preachers of the crusade in the counties of Huntingdon, Bedford, and Hertford. In 1214-15, Morins was one of the three ecclesiastics appointed to investigate the election of Hugh of Northwold as abbot of St. Edmund's. Later, in 1215, Morins was present at the Lateran council, and on his way home remained at Paris for a year to study in the theological schools. In 1222, he was employed in the settlement of the dispute between the Bishop of London and the Abbey of Westminster, and in the next year was visitor for his order in the province of York. In 1228, he was again visitor for his order in the dioceses of Lichfield and Lincoln. In 1239, Morins drew up the case for submission to the pope as to the Archbishop of Canterbury's right of visiting the monasteries in the sees of his suffragans. In 1241, he was one of those to whom letters of absolution for the Canterbury monks were addressed. Morins died on 9 April 1242. [1]


By new methods of explaining legal proceedings, he became recognized as the pioneer of scientific judicial procedure in the twelfth century. His long-lost work Ordo Judiciarius was discovered in Manuscript by Wunderlich in Douai and published by Witt in 1851. A more correct manuscript was subsequently discovered at Brussels by Sir Travers Twiss.[2]

Probably he graduated in Paris, as a Papal Bull of 1218 refers to "Ricardus Anglicus doctor Parisiensis", but there is no evidence to connect him with Oxford. He also wrote glosses on the papal decretals, and distinctions on the Decree of Gratian. He must be distinguished from his contemporary, Ricardus Anglicanus, a physician.


He was an effective leader of the Priory, early acquiring relics from Cropredy.[3] He took over Dunstable's chronicle, continuing it until his death.[4] He preached crusade in 1212, and attended the Fourth Lateran Council.[5]


  • Rashdall, Mediæval Universities, II, 750 (London, 1895);
  • Twiss, Law Magazine and Review, May, 1894;
  • Sarti and Fattorini, De claris Archigymnasii Bononiensis Professoribus;
  • Blakiston in Dictionary of National Biography, s. v. Poor, Richard.


  1. ^ Kingsford 1894.
  2. ^ Twiss, on evidence which seems insufficient, followed Panciroli in identifying him with Bishop Richard Poore (died 1237).
  3. ^ Church at Cropredy
  4. ^
  5. ^ Bold type = main column

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainKingsford, Charles Lethbridge (1894). "Morins, Richard de". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography. 39. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Brundage, J. (1995). Medieval Canon Law. London: Longman. pp. 223–224. ISBN 0-582-09356-2. 

External links[edit]


 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Ricardus Anglicus". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton.