Category Archives: John I Archbishop of Rouen

Throwing Shade in Rouen in the Middle Ages


Well, actually it wasn’t just insults,–for poor ol’ John I, Archbishop of
Rouen, it was insults and rocks.  Now, when reading about the Middle
Ages, there’s no avoiding the pervasive role piety and religion allegedly
played in life at all levels of society.  Then, accounts of real life events make
for a clearer understanding of how that actually worked out in real time.

John I Archbishop of Rouen (1067 – 1078, previously Bishop of Avranches)
was “animated with a lively zeal for virtue”.

Not everyone was appreciative.  Volume II of Orderic Vitalis’ “Ecclesiastical History of England and Normandy,” mentions John “taking severe measures to separate incontinent priests from their concubines; and when in a synod he
prohibited their intercourse under pain of excommunication,” (he) …”was assailed with stones, and forced to make his escape, on which occasion when flying from the church he intoned with a loud voice the verse:

” God, the heathen are come into thine inheritance.”

What would Jesus say?  “Be fruitful and multiply.” ?  Nope.  “Hey.  Cut it out!  No throwing rocks in the house!”