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1366 Papal Courtier

Before Adam had left Oxford University, his old friend and fellow monk scholar from Norwich, Thomas Brynton had his eye on a position at the papal court in Avignon. Indeed Brynton established himself in Avignon shortly after Adam and he had shared their inception (graduation) feast. Adam for his part, had been offered the post of Prior of Students and had decided to stay on at Oxford. Brynton soon found his chosen path would be less than easy, the King often interfered in the coming and going of the Benedictines to the Papal Court, being particularly suspicious of their serving at what amounted to a foreign court. In the first piece the Prior of Norwich asks for help from a fellow Prior to get Brynton on his way. Note that Brynton is still seen as very much belonging to Norwich despite his years away in Oxford and his new role at the Papal Court.

Brynton went to represent the Benedictine interest in Avignon, as a sort of proctor for his fellow monks back in England but it was a job for which the papal coffers could provide handsomely. 2 florins a day was a very substantial wage for a young clerk, Doctor of Theology or no. The second item below confirms Brynton's status at the papal court. So when Brynton chose to return to England in 1367, it was Adam who decided to take over from him at the papal court representing the Benedictine interest encourage by Urban V himself a former Benedictine monk looking for recruits from amongst his brother monks:

Reverende domine et amice, pro inmensis beneficiis ecclesie nostre Norwicensi per vestram magnificenciam procuratis, et precipue pro magna et quasi inaudita humanitate quam gratis exhibuistis fratris Thomas de Brynton commonacho nostro et penitenciario domini nostro pape [ Urban V] graciarum referimus acciones, vestra, dominacionem reverendam exorantes humiliter et devote quatinus pro licencia transfretandi pro dicto fratre Thomas effectualiter impetranda ab excellentissimo principe et domino nostro rege dignemini assistere et iuvare, sicut in vobis pre ceteris viventibus anchoram spei nostre posuimus confidenter. valete in benedicto filio virginis gloriose per tempora diuturna. Scriptum apud Norwicensis.

From The English Black Monks by Pantin - his transcription of Bodleian MS Tanner 342 fo 105v


7 Kalends December at Avignon - To the dean of St Agricolus, Avignon and the sacristans of Narbonne and Bourges. Mandate to cause two gold florins a day to be supplied by ecclesiastics, secular and regular, to Nicholas Lebrehon, an Augustinian Friar, papal penitentiary and nuncio; and to Thomas de Brynton, a Benedictine doctor of canon law, of the diocese of Norwich, papal penitentiary and nuncio bearer of these presents.

From Papal Letters relating to England, Volume IV 1362-1404