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Friday, 7 November 2014

Robert Of Torigni (1110-1186). Prior Of Bec Abbey. Abbot Of Mont Saint-Michel Abbey.

Text and Illustrations from Wikipedia - the free encyclopaedia,
unless otherwise stated.

Abbey of Mont Saint-Michel,
Normandy, France.
This File: 17 June 2005.
User: Semnoz.
Author: Copyright Wife of Semnoz - June 2006.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Robert of Torigni (also known as Roburtus de Monte) (circa 1110–1186) was a Norman Monk, Prior, Abbot, and an important 12th-Century Chronicler.

He was born at Torigni-sur-Vire, Normandy circa 1110, most probably to an aristocratic family, but his family name was abandoned when he entered Bec Abbey in 1128. In 1149, Robert of Torigni became the Prior of Bec Abbey, replacing Roger de Bailleul, who had by that time become Abbot. In 1154, Robert became the Abbot of Mont Saint-Michel, in Normandy, France.

English: The Archangel Saint Michel guards the steeple of Mont Saint-Michel.
Français: Statue de l’«Archange Saint-Michel terrassant le dragon» couronnant la flèche
du clocher de l’église abbatiale du Mont-St-Michel, par fr:Emmanuel Frémiet
(installée en 1897). Provient de l’édition anastaltique de l’ouvrage "Le Mont Saint-Michel",
par fr:Paul Gout (1910); ne comporte pas de copyright.
Date: 1 March 2005 (original upload date).
Source: Originally from fr.wikipedia; description page is/was here.
Author: Original uploader was Emdx at fr.wikipedia
(Wikimedia Commons)

In November of 1158, Robert of Torigni, as Abbot of Mont Saint-Michel, France, hosted Kings Louis VII of France and Henry II of England. Three years later, Robert de Torigni, along with Achard of Saint Victor, Bishop of Avranches, stood as Sponsors (Godfathers) to Eleanor, born to Henry II of England and Queen Eleanor.

In 1163, he was in Rome. He was also known to have visited England representing Mont Saint-Michel. In June of 1186, Robert died and was buried in the Nave of the Chapel at Mont Saint-Michel, under a simple grave marker. In 1876, a lead disc was found in his coffin, bearing his epitaph. The translation reads: Here lies Robert Torigni, Abbot of this place, who ruled the Monastery thirty-two years, and lived eighty years.

English: Bec Abbey, Normandy, France.
Robert of Torigni became Prior of Bec Abbey in 1149.
Français: Abbaye du Bec-Hellouin (Normandie, France),
panoramique de la façade sud,
église abbatiale et logements conventuels vus depuis le Bec.
Photo: 29 November 2008.
Author: Roland Brierre.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Robert of Torigni developed a reputation as being a pious Monk, an accomplished diplomat, a skilled organiser and a great collector of books Under Robert de Torigni, Mont Saint-Michel became a great centre of learning, with sixty Monks producing copious Manuscripts and a Library collection so vast it was called the Cité des Livres (City of Books). Robert was called "The Great Librarian of the Mont". Robert's principal interest was not so much in man's path to Salvation, or in the moral lessons of history; it was in what he called "chronography" (organising historical events in chronological order). He made no attempts to interpret history, but wrote plainly "without a trace of romance in his Soul."

Stevenson said, however, Torigni was not always correct in his chronology and made errors, even in matters in Normandy, of which he should have known better. Yet, he was always honest and truthful and his mistakes did not greatly affect the overall value of his Chronicle.

Modern writers, too, have pointed out errors in his work and where he has given confusing or conflicting accounts.Then, Delisle wrote that it was through Robert's affection for King Henry II that he made almost no mention in his Chronicle of the death of Thomas Becket or Henry II's involvement.

English: Abbey of Saint Victor, Paris, France, in 1655.
In 1161, Robert de Torigni, Abbot of Mont Saint-Michel, along with Achard of Saint Victor,
Abbot of the great Abbey of Saint Victor, Paris, and Bishop of Avranches, stood as Sponsors (Godfathers) to Eleanor, born to King Henry II of England and Queen Eleanor.
Français: Église Saint-Victor de Paris en 1655.
Author: Gravure de Merian.
(Wikimedia Commons)

He is best known as the last of the three contributors to the Gesta Normannorum Ducum (Deeds of the Norman Dukes), a Chronicle originally written by William of Jumièges, appended to by Orderic Vitalis and, lastly, Robert de Torigni, who brought the history up to the time of King Henry I. Robert relied more on Orderic's work, than that of William of Jumièges, and added information regarding the Reign of William the Conqueror, a History of Bec, and a Volume on King Henry I.

Another source he used was Henry of Huntingdon's Historia Anglorum. Henry, the Archdeacon of Huntingdon, had visited Bec Abbey in 1139 and, during his stay there, provided Robert with much of the information regarding the Reign of King Henry I, which Robert used in his own Chronicles. Robert, in turn, introduced Henry to a new work by Geoffrey of Monmouth, the Historia Regum Britanniae, a Copy of which first reached Bec Abbey in, circa, 1138.

John Bale, the 16th-Century English Churchman and historian, in his Index Britanniae Scriptorum, identified Robert as the author of two Arthurian romances, based in part by the author's initialling his Work with the letter "R". These were De Ortu Waluuanii and Historia Meriadoci, but this identification remains controversial and is doubted by some authorities.

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