DCM, 2.2.Pont.2a.

Ed. M. G. Snape, English Episcopal Acta, (forthcoming).

Appropriation by Richard [Marsh] bishop of Durham to the use of the prior and monks of Durham of [the revenues of] the churches of Aycliffe and Pittingdon.

No date; [1217 X 1218: Marsh became bishop in 1217, and the successor to the first witness, Archdeacon Aimery, first occurs in 1218].

Marsh was chancellor throughout his pontificate and hence chose to style himself, unusually but perhaps not uncharacteristically, 'Domini Regis Cancellarius' [view] as well as 'dei gracia Dunelmensis Episcopus' [view]. The uses to which the revenues of the churches are to be put by the monks are specified as 'ad sustentationem domus sue et ad refectionem hospitum et peregrinorum' [view]. The vicars are to be presented by the prior and monks, and they are 'in propriis personis honeste deseruient. et alteragia dictarum ecclesiarum integre habebunt excepta decima Lane et Agnorum dictorum monachorum de dominicis suis. Si autem alteragium de Acle duodecim Marcas non valeat. Dicti monachi illud Duodecim Marcas ualere facient.' [view] For Pittingdon the level is set at 10 marks (£6 13s. 4d.). The final clause states that Walter [Grey] archbishop of York has confirmed 'concessionem nostram ... ad petitionem nostram' [view]; this presumably refers to DCM 3.1.Archiep.7, issued in 1216 when Marsh was archdeacon of Northumberland.

The document is marked by a complete absence of abbreviations. For a nearly contemporary cartulary copy, see xxxx.

Marsh's immediate predecessor, Philip of Poitou, is the first bishop of Durham known to have used a counterseal, or secretum, but its design simply mirrored his principal seal. By contrast, and as was the subsequent norm, Marsh's differs, depicting the bishop kneeling before Christ, St Oswald and St Cuthbert, with the inscription '+ HOC: ONVS: UT: SIT: HONOS: TIBI: LARGIOR: HOS: Q: PATRONOS:', a hexameter meaning "That this burden may be an honour to Thee I lavish also these patrons". The seal is attached by narrow coloured braids, a popular method at this period, and one that provides valuable dated examples of such work.