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Servant of the Crown and Steward of the Church : The Career of Philippe of Cahor

William Chester Jordan

JORDAN William Chester, Servant of the Crown and Steward of the Church : The Career of Philippe of Cahors, Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 2019. 128 pages.

ISBN : 9781487524616.

In the thirteenth century, radical reformers – churchmen, devout laywomen and laymen, and secular rulers – undertook Hherculean efforts aimed at the moral reform of society. No principality was more affected by these impulses than France under its king, Louis IX or « Saint Louis. » The monarch surrounded himself with gifted, energetic moralists to carry out his efforts. Servant of the Crown and Steward of the Church explores the career of one of the most influential of King Louis’s reformers, Philippe of Cahors.

Born into a bourgeois family dwelling on the periphery of the medieval kingdom of France, Philippe rose through the ecclesiastical hierarchy to the office of judge. There he came to the attention of royal administrators, who recommended him for the king’s service. He ascended rapidly, and was eventually entrusted with the royal seal, effectively making constituting him the chancellor of the kingdom, the highest member of the royal administration. Louis IX secured his election as bishop of Évreux in 1269. Using the records of Philippe’s work in Reims, Paris, and Évreux, William Chester Jordan reconstructs Philippe’s career, providing a fascinating portrait of the successes and failures of reform in the thirteenth century.

Table des matières :


1. The Early Years
2. A Swift Ascent : From Junior Clerk to « Chancellor »
3. Bishop of Evreux
4. The Prelate and His Holy Man


William Chester Jordan is the Dayton-Stockton professor of History at Princeton University.