Statutes of Fra.
Roger de Moulins 1181
STATUTES OF FR. ROGER DE MOULINS 1177-87
The Chapter-General of 1181
THAT THE CHURCHES SHOULD BE REGULATED WITH THE
KNOWLEDGE OF THE PRIOR.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.
Amen. In the year of the incarnation of Our Lord 1181 in the month of March, on
the Sunday on which they chant 'Laetare Jerusalem' (i.e. March 22nd), I Roger,
servant of Christ's poor, in the presence of the clerical and lay brethren
seated around the Chapter-General, to the honour of God and the glory of our
Religion, and the support and benefit of the sick poor.
- It is commanded that the statutes of the church aforesaid and the benefits
for the poor afterwards written should be kept and observed forever, without
going contrary to them in any respect. Concerning the churches it is commanded
that they should be arranged and regulated at the disposition of the Prior of
the clerics of the Hospital with regard to books clerics vestments priests
chalices censers perpetual light and other ornaments.
- And secondly, it is decreed with the assent of the brethren that for the
sick in the Hospital of Jerusalem there should be engaged four wise doctors,
who are qualified to examine urine, and to diagnose different diseases, and
are able to administer appropriate medicines.
- And thirdly, it is added that the beds of the sick should be made as long
and as broad as is most convenient for repose, and that each bed should be
covered with its own coverlet, and each bed should have its own special
- After these needs is decreed the fourth command, that each of the sick
should have a cloak of sheepskin and boots for going to and coming from the
latrines, and caps of wool.
- It is also decreed that little cradles should be made for the babies of
the women pilgrims born in the House, so that they may lie separate, and that
the baby in its own bed may be in no danger from restlessness of its mother.
- Afterwards it is decreed the sixth clause, that the biers of the dead
should be concealed in the same manner as are the biers of the brethren, and
should be covered with a red coverlet having a white cross.
- The seventh clause commands that wheresoever there are hospitals for the
sick, that the Commanders of the houses should serve the sick cheerfully, and
should do their duty by them, and serve them without grumbling or complaining,
so that by these good deeds they may deserve to have their reward in the
glories of heaven. And if any of the brethren should act contrary to the
commands of the Master in these matters, that it should be brought to the
notice of the Master, who shall punish them according to the sentence of the
- It was also decreed, when the council (i.e. Chapter-General) of the
brethren was held, that the Prior of the Hospital of France should send each
year to Jerusalem one hundred sheets of dyed cotton to replace the coverlets
of the poor sick, and should reckon them in his Responsion together with those
things which shall be given in his Priory to the House in charity.
- In selfsame manner and reckoning the Prior of the Hospital of St. Gilles
should purchase each year the like number of sheets of cotton and send them to
Jerusalem, together with those things which shall be given in his Priory for
the love of God to the poor of the Hospital.
- The prior of Italy each year should send to Jerusalem for our lords the
sick two hundred ells of fustian (= cotton sheets) of divers colours, which he
may reckon each year in his Responsion.
- And the Prior of Pisa should send likewise the like numbers of fustians.
- And the Prior of Venice likewise, and all should be reckoned in their
- And likewise the Bailiffs this side of the sea should be particular in
this same service.
- Of whom the Bailiff of Antioch should send to Jerusalem two hundred ells
of cotton cloth for the coverlets of the sick.
- The prior of Mont Pelerin (i.e. Tripolis) should send to Jerusalem two
quintals of sugar for the syrups, and the medicines and the electuaries of the
- For this same service the Bailiff of Tabarie (i.e. Tiberias) should send
there the same quantity.
- The Prior of Constantinople should send for the sick two hundred felts.
- Moreover guarding and watching them day and night, the brethren of the
Hospital should serve the sick poor with zeal and devotion as if they were
their lords, and it was added in Chapter-General that in every ward (rue) and
place in the Hospital, nine sergeants should be kept at their service, who
should wash their feet gently, and change their sheets, and make their beds,
and administer to the weak necessary and strengthening food, and do their duty
devotedly, and obey, in all things for the benefit of the sick.
THE CONFIRMATION BY THE MASTER
ROGER OF THE THINGS THAT THE HOUSE SHOULD DO
Let all the brethren of the House of the Hospital, both those
present and those to come, know that the good customs of the House of the
Hospital of Jerusalem are as follows:
Firstly the Holy House of the Hospital is accustomed to
receive sick men and women, and is accustomed to keep doctors who have the
care of the sick, and who make the syrups for the sick, and who provide the
things that are necessary for the sick. For three days in the week the sick
are accustomed to have fresh meat, either pork or mutton, and those who are
unable to eat it have chicken.
And two sick persons are accustomed to have one coat of
sheepskin (pelice de brebis/berbis?), which they use when going to the
latrines (chambres), and between two sick persons one pair of boots. Every
year the House of the Hospital is accustomed to give to the poor one thousand
cloaks of thick lamb skins.
And all the children abandoned by their fathers and mothers t
Hospital is accustomed to receive and to nourish. To a man and woman who
desire to enter into matrimony, and who possess nothing with which to
celebrate their marriage, the House of the Hospital is accustomed to give two
bowls (escueles) or the rations of two brethren.
And the House of the Hospital is accustomed to keep one
brother shoemaker (corvoisier) and three sergeants, who repair the old shoes
(soliers) given for the love of God. And the Almoner is accustomed to keep two
sergeants who repair the old robes that he may give them to the poor.
And the Almoner is accustomed to give twelve deniers to each
prisoner, when he is first released from prison.
Every night five clerics are accustomed to read the Psalter
for the benefactors of the House.
And every day thirty poor persons are accustomed to be fed at
table once a day for the love of God, and the five clerics aforesaid may be
among those thirty poor persons, but the twenty-five eat before the Convent,
and each of the five clerics should have two deniers and eat with the Convent.
And on three days of the week they are accustomed to give in
alms to all who come there to ask for it, bread and wine and cooked food.
In Lent every Saturday, they are accustomed to celebrate
Maundy for thirteen poor persons, and to wash their feet, and to give to each
a shirt and new breeches and new shoes, and to three chaplains, or to three
clerics out of the thirteen, three deniers and to each of the others, two
These are the special charities decreed in the Hospital, apart
from the Brethren-at-Arms whom the House should maintain honourably, and many
other charities there are which cannot be set out in detail each one by
itself. And that these things be true good men and loyal here bear witness,
that is to say Brother Roger, Master of the Hospital, and Brother Bernard the
Prior and all the Chapter-General.