From Boys to Priests: Adolescence, Masculinity and the Parish Clergy in Medieval Normandy

  • Jennifer D. Thibodeaux
Part of the Genders and Sexualities in History book series (GSX)


In August of 1251, the Archbishop Odo Rigaldus noted in his register1 the case of two clerics, Ferric and Walter, both secular canons at the collegiate church of Saint Mary de Sauqueville in the diocese of Rouen. Ferric, the treasurer of the church and also a parish priest, was rumored to be involved with a woman, Alice of Garennes; the archbishop was also disturbed that Ferric had been running about town, and his derelict behavior included riding around on horseback in indecent clothing (in habita inhonesto). Walter, also a parish priest and canon at the same church, had been frequenting taverns and playing dice, and was rumored of serious sexual misbehavior. The archbishop disciplined both Ferric and Walter for their errant behavior, and yet both men continued to behave badly. Sixteen years after their first recorded offenses appeared in the register, Ferric and Walter had not reformed their behavior and both had deserted their positions. Their unruly behavior suggests adolescence, and yet these men were not. They were biologically older men who continued to behave like boys.2


Gender Identity Social Adulthood Disorderly Behavior Minor Order Spiritual Adulthood 
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© Jennifer D. Thibodeaux 2010

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  • Jennifer D. Thibodeaux

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