Document 2/131/55 (Haddan and Stubbs, Councils, ii, I, 253-54)
Pope Alexander III writes to all the bishops, abbots and other prelates of churches in Scotland, and to the prior, canons, clergy and people of St Andrews, reporting that he is aware that long ago John, now bishop of St Andrews, was elected canonically, and that after his election, although an appeal was pending, Hugh was thrust into that church through secular power and presumptuously consecrated. Annulling Hugh’s election, Alexander sent the sub-deacon Alexis, papal legate, to inquire into John’s election. Alexis proceeded canonically and learned that this election was canonical. After many delays in which he deferred to the king, Alexius established that election by apostolic authority, commanding everyone associated with the church of St Andrews, on behalf of Alexander, to obey John as an elect. Out of fear of the king no one dared to obey openly, and Alexis put the diocese, not the kingdom as he could have done legally, under interdict. King William sought the counsel of both ecclesiastical and lay leaders and promised to abide by their advice. They replied unanimously that the should not contravene John’s consecration which was performed in the presence of the pope’s legate and four bishops, a fifth being ill but consenting in writing, but should permit him to occupy his see in peace. Alexander commands, under pain of forfeiting office and benefice, that within eight days of receiving this letter the addressees should restore John to his see, and should labour both to preserve ecclesiastical justice and to soothe the king. If the king objects, Alexander will hold as ratified and command to be obeyed the sentence which Bishop Hugh of Durham would promulgate against contumacious and rebellious men.
Summer 1180 X 30 August 1181
Alexis as papal legate × death of Pope Alexander III