Regalian Right in Medieval England

Regalian Right in Medieval England

Regalian Right in Medieval England

Regalian Right in Medieval England

Excerpt

The first aim of this book was to attempt a systematic study based on unprinted public records of the exercise of regalian right in England in the thirteenth century, and this is still the core of the work. In the course of the Introduction I have explained how this investigation forced me to try to track the subject further back, into a period where the evidence was much more fragmentary. This research into beginnings accounts for the first part of the book, where I have tried to piece together the main outline of the development of regalian right from the Norman Conquest to the reign of King John. By the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the significance of regalian right has narrowed sharply, and centres almost entirely in the king's right of patronage sede vacante. I have attempted to cover the period when this change of emphasis takes place, in the early fourteenth century, and to examine its nature, but I have not followed the story beyond this turning point, when the evidence begins to produce returns of such diminishing interest. The pattern of historical development combined with availability of evidence makes the thirteenth century the natural focal point for a study of regalian right in medieval England.

This book is derived from a thesis which was approved in January 1955 for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the University of London. I wish to thank the governing bodies of Royal Holloway College and Westfield College for the award of research studentships which enabled me to prepare the thesis and the members of their History departments for unfailing help and kindness. I am glad to acknowledge the kindness of Mrs. Joan Varley and Miss Dorothy Williamson who facilitated access to unpublished documents connected with the bishopric of Lincoln: and the help given me by the officer of the Athlone Press in the preparation of the manuscript for the press. I should like to thank Miss Sylvia Overton for sub-

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