The Baronial Opposition to Edward II: Its Character and Policy; A Study in Administrative History

The Baronial Opposition to Edward II: Its Character and Policy; A Study in Administrative History

The Baronial Opposition to Edward II: Its Character and Policy; A Study in Administrative History

The Baronial Opposition to Edward II: Its Character and Policy; A Study in Administrative History

Excerpt

The baronial opposition to Edward II was more than an opportunist outburst of oligarchical tendencies, though the circumstances of the time were suitable for an opposition of such a nature. It was more than a reaction from the policy of Edward I. Its basis was not personal. It was a conflict of principles, contradictory and irreconcilable. On one side stood the royal, on the other the baronial. The principles which moved the royal policy found their expression in the administration.

It was against the royal system of administration that the barons stood in the reign of Edward II. A consideration of the features of that system of administration is therefore of the utmost importance in determining the character and policy of the baronial opposition. A study of the administration as controlled by the household is important for two chief reasons. It gives the objective of the baronial attack. It explains the strength of the king's position. and therefore supplies the reason for the failure of the barons.

The second part of the thesis is concerned with the various attacks of the barons upon the royal position. The methods employed were not new. There were precedents upon which the barons proceeded. But the methods were directed by the nature and capabilities of the administrative system which they sought to destroy or capture.

In the circumstances, therefore, it was inevitable that the bulk of the material upon which the thesis is based should be administrative records of the chancery and exchequer. The K. R. and L. T. R. Memoranda Rolls of the Exchequer have been little used since the time of Madox. The extent to which the present thesis is built upon material supplied by these is apparent from the frequency of the references. The value of the material obtained, especially of the writs of privy seal addressed to the treasurer and barons, and entered on the memoranda rolls, is great and has provided new light upon points of administrative interest as well as upon problems connected with the present subject. King's Remembrancer Accounts, Miscellanea, Writs and Bills have also supplied useful material. The Issue Rolls for the reign have been searched and have supplied information concerning both the "curialists" and the administrative officers.

Of the chancery records, the files of Chancery Warrants have been . . .

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