Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

The Register of John Kirkby, Bishop of Carlisle, 1332-1352, and the Register of John Ross, Bishop of Carlisle, 1325-1332

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

The Register of John Kirkby, Bishop of Carlisle, 1332-1352, and the Register of John Ross, Bishop of Carlisle, 1325-1332

Article excerpt

The Register of John Kirkby, Bishop of Carlisle, 1332-1352, and the Register of John Ross, Bishop of Carlisle, 1325-1332. Edited by R. L. Storey. 2 vols. [Canterbury and York Society, Vols. IX, LXXXI.] (Rochester, New York: The Boydell Press. 1993,1995. Pp. xvi, 176; $59.00; $53.00.)

The edition of any medieval bishop's register is a welcome contribution. The documents recorded therein not only tell-to the extent that the registrar was a diligent scribe-what the bishop did pastorally and administratively, but they also reveal numerous facets of medieval church and society in and beyond a particular diocese. These two volumes are all the more welcome to students of English church history because Carlisle has fewer extant medieval registers than most English dioceses and only one of these-John Halton's (12921324)-has been edited previously. Professor Storey's task was a formidable one: the first volume provides detailed summaries of 841 entries in the Kirkby register and the Ross fragment. Most of these are formulaic and represent the usual run of episcopal business: memoranda, correspondence, institutions to benefices, and ordinations. But the editor's English summaries contain all the essential information along with copious notes and internal cross-reference making them all the more valuable as historical information. Invariably, some of these entries are more interesting or historically significant than others. The editor thus devotes most of the second volume to the full transcription sixty-one entries in their original Latin or French. He includes important administrative records such as financial surveys of episcopal properties, correspondence with royal and ecclesiastical lords, and the business of the courts. …

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