Biographical Register of the English Cathedral Priories of the Province of Canterbury, c. 1066-1540

By Joan Greatrex | Go to book overview

GENERAL INTRODUCTION
This volume had its origin many years ago on record cards filed in shoe boxes. These were intended to serve as primary source material for a comparative study of the monastic cathedral chapters, a project that remains unfinished but will now move to first place on my agenda.1 The decision to give this register priority over the comparative study was prompted by a request from the British Academy which, in generously providing funds, pointed out that as a valuable reference work it should be completed as soon as possible.It need hardly be stated that these pages will make available to medieval scholars a wide range of data that are not exclusively confined to monastic or ecclesiastical history, despite the fact that the subjects are all black monks. Information on matters as diverse as illness and life expectancy, intellectual pursuits and university study, financial administration, business and social connections, political influence and, conversely, the impact of governmental pressures on religious houses, all have a place. Moreover, given the nature of the evidence, it will be understood that in almost every entry the details provided may be regarded as prosopographical rather than biographical; however, case studies of some five thousand monks, all members of communities subject to the same Benedictine Rule, permit us to fill in many of the gaps in the life of the individual monk. In so doing, we are able to fill in many details of the typical monk's daily routine and activities both within the cloister and in the world outside; for he was to be found not only in choir and chapter house but also in themarket place purchasing provisions and on the manors supervising the labour force and inspecting crops and stock. We should also hope to be made more aware of the obligations and responsibilities that formed the basis of community life within the cloister.The entries have been arranged alphabetically within each of the eight sections ( Bath, Canterbury, Coventry, Ely, Norwich, Rochester, Winchester,and Worcester). Moreover, each section is preceded by a list of References with abbreviations followed by a short introductory essay; the purpose of this last is to explain the general historical background to the entries, with more particular details of some events in order to elucidate the surrounding circumstances, and with references to the primary and printed sources consulted accompanied by a brief commentary on their interpretation and use. There is also a general bibliography of references that occur frequently throughout the Register; it is to be found on p. xv-xix.For each entry the biographical details are arranged according to the following schema, with a space to indicate the transition from one section to the next: for a prior:
dates of appointment or election and of death or resignation; for all the monks:
dates of admission, profession, and ordination;
____________________
1
It is envisaged that the comparative study will appear in two separate volumes; the first focusing mainly on the 14th c., and the second on the 15th and early 16th cs. The earlier of these will be mine while the later volume will be undertaken by Professor R. B. Dobson.

-xxi-

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Biographical Register of the English Cathedral Priories of the Province of Canterbury, c. 1066-1540
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgements vii
  • Contents xi
  • Abbreviations of Words and Phrases xiii
  • General Bibliography of Works Cited with Abbreviations xv
  • Schema for the References in Each Section xx
  • General Introduction xxi
  • Bath Cathedral Priory 1
  • Canterbury Cathedral Priory 50
  • Coventry Cathedral Priory 336
  • Ely Cathedral Priory 377
  • Norwich Cathedral Priory 466
  • Rochester Cathedral Priory 577
  • Winchester Cathedral Priory 651
  • Worcester Cathedral Priory 754
  • Appendix - Archbishops, Bishops, and Priors in Chronological Order 902
  • Index of Names 911
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