Bury St Edmunds and the Norman Conquest

August 2014
17 black and white, 16 line illustrations
280 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
ISBN: 9781843839316
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Boydell Press
BISAC HIS037010, HIS015000, REL108020

Bury St Edmunds and the Norman Conquest

Edited by Tom Licence

Responses to the impact of the Norman Conquest examined through the wealth of evidence provided by the important abbey of Bury St Edmunds.
"Bury St Edmunds is noteworthy in so many ways: in preserving the cult and memory of the last East Anglian king, in the richness of its archives, and not least in its role as a mediator of medical texts and studies. All these aspects, and more, are amply illustrated in this collection, by specialists in their fields. The balance of the whole work, and the care taken to place the individual topics in context, has resulted in a satisfying whole, which places Abbot Baldwin and his abbey squarely in the forefront of eleventh-century politics and society." Professor Ann Williams.

The abbey of Bury St Edmunds, by 1100, was an international centre of learning, outstanding for its culting of St Edmund, England's patron saint, who was known through France and Italy as a miracle worker principally, but also as a survivor, who had resisted the Vikings and the invading king Swein and gained strength after 1066. Here we journey into the concerns of his community as it negotiated survival in the Anglo-Norman empire, examining, on the one hand, the roles of leading monks, such as the French physician-abbot Baldwin, and, on the other, the part played by ordinary women of the vill. The abbey of Bury provides an exceptionally rich archive, including annals, historical texts, wills, charters, and medical recipes. The chapters in this volume, written by leading experts, present differing perspectives on Bury's responses to conquest; reflecting the interests of the monks, they cover literature, music, medicine, palaeography, and the history of the region in its European context.

Dr Tom Licence is Senior Lecturer in Medieval History and Director of the Centre of East Anglian Studies at the University of East Anglia.

Contributors: Debbie Banham, David Bates, Eric Fernie, Sarah Foot, Michael Gullick, Tom Licence, Henry Parkes, Véronique Thouroude, Elizabeth van Houts, Thomas Waldman, Teresa Webber

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Table of Contents

The Abbey and the Norman Conquest: an Unusual Case? - David Bates
Charters and Influences from Saint-Denis c. 1000 - 1070 - Thomas Waldman
The Abbey's Armoury of Charters - Sarah Foot
The Women of Bury St Edmunds - Elisabeth Van Houts
Baldwin's Church and the Effects of the Conquest -
New Light on the Life and Work of Herman the Archdeacon - Tom Licence
The Cult of St Edmund - Tom Licence
St Edmund between Liturgy and Hagiography - Henry Parkes
Books and their Use across the Conquest - Teresa Webber
An Eleventh-Century Bury Medical Manuscript - Michael Gullick
Medicine at Bury in the Time of Abbot Baldwin - Debby Banham
Medicine after Baldwin: the Evidence of BL, Royal 12.C.xxiv - Véronique Thouroude


This volume is welcome addition to the discussion surrounding the impact of the Norman Conquest and the historiography of English saints, as well as an authoritative account of the response of one abbey to the events of 1066 and the development of St Edmund's cult. PROCEEDINGS OF THE SUFFOLK INSTITUTE OF ARCHAEOLOGY AND HISTORY

An important collection of essays that anyone interested in the history and culture of England in the eleventh and twelfth centuries should read. SPECULUM

As a whole, Bury St. Edmunds and the Norman Conquest, is an essential text for historians researching the history of the abbey or utilizing its collection of manuscripts. It is also useful for those concerned with connections between England and Continental Europe and to those interested in assessing the impact of the Norman Conquest. COMITATUS

These essays together demonstrate the Bury monks' response to conquest and change, as well as the place of the abbey and its abbots in England and the wider world in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. CATHOLIC HISTORICAL REVIEW

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