Poll-tax records indicate the surprisingly large number of clergy in late-medieval England and suggest the need for a reassessment of the church at that time.The clergy of England, like the laity, were subjected to a series of poll-taxes within a short space of time. This volume prints the surviving assessments made of the clergy of the diocese of Lincoln in the years 1377, 1379 and 1381. Most of the material relates to the old county of Lincoln (now Lincolnshire and South Humberside) but there are also surveys of Leicestershire, Rutland, most of Bedfordshire, and parts of Huntingdonshire and Hertfordshire. These poll-tax asessments represent what was virtually a census of the clerical population whose members were listed parish by parish. The documents show us not only that the number of clergy was very great, but that most were without benefices, and that they tended to gather in areas of high prosperity. Publication of this material offers the opportunity to make a reassessment of the clergy and, hence, church of late medieval England.
Dr A.K. McHARDY is lecturer in history at the University of Nottingham and has edited The Church in London 1375-1392 for the London Record Society.
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`Of considerable interest for historians of medieval Lincolnshire, which is at the same time of importance for historians of late medieval English church generally - these amount effectively to a census of the clereical population in the late fourteenth century.' LINCS HISTORY & ARCHAEOLOGY`Edition of great importance for students of secular and monastic history of the period, for settlement historians and for consideration of the development of personal names will continue to be a mine of useful information for a very long time.' HISTORY