Testamentary Records of the English and Welsh Episcopate, 1200-1413

Testamentary Records of the English and Welsh Episcopate, 1200-1413

Wills, Executors' Accounts and Inventories, and the Probate Process

Edited by C. M. Woolgar


Canterbury & York Society



Edition of episcopal wills and related documents from the middle ages, revealing much about ecclesiastical life at the time.
Between 1200 and 1413, 285 individuals held sees in England and Wales. Many of them made wills, appointed executors who administered their estates, prepared inventories and rendered accounts of their administrations. This volume edits all the unpublished probate material and provides a comprehensive overview of the surviving records. These deeply personal documents allow comparisons to be made across the late medieval episcopate. They demonstrate common patterns in terms of goods, styles of living and customary practices, as well as the power of devotion, intellectual interests and relationships between bishop and chapter. At the same time, they illuminate the devices that were employed to keep ecclesiastical property out of the hands of the Crown, and how to manage the business of church, diocese and family from beyond the grave.
The documents are presented here with full introduction and explanatory notes.

C.M. Woolgar is Professor of History and Archival Studies at the University of Southampton and Head of Special Collections in the University Library.


September 2011
418 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Canterbury & York Society
ISBN: 9780907239741
Format: Hardback
Canterbury & York Society
BISAC HIS037010, REL108020, LAW060000
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Table of Contents

Catalogue of probate documentation
Word List and Glossary


Will be welcomed by medievalists. . The volume is as comprehensive in the publication of texts as it is in the detailed introductory material and thorough indices. . When consulting the volume, the reader feels confident that they are being guided by an historian who has truly mastered this vast corpus of sources. (It) is a superb entry into the Canterbury and York Society's series. ARCHIVES, XXXVIII, no. 26, 2013

This is an important and useful volume in a number of ways. It makes available editions of texts which deserve wide use, provides an introduction which gives a rich context for reading them, and gives an overview of a range of documentation. (...) It should be of great value in work on medieval bishops and on elite households in general. JOURNAL OF ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY

A comprehensive and elegant work that is genuinely fascinating to read. (An) immensely valuable work. SOUTHERN HISTORY

This is an excellent work which certainly achieves its aims of editing all the unpublished probate material and providing a comprehensive overview of the surviving records. THE MEDIEVAL REVIEW

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