The Bigod Earls of Norfolk in the Thirteenth Century

The Bigod Earls of Norfolk in the Thirteenth Century

Marc Morris


Boydell Press



Study of one of the most influential aristocratic families of medieval England.
The Bigods were one of the most powerful and important families in thirteenth-century England. They are chiefly remembered for their dramatic interventions in high politics. Roger III Bigod (c. 1209-70) famously led the march on Westminster Hall in 1258 against Henry III, while Roger IV Bigod (1245-1306) confronted Edward I in 1297 in similar fashion.
This book is the first full-scale study of these two earls, and explores in depth the reasons that led each of them to take the extreme step of confronting his king. It is only in part, however, a political study. In seeking to understand the motives that lay behind their public actions, the book scrutinizes the earls' private affairs. It establishes for the first time the precise extent of their landed estate, the size of their incomes, and the membership and quality of their affinities. It also examines their relationships with friends and relatives, their building works, and even their personalities. Extensive use is made throughout of unpublished manuscript sources: in particular, the hundreds of ministers' accounts that have survived from the administration of Roger IV Bigod, and the charters given by both earls, which are calendared and translated in an appendix.


280 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Paperback, 9781783270095, March 2015
Hardback, 9781843831648, July 2005
Boydell Press
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Morris tells the stories of the Bigods' changing fortunes through detailed study of documents [and] the two earls really come to life when he quotes contemporary chroniclers. EASTERN DAILY PRESS

Engaging and tremendously informative. THE MEDIEVAL REVIEW
Admirably thorough and full of new things... a most useful addition to studies of the thirteenth-century English aristocracy. EHR
(A) careful and well-crafted treatment of the meteoric rise and fall of one of England's great baronial families of the thirteenth century. SPECULUM
This book is...without doubt important to our understanding of the thirteenth century on a number of levels. (It is) the product of extremely thorough and painstaking research and makes an illuminating and very important contribution to our understanding of thirteenth-century politics and government. REVIEWS IN HISTORY
Marc Morris has mastered the huge amount of documentary produce an eminently readable narrative. SUFFOLK INSTITUTE OF ARCHAEOLOGY & HISTORY NEWSLETTER
As always from Boydell, an excellent reference work for the scholar and interested reader alike. HISTORICAL NOVELS REVIEW

Author Bio

Dr Marc Morris is a medieval historian. His other books include The Norman Conquest and A Great and Terrible King: Edward I and the Forging of Britain