The Nobility and Ecclesiastical Patronage in Thirteenth-Century England

The Nobility and Ecclesiastical Patronage in Thirteenth-Century England

Elizabeth Gemmill


Boydell Press



A detailed examination of the patronage rights exerted over the church by the nobility, illuminating the complex network of relationships between them, the Church, and the clergy.
"While there has been work on the nobility as patrons of monasteries, this is the first real study of them as patrons of parish churches, and is thus the first study to tackle the subject as a whole. Illustrated with a wealth of detail, it will become an indispensable work of reference for those interested in lay patronage and the Church more generally in the middle ages." Professor David Carpenter, Department of History, King's College London

This book provides the first full-length, integrated study of the ecclesiastical patronage rights of the nobility in medieval England. It examines the nature and extent of these rights, how they were used, why and for whom they were valuable, what challenges lay patrons faced, and how they looked to the future in making gifts to the Church. It takes as its focus the thirteenth century, a critical period for the survival and development of these rights, being a time of ambitious Church reform, of great change in patterns of land ownership in the ranks of the higher nobility, and of bold assertion by the English Crown of its claims to control Church property. The thirteenth century also saw a proliferation of record keeping on the part of kings, bishops and nobility, and the author uses new evidence from a range of documentary sources to explore the nature of the relationships between the English nobility, the Church and its clergy, a relationship in which patronage was the essential feature.

Dr Elizabeth Gemmill is University Lecturer in Local History and Fellow of Kellogg College. University of Oxford.


April 2013
1 black and white illustrations
254 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Studies in the History of Medieval Religion
ISBN: 9781843838128
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Boydell Press
BISAC HIS037010, HIS015000, REL033000
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Table of Contents

Ecclesiastical Patronage Rights in the Thirteenth Century
The Exercise and Defence of Patronage Rights
Jobs for the Boys?
Acquisitive Inquisitive Kings
Speaking With One Voice
Looking to the Future
Appendix of Documents
Appendix of Magnate Presentations


(A) highly detailed and skillful work. CATHOLIC HISTORICAL REVIEW

Offers a serious contribution to church-state relations. JOURNAL OF CHURCH AND STATER
(An) impressive study. NORTHERN HISTORY

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