Patronage priest and parish in the Archdeaconry of Huntingdon 1109-1547
The aim of the thesis is to trace the development of the parochial ministry in the archdeaconry of Huntingdon from 1109 to 1547 and to examine the effects on this ministry of patronage exercised by the crown, the laity, the monasteries; the clergy, the colleges and the pope. The Introduction describes the area of ministry,namely the archdeaconry and the different types of parish within it. This is followed by a discussion of the source materials used in this study. The thesis is divided into three main sections under the headings, 'Patronage and Patrons', 'The Clergy' and 'The Church and The Laity'. The section on 'Patronage and Patrons' examines the use and abuse of the patronage system. The appropriation of churches by the monastic houses and its effect on the parishes is examined in detail. Disputes which affected all forms of patronage are also considered. The section on 'The Clergy' deals with their life and work in the archdeaconry. The attempts made by the bishops to provide an educated clergy is examined in detail. The problems connected with absenteeism and pluralism and the effects on ministry are considered. The section on 'The Church and The Laity' relies very much on mid-fifteenth-century documents as little material is available for the earlier period. The section shows how much the laity were involved in the life of the Church, especially in their membership of fraternities and guilds. Wills which provide details of life during this later period are examined. A special section on the controversial subject of the response of both the clergy and the laity to the sixteenth century reforms follows. In the final chapter observations are made on the whole period and some conclusions are drawn on the work of the Church throughout four and a half centuries.