Origin and development of urban churches and parishes : a comparative study of Hereford, Shrewsbury and Chester
A discussion of the principal sources for the study of medieval urban churches, and the uses and limitations of those sources, is followed by a survey of a number of English towns which have been selected to provide a context for the detailed studies of the churches of Hereford, Shrewsbury and Chester which are the core of this dissertation. The survey summarises the present state of knowledge of the ecclesiastical history of each town, with particular attention to recent advances, and is also intended to introduce the problems and the avenues of inquiry subsequently pursued. For each of the towns of Hereford, Shrewsbury and Chester, accounts of the evidence for the history of individual ecclesiastical institutions are followed by detailed inquiry into their exercise of parochial rights and discussion of the development of the parish boundaries. The early political and economic history, and the topography, of each town are also considered in some depth to enable the fullest possible discussion of the history of the churches and parishes. Finally, aspects of the ecclesiastical history of the three towns are compared.