Aspects of the monastic patronage of the English and French royal houses 1130-1270
This study takes as its theme the relationship of the English and French kings and the religious orders, c.1130-1270, Patronage in general is a field relatively neglected in the rich literature on the monastic life, and royal patronage has never before been traced over a broad period for both France and England. The chief concern here is with royal favour shown towards the various orders of monks and friars, in the foundations and donations made by the kings. This is put in the context of monastic patronage set in a wider field, and of the charters and pensions which are part of its formal expression. The monastic foundations and the general pattern of royal donations to different orders are discussed in some detail in the core of the work; the material is divided roughly according to the reigns of the kings. Evidence from chronicles and the physical remains of buildings is drawn upon as well as collections of charters and royal financial documents. The personalities and attitudes of the monarchs towards the religious hierarchy, the way in which monastic patronage reflects their political interests, and the contrasts between English and French patterns of patronage are all analysed, and the development of the royal monastic mausoleum in Western Europe is discussed as a special case of monastic patronage. A comparison is attempted of royal and non-royal foundations based on a statistical analysis. The siting and architectural style of royal monasteries, the political implications of monastic patronage, and the extent to which royal patronage affected religious orders are also examined; finally there is a brief treatment of royal patronage after c.1270. Transcripts of imprinted charters and photographs of royal monasteries are included as pièces justificatives.