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Title: Ecclesiastical property in the dioceses of York and Bath and Wells : a reassessment of Church and society
Author: Cummins, Daniel James
ISNI:       0000 0004 2716 8524
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2011
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This dissertation investigates the role and importance of ecclesiastical property between 1730 and 1800 in order to offer an original, broader conceptualization of the relationship between the Church of England and English society. It analyzes a mass of hitherto neglected material relating to impropriate rectories, glebe, tithes, advowsons, urban property and manors, all of which could be owned or leased by both clergy and laity. The results of this extensive analysis reveal that each type of property generated a different set of relationships, bringing together Church, clergy and laity both in rural and urban parishes. The diversity and complexity of these relationships demonstrate that it is not possible to conceptualize the Church's role without an understanding of the social and economic context of property ownership which shaped and supported that role. The management of ecclesiastical property was dictated by paradoxical perceptions of its status both as a public resource and a private source of income. This tension meant that relationships were not necessarily characterized by unity, yet there was room for modification rather than long-term fracture. Despite this adaptability, the decades after 1770 witnessed transformations in property relationships, brought about by the Church's response to the economic and political challenges posed to its rights and privileges during the American and French Wars. The dissertation investigates how property rights were secured and preserved by the professionalization of management practices, and the impact this process had on property connections and the relationship between the Church and society. The most significant consequence of the transformation of ecclesiastical property relationships was the reshaping of the Church reform agenda by 1800, from a restorative programme to proposals for structural reorganization.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available