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Title: Record-keeping at Fountains Abbey and the management of Malham in Craven
Author: Spence, Michael John
ISNI:       0000 0004 6351 9360
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2014
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This study investigates three manuscripts of Fountains Abbey, all connected with the vast agricultural activities of the house. It is argued that each manuscript fulfilled a specific role in the management of the landed estate, as elements in a chain of information—gathering which underpinned the monastery's ability to conduct coherent decision-making over the four centuries of its existence. Analysis is set within the context of monastic record-keeping, and addresses a less-researched period of the history of Fountains Abbey, the long fourteenth century. An integrated analytical technique is applied to each manuscript, in which details of format and composition are first examined individually and then compositely; subsequently the results for each manuscript are compared. To provide a focus for comparison, the estate of Malham in Craven is selected, which may stand as proxy for similar estates; the combined information from the three manuscripts reveals how the abbey assembled and subsequently reshaped its operations in Malham, and how it exercised control through the manorial and byrlaw courts. The manuscript analysis reveals the use of an extensive system of cross-referencing to other documents, from which at least two additional cartularies, previously unknown, are identified. No firm conclusion can be drawn on the origin and purpose of the manuscripts, but circumstantial evidence points to some association with the abbatial election dispute of 1410 to 1416.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available