Some aspects of the history of Barnwell Priory : 1092-1300

Harmon, Jacqueline (2016) Some aspects of the history of Barnwell Priory : 1092-1300. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

[thumbnail of Thesis_Final.pdf]
Download (7MB) | Preview


The Augustinians in England have been described as both ‘under-researched’ and as a ‘neglected’ order, often passed over in favour of other groups such as the Benedictines or the Cistercians. Recently, scholars have moved to address this lacuna, bringing into play new information and insights. In these terms, the history of Barnwell Priory on the outskirts of medieval Cambridge, once a large Augustinian house, has been touched since John Willis Clark edited its cartulary (or Liber Memorandorum) in 1907. Any attempt at a history of the priory, in whatever form, must of necessity begin with Clark's edition of this manuscript (BL ms. Harley 3601). Here copies of official documents jostle with the personal opinion and prejudices of the manuscript's author.
For the present thesis, the manuscript has been allowed to set chronological parameters, from the foundation to the manuscript's composition c.1294. The present thesis for the first time brings together a selection of the surviving early source materials not included in the Memorandum Book. Elsewhere, it adopts a thematic approach, dealing in turn with the existing historiography, with the Book and its author, with the Priory's founders (Pictor the Sheriff, and Pain Peverel), with the broader context of Augustinian evolution, in Britain and Europe, and with Barnwell's dealings with kings or the impact of national upon local affairs. This study seeks to discover how much interaction took place between Barnwell and a series of interlocking communities, questioning significant this was to both parties. This is considered in terms of reciprocity: the provision of education, for example, or availability of food and accommodation to travellers, both religious and secular. That this relationship was not always mutually beneficial is unsurprising, and the Barnwell Liber contains many examples of litigation. The founders, and the date of the foundation retain many of their mysteries, and cannot be considered definitively to have been established. What I hope I have proved here is that the foundation was by no means the simple or linear process described in the Liber. In an Appendix , I have gathered together roughly 30 texts, almost all of them previously unpublished, that affect our understanding of the priory in its first two centuries.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of History
Depositing User: Jackie Webb
Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2018 11:13
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2018 11:13


Downloads per month over past year

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item