A Church for Becket? The Canterbury dispute and the Canterbury letters 1184-1200

Barnaby, James (2018) A Church for Becket? The Canterbury dispute and the Canterbury letters 1184-1200. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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The elevation of Baldwin of Forde to the archbishopric of Canterbury in 1184, was a source of consternation for the Canterbury monks. A dispute ensued, concerning a plan of Baldwin’s to establish a collegiate chapel, in honour of St Thomas Becket, to provide benefices for the archbishop’s clerks. For fifteen years, the monks were at odds with Archbishops Baldwin and Hubert Walter, fighting a long legal battle to prevent the new foundation taking root. The dispute resulted in hundreds of letters being written by all the parties. The resulting letter collection was published by William Stubbs in the nineteenth century. However, lacking the sort of rich scriptural and patristic learning of the Becket correspondence, and indexed by Stubbs in such a way that names, places, and dates take precedence over ideas or ‘subjects’, these are letters that have many surprises and new discoveries still to disclose. This thesis is an attempt to disclose some of these secrets. A full history of the dispute has been constructed through a close reading of the letters in the collection, as well as connecting several extraneous letters to the dispute which has not been done before. The thesis also takes a close look at several important aspects of the dispute, including the role of Thomas Becket and diplomacy. Further, the thesis provides a biographical register of the participants and attempts to place the dispute into context by comparing it to several important church disputes of the twelfth century.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of History
Depositing User: Jennifer Whitaker
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2020 11:46
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2022 01:38
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/74322

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