Through the petitions which they addressed to the crown the people of medieval England speak to us directly: the human interest stories they reveal are perhaps the nearest thing to local newspapers which the middle ages have left us. Petitions were the subject's last resort when normal channels of law and government had failed, and offered kings the opportunity to exercise qualities of generosity, compassion, and sound judgment. However, despite their importance, they have not hitherto been recognized as a source for ecclesiastical history, a gap which this volume rectifies. A selection of over 200 cases shows the religious of medieval England taking full advantage of this mechanism, petitioning as landowners, neighbours, citizens, individuals, and religious orders. The subjects covered range from requests for tax rebates, and complaints about royal officials, to disputes with tenants, with townsmen, monastic rivals, and ecclesiastical superiors. National politics and international warfare are also represented, as are coastal erosion, and higher education. English summaries, explanatory notes and an extensive introduction enhance the reader's appreciation of this rich and remarkable resource.
Dr Gwilym Dodd is Lecturer in History at the University of Nottingham, where Dr Alison K. McHardy also taught until her retirement.
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer Ltd
Number of pages: 352
Weight: 604 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 20 mm