Charters of St Bartholomew's Priory, Sudbury
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Publisher: Boydell & Brewer Ltd
Number of Pages: 128
Width: 15.6 cm
Height: 23.4 cm
The Benedictine priory of St Bartholomew outside Sudbury was a cell of Westminster Abbey founded in the reign of Henry I by Wulfric the moneyer. Although a small and poorly-endowed establishment, it has nevertheless, and unusually, left over 130 original documents in the muniments at Westminster, enabling this volume in the Suffolk Charters series to be the first to be devoted to a group of original documents rather than medieval transcriptions. Dating mostly from the thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries, the collection illustrates the lower levels of local society and the government of the town, providing a wealth of evidence for trades and occupations, place names and personal names in the Sudbury area, including the earliest known reeves and mayors of Sudbury. Of particular interest are a late-fourteenth century inventory of the priory which brings alive the physical surroundings of the monks, and the quantities of seals attached to the charters, including an unusual number of women's seals. RICHARD MORTIMERhas been Keeper of the Muniments, Westminster Abbey, since 1986; he has edited four previous volumes in the Suffolk Charters series.