in History, Medieval and Early Modern England, Medieval Monasticism, Research

Monastic power and Cloister politics in Late Medieval England

I very excited to be presenting a paper at the 21st International Medieval Congress in Leeds England – July 7-10, 2014. Abstract is below. Let me know if you’ll be there!


Miniature from 15th century Calderini Pontifical.

Miniature from 15th century Calderini Pontifical.

While the sixth century, Regula Benedicti, required unquestioning obedience of monks  to their leaders, the reality of everyday monastic life during the late Middle Ages presents a more complex view. Evidence from late medieval England abounds with examples of internal monastic power struggles, organized revolts, and smear campaigns directed at abbots and abbesses to discredit them before the only people could order their removal – bishops. This paper analyses patterns of monastic promotion and demotion as recorded in a corpus of episcopal visitation records from fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Lincoln and Norwich between 1420-1530.

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