This list relates to the semester Semester Two 2019-2020 which ended on 31/05/2020
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  1. General information 0 items
  2. 1. Chronicles 5 items
    How useful are chronicles as historical sources? Try to consider them in the context of other kinds of historical material - what is their strength?
    1. Documents 3 items
      1. Annales Londoniensis, pp. 157-61, 167-72, 198-202 - use translation

        Chapter Further reading This is one of the translated documents: you do not need to look at the library copy - which is in Latin without translation; use the translation listed in Blackboard under 'content': 'documents - chronicles'

      2. The Brut, ed. F.W.D. Brie (Early English Text Society, 1906, 1908)

        Chapter Further reading The text is available on-line at

    2. Secondary sources 2 items
  3. 2. Governmental Records - the writing offices 6 items
    Tout was one of the first historians to make valuable inroads into the records of the English Crown. This week we are looking at the records of one of the two great governmental offices of the high and late middle ages: Chancery. What sort of things can these records tell us and what are the pitfalls? Look through the Calendar of Patent Rolls for the years 1307-1313 with these questions in mind and produce some examples of entries which shed light on events in the early years of the reign.
    1. Documents 1 item
      1. Calendar of Patent Rolls, 1307-13

        Chapter Essential for which see or at

    2. Secondary sources 5 items
      1. The place of the reign of Edward II in English history - T. F. Tout, Hilda Johnstone 1936

        Book Further reading

      2. England, 1200-1640 - G. R. Elton 2008


  4. 3. Governmental records II: Finance, Exchequer and quantitative sources 7 items
    Having considered the records of Chancery in the last seminar, we need to briefly consider the sources generated by the Exchequer in this seminar. Above all, we are interested here in the records of taxation, especially lay subsidy returns and assessments. More generally, this also allows us to consider the use and value of quantitative sources for the study of this period; do they best suit the study of social and economic history or can they also illumine the work of political historians?
    1. Documents 4 items
      1. Calendar of the close rolls, 1307-1313, p. 380 (new custom) - Great Britain. Public Record Office 1892-1898

        Book Further reading

      2. A history of agriculture and prices in England from the year after the Oxford Parliament (1259) to the commencement of the Continental War (1793) - James E. Thorold Rogers 1866-1902

        Book  Volumes 1 and 2 contain material relevant to the reign. See especially, volume 1, pp. 230, 253.

    2. Secondary sources 3 items
  5. 4. Parliament and its sources in the early fourteenth century 13 items
    What does ‘Parliament’ mean in this period; is it still a fluid institution and what light can surviving sources shed upon it? The rise of the commons is important here. (In addition to the specific works listed below, you will probably need to look, in the first place, at some general discussion of the development of parliament; for example Prestwich,Three Edwards, c. 4, and bibliography.)
    1. Documents 5 items
      1. The parliament rolls of medieval England, 1272-1504 - Chris Given-Wilson (electronic resource)

        Book Essential

      2. Extract

        Chapter  Eng. Hist. Doc., n. 100, p. 536 - the New Ordinances of 1311, cl. 29

      3. A Rochester Account concerning disputes, 1321

        Chapter Essential (this is the Historia Roffensis, as described and used by Maddicott, Thomas of Lancaster, pp. 280ff.);

    2. Secondary sources 8 items
      1. The English Parliament in the Middle Ages - R. G. Davies, Jeffrey H. Denton 1981


      2. Chapter 9

        Chapter Further reading

      3. The origins of the English Parliament, 924-1327 - John Robert Maddicott 2010

        Book Essential See especially chapter 6.

  6. 5. Local records and the reign of Edward II 7 items
    This seminar aims to consider the use to which locally generated sources (e.g. private series of accounts, local courts etc.) can be put in considering the political developments of the reign. Most importantly, can we discover anything about the impact at the local level of high level politics? The seminar will include a short talk on the use of the Dyffryn Clwyd court rolls as a source for the period.
    1. Documents 4 items
    2. Secondary sources 3 items
      1. Peasant and community in Medieval England, 1200-1500 - Phillipp R. Schofield 2003


      2. The theory and practice of revolt in medieval England - Claire Valente 2003

        Book Further reading See chapter 6 on Edward II and especially from p. 144 on status and wealth of participants in the civil war of 1321-22.

  7. 6. Private legal records: Charters and Indentures 5 items
    Charters drawn up between individuals provide important insights into political allegiances and the fluid structures of political society. This class aims to consider the use which contemporaries made of documents as well as the ways in which historians use documents to construct historical arguments. The Sherburn Indenture and its related material has been the subject of some debate about the nature of the opposition ot the Despensers and to the tactics of that opposition, notably in their employment of the famous 'declaration of 1308'. We will spend a good proportion of this class considering the indenture and its associated documents.
    1. Documents 3 items
      In addition to the examples below, and in particular the Sherburn indenture, we will explore other contracts relevant to the politics of the reign, including grants and indentures; please bring examples of your own to the seminar.
    2. Secondary sources 2 items
      1. Chapter 8 (ii)

        Chapter Further reading

  8. 7. Literary sources 5 items
    To what extent can literary sources provide evidence of popular attitudes? How do poems and songs about the period differ from chronicles in their message, origin and audience? Are they often too partial to be trusted?
    1. Documents 2 items
    2. Secondary sources 3 items
      1. English historical literature in the fourteenth century - John Taylor 1987

        Book Further reading chapter 12

      2. C. Page, 'The rhymed office for St Thomas of Lancaster: Poetry, politics and liturgy in fourteenth century England', Leeds Studies in English, xiv (1983) - University of Leeds. School of English 1983

        Journal Further reading The full text of this paper is available at

  9. 8. Art and Architecture 9 items
    Here we change emphasis, moving from written records to the physical record of art and of buildings. From the marginalia of charters, through seals, wall-paintings and sculpture, to the developing church and cathedral architecture of the period, there are political messages to be read and historical arguments to be made. Returning also to the theme of popular perceptions and the impact of high politics at the local level, this class will consider the cults which arose around Thomas of Lancaster and Edward II, subsequent to their deaths; it is intended that this will permit some discussion of art (wall-paintings etc) in addition to the literary material (chronicles, poems etc.). In addition, the seminar will lead into the final seminar, a double-weighted seminar, which will involve a day-trip to Gloucester Cathedral to visit the tomb and resting place of Edward II as well to take in associated sites, including Berkeley Castle and Caerphilly castle.
    1. Documents 4 items
      1. Extract

        Chapter  see especially, pp. 112-15.

      2. Extract

        Chapter Essential p. 135 for reference to Thomas of Lancaster and peasant awareness, including pilgimage

    2. Secondary sources 5 items
      1. Edward II: his last months and his monument - Jill Barlow, Richard Bryant, Carolyn M. Heighway, Chris Jeens 2015

        Book Essential

      2. The cult of “St” Thomas of Lancaster and its iconography - Yorkshire Archaeological Society, J Edwards 1992

        Article Essential

      3. Royal tombs of medieval England - Mark Duffy 2011 (electronic resource)

        Book Further reading

  10. 9 and 10 - Gloucester Cathedral, Berkeley and Caerphilly 0 items
    1. Documents 0 items
    2. Secondary sources 0 items
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