Professor Patterson’s edition includes all the surviving original acta from a major monastic community during the most important period of its growth. The acta, numbering nearly 400, relate to the possessions, lying in the borough of Gloucester, in the county, and elsewhere, of the abbey and its dependencies. They reveal much information about the ecclesiastical, typographical, tenurial, economic, and social history of Gloucester and its region.
The documents, well over half of which have never before been printed, and are drawn from a wide range of repositories. Many of them are from the library of Gloucester Cathedral: after the dissolution of the monasteries Henry V111 established the cathedral in the former abbey church and gave some of the abbey’s estates to his new foundation. A large group is from the library of Hereford Cathedral, and some from the Gloucestershire Record Office. Others have been found far afield, being in the Public Record Office and the British Library in London, the National of Library of Wales in Aberystwyth, Rochester upon Medway Studies Centre, the Shropshire Record Office, and the West Sussex Record Office.
Transcripts of the documents, with full editorial support, are supplemented by illustrations. As with his magisterial edition of the Earldom of Gloucester Charters, Professor Patterson also provides an analysis of the scribes’ hands and of the secretarial organisation which produced the documents. His edition will be of particular importance to students of monastic history and of medieval palaeography and diplomatic.
Cover illustration: Lease by Abbot Henry and the convent of St Peter’s, Gloucester, of land on Castle Street, Gloucester, to William Lorimer (1205 x 24). Gloucester Cathedral Library, ‘Deeds and Seals’ vii, no. 9, fol. 5. (See text, no. 121 and Plate XVI.)