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Nobility and Kingship in Medieval England
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    King, Andy 2014. The English Gentry and Military Service, 1300-1450. History Compass, Vol. 12, Issue. 10, p. 759.

    2017. Medieval Britain, c.1000–1500. p. 283.

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Book description

Nobility and Kingship in Medieval England is a major new account of the relationship between Edward I and his earls, and of the role of the English nobility in thirteenth-century governance. Re-evaluating crown-noble relations of the period, Spencer challenges traditional interpretations of Edward's reign, showing that his reputed masterfulness has been overplayed and that his kingship was far subtler, and therefore more effective, than this stereotype would suggest. Drawing from key earldoms such as Lincoln, Lancaster, Cornwall and Warenne, the book reveals how nobles created local followings and exercised power at a local level as well as surveying the political, governmental, social and military lives of the earls, prompting us to rethink our perception of their position in thirteenth-century politics. Adopting a powerful revisionist perspective, Spencer presents a major new statement about thirteenth-century England; one which will transform our understanding of politics and kingship in the period.


'Andrew M. Spencer’s Nobility and Kingship in Medieval England provides a new and enterprising view of an old subject by arguing, contra almost everyone, that most of Edward’s earls were loyalists during the great crises of his reign and that their local power was more dependent on the defence and extension of jurisdictional rights than on their use of retainers to control the shires.'

John Maddicott Source: 'Books of the Year', History Today

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Manuscript sources

Manuscript sources

Kansas City, Kenneth Spencer Research Library

  • University of Kansas, MS 191

London, The British Library

  • MS Additional 43972

  • MS Cotton Claudius A xiii

  • MS Harley 1240

  • MS Harley 2074

  • MS Lansdowne 229

  • MS Stowe 666

London, The National Archives

  • C 49 – Chancery, King’s Remembrancer

  • C 67 – Chancery, Additional Patent Rolls

  • C 53 – Chancery, Charter Rolls

  • C 153 – Chancery, Vetus Codex

  • DL 25 – Duchy of Lancaster Deeds, Series L

  • DL 27 – Duchy of Lancaster Deeds, Series LS

  • DL 36 – Duchy of Lancaster, Cartae Miscellaneae

  • DL 41 – Duchy of Lancaster, Miscellanea

  • DL 42 – Duchy of Lancaster, Great Cowcher Book

  • E 36 – Exchequer, Treasury of Receipt, Miscellaneous Books

  • E 101 – Exchequer, King’s Remembrancer, Accounts Various

  • E 159 – Exchequer, King’s Remembrancer, Memoranda Rolls

  • E 162 – Exchequer, King’s Remembrancer, Minutes of Decrees

  • E 163 – Exchequer, King’s Remembrancer, Miscellanea

  • E 210 – Exchequer, King’s Remembrancer, Ancient Deeds, Series D

  • E 327 – Exchequer, Augmentation Office, Ancient Deeds, Series BX

  • E 372 – Exchequer, Pipe Rolls

  • JUST 1 – Eyre Rolls

  • KB 27 – Court of King’s Bench, Coram Rege Rolls

  • KB 29 – Court of King’s Bench, Controlment Rolls

  • LR 14 – Land Revenue, Ancient Deeds, Series E

  • SC 1 – Special Collections, Ancient Correspondence

  • SC 6 – Special Collections, Ministers’ and Receivers’ Accounts

  • SC 8 – Special Collections, Ancient Petitions

London, University of London Library

  • Fuller Collection, MS 13/8

Oxford, Merton College Archives

  • Muniments no. 415

  • Muniments no. 435

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