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Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 November 2011

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Copyright © Royal Historical Society 2011

The late Professor George Potter, former Head of the Department of Medieval and Modern History at the University of Sheffield, transcribed the Cartulary of Beauchief Abbey with a view to publication, but unfortunately his transcripts are lost. The publication project was revived by Professor David Luscombe, of the same department (by then the Department of History), with the aid of a grant from the University of Sheffield, and most of the first seventy-four folios were carefully transcribed by Dr David Postles during his time as Archivist at Sheffield Archives and before he took up a new appointment at the University of Leicester. Meanwhile, Colin Merrony, of the Department of Archaeology at the University of Sheffield, and his students had shown by excavation and fieldwork that the physical remains of the abbey and its surrounding estate were more extensive than had been believed. Tony Smith's research into the Fairbank collection at Sheffield Archives had led to similar conclusions, and Patricia Wheeler had collected most of the available documentary evidence in her 1996 dissertation for the Certificate in Archaeology of the Division of Adult Continuing Education at the University of Sheffield. A grant made by the Humanities Research Board of the British Academy to Professor David Hey of the same Department made possible the appointment of Lisa Howarth (now Lisa Liddy), who had recently completed the MA course in Medieval Studies at the University of York, to complete the transcriptions and to provide the headnotes to the charters. Later, her computer expertise was invaluable in completing the final version of the text for publication. Professor David Smith of the Borthwick Institute at the University of York (which, by happy chance, had a microfilm of the Cartulary) gave valuable assistance and encouraged the project throughout. The late Madeleine Blaess of the Department of French in the University of Sheffield kindly helped with the sections that were written in Norman French. Dr Charles Fonge, of the University of York and of the Modern Records Centre in the University of Warwick Library, very kindly provided transcriptions of relevant charters found in the Leake family Cartulary. We later received much valuable assistance with the Derbyshire charters from Philip Riden, the Derbyshire County Editor of the Victoria County History, and we have very gratefully followed and incorporated many of the knowledgeable suggestions he has made. Not least by any means, we also warmly thank the very helpful staff in the Sheffield Archives and Local Studies Library, in the Derbyshire Record Office at Matlock, in the British Library, and – especially – in the Library of the University of Sheffield, as well as Paul Coles in the University's Department of Geography for drawing the maps. Finally, we are very grateful to Dr Hester Higton for the thoroughness of her work as copy-editor and for the numerous helpful suggestions she has made.