Malmesbury Abbey 670-1539: Patronage, Scholarship and Scandal (Hardcover)

Malmesbury Abbey 670-1539: Patronage, Scholarship and Scandal By Tony McAleavy Cover Image
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Malmesbury Abbey was an institution of national significance throughout the Middle Ages and this book is the first full-length study of its history. Drawing upon particularly rich surviving documentary sources, it describes the monastery's evolution from the late seventh century to the Dissolution in 1539. The place was home to two particularly eminent writers: Aldhelm and William of Malmesbury. The Abbey had many royal connections. It housed the mausoleum of thelstan, first king of all England, and was effectively re-founded by King Edgar as part of an elite network of Benedictine communities intended to offer prayers on behalf of the royal house of Wessex. Queen Matilda, wife of Henry I, took a close interest in the monastery's affairs. Henry Plantagenet was present when a massacre took place in the Abbey church in 1153. In the 1320s the monks became caught up in the conflict between Edward II and his baronial opponents. The Abbey was also important architecturally. The church was completely rebuilt at the behest of Bishop Roger of Salisbury, chief minister of Henry I, and the surviving south porch contains some of the finest Romanesque sculpture in England.

Previously neglected or unexamined sources are used extensively. The book reveals for the first time the identity of the Malmesbury monk who wrote the chronicle known as Eulogium Historiarum in the 1360s; his name was Thomas of Bromham and he envisaged a messianic role for the Black Prince. New light is shed on the extraordinary careers of abbots such as William of Colerne who transformed the Abbey's economic fortunes and John of Tintern who was accused of murder and arson. The turbulent final years of the Abbey's existence receive considerable attention, including an account of the spectacular breakdown in discipline in 1527 when Abbot Richard Camme was attacked by a gang of rebellious monks.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781783277148
ISBN-10: 1783277149
Publisher: Boydell Press
Publication Date: September 5th, 2023
Pages: 298
Language: English