Record Series - 160     

The Lost Cartulary of Bolton Priory

edited by Katrina J. Legg (2009)

Lost Cartulary of Bolton PrioryThe house of regular canons of the order of St Augustine, originally founded at Embsay in 1120-21, was refounded at Bolton within forty years. The new site, next to the river Wharfe, offered far better farming conditions, and by the early fourteenth century the estate was largely complete, lying mainly in the Craven area of West Yorkshire.

It was at this point that the "lost" cartulary was created - roughly contemporary with the Compotus (The Bolton Priory Compotus 1286-1325, Record Series volume 154). Both documents recorded essential administrative detail, vital for reference and information, and documenting legal claims on property.

The main evidence for the cartulary derives from two sources: the Coucher book, held at Chatsworth, which is a partial copy with some additional material; and an incomplete transcript made by Roger Dodsworth in the seventeenth century (Dodsworth MS 144). Also drawn on for this edition are other documents which shed light on the lost cartulary and on Bolton Priory; extra transcripts relating to the priory made by Roger Dodsworth, and numerous surviving original charters.

This book brings together the texts of the existing documents in a comprehensive and accessible form (reproduced in full in Latin and calendared in English), offering a tentative view of the contents of the missing cartulary. The introduction discusses the records the book presents, the Order of St Augustine and religious life at the priory, the fundation of the priory, and its connection with Huntingdon priory.

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