Published by Primary Source Microfilm
"Scholars have naturally long been aware of the importance of monastic and secular cartularies as sources for the history of medieval society. Now medievalists here and abroad will be able to make full and immediate use of these invaluable records in this convenient microform edition."
-- Dr. David Smith, University of York
Cartularies are registers of muniments--the title deeds, charters of privilege and other documents kept by medieval landowners as evidence of their rights. The first cartularies date from the first half of the 11th century when religious houses compiled them, but by the13th century secular landowners had also started to produce them. Most of the cartularies were produced in the 14th century, although the practice continued well into the 16th century. An indispensable source of information for the medievalist, cartularies offer unique insights into the social, legal and economic structure of Britain in the Middle Ages.
By far the most significant of all cartulary holdings is that of the British Library, which possesses about half of all cartularies in public ownership. This unsurpassed collection allows scholars to compare different regions and assess the power of monasteries and other ecclesiastical landowners in the period before the Reformation. It provides a detailed picture of the accumulation of lands and growth of influence by the great noble families as well as the increasingly significant role of the country gentry in the early modern period. Cartularies also form the main body of evidence for the history of the earlier medieval peasantry.
Part One: Arundel-Cotton Nero
Part Two: Cotton Otho-Cotton Roll
Part Three: Egerton-Lansdowne
Part Four: Royal-Add. Roll
Complete Collection: 70 reels