By Antonia Gransden
St Edmund's Abbey was once some of the most hugely privileged and wealthiest non secular homes in medieval England, one heavily concerned with the principal govt; its background is a vital part of English background. This booklet (the first of 2 volumes) deals a magisterial and complete account of the Abbey throughout the 13th century, established totally on proof within the abbey's documents (over forty registers survive). The careers of the abbots, starting with the nice Samson, give you the chronological constitution; separate chapters research a variety of facets in their rule, equivalent to their family members with the convent, the abbey's inner and exterior management and its relatives with its tenants and neighbours, with the king and the principal govt. Chapters also are dedicated to the clergymen' spiritual, cultural and highbrow lifestyles, to their writings, publication assortment and records. Appendices concentrate on the mid-thirteenth century debts which provide a distinct and distinct photograph of the agency and economic system of St Edmunds' estates in West Suffolk, and at the abbey's watermills and windmills.
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Additional resources for A History of the Abbey of Bury St Edmunds, 1182-1256: Samson of Tottington to Edmund of Walpole
Judging from his chronicle Jocelin was a pious and a good man. He obviously had a deep veneration for the abbey’s patron saint, St Edmund. 12 He describes in moving terms the monks’ initial despair and their joy that St Edmund’s body and even his cup survived intact. He also describes the grief of those monks whom Samson excluded from the viewing of the body and the community’s tearfulness as it sang the ‘Te Deum’ after the body’s translation. Jocelin’s personal goodness, his warm heartedness, humility and wisdom appear in a number of passages.
Cf. below p. 11. JB, p. 129. Kalendar, ed. Davis, p. 90 no. 26. Cf. JB, ed. Rokewode, p. vi; Memorials, i. lix; JB, p. xiii; Thomson, ‘Obedientiaries’, p. 99. For whom see Thomson in Electio, p. 185 and index under ‘Jocelin, almoner of St Edmunds’. This is quite possible: it certainly reads like one. Moreover, the description of Jocelin the almoner would fit Jocelin of Brackland nicely. 10 In its present form the chronicle was composed in 1202 or 1203. Jocelin, therefore, wrote retrospectively.
Greenway and Sayers, p. 136 and n. 44 where it is suggested that Samson joined the important ecclesiastics and others to whom Henry II gave permission to go to Rome in 1159/60; see Mary Cheney, ‘The recognition of Alexander III: some neglected evidence’, EHR, lxxxv (1969), pp. 474–95 (where the possibility that Samson joined this mission is not mentioned). It was probably as a result of Samson’s mission that Alexander III included in his bull to St Edmunds dated 12 January 1162, the ruling that when the church of Woolpit fell vacant it was to return to the use of the brethren (‘… ecclesiam de Vulpet cum uacauerit in usum fratrum redire statuimus …’: Papsturkunden, iii.
A History of the Abbey of Bury St Edmunds, 1182-1256: Samson of Tottington to Edmund of Walpole by Antonia Gransden