From their base at Gloucester the priors of Llanthony ultimately controlled two monasteries of that name in England and Wales and a house in Ireland. They were lords of 41 manors and patrons of 115 parish churches and chapels in the three countries. Their registers are in the rare form of letter-books recording the memoranda, letters, deeds and inventories which crossed their desks year by year. They reveal among much else the chaotic leadership of the Augustinian college at Oxford, Cardinal Wolsey's heroic efforts to reform the Augustinian order and the cardinals revenge when his plans were frustrated.
They are packed with details of people, places and events on the priory's properties: more than 300 entries for Gloucestershire, 80 for Herefordshire, 20 for Monmouthshire, 17 for Ireland, 7 each for Shropshire, Wiltshire and Bedfordshire and 4 for Hampshire. A treatise about relations between the priors and the town of Gloucester tells of plague, drowning, murders, arrests and hasty recuttings of the town ditch. Other entries deal with the import of Irish linen, the teaching of grammar, the maintenance of a clock, the carpentry of a watermill and a fish-weir, rabbit-keeping, sheep-shearing, apple species, wagons, manorial halls, bailiffs' chambers, the tiling of roofs and the glazing of windows.
This edition also includes the contract of the priory music master and account rolls detailing repairs and arrears in the priors manor of Prestbury. In an introduction and notes the editor investigates the higher clergy and gentry who wielded influence at Llanthony, including an extended dynasty of lawyers who supplied two priors and exploited the Dissolution to tighten their grip on the priory demesnes
Note: Only secondhand copies of this volume in good condition are available.