Bridge in Stamford, Lincolnshire

Stamford seen from the meadows

Detail from the Stamford Historian

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The Wardens, Managing Late Medieval Hospital

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 10:22 -- Chris Davies

This volume, which has been produced by Professor Alan Rogers,has been published following a generous grant from the Lincoln Record Society.  The Wardens provides an edition of an account book for Browne's Hospital, Stamford, now in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, with an extensive introduction. Four successive wardens are followed as they seek to manage the Hospital and its estates for 22 years.

This exceptional set of detailed accounts, recording expenditure down to the last halfpence, will appeal to many engaged in the study of the late medieval and early modern society.  The text, written mostly in English with dialect words and idiosyncratic spellings, is useful for Middle English usage. The entries and departures of the bedesmen and woman are recorded, thus providing an almost complete register of the Hospital inmates. Although mainly accounts, the book contains occasional journal entries, revealing the frustrations and concerns of the successive wardens.  Their main preoccupation was with the Hospital estates spread across some 30 villages in the neighbouring counties of Lincolnshire (especially North Witham  and Swayfield manors), Rutland and Northamptonshire, as well as the town of Stamford.

The volume consists of Introduction (50 pages); text of the account book (200 pages); appendices of associated documents from the National Archives and summaries of accounts; glossary of English words (especially building terms) and index - a total of just over 300 pages.  The volume will cost £25 and is due to be published in mid-March. Further details can be obtained from Abramis Academic Publishing, Bury St Edmunds.

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