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The Taxatio Database was compiled initially from the Taxatio Ecclesiastica Angliae et Walliae Auctoritate Papae Nicholai IV (Record Commission, 1802). It is being supplemented by information derived from many other sources including different versions of the Taxatio.
While the material currently available through this website is taken mainly from the printed edition of the Taxatio, the evidence concerning patronage has often been derived from sources other than the valuation itself.
A taxatio is an assessment for taxation and the taxatio with which this database is concerned is often called the Pope Nicholas IV taxatio because it was carried out on the orders of that pope. For nearly 250 years virtually all ecclesiastical taxation of England and Wales was based on this extremely thorough and detailed assessment. It is a unique source for the medieval period: no other complete survey of its kind survives for any part of medieval Europe. An edition of one of the many extant manuscripts of the assessment was produced by the Record Commission in 1802: Taxatio Ecclesiastica Angliae et Walliae Auctoritate P. Nicholai IV, ed. T.Astle, S.Ayscough and J.Caley. All the detailed material concerning the values of ecclesiastical benefices in this printed edition (the 'spiritualities' part of the assessment as distinct from the 'temporalities' part) has been entered onto the database.
Other tables provide services for understanding sections of the data: a comments table, a table of bibliographical references and a table of names of all those - mainly monasteries - holding portions or pensions within benefices. Additional tables are concerned with the dedication and the patronage of the churches. Patronage evidence is important since, in cases where the income from a church (usually specifically the rectorial income) was appropriated to an ecclesiatical patron, it was the patron who paid any taxes on that income.
It should be noted that only a limited amount of the database material is currently available through this website.
See the following:
S.Davnall, J.Denton, S.Griffiths, D.Ross & B.Taylor, 'The "Taxatio" database' in Computers and the Humanities, ed. G.Neal et al. Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester, 74, no. 3 (1992), 89-108.
J.H.Denton, 'The valuation of the ecclesiastical benefices of England and Wales in 1291-2', Historical Research, 66 (1993), 231-50.
J.H.Denton, 'Towards a new edition of the Taxatio Ecclesiastica Angliae et Walliae Auctoritate P. Nicholai IV Circa A.D.1291', Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester, 79, no. 1 (1997), 67-79.
J.Denton and B.Taylor, 'The 1291 valuation of the ecclesiastical benefices of Llandaff diocese', Archaeologia Cambrensis, 147 (for 1998, published in 2001), 133-58.
J.H.Denton, 'The 1291 valuation of the churches of Ely diocese', Proceedings of the Cambridge Antiquarian society, 90 (2001), 69-80.
This database was established by a research team at the University of Manchester comprising Sarah Davnall, Dorothy Ross, Paula Simpson and Beryl Taylor, working under the supervision of Jeff Denton, Professor of Medieval History. Work continued after Jeff's move to Sheffield in 2001 as Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of History, based in the HRI. Jeff died on 15 October 2009. A Steering Committee, established before Jeff's death, is now fully responsible for taking forward work on the project. The first phase will be to make available a fully functional online edition of material pertaining to the dioceses for which work is complete or virtually complete. It is anticipated that this work will be undertaken in 2010. Progress reports will be posted here. In the meantime, queries may be directed to email@example.com.
Membership of the Steering Committee:
Dr Charles Fonge (Borthwick Institute, York)
Professor Mark Greengrass (History, Sheffield)
Dr Philippa Hoskin (Borthwick Institute; York)
Professor Edmund King (Emeritus Professor of Medieval History, Sheffield)
Jamie McLaughlin (HRI Digital Technical Officer, Sheffield)
Professor Mark Ormrod (History, York; chair)
Michael Pidd (HRI Digital Manager, Sheffield)
Professor David Shepherd (Keele; representative of Jeff Denton's estate)
These web pages were created by Manchester Computing staff Linda Mason and Phil Stringer, were first updated by Sarah Davnall and are currently maintained by Jamie McLaughlin.
Return to the Taxatio search page.
© J.H.Denton 2005