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English Episcopal Acta (c. 1066-1305)

The English Episcopal Acta (EEA) project was designed to collect and edit all documents issued by bishops in England from the Norman Conquest in 1066 to the advent of Episcopal registers (registers were introduced in individual sees at varying times during the 12th and 13th centuries). The acta survive in hitherto unappreciated numbers but are highly dispersed, in collections of charters and all manner of later copies, especially cartularies; occasionally in chronicles and letter collections; very frequently in the collections of antiquaries of the 16th-19th centuries. EEA aims to publish a complete record. The acta issued by English bishops in the Middle Ages are deeply revealing not only of the bureaucratic, administrative and judicial traditions of their dioceses but also of their own personalities and ambitions and of the wider ideological, political, cultural and material context in which they worked.

The series provides full Latin texts of the documents with variant copies collated. The content and format of the volumes vary slightly – some volumes provide English synopses of documents, others just include English headings to documents to aid readers with little or no Latin – but most provide contextual notes, comprehensive indices of persons and places and subject matter. Accompanying the documents is a comprehensive introduction, providing brief biographies of the bishops as well as considerations of their households and of the diplomatic of their documents. The volumes in this series both illustrate the changing mechanisms of church government in the 12th and 13th centuries, and provides a view of English church and society, from relations with the crown through the regulation of religious houses, to parochial organisation, unattainable before the systematic collection of such documents.

Twenty eight volumes are held (published between 1991-2011) for: Canterbury, Hereford, Coventry and Lichfield, London, Chichester, Durham, Ely, Carlisle, Worcester, Salisbury, Bath and Wells, and Exeter.