By Ernest Harold Pearce
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year:2010
Online Publication Date:October 2010
Original Publication Year:1916
Subjects: British history 1066-1450 , Church history
For this 1916 work, Archdeacon E. H. Pearce searched through the extensive muniments of Westminster Abbey to provide a list of all the known members of the monastic community until the Dissolution. Over 700 individuals are included, with all the information about them available to the author. While the list is not complete, and the use of other sources would add additional names for the early period, Pearce completed a remarkable achievement. Westminster was a substantial foundation, with an average community of 47 for the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. About half of these, who held some office or function, are naturally better documented than ordinary monks. Scholarship was evidently valued by the abbey, although the majority of the writings evidenced were on the history of the community rather than theological or literary works. Some monks were supported at Oxford, but little is known of the education offered to the remainder.