The register of Archbishop William Melton is one of the largest and most comprehensive to survive. Its backbone is the institution of clergy and licences to them, papal provisions and ordination of vicars and chantries, but it also contains a wealth of material for social history. During the period it covers, the East Riding of Yorkshire was flourishing, and a number of entries in the register reflect the challenges which the newly-founded town of Kingston upon Hull was causing for the existing parochial structure. The archbishop is shown anathematizing malefactors who stole his swans and invaded his liberties in Beverley and the river Hull, and demanding the return of stolen wool on behalf of a merchant whose ship had been wrecked in the river Humber. The register also covers the origins of one of the last monasteries to be founded in medieval England, Haltemprice, and reveals the shortcomings of monks and nuns as well as secular clergy and members of the laity; more widely, many entries reflect the tensions between outlying vills and chapelries and their mother churches.
The text is presented here with introduction, apparatus, and notes which elucidate the entries.
David Robinson, until his retirement County Archivist of Surrey, was awarded his PhD from the University of Cambridge.