This paper examines the state loans from the English Church to the Crown for the defence of the kingdom between 1307 and 1377, tracing their origins to the 1311 Ordinances and the Church’s refusal to grant taxation. It explores how the policy evolved under Edward II and Edward III, how clerical loans were negotiated, and reveals the identities of the Crown’s main ecclesiastical creditors, as well as their reasons for contributing or refusing loans. An assessment of clerical taxation, Crown-Church relations, and the divisions in the post-Black Death Church can illustrate why the clergy failed to develop a reputation as important royal creditors in the 14th century.
Throughout the medieval era, Reading’s merchant guild, in negotiating with its powerful monastic landlord, drew on memories of ancient customs predating the monastery. This paper examines how, in the absence of self-government, the town formed a sense of prestige and identity through the guild’s rhetoric of negotiation, in which it sought royal recognition of traditional rights and symbols of power. Further, it considers how, with the transition of lordship upon the dissolution of Reading Abbey, the newly-instituted ruling elite turned to their historic identity to ensure stability during a time of dramatic change in government, religion, and society.
In this paper, I will discuss the office of coroner as it develops in the 13th century. In fact, the statutes enacted during the reigns of Henry III and Edward I remained in force until revised in the 1860s, a span of over 500 years. The office and duties of coroner are continuous from the reign of Richard I and subsequent statutory adjustments were made according to changing legal needs. The statutes relating to the evolving duties of the coroner will be discussed in their political and financial context as the coroners were the keepers of the pleas of the crown. The pleas of the crown were a source of substantial income for the crown. Further research is needed in this area. I would suggest that the financial role of the coroner may account for the attention given to the solidification of its legal standing.