This volume reproduces at full size 190 original charters produced for English bishops between 1085 and 1300. Full transcriptions face each plate, with a brief English summary and bibliographical note.
The documents are drawn from every diocese, and are taken from fifty-five archives in England, France and Belgium. The selection includes representative examples of all the commoner types of document - solemn charters, judgments, mandates, indulgences, administrative or personal correspondence and formal notifications to the crown. A few cases of drafts, and several of forgery, are also included.
The volume indicates the ways in which these documents, as the scribe prepared them, contain informationin punctuation, lay-out and physical appearance - which cannot be shown in even the most scrupulous printed edition. The introduction gives a broad outline of the evolution of the forms and script, and of methods of sealing.