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The Proprietary Church in the Medieval West$
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Susan Wood

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780198206972

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206972.001.0001

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The emergence of lay rulers' lordship over monasteries

The emergence of lay rulers' lordship over monasteries

(p.211) 9 The emergence of lay rulers' lordship over monasteries
The Proprietary Church in the Medieval West

Susan Wood

Oxford University Press

By Charlemagne's time, in his dominions, large numbers of real monasteries and important collegiate churches were distinguished from others as in some sense belonging to the king. This chapter considers how this massive assertion of outside lordship had come about and what it meant, and then looks at the parallel but different powers of other rulers. What began with some attrition of bishoprics' and monasteries' possessions by clerical and lay nobles including the mayors, progressed to the use of great churches themselves as benefices, including all their property or what was left of it: a use which did not spring from an acknowledged dominium, but led to it. Kings had to dispose repeatedly and formally of the abbacies of particular monasteries that were their own by foundation or by acquisition. As in Francia earlier, this was a lordship built on escalating practical claims on monastic resources, not the other way round.

Keywords:   monasteries, proprietary church, outside lordship, lay rulers, property, Francia, secularization, kings, Italy, England

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