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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 bishops' lordship over monasteries

The emergence of bishops' lordship over monasteries

(p.191) 8 The emergence of bishops' lordship over monasteries
The Proprietary Church in the Medieval West

Susan Wood

Oxford University Press

That some regular monasteries came eventually into the proprietary lordship of bishops was not (as it could be for city basilicas) a natural outcome of their sharing in the primitive common property of the diocese; they never did, since monks were not originally clergy nor monasteries identified with churches. Nor were bishops' general claims on monasteries of the diocese ‘proprietary’ or even partially so; they were claims to authority, though with strongly economic implications on which monks' and founders' anxieties (as acknowledged in seventh-century bishops' privileges) were largely but far from exclusively focused. However, founders' attitudes to episcopal authority were increasingly coloured by lordship. This chapter argues that eighth-century bishops could hardly counter this, but competed with it by establishing their own proprietary lordship in particular cases.

Keywords:   monasteries, proprietary church, bishops, lordship, property, authority, monks

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