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The College and Canons of St Stephen's, Westminster, 1348-1548

Biggs, Elizabeth (2016) The College and Canons of St Stephen's, Westminster, 1348-1548. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

This thesis is concerned with the college founded by Edward III in his principal palace of Westminster in 1348 and dissolved by Edward VI in 1548 in order to examine issues of royal patronage, the relationships of the Church to the Crown, and institutional networks across the later Middle Ages. As no internal archive survives from St Stephen’s College, this thesis depends on comparison with and reconstruction from royal records and the archives of other institutions, including those of its sister college, St George’s, Windsor. In so doing, it has two main aims: to place St Stephen’s College back into its place at the heart of Westminster’s political, religious and administrative life; and to develop a method for institutional history that is concerned more with connections than solely with the internal workings of a single institution. As there has been no full scholarly study of St Stephen’s College, this thesis provides a complete institutional history of the college from foundation to dissolution before turning to thematic consideration of its place in royal administration, music and worship, and the manor of Westminster. The circumstances and processes surrounding its foundation are compared with other such colleges to understand the multiple agencies that formed St Stephen’s, including that of the canons themselves. Kings and their relatives used St Stephen’s for their private worship and as a site of visible royal piety. It was the principal chapel of the palace that no king could ignore because of the presence of royal administration and consequently the presence of the public. The college was turned to new uses in the Reformation, when its canons were called upon to shape the theology of the new Church of England. Like all such institutions, St Stephen’s adapted to the needs of each generation, but it did so extraordinarily successfully.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Institutional history; ecclesiastical history; St Stephen's Chapel; Westminster; Later Middle Ages; Church and State.
Academic Units: The University of York > History (York)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.713321
Depositing User: Elizabeth Biggs
Date Deposited: 03 May 2017 15:45
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2018 15:22
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/16679

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