The prosopography of English monastic orders at the dissolution: Evidence from the national archives assessed
Thornton, David E.
Archives: The Journal of the British Records Association
Liverpool University Press
33 - 58
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This paper evaluates a number of series of document at The National Archives as evidence for the prosopography of monastic orders in England and Wales during the second half of the 1530s. In particular, the testimony of the acknowledgments of the Oath of Supremacy in 1534 (TNA, E 25), the certificates of the suppression commissioners in 1536, the deeds of surrender from 1538–40 (TNA, E 322), and the various types of document which outline monastic pensions are assessed in so far as they record the identity and numbers of monks, regular canons and nuns at the time of the Dissolution. The paper demonstrates that, despite the importance of these various primary sources, none when taken alone completely and accurately describe the religious personnel of individual monasteries, and concludes with a call for a fresh examination and publication of the relevant documents.