A new approach to medieval cartularies: understanding manuscript growth in AUL SCA MS JB 1/3 (Glasgow Cathedral’s Registrum Vetus) and the Cartulary of Lindores Abbey in Caprington Castle

Tucker, Joanna (2017) A new approach to medieval cartularies: understanding manuscript growth in AUL SCA MS JB 1/3 (Glasgow Cathedral’s Registrum Vetus) and the Cartulary of Lindores Abbey in Caprington Castle. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

Due to Embargo and/or Third Party Copyright restrictions, this thesis is not available in this service.
Printed Thesis Information: https://eleanor.lib.gla.ac.uk/record=b3284081


Medieval cartularies have been the focus of many studies in the past few decades. Rather than simply repositories for charter texts, cartularies are now regarded by those who study them as carefully curated collections of texts whose contents and arrangement reflect the immediate concerns and archival environment of the communities that created them. One feature of cartularies which has not received attention is the ‘growth’ of their manuscripts beyond the initial phase of creation. This growth refers not only to the addition of fresh gatherings but also to the piecemeal addition of texts into the available spaces, often in a haphazard order and by many scribes working across a number of decades. ‘Manuscript growth’ is not an uncommon feature of cartularies from the central middle ages, particularly from the thirteenth century onwards. As a phenomenon, however, it has not been recognised or studied, for the good reason that it is difficult to discuss haphazard manuscript growth in a systematic way. This thesis offers a new methodology which engages with multi-scribe contributions to ‘active’ cartularies. It takes a holistic approach which integrates the textual and ‘physical’ evidence of cartularies, and embraces all forms of scribal activity. By studying the growth of cartulary manuscripts, we can gain significant insights into the contemporary use and perception of these valuable objects. This thesis therefore takes a fresh look at the ‘genre’ of medieval cartularies through the eyes of the manuscript evidence itself, and what this can reveal about its medieval scribes and readers.

Two manuscripts are taken as the basis of this study: the older cartulary of Glasgow Cathedral (AUL SCA MS JB 1/3) and the older cartulary of Lindores Abbey (in private ownership in Caprington Castle). Chapter 1 introduces the field of cartulary studies, with reference to new work in this area (particularly in relation to cartularies in France and England). Central questions in this field are introduced, such as the definition of a cartulary, their creation and function. It also discusses approaches to analysing complex codices and multi-scribe activity within other manuscript genres. In Chapter 2, a new methodology will be introduced for analysing manuscript growth. This involves rethinking our approach to some familiar elements of manuscripts: their codicology, binding history, the scribes, as well as the challenge of dating the various contributions to the cartularies. New concepts and terminology will be introduced (such as ‘relative dating’ and ‘series’) that have been developed in response to these two complex cartularies. By applying this new methodology, the creation and subsequent growth of each manuscript can be examined in detail in Chapter 3 (for Glasgow Cathedral’s cartulary) and Chapter 4 (for Lindores Abbey’s). It is shown that the contemporary experience of these two cartularies was as a collection of simultaneously ‘active’ units (either unbound or in temporary bindings), offering new scribes a choice of where to place their material. Chapter 5 draws together the analysis, and focuses on the initial creation of the cartularies, the nature of their growth by piecemeal additions, and the reasons for this growth. This reveals two communities that took an active approach to reading and extending their cartularies, treating these manuscripts as a shared space. The vexed question of ‘repeated’ texts within cartularies is reconsidered in this light. The analysis allows us to develop a deeper understanding of the cartularies’ function and the role of their scribes as primarily readers, whose interactions with the manuscript were responsive and dynamic. The institutional setting is also discussed. The thesis concludes by considering the implications of this study for our understanding of the function and typology of cartularies, their relationship to archives of single-sheet documents, and as sources for institutional identity, as well as the potential of the methodology to act as a starting point for studying scribal interactions and scribes as readers in other manuscript genres with multi-scribe growth.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Due to copyright restrictions the full text of this thesis cannot be made available online. Access to the printed version is available once any embargo periods have expired.
Keywords: Cartularies, medieval, Scotland, manuscripts, charters, codicology, palaeography, Glasgow Cathedral, Lindores Abbey.
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > C Auxiliary sciences of history (General)
C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CD Diplomatics. Archives. Seals
C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CD Diplomatics. Archives. Seals > CD921 Archives
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D111 Medieval History
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D901 Europe (General)
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z004 Books. Writing. Paleography
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Humanities > History
Funder's Name: Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Supervisor's Name: Broun, Professor Dauvit and Alice, Dr. Taylor
Date of Award: 2017
Depositing User: Dr Joanna Tucker
Unique ID: glathesis:2017-8466
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2017 09:43
Last Modified: 05 Oct 2020 07:37
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/8466

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