[ELH] Dr G. R. Jones, TASC datasets for England and Wales

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Saints' Cults: Towards an Electronic Atlas

Coverage        Sources        Acknowledgements

Progress of the project

The foundations of TASC were laid down, and its methodology proven, during a two-year Special Research Fellowship (1997-9) at the Department, now Centre for English Local History at the University of Leicester, jointly funded by The Leverhulme Trust and The Aurelius Charitable Trust. The research programme, 'Saints' Cults: Towards an Electronic Atlas', enabled work to begin with coverage of the pre-Reformation diocese of Lincoln. This built on experience gained during my doctoral research at Leicester (1990-6), which included the construction of a comprehensive database of devotion in the pre-Reformation diocese of Worcester, and from a pilot coverage of East Midlands districts (1996-7) with University of Leicester Seedcorn Funding.

The subsequent award of the Stott Fellowship at the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies (1999-2000), enabled coverage of the Welsh medieval dioceses (St David's, Bangor and St Asaph) together with the archdeaconries of the Marcher Counties of England (Cheshire, Shropshire and Herefordshire).*

In 2003 I was fortunate to receive generous additional support from The Aurelius Charitable Trust to add the dedications of the Archdeaconry of Berkshire in the Diocese of Salisbury.

This complemented two datasets added by TASC partners Michael Costen, covering the Diocese of Bath and Wales, and Jennifer Aconley, covering the Wiltshire parishes of the Diocese of Salisbury. Consequently, a TASC database now exists (while work continues on the GIS mapping) for 27 historic counties of England and Wales. Also in 2003, as part of a collaborative 'North Sea' research programme with the Max-Planck-Institut fur Geschichte, within TASC, attention turned to the Eastern Counties of England.

In the same year, funding was provided by the Arts and Humanities Research Council to researchers at the University of Edinburgh to computers saints' dedications in Scotland. Coincidentally, as part of the preparation for my monograph, Saints in the Landscape (Tempus, 2007), I began the computerisation of data from Mackinlay's Ancient Church Dedications of Scotland.

*Principal material from the Welsh and Marcher Counties coverage will be published under the title Saints of Wales and the Marcher Counties: An Inventory of Religious Devotion. This print volume will be on sale by subscription only and with a limited number of copies. To reserve a copy, please write to the Publisher, Dr John Koch, Celtic Studies Publications, CAWCS, National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth SW23 3HH, Wales. Existing books on the CSP list can be reviewed on its Catalogue.

What the project has achieved so far

You are invited to see some examples of the mapping of significant non-random patterning which has emerged as the result of the research so far, and to explore for yourself the datasets as they stood at the end of December, 2001. These can be viewed and interrogated here on-line, or downloaded, using the 'Export to Excel' command if you have an Internet Explorer web browser, or clicking on the version for Netscape and other non-Microsoft browsers. In the latter case, the Netscape dialog box informs that 'You are about to download a file of x-Excel ...' with the options to seek help, pick an application, or save to (hard/floppy) disk.

The datasets Downloadable

TASC, by definition, is work-in-progress. It is continually being up-dated, corrected, and expanded. Users' comments are vital to the continuance of this work. Please notify the Director (using the e-Mail form below, if you wish) of any amendments and additions which should be made to the datasets as they stand here.

Because of file sizes, some information found in the full datasets has been omitted (mainly levels of administrative) to make them easier to download (e.g., in the Lincoln Diocese files the 'Diocese' column has been omitted).

Pre-Reformation Diocese of Lincoln (including the Diocese of Ely, detached in 1109) (n.b., datasets cover geographic areas, and data for the area of a pre-Reformation see is not restricted to pre-Reformation material.)

This dataset is too large to be downloaded in a conveniently short time. It is therefore offered here in separate, sequential files, which can be joined together in a single file after being downloaded.

1. Archdeaconries of

Stow and Lincoln (Lindsey)

(File size, 2.01 Megabytes);
Downloadable version for Netscape and other non- or early-MS browsers

2. Archdeaconry of

Lincoln (Holland, Kesteven [excluding Wapentake of Ness]

, and City of Lincoln)
(File size, 1.61Mb);
Downloadable version for Netscape and other non- or early-MS browsers

3. Archdeaconry of

Leicester (plus Rutland, Lincolnshire Wapentake of Ness, and Welland valley Hundreds of Northamptonshire)

(File size, approx. 5Mb);
Downloadable version for Netscape and other non- or early-MS browsers

4. Archdeaconry of

Northampton (Remainder)

(File size, 2.04Mb);
Downloadable version for Netscape and other non- or early-MS browsers

5. Archdeaconries of

Huntingdon and Bedford

(File size, 1.54Mb);
Downloadable version for Netscape and other non- or early-MS browsers

6. Archdeaconry of


(File size, 0.27Mb);
Downloadable version for Netscape and other non- or early-MS browsers

7. Archdeaconry of


(File size, 1.08Mb);
Downloadable version for Netscape and other non- or early-MS browsers

8. Archdeaconry of


(File size, 2.99Mb);
Downloadable version for Netscape and other non- or early-MS browsers

An earlier version (i.e., NOT up-to-date) of the Archdeaconry of Leicester data is also available as a static, searchable sample , accompanied by some introductory guidance notes.

Pre-Reformation Diocese of Worcester (n.b., again, that data for the area of a pre-Reformation see is not restricted to pre-Reformation material.)

Pre-Reformation Diocese of


(File size, 3.26Mb);
Downloadable version for Netscape and other non- or early-MS browsers

This dataset was compiled for my doctoral thesis, 'Church dedications and landed units of lordship and administration in the pre-Reformation diocese of Worcester' (Leicester, 1996). It comprises the historical counties of Worcester, Warwick (southern half), and Gloucester (east of the Severn and Leadon rivers). Also included are some parishes of southern Staffordshire and northern Somerset.

Wales and English Marcher Counties (n.b., again, that data is collected for all periods.)

Wales and the English Marches(File size, 4.84Mb);

Downloadable version for Netscape and other non- or early-MS browsers

As well as the historical counties of Wales, this dataset includes also the parochial dedications of the English counties of Gloucester (west of the Severn and Leadon rivers) and Hereford (both in the pre-Reformation Diocese of Hereford), Chester (part of the pre-Reformation Diocese of Lichfield), and Salop (divided between the dioceses of Hereford [south] and Lichfield [north]).

The sources

Sources (and classes of sources) generally consulted in compiling the English and Welsh datasets

Late medieval wills form the largest class of documentary evidence, because devotional bequests appear so frequently up to the Reformation. Other medieval documentary sources include bishops' registers, chantry certificates, church and monastic inventories, churchwardens' accounts, charter rolls, monastic histories, and state papers; sources too numerous for individual citation and frequently available in published editions. See E. L. C. Mullins (1978, 1983), Texts and Calendars. An Analytical Guide to Serial Publications, 2 vols., Royal Historical Society 7, 12.

Material evidence includes art-historical interpretation of sculpture, wall- and panel-paintings, and stained-glass.

Medieval wills in the pre-Reformation diocese of Lincoln

Published wills and abstracts

Bell, Patricia (ed.) (1966), Bedfordshire Wills 1480-1519, Bedfordshire Record Society 45.
Cirket, A.F. (ed.) (1957), English wills, 1498-1526, in Bedfordshire Historical Record Society Publications 37.
Foster, C.W. (ed.) (1914), Lincoln Wills, 1271-1526, Lincoln Record Society 5.
Foster, C.W. (ed.) (1918), Lincoln Wills, 1505-1530, Lincoln Record Society 10.
Foster, C.W. (ed.) (1930), Lincoln Wills, 1530-1532, Lincoln Record Society 24.
Gibbons, Alfred (ed.) (1888), Early Lincoln Wills, an Abstract of all the Wills and Administrations recorded in the Episcopal Registers of the old Diocese of Lincoln, 1280-1547.
McGregor, Margaret (ed.), Bedfordshire Wills Proved in the Perogative Court of Canterbury, 1383-1548, Bedfordshire Record Society 58.
Maddison, A.R. (ed.) (1888), Lincolnshire Wills, 1500-1600.
Serjeantson, R.M., and Longden, H.I. (1913), The Parish Churches and Religious Houses of Northamptonshire. Their Dedications, Altars, Images and Lights. Reprinted from Archaeological Journal 70, 2nd ser. 20 (1913), pp. 217-452.
Weaver, J.R.H., and Bearwood, A. (1958), Some Oxfordshire Wills Proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, 1393-1510, Oxfordshire Record Society 39.

Calendars of wills

Calendar of Lincoln Wills, 1, 1320-1600, ed. Foster, C.W., British Record Society 28, 1902.
Calendars of Wills and Administrations at Lincoln, 4 (Archdeaconry of Stow, Peculiar Courts, and Miscellaneous Courts), ed. Foster, C.W., British Record Society 47, 1930.

Original (manuscript) wills (original and microfilmed)


RO: Record Office original/register wills (numbers in brackets) with RO references.
Trs.: transcripts/abstracts.
M: microfilm.
RSer: Record Series.
RS: Record Society.
G: Gibbons, Alfred (1888), Early Lincoln Wills...1280-1547, Lincoln Record Series 1 [approx. 2,400 wills].
I: indices.
BRS: British Record Society, Index Library (1888- , in progress), with volume numbers.
County abbreviations: Beds, Bedfordshire; Bucks, Buckinghamshire; Herts (Hertfordshire); Hunts, Huntingdonshire; Leics, Leicestershire; Lincs, Lincolnshire; North'ts, Northamptonshire; Oxon, Oxfordshire.

Beds.     RO: (approx. 1,500?).     Trs.: Beds.HistoricalRS 45 (194 wills); G.
M [no reference provided].     I: Beds.HistoricalRS 37,58.

Bucks.     RO: D/A/We 1 (230), D/A/We 2 (181), D/A/We 3 (408), D/A/Wf 1 (358) (Total 1,177).
Trs: [D/A/We 1] Bucks.RS 19; G.     M: [D/A/We 1-3, D/A/Wf 1] M 22/1-2, 48.     I: Bucks.RS (due 1997).

Herts.     RO: 1-2AR (approx. 1,750).     M: [1-2AR].
Trs.: Herts.RS 9 (St Albans); Herts Genealogist and Antiquary 1-3 (1895-9); G.     I: included in BRS 42 (Hunts.).

Hunts.     RO: 6 volumes (approx. 750).     M: HK 2455, HK2456, HK2457.     Trs.: G.     I: BRS 42.

Leics.     RO: 1495-1521 (c.80), 1522-40 (c.560), 1515-26 (c.950), 1526-33 (c.200) (Total c.1,790).
Trs.: G.     M [no reference provided].     I: BRS 27.

Lincs.     RO: (approximately 2,150) M [no reference provided].
Trs.: G; Maddison, A.R. (1888), Lincolnshire Wills 1500-1600 (365 wills); LincolnRSer. 5 (254 wills),10 (345),24 (366) (Total, exc. G., 1,330).     I: BRS 28, 57.

North'ts.    RO: Register 1467-1510; 1st Series, Vols. A-H 1510-1540 (approx. 4,200).
Trs.: G; Serjeantson, R.M., and Longden, H.I. (1913), The Parish Churches and Religious Houses of Northamptonshire. Their Dedications, Altars, Images and Lights. Reprinted from Archaeological Journal 70, 2nd ser. 20 (1913), pp. 217-452.
M: Archdeaconry Court of Northampton 1510-1724.     I: BRS 1.

Oxon.     RO: MS Wills Oxon 178, 1528-43 (approx. 1,000).
Trs.: OxfordshireRS 39 [Prerogative Court of Canterbury], 40; G.     I: BRS 93 (Vol. 1, A-K) (approx. 300 wills).

Rutland See Northants. Probate jurisdiction at Northampton until 1541.

Abbreviations used in the TASC datasets when citing sources

Bells        The appropriate, published county inventory of bells and bellfounders. In the Middle Ages and at periods since, bells were 'christened' with saints' names which often reflected the patronage of the church, or other local devotional interests.

BW        The volume or edition for the year stated (1733, 1754, or 1763) of Browne Willis's directory of clergy livings, based on John Ecton's updating of the Liber Regis.
Parochiale Anglicanum: Or, The Names of all the Churches and Chapels Within the Dioceses of Canterbury, Rochester, London, Winchester, Chichester, Norwich, Salisbury, Wells, Exeter, St David's, Landaff, Bangor, and St Asaph. Distinguished under their proper Archdeaconries and Deanries [sic]. With An Account of most of their Dedications, Their Patrons, and to what Religious Houses the Appropriations belonged (London, R. Gosling, 1733).
Thesaurus Rerum Ecclesiasticarum. Being an Account of the Valuations of all the Ecclesiastical Benefices in the several Dioceses in England and Wales... to which are added The Names of the Patrons, and Dedications of the Churches... By John Ecton, Esq. Late Receiver-General of the Tenths of the Clergy. The Second Edition, Wherein the Appropriations, Dedications, and Patronages of the Churches, have been Revised, Corrected, and placed in Regular Order, under their respective Archdeaconries, with numerous Additions, By Browne Willis, LL.D. (London, J. and P. Knapton [et al.], 1754).
Thesaurus Rerum Ecclesiasticarum. [etc]... The Third Edition... (London, T. Osborne [et al.], 1763).

CCR        Calendar of Charter Rolls covering the stated year. This is the principal source for grants of fairs from about the thirteenth to the fourteenth centuries.
CPR        Calendar of Patent Rolls covering the stated year.
DB        Chapter and entry in the appropriate county breves of 'Domesday Book', the fiscal survey of 1086. Two modern editions, the Phillimore and Alecto, have been published; older editions are to be found in the Victoria County History series (see VCH), usually in Vol. 1 or 2.
FAF        Frances Arnold-Forster, Studies in Church Dedications, or England's Patron Saints (3 vols, London, Skeffington and Son, 1899).
Farmer         D.H.Farmer, Oxford Dictionary of Saints (4th edn, 1997), p. 147.
HWW        Frances Jones, The Holy Wells of Wales (Cardiff, University Wales Press, 1954).
InqPM        Inquisitiones post mortem roll(s) for the appropriate year.
Leland         Leland's Itinerary in England and Wales, ed. Lucy Toulmin Smith (London, Centaur Press, 1964).
Lloyd        John Lloyd, 'A study of the dedications given to religious buildings in Leicestershire before the Reformation' (unpublished MA thesis, University of Leicester, 1973).
Nichols         John Nichols, The History and Antiquities of the County of Leicester (London, John Nichols, 1795, reprinted Wakefield, S.R.Publishers in association with Leicestershire County Council, 1971)
P        Appropriate county volume in the Historic Buildings of England series edited (and in many cases written) by Nikolaus Pevsner. Please note that revised editions are now available for many counties. Numbers indicate pages.
Pat Rolls        See CPR
PN        Volume in the English Place-Names Survey; county indicated by additional abbreviation, i.e. 'Oxon', Oxfordshire. Numbers indicate pages. For Leicestershire and Rutland, PNLeics, Barrie Cox (1971), 'The Place-Names of Leicestershire and Rutland', unpublished PhD, University of Nottingham.
PW        A[rthur] W. Wade-Evans, 'Parochiale Wallicanum', Y Cymmrodor, 22 (1910), pp. 22-124.
Owen        Dorothy M. Owen, 'Medieval chapels in Lincolnshire', Lincolnshire History and Archaeology 10 (1975), pp. 15-22.
Resting Places        D. W. Rollason (1978), 'Lists of saints' resting-places in Anglo-Saxon England', Anglo-Saxon England 7, pp. 61-93
VCH        Volume number and page of the appropriate county series of the Victoria History of the Counties of England.
Reg        Episcopal register for the appropriate diocese. Bishop's name is added.
TLAHS         Transactions of the Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society
Wills        Original or transcript wills proved in the appropriate archdeaconry. Testamentary sources given with mixtures of Roman and Arabic numerals, for example 'Wills 0ii/22', should be taken as reading '02/22'. This is to avoid automatic conversion by the software to a date.
Worcestre        John H. Harvey (ed), William Worcestre, Itineraries, Edited from the Unique MS., Corpus Christi College Cambridge, 210 (Oxford, Oxford Medieval Texts, 1969).

Additionally, in Oxfordshire entries

Brookes        C. C. Brookes, A History of Steeple Aston and Middle Aston, Oxfordshire (Long Compton, the King's Stone Press, 1929)
Brown and Guest         J. Howard Brown and William Guest, A History of Thame (Thame, F. H. Castle, 1935)
Colvin See 'Marshall'
E        H. E. Salter, The Cartulary of the Abbey of Eynsham, Oxford Historical Society 49, 51 (Oxford, Oxford Historical Society, 1907, 1908).
HC        The Chronicle of Hugh Candidus, ed. W. T. Mellows (3rd rev. edn, Peterborough Museums Society, 1980).
Gretton         W. C. Emeris, 'The Church of St John the Baptist, Burford' in R. H. Gretton, The Burford Records, a Study in Minor Town Government (Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1920).
Marshall (1866)        Edward Marshall, An Account of the Parish of Sandford in the Deanery of Woodstock, Oxon (Oxford and London, James Parker and Co, 1866).
Marshall (1878)        Edward Marshall, 'Historical Notices of the Parish of Deddington', Transactions of the North Oxfordshire Archaeological Society, 1878, p. 34, cited in H. M. Colvin, A History of Deddington, North Oxfordshire (London, SPCK, 1963) ('Colvin').
Meades        Eileen Meades, The History of Chipping Norton (2nd edn, Chipping Norton, Bodkin, 1984).
Monk        W. J. Monk, History of Witney (Witney, J. Knight, Witney Gazette, 1894).
ORS        Oxfordshire Record Society
ORS1        Rose Graham (ed), The Chantry Certificates and the Edwardian Inventories of Church Goods, Oxford Record Society 1 (Oxford, Oxford Record Society, 1919). The transcriptions are of entries pertaining to Oxfordshire in the Augmentation Office Miscellaneous Books, No. 441 (made in 1546) for Oxford itself, and in Chantry Certificate Roll, Nos. 38 and 97 (made in 1548), for the remainder of the county. The source reference is to the page in the Oxford Record Society's volume on which the transcript occurs: for example, ORS1/2 refers to an entry on p. 2.
ORS6        F. W. Weaver and G. N. Clark (eds), Churchwardens' Accounts of Marston, Spelsbury, Pyrton, Oxfordshire Record Society 6 (Oxford, Oxfordshire Record Society, 1925).
ORS23         E. R. Brinkworth (ed.), The Archdeacon's Court: Liber Actorum, 1584, Oxfordshire Record Society 23 (2 vols) (Oxford, Oxfordshire Record Society, 1942).
ORS28, 30, 32, 34        Frederick Sharpe, The Church Bells of Oxfordshire, Oxfordshire Record Society 28, 30, 32, 34 (4 vols) (Oxford, Oxfordshire Record Society, 1949-53).
ORS39        J. R. H. Weaver and A. Beardwood (eds), Some Oxfordshire Wills, Proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, 1393-1510, Oxfordshire Record Society 39 (Oxford, Oxfordshire Record Society, 1958).
ORS41         P. M. Briers (ed), Henley Borough records, Assembly Books i-iv, 1395-1543, Oxfordshire Record Society 41 (Oxford, Oxfordshire Record Society, 1960).
ORS55         Kate Tiller (ed), Church and Chapel in Oxforddshire 1851, Oxfordshire Record Society 55 (Oxford, Oxfordshire Record Society, 1987).
Pocock        Ernest A. Pocock, A History of Clanfield in Oxfordshire (Clanfield, Cornerstone Publishing, 1999).
R        See W or R.
Rattue (1990)        James Rattue, 'An inventory of holy wells in Oxfordshire', Oxoniensia.
W or R, plus number (in Oxfordshire entries)         MS material collected for a county history by Anthony Wood (1632-1695) ('W'), consisting mainly of notes on church monuments and heraldry; and by Bishop Rawlinson (1690-1755) ('R'), based on replies to a questionnaire submitted to incumbents in 1718. Both sets of material were deposited at the Oxford Library and have been published together in three volumes as Parochial Collections made by Anthony Wood, M. A., and Richard Rawlinson, DCL, FRS, trs. F. N. Davis, Oxfordshire Record Series 2, 4, 11 (Oxford, Oxfordshire Record Society, 1920-8). The numbers which follow the letter W or R indicate the page number(s) in the collated edition. The material is collated alphabetically by parish and the page numbers are sequential.


The generous assistance of both The Leverhulme Trust, under its Special Research Fellowships scheme, and The Aurelius Charitable Trust is gratefully acknowledged. So is that of the University of Leicester, and of the Council and Director and colleagues at the Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies. Computing and other facilities have continued to be provided within the Department, now Centre for English Local History and colleagues have been unstintingly generous. Thanks are due also to the university's Learning Technology Group for generously setting up the earlier, searchable sample database for Leicestershire still accessible from this page.

Historic boundary data is being supplied by the Great Britain Historic GIS Programme at the University of Portsmouth and previously at Queen Mary and Westfield College, London, and the Historical Cartography Project of Professor Roger Kain and Dr Richard Oliver at Exeter University, all of whose crucial cooperation is most gratefully acknowledged. Thanks go also to Dr Alasdair Crockett, Prize Fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford, for his kindness and patient good-humour in passing on the secrets of the GIS package used in this investigation, and for providing boundary data for Leicestershire census parishes from his research in this department with Dr Keith Snell into 'Religious Pluralism in England, c. 1650 - c. 1850'.

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Last updated: 11 September 2002 16:11
Dr G.R. Jones

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