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The book collections of Llanthony Priory from foundation until dissolution (c. 1100-1538)

Bennett, Kirsty (2006) The book collections of Llanthony Priory from foundation until dissolution (c. 1100-1538). Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86347) (KAR id:86347)


This thesis explores the library of the Augustinian priory of Llanthony (which had dual sites in Wales and Gloucester) from its inception c. 1100 until its Dissolution in 1538. The unusually high number of extant manuscripts - approximately 180, plus two printed books, ranging in date from the ninth to the sixteenth centuries - surviving from Llanthony forms a rich resource for the study of the collection. Many of these manuscripts (circa 90) are of twelfth-century date. Lianthony's earliest manuscripts are an example of book collecting in medieval Wales, whilst the community became involved in west-country palaeographical, decorative and copying networks within a short time of its foundation. Llanthony's existence across dual sites from 1136, followed by the division and eventual reunification of the community, has interesting implications for its book provision. Other evidence pertaining to the history of the library complements that of the manuscripts. Chiefly, a book-list of c. 1350 is an invaluable tool for the reconstruction of part of the collection in the"later fourteenth century, illuminating the arrangement, storage and use of the books. A large donation of books in the 1300s, the volumes acquired by a canon-scholar of Llanthony Secunda whilst at Oxford in the early 1400s, and `housekeeping' work in the library by another canon in the fifteenth century demonstrate the impact of individual impetus on the collection. In tandem, the manuscripts and the documentary evidence give an unrivalled insight into the book-holding of an English Augustinian community. Following a summary of the priory's history, a series of analytical chapters examines the origins, development and growth of the book collection. The conclusion sets Llanthony's collection as a whole into a broader context in order to assess the extent to which it was typical. Appendices include a handlist giving summary details of the manuscripts on which this study is based.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Gameson, R.
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86347
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. It was uploaded to KAR on 09 February 2021 in order to hold its content and record within University of Kent systems. It is available Open Access using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives ( licence so that the thesis and its author, can benefit from opportunities for increased readership and citation. This was done in line with University of Kent policies ( If you feel that your rights are compromised by open access to this thesis, or if you would like more information about its availability, please contact us at and we will seriously consider your claim under the terms of our Take-Down Policy (
Subjects: D History General and Old World
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of History
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2019 16:53 UTC
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2022 14:48 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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