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From: Vickie Elam White< >
Subject: Re: William Longspee's True Mother
Date: 10 Mar 1998 13:18:15 -0800


D. Spencer Hines wrote --

>Do you understand what a Priory is? Perhaps there were Monks there as
>well,to do the heavy work and some/all of the copying of documents?
>These are important questions, not to be dismissed with contempt.
>That is not the way of the true scholar.

And

>Also, normally, Monks in a Monastery and Nuns in a Priory, as principals
>--- N'est-ce pas, Vickie? Remember the analogies section on the SAT?

Yes, I do. I scored quite nicely, thank you.

As posted previously, Bradenstoke was an Augustinian priory in Wiltshire.
It was founded by Walter of Salisbury, the grandfather of William
LONGESPEE's wife. When his wife died, Walter took the habit of a canon there.
(CP XI:373). His son Walter also a canon there. (CP XI:375) As far as
I know, the Augustinians were monks. So nuns really don't figure into
this discussion.

However, my post referred to the copiers of the original charters.
Monks were the ones who were charged with all that copying. Your
average nun in the 14th Century did not receive the kind of education
necessary to undertake that task. Kay Allen posted the lengthy
introduction to Vera London's edition of the cartularies last year. It
is obvious that the copies were examined very closely, right down to
comparisons of the handwriting, margins, damage from fire, etc. The
introduction also mentioned at least some of the copyists, and they
were males.

I certainly welcome any concrete evidence to the contrary. I do not
mind at all being diplomatically corrected, since I am here to learn.
I am not here to puff up my own ego by brow-beating my fellow researchers.

He also wrote --

>"Never meant to be viewed by the public" --- Hmmmm, and what, pray
>tell, would that prove --- if it were true.
>
>Vickie likes to play "He/They wouldn't have done that because it
>doesn't make sense to ME in 1998 History." But she has no training
>as a Historian and simply doesn't grasp that that is a no-no and
>violates the canons of sound historical methodology.

The priory kept records of who gave what to them, when they did so,
and why. Some things don't change. Don't you keep copies of your
important papers, especially deeds to your home? Religious houses
were not exempt from greedy kings, and they certainly had to be
able to prove that they were entitled to the lands and income should
they be taken to court. However, these records were not for display
or reading by the general public. They were kept safely in case they
were needed. Why is that so hard to understand?

What would that prove? Well, it proves that William LONGESPEE or
the monks of Bradenstoke wouldn't gain too much by his naming his
mother on records that hopefully would never see the light of day
again. The amount of the donations he made in the names of his wife
and mother, for the salvation of their souls, didn't hinge on how many
people he named. It was a rather private matter between William and
his God, much like the memorial gifts we make to churches today. If
he didn't know her name, he could simply have called her his mother.

Vickie Elam White

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