The Magna Carta Project

The Witness Lists to Magna Carta, 1215-1265

July 2014, by Dr Sophie Ambler

The composition of any witness list was a potentially significant act, and those to the issues and confirmations of Magna Carta were no different.1 The witnesses testified to the authority of the grant recorded in a charter and guaranteed it in perpetuity. Thus the identity of the witnesses conveyed important messages about the status or nature of the grant, its grantor and beneficiary. The choice of whom to include, whom to exclude and in what order to place the names were all controversial decisions. The complex nature of charter witnessing practices has been pointed out in discussions of earlier periods, by David Bates in relation to the charters of William I, and by Nicholas Vincent regarding those of Henry II.2 Both have shown that witness lists cannot be used straightforwardly as an index of who enjoyed royal favour, nor even of who was at court, as some important curiales did not always act as witnesses or did so only rarely. Instead, the choice of charter witnesses needs to be considered in the context of the grant itself. The decision to include an individual in a witness list depended upon numerous considerations: the individual’s closeness to the king, the regularity of his attendance at court, whether he held royal office and what office he held, his social status, his relationship with the beneficiary. The way in which these factors interacted is not always easy to untangle.

The witness lists to the various issues and confirmations of Magna Carta probably presented a greater challenge to the royal chancery than those to quotidian royal charters, because Magna Carta was far more politically significant. Lists of advisors, which effectively acted as witness lists, were given for the 1215, 1216 and 1217 issues of the Charter. A witness list was provided in a more conventional form for the 1225 issue of Magna Carta, as well as for the confirmations of the 1225 Charter given in 1237 and 1265. Although no engrossment survives of the 1253 confirmation (and perhaps none was ever produced), 3 the authorisation for the sentence of excommunication that accompanied the confirmation serves as a point of comparison, at least in regard to the episcopal witnesses (the group on which this analysis will concentrate).  The purpose of this discussion is to highlight some of the careful choices that might have lain behind the composition of these witness lists, as well as to point out those instances where such thinking remains obscure, in order to suggest that these witness lists should be treated as problematic texts rather than straightforward records.  A table at the end of this article shows the episcopal witnesses named in the lists under discussion.

The first issue of Magna Carta stands apart from other royal charters not only because of its contents but because it does not possess a typical witness list. Instead it begins with a list of ‘advisors’ by whose counsel the liberties listed in the Charter were granted, which effectively served the same purpose.4 This unusual arrangement was, perhaps, designed to emphasise the role of the advisors. The assembly of such a list of illustrious and respected persons to endorse the king’s grant made the first issue of Magna Carta visibly  distinct from other royal acts (or rather ‘audibly distinct’, because the Charter was to be read out in the shire courts). As Henry Summerson has discussed in his commentary on clause 14 of Magna Carta 1215, it was King John’s usual practice to act after taking advice from only a small band of royal cronies, sometimes claiming afterwards that ‘common counsel’ had informed his decision.5 Perhaps the worst example of this practice came in 1207, when the king issued writs claiming that ‘the archbishop, bishops, abbots, priors and magnates of our kingdom’ had agreed to the levying of the heaviest tax of his reign (a thirteenth on moveables), when in reality the meeting in which the tax was agreed had been dominated by his familiares. Indeed the clergy (led by the archbishop of York, whose consent was professed in the writ) had refused to agree to the tax, at which point the king ‘took better advice’ – that is, advice that was more to his liking.6 Such statements, which claimed that royal acts were founded upon sage and broadly-based counsel, were disingenuous. Magnates and prelates, who claimed the right to offer counsel, knew this all too well.  When King John issued the Charter in June 1215 it was necessary for him to indicate a change in royal policy. The list of eleven prelates and sixteen magnates provided in the preface to the 1215 Charter thus advertised the king’s intention to govern in future by the counsel of his greater subjects.

At the same time, however, the names of the advisors made clear that this group was a select one. As David Carpenter has noted, the list includes none of those who were in rebellion against King John (the rebels had renounced their fealty to John on 9 May, and did not make their homage to the king until 19 June, when peace was declared).7 King John issued the Charter on 15 June, before the rebels returned to the fold, and in so doing implied that the liberties set out in the Charter were to be enjoyed only by the king’s faithful men.8  By choosing, in the preamble, to associate explicitly his fideles alone with the issue of the Charter, John underscored the grant’s selectivity.

The 1216 and 1217 issues of the Charter, like their predecessor of 1215, included a list of advisors rather than witnesses, presumably for similar reasons. The 1216 issue of Magna Carta came in perilous circumstances.9 More than half of England was held by Louis, the son of the King of France, in alliance with English rebels, and the Angevin camp had been pushed into the western reaches of the kingdom. King John’s nine-year-old son, Henry, was crowned at Gloucester on 28 October, at a time when only eight of the twenty-seven greatest barons were loyal to the Angevin cause. The issue of a new version of the Charter two weeks later, under the supervision of the regent, William Marshal, and papal legate, Guala, was an attempt to undermine the rebel’s casus belli and win support for Henry’s party. The Charter’s list of advisors reflects this struggle for survival.10 As David Carpenter has pointed out, the demonstrable strength of the Angevin party was its ability to call on the support of senior churchmen: Henry III’s coronation was attended by seven bishops, and eleven endorsed the new issue of the Charter at Bristol in November. Louis, in contrast, could muster no support from the episcopal ranks.11 The listing, at the head of the 1216 Charter, of the eleven bishops who supported the infant king thus served to proclaim the moral authority of the Angevin cause.

This list of advisors also, though, reflected the tumultuous circumstances of the 1216 Charter’s issue.  No archbishop was present to endorse the Charter. Stephen Langton had left for the papal court in the autumn of 1215 and was not to return until May 1218. The archbishopric of York was currently vacant. This was the only time that the Charter was issued or confirmed in the thirteenth century without archiepiscopal endorsement, at least before the Montfortian parliament of 1265 (discussed below). The bishop of London, William de Sainte-Mère-Église, was also absent. He had left England with Langton to attend the Fourth Lateran Council but had returned, by October 1216, to his diocese,12 which he would have found occupied by French troops. This was the only occasion that Magna Carta was issued or confirmed in the absence of the bishop of London. The list of episcopal advisors also includes an unusually high number of Welsh bishops (St Asaph’s, Llandaff, St David’s and Bangor). The only other witness list to Magna Carta to include a Welsh prelate was that of 1265 (Llandaff), although the list of bishops who endorsed the sentence of excommunication to support the Charter’s confirmation in 1253 included the bishop of St David’s. In 1253 and 1265 the names of both of these Welsh prelates were placed at the bottom of their respective lists, a measure of their relatively low status in the eyes of those deciding the ranking. The appearance of four Welsh bishops in the 1216 list of advisors was presumably a result of the fact that the Angevin party was operating in the West Country and Welsh marches in the autumn and winter of 1216.  Therefore, although the headline number of prelates endorsing the Charter in 1216 seems impressive, the fact that the witness list lacked bishops of the highest rank and included several of lower status might have weakened the authority of the Charter in the eyes of contemporaries.

The new version of Magna Carta issued in 1217 came in very different circumstances. 13  Henry III’s forces, led by William Marshal and Hubert de Burgh, had won great victories at Lincoln and Sandwich. Louis had departed England following the settlement of peace at Lambeth in September, which had allowed his English supporters to enter Henry’s allegiance.  Yet royal authority and the machinery of government had been battered by civil war. The process of rebuilding royal power depended on the government’s ability to harness the support and consent of a wider body of magnates and prelates. The third version of Magna Carta was issued, together with the new Charter of the Forest, in early November 1217 in circumstance that embodied this manner of government. 14 A host of former rebels had converged on Westminster to do homage to the king and obtain writs authorising the restoration of their lands. Together with their former adversaries, they discussed the amendments to be made to the Charter. The minority council had succeeded in uniting the great men of England in a common cause, under the aegis of its authority. The foundations on which the issuing of the Charter rested in 1217 were thus stronger than they had ever been.

These circumstances make it all the more surprising that this version of the Charter was issued with only a cursory list of advisors: the legate Guala, the archbishop of York, the bishop of London and William Marshal, with only a vague reference to ‘other bishops of England’ and ‘our other faithful earls and barons of England’.15 The Charter of the Forest was endorsed by the same list.16 This was by far the shortest witness list to any issue or confirmation of the Charter. Why should the regent and legate eschew this opportunity to proclaim the Charter’s basis in consultation and consent? There seems no obvious explanation, although it is possible that the question of who should be named on the list of advisors was so contentious that it was simply avoided. If the divisions between former rebels and the king’s party were not yet fully bridged, the minority council might have wished to omit the names of those who had fought against the king, while to include only the names of the king’s committed supporters would have imbued the grant of liberties with a flavour of exclusivity, similar to that of the 1215 Charter, which might have prevented old wounds from healing.17

It is also worth pointing out that this was the only occasion in this period when the archbishop of York acted as witness to the Charter. Walter de Gray was translated to the see of York in November 1215, that is, after he had witnessed the first issue of Magna Carta as bishop of Worcester. He held office until 1 May 1255 but only in 1217 did he act as witness to the Charter in his capacity as archbishop of York, meaning that he was absent from the lists of 1216, 1225, and 1237, as well as that endorsing the sentence of excommunication in 1253. It is perhaps significant that the one occasion that he witnessed the Charter was when the archbishop of Canterbury was absent, if it can be assumed that the only reason for Gray’s absence in 1216 (when Langton was also abroad) was that he was engaged elsewhere.18 Did the archbishop of York wish to avoid witnessing alongside his archiepiscopal colleague, an occasion that would have raised the thorny issue of their relative status?  Such a suggestion can only be speculative. Both of York’s suffragans, the bishops of Durham and Carlisle, witnessed the confirmation of 1237 and authorised the sentence of excommunication in support of the confirmation of 1253. But the issues of 1215, 1216 and 1225 received no endorsement from any bishop outside of the jurisdiction of the archbishop of Canterbury. It is worth reflecting that the Charter proclaimed as the guarantor of liberties for the entire kingdom of England should receive such little support, in the crucial early years of its life, from the bishops of the north.

When the definitive version of Magna Carta was issued in 1225, an impressive list of witnesses was appended: the archbishop of Canterbury, 11 bishops, 20 abbots, 9 earls and 23 barons. The 1225 witness list is distinguished by its inclusion of 20 abbots, for this was the only occasion when monastic prelates were called upon to witness the Charter. Such men did not regularly witness royal charters, because they would normally only attend court on significant occasions – occasions such as the 1225 assembly, which saw the king request a grant of taxation in order to defend the kingdom from French invasion.19 They presumably attended the parliament of 1237, in which Henry III again requested (and was granted) a tax, but their names were not included in the witness list to the Charter’s confirmation made at that assembly. This was, perhaps, a reflection of the abbots’ lack of political weight.20 Even in circumstances that were considerably more troubling, when those in power were searching for sources of political legitimacy, the abbots were not called upon again to lend their authority to the Charter. We know that more than 100 heads of religious houses were named in the summonses, issued by Simon de Montfort’s council, to the parliament that opened in January 1265. No abbots were included, however, in the witness list to the Magna Carta inspeximus issued at the parliament’s close (discussed in the Feature of the Month for March 2014).21 Both the prior of the Hospitallers and the master of the Templars were certainly in attendance.22 Many monastic houses supported Montfort and several entries on the Patent and Charter rolls, recording grants or concessions to the religious, suggest that at least some monks attended the parliament, although without further evidence it is impossible to say how many.23 Yet the support of the religious houses did not provide sufficient political capital to merit the abbots’ inclusion in the witness list. 

It is unclear, then, why the names of twenty abbots were thought worthy of inclusion in the 1225 witness list but no other. It is possible, though, that those drawing up the 1225 Charter wished to invest it with particular significance by lengthening the list of witnesses.24 The special nature of the 1225 Charter was, indeed, conveyed by those drawing up the Charter in its preamble. This does not set out a list of ‘advisors’, as do its predecessors, but rather a statement that the Charter had been granted by the king’s ‘spontaneous and free will’. This set the 1225 issue apart from earlier versions that, it might be claimed, had been extracted from the king by force.25 This was because the 1225 Charter was issued, in contrast to its predecessors, in return for a grant of taxation, as part of a ‘mutual bargain between the king and his realm.’26 Perhaps those drafting the Charter, by including a witness list that named so many of the king’s subjects, sought to underline this fact. The result was that contemporaries could recognise that this witness list was special. As David Carpenter has described in a previous Feature of the Month, the scribe at Cerne (whose abbot was named on the list) took the trouble to copy the witness list to the 1225 Charters in particularly elaborate fashion.27 The inclusion of the abbots does, though, prompt further questions: does this list of twenty represent all the religious present at the assembly or only a selection? If the latter, how was that selection made?  Without further evidence it is not possible to provide an answer.

The witness list for the 1265 inspeximus of Magna Carta was distinct from its forebears in that it lacks both lay and ecclesiastical witnesses of the highest status. It names several knights, some of them major landholders but some who possessed no significant reputation. It fails, though, to name any earls save Simon de Montfort himself, who was leading the council that governed England in the king’s name. Montfort had hitherto enjoyed an alliance with Gilbert de Clare, earl of Gloucester, but the two had quarrelled during the course of the parliament.28 The list also omits the name of the archbishop of Canterbury. Boniface of Savoy had left England on ecclesiastical business, in October 1262, and was prevented from returning by the outbreak of civil war the following year. After the battle of Lewes, in May 1264, he ignored the council’s pleas for his return.29 The lack of archiepiscopal support for the confirmation of the Charter, and for the sentence of excommunication that endorsed it, was problematic. The archbishop of Canterbury, as primate within the English episcopate, had headed every other witness list provided for an issue or confirmation of Magna Carta except those of 1216 and 1217 and had led every sentence of excommunication used to support the Charters (in 1225, 1237 and 1253). Lacking archiepiscopal or comital endorsement, the witness list of 1265 thus contrasts sharply with its predecessors of 1225 (which included the archbishop of Canterbury, 11 bishops, 9 earls and 23 barons) and 1237 (the archbishop of Canterbury, 11 bishops, 2 bishops-elect, 8 earls and 18 barons).30

The order or rank in which names were placed in a witness list was also important. As Nicholas Vincent has noted in regard to the witnessing patterns of Henry II’s charters, a variety of factors might influence the order in which names were recorded, including an individual’s relationship with the king, his role at court or political circumstances.31 A comparison of the witness lists provided for the issues and confirmations of the Charter, as well as a comparison of these with other royal charters, suggests that the ranking of names might also have depended on the charter at hand.

The customary order of precedence sometimes governed the order in which certain bishops appeared on a witness list. This order ranked the bishop of London, as dean of the province of Canterbury, as the most senior of the Canterbury suffragans, with the bishop of Winchester immediately below him.32 Thus, in the list of advisors to the first issue of the Charter, in 1215, the bishop of London (William de Sainte-Mère-Église) was placed behind the two archbishops at the top of the list, followed by the bishop of Winchester (Peter des Roches). This coincided neatly with the other consideration that apparently governed the ranking in this list: the bishops’ seniority according to the date of their consecration (see the table below). Since the order of precedence only suggested the ranking of the highest names on the witness list, such a cut-and-dried system for arranging the rest of the episcopal witnesses had clear appeal.

When the definitive version of the Charter was issued in 1225, however, the ordering of the witnesses was somewhat more contentious. The bishop of London (Eustace de Fauconberg) was again placed first in the list of witnesses after the archbishop of Canterbury. This required the subordination of two bishops who were fifteen and sixteen years respectively more senior than Eustace and also two of the most important figures in Henry III’s minority government: Jocelin of Wells, bishop of Bath, and Peter des Roches, bishop of Winchester. Yet the fact that on this occasion des Roches was placed behind Jocelin of Wells shows that neither the customary order of precedence nor seniority of consecration guaranteed the order in which names were placed. Indeed, as Nicholas Vincent has noted, des Roches’ demotion was probably intended to demonstrate his political disfavour.33

When Magna Carta was confirmed in 1237, the order of precedence was set aside in favour of considerations of personal status. In this instance des Roches’ name was actually elevated to the first position in the witness list behind the archbishop of Canterbury, whilst the bishop of London (Roger Niger) was demoted to fourth place. This was perhaps in recognition of the veteran status in Henry III’s government of Jocelin of Wells and Richard Poer (ranked in second and third places). Although no engrossment survives of the Charter’s reissue in 1253, the notice of sentence of excommunication issued by the bishops in support of the Charter restored the bishop of London (Fulk Basset, consecrated in 1244) to a rank above that of more veteran colleagues including the bishops of Ely (Hugh of Northwold, consecrated in 1229), Lincoln (Robert Grosseteste, consecrated in 1235) and Worcester (Walter de Cantilupe, consecrated in 1237).34 This order was not standard in the witnessing of other royal charters, where the name of bishop Basset (a royal counsellor and regular witness to royal charters) sometimes appeared before, sometimes after, those of Grosseteste or Cantilupe.

As this arrangement suggests, the order of precedence would normally supersede considerations of personal status on particularly important occasions. For instance, the placement of Water de Cantilupe, bishop of Worcester, after Henry of Sandwich, bishop of London, in the witness list to the 1265 inspeximus is inconsistent with the witness lists to other royal charters in which these individuals are named.35 Walter was a regular witness to royal charters, in the earlier 1250s as well as during the two phases of reform (1258-61 and 1263-65). Having held office since 1237, he enjoyed a senior status and, with the absence abroad of the archbishop of Canterbury since October 1262, had been acting as leader of the English bishops.36 He was an experienced politician and administrator, a counsellor to Henry III during the 1250s and a member of the reforming council from its beginnings in 1258, heavily involved in day-to-day administration. He was also one of the oldest and closest friends of Simon de Montfort.37 His personal status and role at court helps to explain why, between 1258 and 1265, he appears in the witness lists to royal charters in almost all cases second only to the archbishop of Canterbury. Yet, in the Magna Carta inspeximus of 1265, his position drops below that of Henry of Sandwich, whose name otherwise invariably appears after that of Walter on the eleven occasions they are recorded together witnessing other royal charters. The subordination of Henry of Sandwich to Walter de Cantilupe in the normal course of events is understandable. Although Henry, unlike Walter, was a member of the Montfortian council of nine, he was less experienced and less heavily involved than Walter in administration and also significantly less senior, having only been consecrated in 1263. Henry’s sudden promotion above Walter is explained by the desire of those who drew up the inspeximus to have a witness list that cleaved to a customary form. This brings us to the suggestion that, whilst the ordering of episcopal names was normally negotiable within certain limits, the importance of certain charters, such as Magna Carta, was likely to encourage a stricter adherence to customary principles, particularly those that advocated the senior placement of the bishop of London. It also raises the possibility that those drawing up the witness list in 1265 were influenced by earlier models, particularly the 1225 Charter recited in the inspeximus. In 1265, with political legitimacy at a premium, mimicking the order of the 1225 witness list might have served to evoke the authority of that issue.

This discussion has by no means provided a comprehensive discussion of the witness lists to Magna Carta, and does not even claim to explore exhaustively the topics it addresses, such as the influence of political circumstances on the composition of these witness lists, the practice of naming advisors rather than witness, and the ranking of names. Such an endeavour lies beyond the scope of this Feature. The objective has been, instead, to suggest how such witness lists might be a product of their political context, and reflect the concerns of those involved, and thus how they are useful but also problematic indicators of who was in attendance at the issuing of a charter as well as of the roles and relative status of those individuals named. This discussion has thus raised several questions that it cannot hope to answer. A more detailed analysis of witnessing patterns in the charters of King John and Henry III is a desideratum. This would provide a stronger base for comparison with the witness lists to the issues and confirmations of Magna Carta and might seek to answer some of the questions highlighted here,  as well, perhaps, as raising more.


I am grateful to David Carpenter, Henry Summerson and Nicholas Vincent for commenting on drafts of this paper.


D. Bates, ‘The Prosopographical Study of Anglo-Norman Royal Charters’, in K. S. B. Keats-Rohan (ed.), Family Trees and the Roots of Politics (Woodbridge, 1997), 89-102; N. C. Vincent, ‘The Court of Henry II’, in C. Harper-Bill and N. C. Vincent (eds.), Henry II: New Interpretations (Woodbridge, 2007), 278-334 at 284-99. See also the discussion by Dauvit Broun in relation to Scottish charters: D. Broun, ‘The presence of witnesses and the making of charters’, in D. Broun (ed.), The Reality behind Charter Diplomatic in Anglo-Norman Britain (Glasgow, 2011), 235-87 [available online via. the Paradox of Medieval Scotland website at]. For a later period, in England, see: T. Westervelt, ‘Royal charter witness lists and the politics of the reign of Edward IV’, HR 81 (2008), 211-23.


The chancery apparently did not draw up any exemplifications of the 1253 confirmation (D. A. Carpenter, ‘Magna Carta 1253: the ambitions of the church and the divisions within the realm’, Historical Research, 86 (2013), 179-90, at 5 n.25). The notification of the sentence of excommunication pronounced in support of the Charters at the  parliament of May 1253, drawn up by the bishops, states that the king, five named earls and ‘other magnates of the kingdom’ gave their assent to the sentence, which was pronounced by the archbishop of Canterbury and thirteen bishops (Councils and synods: with other documents relating to the English Church, II, 1205-1313, ed. F.M. Powicke and C.R. Cheney (2 vols., Oxford, 1964), part I (1205-1265), 477-78).


'The 1215 Magna Carta: Preface', The Magna Carta Project, trans. H. Summerson et al. [  accessed 04 July 2014]. A new translation of the 1215 Charter, prepared by members of the Magna Carta Project, can be found on the Project website:


H. Summerson, 'The 1215 Magna Carta: Clause 14, Academic commentary', The Magna Carta Project [ accessed 16 June 2014].




D. A. Carpenter, ‘The Dating and Making of Magna Carta’, in his Reign of Henry III, 1-16, at 9-10.


Carpenter, ‘Dating and Making of Magna Carta’, 8-9.


The following account of the circumstances of Henry III’s accession is drawn from: D. A. Carpenter, The Minority of Henry III (London, 1990), 13-25.


W. Stubbs, ed., Select Charters and Other Illustrations of English Constitutional History (9th edn., rev. H.W.C. Davis, Oxford, 1913), 335-39, at 336.


Carpenter, Minority, 19-20.


F. A. Cazel, Jr, ‘Ste Mère-Église, William de (d.1224)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn., Jan 2008 [, accessed 4 July 2014].


For the following account of 1217 see: Carpenter, Minority, 50-55.


For the circumstances of the issue of Magna Carta and the Forest Charter in 1217 see: Carpenter, Minority, 56-63.


Stubbs, Select Charters, 340-44, at 341.


Stubbs, Select Charters, 344-48, at 345.


This explanation was suggested to me by David Carpenter.


Perhaps in the cause of the young King Henry, for he was a loyal and active servant of King John and his son during the period of civil war (R. M. Haines, ‘Gray, Walter de (d. 1255)’,Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn., May 2011 [, accessed 4 July 2014]). When the Charter was confirmed in 1265, no archbishop was present to act as witness. The archbishop of Canterbury was abroad (discussed below) and the archbishop of York, Godfrey Ludham, died on 12 January 1265, around the time that the parliament opened.


For the circumstances of the 1225 issue of Magna Carta, see: Carpenter, Minority, 382-88.


Maddicott, ‘Infinite Multitude': Quality, Quantity and Politics in the Pre-Reform Parliaments of Henry III’, in M. Prestwich, R. Britnell and R. Frame (eds.), Thirteenth Century England VII (Woodbridge, 1999), 17-46, at 20; J. R. Maddicott, The Origins of the English Parliament 924-1327 (Oxford, 2010), 193-94.


S. T. Ambler, 'Feature of the Month: March 2014 - Henry III's Confirmation of Magna Carta in March 1265', The Magna Carta Project[  accessed 04 July 2014].


Foedera, Conventiones, Litterae et Acta Publica, ed. T. Rymer, new edn., Vol. I, part i, ed. A. Clark and F. Holbrooke (Record Comm., 1816), 451-52.


For instance, CChR 1257-1300, 52, CPR 1258-66, 402, 403, 408.


This was suggested to me by David Carpenter.


Carpenter, Minority, 383.


Carpenter, Minority, 383.


D. A. Carpenter, 'Feature of the Month: April 2014 – The Cerne Abbey Magna Carta', The Magna Carta Project[  accessed 24 July 2014].


Ambler, ‘Confirmation of Magna Carta in 1265'.


H. W. Ridgeway, ‘The Lord Edward and the Provisions of Oxford (1258): A Study in Faction’ in P.R. Coss and S.D. Lloyd (eds.), Thirteenth Century England I (Woodbridge,1986), 89-99; C. H. Knowles, ‘Savoy, Boniface of (1206/7–1270)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004[, accessed 24 Feb 2014]; C&S, 660-92); CPR 1258-66, 328.


Stubbs, Select Charters, 349-51, at 350-51 (for the 1225 Charter); Statutes of the Realm, vol. I (Record Commission, 1810), 28 (for the 1237 confirmation); Maddicott, ‘Infinite Multitude’, 19-20. 


N. C. Vincent, ‘Did Henry II Have a Policy Towards the Earls?’, in War, Government and Aristocracy in the British Isles, c.1150-1500. Essays in Honour of Michael Prestwich, ed. C. Given-Wilson, A. Keelte, L. Scales (Woodbridge, 2008), 1-25, at 18-24.


E. Kemp, ‘The Canterbury Provincial Chapter and the Collegiality of Bishops in the Middle Ages’, in Études d’histoire du droit canonique dédiées à Gabriel Le Bras, 2 vols. (Paris, 1965), i, 185-94, at 186-90.


N. C. Vincent, Peter des Roches. An alien in English politics, 1205-1238 (Cambridge, 1996), 226.


Councils and Synods, 477.


The order of episcopal witnesses in the inspeximus witness list is the same as that given for the terms of the lord Edward’s release, except for the omission of the bishop of Salisbury in the latter (Foedera, 451-52).


Walter de Cantilupe acted as spokesman for the English bishops at the parliament of July 1264 (The Historical Works of Gervase of Canterbury, ed. W. Stubbs (2 vols., Rolls ser., 1880), ii, 239-42).


D. A. Carpenter, ‘St. Thomas Cantilupe: his political career’, in his Reign of Henry III, 293-307, 296-98; J. R. Maddicott, Simon de Montfort (Cambridge, 1994), 81-4.

Feature of the Month