Why Make Back-up Copies? The Mortimer Cartulary and the Technological Revolution

Medieval land charters were written on small pieces of parchment that were easy to damage or misplace.  A cartulary contained copies of such charters as a family possessed, and was an attempt to list and often order what may be several hundred individual documents.  This was their "back-up copy", and a valuable historical resource, given that the original charters may no longer exist.

Even the two Mortimer cartularies currently in the British Library only exist in a deficient form, but they were initially carefully arranged and tabulated, allowing some reconstruction of the missing folios to be attempted.

This paper describes the current state of the manuscripts, their projected original format, and how, by combining different information sets, a much fuller picture of the Mortimers' properties may be obtained.

Paper presented at the International Medieval Congress, Leeds:  14 July 2010.

A5 format.   16 pages + 2 plates.

  • Author Barbara Wright
  • Publisher Flower Press
  • Published In Otley, Yorkshire
  • Year Published 2010