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Monks and MarketsDurham Cathedral Priory 1460-1520$
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Miranda Threlfall-Holmes

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199253814

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199253814.001.0001

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Introduction and Context

Introduction and Context

(p.1) 1 Introduction and Context
Monks and Markets

Miranda Threlfall-Holmes (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This introductory chapter begins by surveying received wisdom on medieval trade and the medieval economy, pointing out that little is known about the purchasing behaviour and motivations of medieval households as consumers. It then discusses the regional economic context of medieval north-east England. Durham was a relatively small market town compared to Newcastle-upon-Tyne (which this study reveals to have been a major regional hub) but had disproportionate political and ecclesiastical importance. This book uses the obedientiary accounts of Durham Cathedral Priory to analyse the economic activity of the monastery and region, and the obedientiary system of monastic administration is discussed in some detail. The Durham accounts have survived in unprecedented numbers, and this has made possible a detailed analysis of the priory's administrative strategies and accounting system in the late 15th century.

Keywords:   obedientiary system, monastic administration, medieval economy, medieval households, Durham Cathedral Priory, north-east England, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

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