This is a detailed study of the large and important diocese of Lincoln under three sixteenth-century bishops, Smith, Wolsey and Atwater. Little detailed work of this kind has been done on the state of the clergy before the Reformation. General studies have tended to rely on the literature of the time, and consequently more is known about what contemporaries thought of the Church, particularly of its shortcomings, than about the actual state of the church itself. Mrs Bowker has used a wide range of diocesan material to fill in this side of the picture. She describes the machinery of diocesan administration and the organization of the ecclesiastical courts, and indicates the extent to which benefit of clergy was abused. There is an important analysis of the reasons for non-residence and its effect on the parishes. Mrs Bowker discusses the educational opportunities and requirements of the priesthood, and the impact on clerical education of the introduction of the printing press.
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(216mm x 140mm x 15mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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