Volume 68

 

Volume 68 in our series, The Register of John Blyth, Bishop of Salisbury, 1493-99, edited by David Wright, was published in 2015. Despite the relatively short episcopacy of John Blyth, his register contains much of interest. The regular business of ordination and institutions to benefices forms the core of the register, and it is fascinating to glimpse Thomas Wolsey, ordained priest in 1498, at the start of a career that would take him to the highest level in the church. A series of heresy abjurations provides insight into the nature of dissent. The records of elections of heads of religious houses offer engaging details about monastic life. Perhaps the most significant document is as English translation of a papal letter threatening the fiercest ecclesiastical strictures to anyone challenging Henry VII as he sought to secure his rule. Henry ordered this translation into English to be promulgated to virtually every parish in England, and this is believed to be the first time it has appeared in print. In fact quite a large proportion of the register is in English, making it a useful source for the study of the development of the language.

Copies may be purchased for £20 + £2.80 p+p in the UK (please enquire for overseas rates) from the Honorary Secretary, Helen Taylor, via email or at the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre, Cocklebury Road, Chippenham SN15 3QN; tel: 01249 705500.