Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Legacy Department


First Advisor

Jerome V. Reel Jr.

Second Advisor

Farrell B. Brown


The importance of monastic houses in England, as far as their general influence upon and status in English society are concerned, is available in numerous sources. However, more specific information concerning a monastic house and its relationship to the king and to other members of lay society is rare. The purpose of this paper is to study in as much detail as possible eight Cistercian monastic houses during the regin of Edward II (1307-1327) in order to discover the types of relationships these abbeys had to other parties and to analyze these relationships as fully as possible. The Cistercian order, which followed the Benedictines into England and eventually overshadowed them, became one of the wealthiest and most powerful monastic orders in the history of England. In the twenty years being studied, civil disorder and desires for governmental reform produced significant change in English administration and politics. For this paper, all available information concerning these abbeys during 1307-1327 was gathered and analyzed. Especially valuable in this research were the primary sources of the Public Record Office, and more specifically the Chancery Records and publications of the Records Comission. Also invaluable to this study were various English historical society publications, many of which were transcriptions and occasional translation of primary material in public and private archives, and numerous monographs concerned with monasticism in England. The data acquired from the sources fell into two divisions: that which concerned interactions between Edward II and the eight abbeys and that which concerned other individuals or groups and the eight abbeys. These two divisions were in turn subdivided into areas of interactions, namely royal favors and visits, finances, alnd, political activity, and litigations. It is with these specific areas as they relate to the eight abbeys that this paper is concerned.