Bishops and diocese of Carlisle: Church and society on the Anglo-Scottish border, 1292-1395
Rose, Richard Kenneth
This thesis is concerned with the five bishops who ruled the diocese of Carlisle between 1292 and 1395: John Halton (1292-1324), John Ross (1324-1332), John Kirkby (1332- 1352), Gilbert Welton (1353-1362), and Thomas Appleby (1363-1395). The thesis is divided into two parts. In the first section of the first part there is a general discussion of the trends in the appointment of English Bishops in the late thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, and the origins and preferment of the five bishops of Carlisle here studied is then discussed. As in other diocese of lesser value, the cathedral chapter was frequently able to secure the sea for its own candidates. There was little royal interest in the see, and papal interest was only fleeting and formal. The election of John Halton coincided with the debate for the crown of Scotland, which eventually led to the hostilities and uneasy truces that dominated relations between England and the Scots throughout the later middle ages. Halton and his successors, with the exception of John Ross, were closely involved in many aspects of the war and border affairs, and the second section of part one is devoted to their activities in the north, and the major events of the wars are also given brief notice. Hilton's two collectorships of papal tenths in Scotland, his attendance of the general council of Vienne, and Appleby's involvement in parliament in the later years of Edward III and his tenure as a continual councillor in the first year of Richard II's reign are also discussed. Part two is concerned with the bishops as diocesans. In the first section there is a discussion of the keeping of medieval episcopal records, and an analysis is made of the register of Halton, Kirkby, Welton, and Appleby, and the fragment of that of Ross, the only ones of the medieval diocese of Carlisle to have survived and the main sources of which this study of based. The second section is concerned with the bishops' functions and responsibilities, with their exercise of patronage, and with the men whom they selected for the various offices of diocesan administration and their rights and duties. Episcopal administration at Carlisle was highly centralised. For the most part, the bishops have remarkable records for residence. Moreover, there was an absence of archidiaconal jurisdiction, and there were no true jurisdictional peculiars situated within the boundaries of the diocese. The bishops relied mainly upon the officials and rural deans to execute their mandates. and the officials furthermore usually performed various functions that in other dioceses were recognised as pertaining to the archdeacon. In the third section the recruitment of the secular clergy, upon whom fell the major responsibilities of ministering to the spiritual needs of the laity and of making the sacraments available, is examined. Finally, there are three appendices: the episcopal itineraries; a list of the occupants of the offices of diocesan administration; and a list of the administrative incumbents of the parish churches.