Medieval London: Reading the Records
This site is part of an on-going project to explore the textual records of Medieval London. Thousands of texts from the period have survived, and these texts provide a fascinating insight into the social, political and cultural life of the city.
But these texts do not only document events and processes in the city; they can also be read as imaginatively shaping those events and processes into meaningful and effective narratives.
My wider research project seeks to explore how the urban political classes shaped the civic records to consolidate their control over the city. But to complete this project, I first need easy access to a substantial body of civic writing. To this end, this site presents my transcriptions and translations of various London texts.
The records I am currently focusing on are mostly taken from a late fourteenth-century volume known as Letter-Book H which I am transcribing in full and will be the centrepiece of this site (you can read more about this volume here). And while I’m working with this volume for my own benefit, I hope that this site will prove interesting to others given that the texts it reproduces reveal much about an exciting period in London’s history.
Update (25th June 2012): The site went live today. We are only in the early stages of this project and this site is still under construction, but you will already find the first few records have been published. You can jump straight to the latest additions, visit a random entry, or read a little more about this project.