In 1152 the future King Henry II Plantagenet of England married the divorced wife of King Louis VII of France, Eleanor of Aquitaine. This brought the great duchy of Aquitaine into the possession of the Plantagenet kings of England with momentous consequences for the history of Europe, particularly for relations between England and France.
Although studies have been devoted to many aspects of the subsequent period, there are still very significant gaps in our knowledge. To a very large degree this is a result of the inaccessibility of the major source for Plantagenet rule in Aquitaine, namely the Gascon Rolls (C 61) in the U.K. National Archives.
The rolls are of fundamental importance, shedding as they do considerable light on English government in the last major continental possession of the English Crown, and revealing the relationship between the king, and his English administration, with his officers in the duchy, and with his subjects in his lordship of Aquitaine. But the evidence provided by the rolls goes well beyond the administrative, political and economic history of a French province, and forms, amongst many other things, one of the principal primary sources for any study of Anglo-French relations at a time when tensions were growing between the English and French crowns, culminating in the outbreak of the Hundred Years War.
The Gascon Rolls project has been established with the aim of making the rolls accessible to researchers. It is a collaborative project between the Universities of Oxford and Liverpool, and the Centre for the Computing in the Humanities at King’s College, University of London, and is funded by a large grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council. The aims of the project are ambitious, and are to provide a full calendar (summary translation) edition of all the unpublished rolls – C 61/32–144 (1317-1468). The edition will initially be provided as an online resource only. It will be available alongside high quality digital images of the original rolls provided by The National Archives (TNA). There will also be extensive indexes which will be fully searchable and a full historical introduction which will make the edition an invaluable resource for scholars
Page last updated: 27/06/2012, at 14:26
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