In the 13th century, the English episcopate took a leading role in overseeing the government of the kingdom, enforcing Magna Carta by sentence of excommunication. Between 1258 and 1265, many churchmen went further by supporting the Montfortian revolution that seized the reins of government from the king’s hands. Seeking to engage a broad section of society, churchmen disseminated these political programmes to the wider population accompanied by the ecclesiastical sentences that fortified them. This talk explores the methods they employed and how the liturgical setting they provided for the propaganda of political reform contributed to the politicisation of English society.
The talk is the annual lecture of the Pipe Roll Society and follows its AGM.
Sophie Ambler was awarded her doctorate in 2012 at King’s College London for her thesis ‘Peacemakers and Partisans: Bishops and Political Reform 1213-67′. She is currently working for the AHRC-funded Breaking of Britain project: www.breakingofbritain.ac.uk/.