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Accounting, Management and Control at Durham Cathedral Priory c. 1250-c. 1420

DOBIE, ALISDAIR,JOHN (2011) Accounting, Management and Control at Durham Cathedral Priory c. 1250-c. 1420. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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This is the first study to be undertaken with the objective of documenting and analysing the accounting records and systems of Durham Cathedral Priory, from which survives one of the largest collections of medieval accounting material in the United Kingdom. It moves beyond the traditional focus of accounting historians on manorial compoti to examine a network of non-manorial accounts and a range of accounting forms beyond the charge and discharge statement. A substantial body of non-accounting primary material is also used in the investigation including charters, registers, and general chapter and visitation records. This study finds that a culture of accounting permeated the activities of the house at all levels from the controls surrounding the receipt of the hundreds of quarters of grain consumed by the house each year to the issue of the individual daily loaf. It also identifies a complexity in the accounts not always appreciated by historians who have consequently misinterpreted and misquoted figures taken from the account-rolls. In this period the accounts show a responsiveness to changes in the environment and fortunes of the house by the refinement of existing forms and the introduction of new types of financial record. The care given to the preparation of accounts and the detailed investigation of accounting and financial matters in the regular visitations to which the house was subject allow a refutation of general allegations of carelessness and inaccuracy in the preparation and presentation of accounts. The accounting system at Durham was an important and effective control in the functioning of the house and in the exercise and enforcement of its rights.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Durham Cathedral Priory, medieval accounting.
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > History, Department of
Thesis Date:2011
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:11 Feb 2011 16:01

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