DCD Misc. Ch. 7177.

Leaf of fragmentary cartulary, compiled [1218 x c.1230]

The compilation of volumes containing copies of original charters goes back in England to the later eleventh century, at Worcester, although before that copies of documents were entered in Gospel-books and the like, as happened at Durham (DCM Cart. II f. 251 'Carta originalis de Morewyk in northumbr- Require ... originalem istius in quodam textu euangelico in custodia feretrarij', referring to a record dated 1129). Durham's earliest surviving cartulary is the older almoner's cartulary, begun c.1215 [c.f. Cart. El. Parv. p. 83]. Shortly afterwards, between 1218 and c.1230, two cartularies were compiled that both comprised copies of the documents concerning the monastery's principal estate. One survives intact, now known as the Cartuarium Vetus [c.f. Cart. Vet. f. 61r], and early additions to it suggest that it was associated with the prior. The other, of which only seven leaves survive, may perhaps represent the fourth of the books listed as being in the chancery in 1421 : '{.D.} Quartum cartuarium antiquum de munimentis generalibus quod vocabatur liber terrarij'. Like the prior, the terrar, or principal land-agent of the monastery, would have needed to be thoroughly conversant with the rights and privileges of his community. This cartulary is on a much grander scale than the Cartuarium Vetus, with leaves measuring approximately 400 X 295 mm. The margins are generous and the text is written in two columns. There are vertical rows of pricking in both margins to guide the ruling, and a framework of lines extending to the edges of the leaves, such as would be found in library books of high quality; this appears to have been executed in crayon, now perhaps significantly more conspicuous than at first. The texts are skilfully written between, rather than on, the ruled lines and the script used is a fine specimen of book-hand or textura, such as would have been entirely appropriate for a Bible. The initials to each document are alternately red or blue, but without the flourishing found in the Cartuarium Vetus; only red was used in later cartularies. The space at the end of the first line of the document in the second column (a copy of 2.2.Pont.2) was left for the insertion of a descriptive rubric; for lack of these a later archivist added brief notes in the margins indicating the content of the texts. Against the conclusion of the copy of Bishop Marsh's confirmation (DCM, 2.2.Pont.1) to the monks of their rights and privileges, dated 1218, in the upper part of the first column a typical later hand-pointer draws attention to 'Curiam uero suam quam inclite memorie rex Willelmus dedit et concessit eidem priori et conuentui ita libere et honorifice in omnibus sicut habemus nostram; eis concedimus et confirmamus'[view], and further 'cum ... omnibus regalibus consuetudinibus que deo auctore beato cuthberto a regibus anglie concesse sunt. sicut carta bone memorie episcopi Willelmi predescessoris nostri quam supradicti prior et conuentus dunl- inde habent; testatur.'[view] The charter of Bishop William of St Calais, along with those of King William I, was one of those forged by the monks during the twelfth century, cf. 1.1.Pont.4a. In parallel to his eccentricity in recording in his style the fact that he was the king's chancellor, Marsh used the chancery formulation of the dating clause adopted under Richard I for charters, as opposed to writs or letters, beginning "Datum per manum", and in the form "per manum nostram" [view], rather than giving the name of the scribe or datary, see Cheney (1950) pp. 85-90, Chaplais (1971) pp. 14-15.