This book is the first detailed examination on a comparative basis of the economic and political relations between the bishops and their cathedral clergy in England during the century and a half after the Conquest. In particular, it is a study of the structure and historical development of the mensal endowments and the redistribution of wealth which led, in the course of time, to the establishment of the chapter as a largely independent body with substantial political power. A description of the constitutional importance of the mensa and its treatment in recent scholarly writing is followed by a discussion of property rights and liberties in the church and the role of the bishop in ecclesiastical and civil government. The core of the book consists of an analysis based on contemporary sources of the episcopal and capitular organisation in each of the ten monastic and seven secular sees.
"In sum, the author is erudite, the work significant, and the general arguments convincing." Speculum-A Journal of Medieval Studies "This monograph is the first comprehensive study of the long and complicated history of the mensa episcopalis." "In the main, this is an important study, which will be fundamantal for all future work on the relations between English bishops and their chapters in the period after the Norman Conquest." Marjorie Chibnall, Albion "...this is an important study, which will be fundamental for all future work on the relations between English bishops and their chapters in the period after the Norman Conquest." Albion