The prosperous Cluniac priory of St John the Evangelist, Pontefract, was founded around 1090 by Robert de Lacy, remaining subject to its mother-house of La Charité-sur-Loire until the fourteenth century. The charters in this two-volume work have been arranged by type: seigniorial charters; episcopal and papal charters; royal charters; and those relating to priory property, arranged geographically according to proximity to Pontefract. The chartulary is particularly valuable for topographical studies and local and family history - in many cases the names of all witnesses have been transcribed. The manuscript was originally compiled in the first half of the thirteenth century, with additions made on blank leaves over the following centuries (not included by the editor). Volume 1, published in 1899, comprises the first 45 folios, containing 233 charters, and an introduction on the history of the priory and the de Lacy family. Each Latin charter is preceded by a brief English summary.
Richard Holmes is the author of Footsteps: Adventures of a Romantic Biographer; Sidetracks: Explorations of a Romantic Biographer; Dr. Johnson & Mr. Savage; Shelley: The Pursuit (for which he received the Somerset Maugham Award); Coleridge: Early Visions; and Coleridge: Darker Reflections (a New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice and a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist). He lives in England.