Abstract

In 1287, Bishop Godfrey Giffard of Worcester fell out with his clerk, Peter of Leicester, denouncing him for ingratitude. Yet the bishop faced a problem: Peter’s ecclesiastical benefices. For lords, benefices had distinct advantages in allowing them to support bureaucrats without directly affecting their own finances, but for someone of Giffard’s position, the situation was far more disagreeable—the law and the courts made benefices largely irrevocable. Giffard’s maneuvers regarding Peter’s benefices indicate that benefices were a poor instrument of accountability, a characteristic that deserves some attention.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-0708
Print ISSN
0008-8080
Pages
pp. 453-473
Launched on MUSE
2009-06-27
Open Access
No
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