Administration on the estates of Humphrey Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, 1402-1460
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The purpose of this work is to describe the system of administration which existed on the estates of a megnatic of the fifteenth century, using mainly the estate records, the accounts, as source materials. To set the period and the estates themselves in context, the first two chapters have been devoted to a consideration of the life and career of the magnate, Humfrey Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, and to a description of the estates, their history and their extent. The various types of accounts themselves as working documents are then described. From them it is possible to build up a picture of the estate administration based on the units of the manor or village and the receivership, and the scope and importance of the Receiver-General and the Auditor. The actual work of the memorial officers, the receivers and the auditors is also dealt with insofar as the running of the estates is concerned. Following from the organization of the administration of extensive estates is the secondary consideration of the men who ran the estates, their origins, their connexions with Stafford, their use to Stafford outwith the purely routine affairs of administration and their expectations of advancement within his service. As far as is possible, a study is made of these men and of the men who were supported from the estates by retaining fees, in order to discover their political importance to Stafford, and whether he used them as a means of increasing his own influence and power in national or local politics. These points are covered in the two final chapters and the conclusion.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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