The Fabric Accounts of St Stephen's Chapel, Westminster, 1292–1396 (2020)
University of York in collaboration with the Palace of Westminster, Houses of Parliament
The Fabric Accounts of St Stephen's Chapel, Westminster, 1292–1396
Edited by Tim Ayers
Transcribed and translated by Maureen Jurkowski
Published by Boydell and Brewer, 2020
2 volumes, 1,543 pages
The Fabric Accounts of St Stephen's Chapel, Westminster, 1292–1396, edited by Professor Tim Ayers (University of York) and transcribed and translated by Dr Maureen Jurkowski (University of York/University College London) was published in April 2020. The book offers a full critical edition and translation of the fabric accounts for St Stephen’s Chapel at the Palace of Westminster, for the first time. It is the result of the research project ‘The Building Accounts for St Stephen's Chapel, Palace of Westminster, 1292–1366’, a collaboration between the Department of History of Art, University of York, and the Palace of Westminster, Houses of Parliament, funded by the Leverhulme Trust.
The exceptionally full fabric accounts of St Stephen’s Chapel, consisting of some 640 feet of rolls, were transcribed and translated by Dr Jurkowski, a medieval historian and archival researcher with particular expertise in documents from the royal Exchequer. They were then contextualised, critiqued and annotated by Professor Ayers. The result is a critically acclaimed publication that will be invaluable for art historians and historians of royal government and political culture.
First publication, with English translation, of the accounts of the building of St Stephen's Chapel.
Begun by Edward I in 1292 and finished by Edward III, the rebuilding and decoration of St Stephen's chapel took three reigns and over 60 years to complete (accommodation for the associated college of secular clergy was still underconstruction in the 1390s). The chapel stood at the heart of the palace of Westminster, the pre-eminent centre of English royal government and ceremonial. Produced by the royal Exchequer and now in The National Archives, the fabric accounts for St Stephen's are exceptionally rich, but have not been fully published until now.
This edition comprises over sixty rolls, from between 1292 and 1396, documenting in meticulous detail a building of spectacular magnificence. They are of international importance as evidence for medieval crafts, especially masonry, carpentry, painting and glass-painting, recording many hundreds of people, their organisation and working practices, and their materials and sources of supply. As primary sources for a major project in the king's works, the accounts also have a special significance for the study of English royal patronage and political culture.
An extensive introduction sets out their history, structure and context; the Latin text is presented with a facing translation, critical apparatus and indices.
- Editorial note
- 1292-97. Building
- Issue and jornalia rolls
- 1298-1319. Break and maintenance
- 1320-26. Building
- Pipe roll
- 1327-30. Break and maintenance
- 1331-35. Building
- 1336-40. Building (1337); break and maintenance
- Pipe roll
- 1340-48. Building
- Pipe roll
- 1349-66. Building and furnishing, college building
- Pipe rolls
- 1384-96. College building
- Foreign accounts
'Ayers’s five-part introduction provides an invaluable orientation to the assembled material. […]Ayers and Jurkowski’s work will be a boon to scholars in multiple fields.' (Zachary Stewart in Speculum, 2022, vol. 97, no. 2)
'The editor and translator of these volumes are to be highly commended for such a body of work, as these accounts are a vital and important source for the period in many different areas of potential study. In addition, the introduction in Volume I by Professor Tim Ayers provides a comprehensive and impressive summary of many aspects of these accounts. […] these volumes are an excellent example of the genre of primary sources in print. The editor and translator are to be highly commended for such an excellent publication which is completed to the highest standards of accuracy and clarity of layout.' (Cindy Wood in The Medieval Review, 2021)
'This publication is a major contribution to the study of late medieval architecture and art.' (Julian Luxford in The Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 73(3), 639-640)
Main image: Cover detail of The Fabric Accounts of St Stephen's Chapel, Westminster, 1292–1396, edited by Tim Ayers and translated by Maureen Jurkowski (Boydell and Brewer, 2020)