The Ely Coucher Book, 1249-50. The Bishop of Ely's manors in the Cambridgeshire fenland

The Ely Coucher Book is one of the great unpublished manuscript sources for the high middle ages. It was drawn up for the Bishop of Ely in 1249–50 to record information about his ‘churches, demesnes, meadows, pastures, woods, marshes and fisheries’, and provides an exceptionally detailed record of his manorial holdings. Its description of one of the most important episcopal estates in medieval England allows the reader the opportunity to step into the undrained medieval fenland landscape and to move among its inhabitants through its villages, their fields and fisheries.

This translation of the returns for all seventeen of the bishop’s Cambridgeshire manors was made by Professor Edward Miller, author of the classic account of the Ely estate, but had yet to be made ready for publication at the time of his death in 2000. That essential editorial work has been undertaken by Dr Frances Willmoth and Dr Susan Oosthuizen, who have chosen the evocative images to complement the description of each manor.

978 0 904323 24 5
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Introduction, Extents, Sources, Bibliography, Glossaries, Index, 252pp, soft cover

Miller, Professor Edward

Professor Edward Miller (1915-2000) was regarded as an exceptional medieval historian both nationally and internationally throughout his professional academic life. He read history at St John's College, Cambridge and stayed on graduation as a Fellow there. After the Second World War he became a university lecturer and, from 1961, Warden of Madingley Hall. In 1965 he moved to Sheffield as Professor of Medieval History; he returned to Cambridge in 1971 as Master of Fitzwilliam College, where he remained for the next ten years. He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1981.