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Beaumont Charters

Date range: 12th–17th centuries.

Collection of over one hundred charters relating to abbeys in Normandy, part of a collection assembled by the Abbé Gervais De La Rue (1751–1835), the noted Norman scholar.

In around 1840 the charters were acquired in Paris by Thomas Stapleton (1806-1849), editor of the Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae (1840-4).

The documents comprise grants, vidimuses, licences and legal agreements concerning lands belonging to the Abbeys of Notre Dame at Ardenne, Aunay-sur-Onon and Barbery, and to abbeys at Caen, Fécamp, Fontenay-le-Tesson, Gouffern, Troarn and Vignats.

The majority of items relate to houses and their estates in the Dèpartement of Calvados, with smaller numbers concerning the Départements of Manche, Orne and Seine Inférieure.

Much of the material dates from the late twelfth, thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries.

Among the most interesting items are a Bull of Pope Nicholas III, and a Bull of the Antipope Benedict XIII relating to the Benedictine Abbey of La Sainte-Trinité in Caen.

The collection constitutes a significant source for studies of land-holding and the organization of religious houses in medieval France.

Finding aids

  • Catalogue available online via ELGAR.
  • Published handlist, Robert Fawtier, Handlist of Charters, Deeds, and Similar Documents in the Possession of the John Rylands Library, vol. 1 (Manchester, 1925).


The John Rylands Library

Using the reading rooms in the John Rylands Library