about this project
- The Consistory Court of the Diocese of London
- Medieval Canon Law and Consistory Court Litigation
- Late Medieval London and its Hinterland
- Editorial and Translation Conventions
- Further Reading
- Credits and Acknowledgements
About This Project
Consistory is a database featuring testimony offered in the main church court of the diocese of London, an ecclesiastical jurisdiction that included the medieval city of London itself and its rural hinterland of Essex, Middlesex, and parts of Hertfordshire.
The London Consistory court had wide jurisdiction over issues touching sacraments or "sin," understood broadly -- disputes concerning marriage, defamation, sexual offences, debt, the probate of wills, and clerical discipline were brought to this court for adjudication by the ecclesiastical judge. The testimony entered in the court's records offers invaluable evidence for our understanding of many aspects of late medieval history, including marriage, sexuality, law, urban life, labour, credit, material culture, concepts of honour and reputation, literacy, the workings of the ecclesiastical court system, and religious beliefs and practice.
This online resource is projected over the next several years to present all the surviving medieval (pre-1500) records of litigation in this court (about 1100 depositions and examinations altogether), both in transcription of the original Latin of the documents and in modern English translation.