Episcopal Travel in England

The Episcopal Travel project is where the research issues for the Travelers Lab really started. Other work on the role of medieval bishops in taking care of the poor made Shaw aware of the bishops’ apparent interest in the concerns of travelers. This was because they were major travelers themselves. In this project, we have started to cull bishops motions–their itineraries–initially from the printed accounts of bishops mobility within their official records, notably the bishops registers and acta. As the project proceeds we hope to establish the general and individual character of that mobility as well as its consequences for things like diocesan supervision, social interaction, as well as for demonstrating the patterns of business undertaken by these great lords. Were bishops comparable in their peripatetic style to lay peers, such as earls or dukes? What sort of changes can be observed over the centuries of the later middle ages in bishops’ patterns. Did they travel less in the fifteenth century than the thirteenth?

This project is directed by Gary Shaw. It has been assisted by several students over the last few years as the data has been collected. Notable members were Stephanie Ling, Hanna Korevaar, Elizaveta Kravchenko, Zachary Kaufman, Hyo Jung Jeung, and Jeesue Lee. The 2018-19 goals for this project are to verify, clean, and present some of the medieval bishops’ itinerary information for wider accessibility to the general scholarly community.

For some illustrations connected to this research, click here.

For a working paper in progress, collaborative between professor and now former student Stephanie Ling, see here.