Department of History, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UNITED KINGDOM.
All the known surviving acts issued in the name of the Lord Edward during the period 14 February 1254 - 20 November 1212 have here been collected together. They have been arranged in date order and a brief summary of each instrument indicating its contents, its diplomatic classification and its provenance is given. Where necessary, explanatory notes have been provided.
The four introductory chapters are designed to set the catalogue in its proper context. In the first, the procedures followed in compiling the catalogue are outlined and the scope of the present work is indicated. The survival of Edward's acts ,and the other materials available for a study of the appanage conferred on him by his father in February 1254 are discussed.
Chapter II comprises a brief survey of the composition of Edward's appanage. After consideration of the lands and issues assigned to him before February 1254, the terms of Henry III's grant of the appanage are examined. The formal relationship between Edward and the king, which resulted, created tensions between them in particular because of Edward's inability to alienate land at will. A list of the lands acquired and lost by Edward during the period is presented in order to give some idea of the changing composition of the appanage. A section concerned with Edward's style aims to show that the only title he held to the lands with which he was endowed was Dominus.
The third chapter is concerned with the diplomatic of Edward’s acta. Wherever possible comparison has been made with royal chancery practice. Edward’s writs and letters and their different usages, are carefully distinguished. The language of his instruments, the dating conventions followed in them, and the value of the witness lists of his charters considered Edward's seal is described, its different versions are enumerated, and the implications of the use of different coloured wax in the sealing process are examined. The sealing arrangements of Edward's Gascon and Irish administration are compared.
The principal duties of Edward's chancery, which is considered separately were the drafting, engrossing, seating and enrolment of his writs. The office remained itinerant and was therefore closely associated with the person of the Lord Edward throughout the period. There is, in marked contrast to the Black Prince's chancery, scant evidence of an inclination for it to become fixed in one place before Edward set out on crusade in August 1270. By comparison with his father's chancery, Edward's appears to have been at a rather rudimentary stage of development. Its clerks do not seem to have been assigned to specific tasks within it. His chancellors, who were closely dependent on his favour, are listed and their periods of office are considered. The arrangements made for the custody of the seal used during Edward's absence in the Holy Land are discussed.
The final introductory chapter purports to display the historical value of the catalogue. It has been divided into three sections. The first contrasts the conventional view of the irresponsible heir to the throne with the personality of the Lord Edward revealed in his acts. The second attempts to assess Edward's political role during the disturbed later years of his father's reign and to indicate how much of value to him as king Edward learned from his exercise of authority before his accession. A final section indicates the importance of his acts for a reconstruction of the mechanics of the administration of his appanage.