Online Medieval Sources Bibliography

An Annotated Bibliography of Printed and Online Primary Sources for the Middle Ages

Source Details

Williams, George, ed., Memorials of the Reign of King Henry VI. Official Correspondence of Thomas Bekynton, Secretary to King Henry VI., and Bishop of Bath and Wells. (London: Longmans and Co., 2 vols. (Rolls Series, No. 56))

Text name(s): 

Number of pages of primary source text: 469


Dates: 1397 - 1449

Archival Reference: Lambeth Library ccxi; Cotton MS. Tiv. B. vi.; Cotton MS. Tib. B. xii.; Ashmole MS. 789; New College MS.

Original Language(s): 

  • Latin
  • Anglo-Norman


  • Original language included.

Translation Comments: 

Geopolitical Region(s): 

  • England
  • France


Record Types: 

  • Letter

Subject Headings: 

  • Agriculture
  • Clergy - Monks, Nuns, Friars
  • Clergy - Priests, Bishops, Canons
  • Diplomacy
  • Economy - Trade
  • Government
  • Material Culture: Food, Clothing, Household
  • Nobility / Gentry
  • Royalty / Monarchs
  • Towns / Cities
  • Travel / Pilgrimage
  • War - Military History
  • Women / Gender


  • Index
  • Glossary
  • Appendix
  • Introduction


This volume contains the letters written by and sent to Thomas Bekynton, the Secretary to king Henry VI (1422-61, 1470-71) and bishop of Bath and Wells. The manuscript from which they were derived was probably compiled under the direction of the bishop and is, therefore, likely to be accurate. While the editor has preserved the original organization of the letters, he has also prefaced the volume with a calendar of documents arranged chronologically and summarizes each letter in English. Although the letters concern many matters, they are particularly illustrative of foreign relations (the bishop had served as an envoy to France) and of the domestic conditions in England during Henry’s reign. Of note to scholars of Anglo-Norman are documents written in French in Bekynton’s journal to Bordeaux (vol. 2, pp. 177-248).

Introduction Summary: 

In his introduction George Williams briefly accounts for the manuscripts he used. He then gives a biographical sketch of Bekynton before discussing the relevent domestic history and foreign relations.

Cataloger: SES, rj