Online Medieval Sources Bibliography

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

Source Details

Legge, M. Dominica, ed., Anglo-Norman Letters and Petitions, from All Souls MS. 182 (Oxford: Blackwell for the Anglo-Norman Text Society, vol. 3) Read this source online

Text name(s): Anglo-Norman Letters and Petitions

Number of pages of primary source text: 469


Dates: 1390 - 1412

Archival Reference: All Souls MS. 182

Original Language(s): 

  • Anglo-Norman


  • Original language included.

Translation Comments: 

Geopolitical Region(s): 

  • Flanders
  • England
  • France

County/Region: Normandy

Record Types: 

  • Formulary
  • Letter

Subject Headings: 

  • Law - Secular
  • Law - Crime
  • Government
  • Family / Children
  • Economy - Trade
  • Diplomacy
  • Nobility / Gentry
  • Royalty / Monarchs
  • War - Military History


  • Index
  • Glossary
  • Introduction


This work prints 412 Anglo-Norman letters which make up much of the contents of All Souls MS 182. The manuscript, which also contains treatises in Latin on governance and record-keeping, was probably compiled by the cleric John Stevenes, who worked for the King and the diocese of Norwich, during the course of his administrative career. It would have served partly as a formulary, or collection of instructions and examples of how to write various legal documents and letters, and partly as a register of important letters Stevenes sent or received. There is a wide variety of documents: official treaties between monarchs, writs of summons, safe-passages, political messages, and personal letters between family members. The letters include petitions sent both to the Archbishop of Canterbury and the King, letters relating to the king’s business in Ireland and Wales, letters about the administration of the diocese of Norwich, some of the private correspondence of Henry Despenser up to his death, and some anonymous letters. All but a few of these letters are printed for the first time in this edition, which gives a brief summary of the matter of the letter before each one, and relevant historical notes after each. It also includes a brief bibliography (2 pp.), a selective glossary of Anglo-Norman words (8 pp.), and an index of proper names (17 pp.).

Introduction Summary: 

The brief introduction (13 pp.) explains what is known of the background, ownership, and sources of compilation of the work, arguing for John Stevenes as the first owner and compiler. It also gives a short overview of the contents of the letters found in the collection. Furthermore, there is a thorough description of the manuscript.

Cataloger: MAK, EGK