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Welcome to the Taxatio Database

The taxatio database contains the valuation, plus related details, of the English and Welsh parish churches and prebends listed in the ecclesiastical taxation assessment of 1291-2.

A taxatio is an assessment for taxation and the taxatio with which this database is concerned is often called the Pope Nicholas IV taxatio because it was carried out on the orders of that pope. For nearly 250 years virtually all ecclesiastical taxation of England and Wales was based on this extremely thorough and detailed assessment. It is a unique source for the medieval period: no other complete survey of its kind survives for any part of medieval Europe. An edition of one of the many extant manuscripts of the assessment was produced by the Record Commission in 1802: Taxatio Ecclesiastica Angliae et Walliae Auctoritate P. Nicholai IV, ed. T.Astle, S.Ayscough and J.Caley. All the detailed material concerning the values of ecclesiastical benefices in this printed edition (the 'spiritualities' part of the assessment as distinct from the 'temporalities' part) has been entered onto the database.

Work on the database is complete or virtually complete for the dioceses of Canterbury, Rochester, London, Lincoln, Norwich, Chichester, Exeter, Hereford, Salisbury, Bath and Wells, Winchester, Worcester, Ely, St Davids, Llandaff, St Asaph and Bangor. The information available from the database is currently affected by a few inadequacies in other dioceses, especially in relation to patronage.

The taxatio database was originally established in 1986 at the University of Manchester by a research team under the supervision of Jeff Denton, former Professor of Medieval History. It was transferred to the Humanities Research Institute of the University of Sheffield in 2003.

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