This book is a timely and refreshing look at Robin Flower's proposition that there was an unbroken link between hereditary learned families and the medieval Irish Church. The book takes this as its core argument and marshals an array of sources to develop the proposition by surveying 15th-century church appointments in Co. Clare. The study reveals how extensive those connections were in medieval Co. Clare and, despite the reform of the Irish Church in the 12th century, there was no clear severance between the ecclesiastical world and the custodians of the native monastic church. The old clerical lineages and the offices of coarb and erenagh remained material elements in the structures of the medieval Irish Church, alongside members of the learned class and the aristocratic families who sought preferment in the ranks of the church as a staging post for their political ambition. This survey provides a template for bringing all of these disparate points together by using an array of original source material - Latin, Gaelic, and English - to understand the social and political milieu of the Church in Gaelic Ireland. Many of the sources used are printed for the first time and will be of interest to the historian, archaeologist, and genealogist alike.
Luke McInerney, Hardcover, ISBN 10: 1846823919, ISBN 13: 9781846823916