English Church Dedications
Church dedications are as widely used as they are little studied, yet their histories are often obscure and complicated. Frequently forgotten after the Reformation, they were revived on the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries with many guesses and mistakes, resulting in numerous alterations. Church history cannot safely be based on the dedication in use today.
Part One of the book surveys their history in England from roman ties to the present day. Part Two is detailed list of all 800 ancient parish churches and religious houses in Cornwall and Devon. It shows when their dedications first occur, the changes and misunderstandings that have happened, and the dates of parish feast days.
Cornwall is a country of Celtic church dedication, whilst Devon’s resemble this of the rest of England, so the book will be helpful in understanding dedications in both traditions.
Contents: Part One Introduction: English church dedications; the period before 1066; from 1066 to the Reformation; from the Reformation to 1800; church dedications since 1800; the gazetteer and how to use it. Part Two Gazetteer of church dedications: church dedications in Cornwall; church dedications in Devon.
". . . This volume is easy to use and presents valuable information, much of it, in effect, for the first time. It provides a useful and inexpensive basis for further investigation."
(Ecclesiastical History, Vol. 49, No. 3, July 1998) ‘ . . . an exemplary demonstration of the deep scholarship which we have come to expect of its author, who provides several kinds of index and an awe-inspiring bibliography to the whole study . . . (He) sets the present investigation before us with the hope of its proving the start of an enterprise to trace the history of all church dedications in England and he provides a model of formidable erudition and great clarity for others to follow.’
(English Church Dedications Newsletter of the Centre for South-Western Historical Studies, Spring 1997)
Nicholas Orme is Professor of History in the University of Exeter. He has written widely on religious, educational and social history. He is the leading authority on Church history in the South West of England