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Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Toronto, 2009.
Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 72-06, Section: A, page: .
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The Cistercian abbey of Vaucelles was founded in 1131/1132 just outside Cambrai. In the course of the following two centuries, it became an impressive and powerful house, with sixteen granges and the largest church in the Cistercian Order. Although very little of the abbey itself is still extant, an abundance of its written records survive from 1133 until the late eighteenth century. This large number of extant documents makes Vaucelles a particularly valuable object of study. Of particular interest is the grange of Baudival. The original charters and the abbey's single cartulary provide an especially complete history thereof.As is the case with any grange, an understanding of Baudival's development requires an examination of both the lands and rights that created the grange and the patrons who offered them as gifts. It is equally important to assess the ability of the abbey to take advantage of the variety of gifts and to consolidate them as a grange. Without effective management, gifts would remain a loose collection of lands and rights. Managed properly, however, independent gifts could be used to create a large and productive grange like Baudival. The present study of these topics includes the edition of one hundred and two medieval documents, which allow a thorough examination of Baudival grange from its establishment in 1137 until 1307, just before the abbey was struck by a severe financial crisis that significantly altered its status. The study addresses the circumstances, both financial and political, by which Baudival was established and developed, the types of patrons and transactions involved in the process of consolidation, the geographical distribution and composition of its holdings, and the produce of the grange as reflected in the documents. A local study of this type sheds light on broader developments in medieval Cistercian history. Studies on the development of an individual grange, for instance, show how an abbey pursued economic and agricultural consolidation. When such topics are treated in synthetic studies, the local differences that are endemic to medieval history, monastic and otherwise, tend to be smoothed away.