Biographical Register of Carmelites in England and Wales 1240 - 1540


Saint Albert's Press is delighted to announce the publication in 2020 of a major resource in Medieval Studies, the Biographical Register of Carmelites in England and Wales 1240-1540 by Reverend Doctor Richard Copsey, O.Carm.

ISBN: 978-0-904849-52-3

Format: Hardback

Pages: xxiv + 548


About the Register

The Carmelite Order arrived in England when a small group of hermits from an obscure community on Mount Carmel in the Holy Land settled in lands given to them at extreme ends of the country, Northumberland and Kent. After a difficult beginning, the new Order expanded rapidly and by the latter half of the 14th century it numbered 39 communities and a total of nearly 1,000 friars.

Writing in 1536, at the start of the English Reformation, the former Carmelite friar John Bale spoke admiringly of the early members of that religious order: ‘The sons of Elijah were poor hermits, of small repute among men, humble, retiring … They were endowed with the Holy Spirit, of fervent devotion, occupied in contemplation of God … from among them came many who were wise and learned men.’ Bale went on to accuse his contemporary Carmelites of declining zeal: ‘They came to the notice of princes, put on airs and graces … rewarded with honours and titles, enriched with gifts … ambitious, proud, acquisitive.’

The highs and lows of the Carmelite Order in medieval England and Wales have been captured in this biographical register by eminent historian Richard Copsey. The fruit of four decades of scholarly research, the register compiles the known details of nearly 5,000 Carmelite men (and a handful of women) from the Order’s arrival in England until its suppression at the Dissolution of the Monasteries. By scouring hundreds of historical sources, Copsey’s register casts light on medieval Carmelite friars who were saints, bishops, confessors to royalty, academics, men of prayer, scientists, diplomats, musicians, preachers, poets, and even a handful of thieves, heretics, and murderers.

Each entry in this major work of prosopography contains, as far as possible, all biographical information known for an individual, as well as a last of all works known to have been written by each friar, together with any surviving manuscripts and printed editions. For each of the better-known friars there is also a comprehensive bibliography.



About the author

Fr. Richard Copsey, O.Carm., has served in many roles during his ministry as a Carmelite friar, including as a lecturer, psychologist, headteacher, and Prior Provincial of the Order in Britain. He has written extensively on the early history of the Carmelites, served for some years as editor of the Order's academic journal Carmelus, and was a founding board member of the Carmelite Institute of Britain & Ireland (CIBI). He is in high demand as a speaker on Carmelite history and spirituality.



Contents of the Biographical Register

  • Introduction (xxiv pages): describing the organisation of the medieval province, the formation of friars, etc., and the sources used for the Register.
  • Biographical entries (509 pages): 4912 entries with cross-links to alternative names.
  • Appendices
    • Carmelite houses in the medieval English Province
    • Four distinctions of the English Province
    • Provincials of the English Province
    • Notable foreign Carmelites who visited England
    • English and Welsh Carmelite bishops
    • Priors General 1240-1540
  • Index of Surnames


Biographical Register sample

Saint Albert's Press is pleased to make available for free an extract of the Biographical Register that includes: the introductory material; entries lacking first name; entries beginning with 'A';  the appendices; and full index of surnames.



The Biographical Register incorporates a number of illustrations from medieval manuscripts and post-medieval artwork.



To purchase the Biographical Register

The Register costs £49.95 plus the cost of postage and packing.

Order from our online shop or for individual or trade purchases please contact:

Carmelite Friars, 34 Tanners Street, Faversham, Kent, ME13 7JW, United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1795 539214



Additions and Corrections

As these are notified to the author/publisher, additions and corrections will be published here.



Linked Resources