The British Records Association prize winners announced

Published: 19 March 2024

The British Records Association is delighted to announce the winners of the 2023 Janette Harley Prize including UofG's Professor Ian Forrest

The British Records Association is delighted to announce the winners of the 2023 Janette Harley Prize.


The British Records Association has announced the winners of the 2023 Janette Harley Prize.

The Prize is shared between two entries as follows:

These contrasting prize-winners show the breadth and value of archival records, and the different ways in which they can be studied and made more accessible.

Forrest and Whittick: Bishops learn about their dioceses through visitations.

Surviving medieval visitation records are rare and of great value to historians.

Bishop John Trefnant’s visitation of his diocese of Hereford in 1397 is contained in Hereford Cathedral Archives (HCA) 1779. The visitation offers unparalleled insight into social life, sexual behaviour, religious belief and practice, and gender relations during a period of religious and political turmoil, revealing how the clergy were disciplined, how English- and Welsh-speakers interacted, and how the congregation experienced worship.

It is also a treasure trove of information about the fabric of local churches and the administration of parishes before the Reformation. The document is a major early source for Welsh naming practices – indeed Bishop Trefnant himself came from a Welsh area, had a Welsh name, and employed Welsh-speaking scribes in his household.

This edition is designed for the non-professional reader, being the first of the Canterbury and York Society’s 111 volumes to be published in the original Latin with a facing English translation. Conscious attempts have been made to preserve the word-order of the original as far as is consistent with fluency of translation, and to avoid technical vocabulary. The edition has greatly increased the accessibility of the manuscript, which now is consulted as a matter of course by the Diocesan Advisory Committee on questions of church fabric.


First published: 19 March 2024