A Social History of England, 1200-1500 by Rosemary Horrox, W. Mark Ormrod

By Rosemary Horrox, W. Mark Ormrod

What used to be existence relatively like in England within the later heart a long time? This accomplished advent explores the complete breadth of English lifestyles and society within the interval 1200-1500. starting with a survey of historiographical and demographic debates, the e-book then explores the relevant subject matters of later medieval society, together with the social hierarchy, lifestyles in cities and the geographical region, spiritual trust, and kinds of person and collective identification. Clustered round those subject matters a sequence of authoritative essays boost our figuring out of different vital social and cultural positive factors of the interval, together with the adventure of warfare, paintings, legislation and order, formative years and previous age, ritual, shuttle and shipping, and the advance of writing and interpreting. Written in an obtainable and fascinating demeanour through a world workforce of best students, this publication is crucial either as an advent for college students and as a source for experts.

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In a famous incident in 1448, Margaret Paston and her mother-in-law suffered a verbal attack (‘large language’ as Margaret called it) in which the Pastons and all their kin were denounced as unfree. 6 nobility, knighthood and chivalry By the early thirteenth century the nobility were already differentiated from the rest of mankind by their manners. The French writer on love, Andrew the Chaplain, writing most probably at the court of Marie, countess of Champagne, during the later part of the twelfth century, believed there was a certain air (natura) which great men possessed.

It is no coincidence that the body of manorial tenants was known as the homage: that is, those who had pledged faith to the lord for their holdings. The greatest expression of this subordination is that a lord could sell his serfs singly, as well as part and parcel of an estate. Either way, they were sold with their goods, chattels and offspring. Nothing can convey the social gulf between lord and serf more clearly than this. As the great legal historian F. W. Maitland pointed out, the same Latin word (sequela) was used in the documents for the offspring of both cattle and unfree tenants.

Rigby work was vital to the household but its economic centrality did not bring about commensurate social power or legal rights. Neither did the decline in the male replacement rate and consequent increase in the number of female heirs mean that women enjoyed any more social power, since heiresses were particularly likely to be married at an early age and thus to surrender most of their property rights for life to their husbands. Among the elite, the rights of women who held property on a joint tenure with their husbands were admittedly more secure, but only a minority of women acquired land in this way.

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