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The English and their Legacy, 900-1200

The English and their Legacy, 900-1200: Essays in Honour of Ann Williams

Edited by David Roffe
Copyright Date: 2012
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 312
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7722/j.ctt1x73z8
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  • Book Info
    The English and their Legacy, 900-1200
    Book Description:

    Over the last fifty years Ann Williams has transformed our understanding of Anglo-Saxon and Norman society in her studies of personalities and elites. In this collection, leading scholars in the field revisit themes that have been central to her work, and open up new insights into the workings of the multi-cultural communities of the realm of England in the early Middle Ages. There are detailed discussions of local and regional elites and the interplay between them that fashioned the distinctive institutions of local government in the pre-Conquest period; radical new readings of key events such as the crisis of 1051 and a reassessment of the Bayeux Tapestry as the beginnings of the 'Historia Anglorum'; studies of the impact of the Norman Conquest and the survival of the English; and explorations of the social, political, and administrative cultures in post-Conquest England and Normandy. The individual essays are united overall by the articulation of the local, regional, and national identities that that shaped the societies of the period. Contributors: S.D. Church, William Aird, Lucy Marten, Hirokazu Tsurushima, Valentine Fallan, Judith Everard, Vanessa King, Pamela Taylor, Charles Insley, Simon Keynes, Sally Harvey, K.S.B. Keats-Rohan, David Bates, Emma Mason, David Roffe, Mark Hagger.

    eISBN: 978-1-78204-051-4
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. FIGURES AND TABLES
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. PREFACE
    (pp. ix-xii)
  5. CONTRIBUTORS
    (pp. xiii-xiii)
  6. ABBREVIATIONS
    (pp. xiv-xvi)
  7. ANN WILLIAMS: A PERSONAL APPRECIATION
    (pp. 1-4)
    S. D. Church

    Ann Williams is first and foremost an historian of Anglo-Saxon England. She is also an expert on Domesday Book; that has come about because the text of Domesday offers us a window of incomparable detail into the world of eleventh-century England. Domesday was an accidental subject for Ann. As an undergraduate, she had studied with R. R. Darlington at Birkbeck and had done his special subject on the Age of Bede. The subject of King Offa attracted her attention for a doctoral thesis, but Darlington thought better of that and persuaded her to do an edition of the Dorset Domesday;...

  8. LIFE-WRITING AND THE ANGLO-SAXONS
    (pp. 5-16)
    William M. Aird

    Among the thousands of names in the Durham Liber Vitæ, there are a number of memoranda, including a late tenth-century record of the manumission of a group of slaves:²

    [Geatfleda] has given freedom for the love of God and for the need of her soul: namely Ecceard the smith and Ælfstan and his wife and all their offspring, born and unborn, and Arcil and Cole and Ecgferth [and] Ealdhun’s daughter, and all those people whose heads she took [that is, accepted them as slaves] for their food in the evil days. Whoever perverts this and robs her soul of this,...

  9. MEET THE SWARTS: TRACING A THEGNLY FAMILY IN LATE ANGLO-SAXON ENGLAND
    (pp. 17-32)
    Lucy Marten

    Few today would agree with Thomas Carlyle that ‘the history of the world is but the Biography of great men’, but the nature of the surviving source material from Anglo-Saxon England means that saints, kings, archbishops, bishops and earldormen are disproportionately represented in the writing of that period’s history.² I cannot pretend that this study offers any insights into the lives of peasants in eleventhcentury England, but it does present a rare opportunity to trace a family of thegnly status across several generations and to examine some of the strategies employed by them in order to survive both the problems...

  10. THE MONEYERS OF KENT IN THE LONG ELEVENTH CENTURY
    (pp. 33-60)
    Hirokazu Tsurushima

    This paper is an attempt to construct a prosopography of Kentish moneyers in the long eleventh century, that is, from c. 973 to 1135. The starting date is a significant one. In that year King Edgar was crowned and one of his first acts was to reform the coinage of England. In the early Middle Ages, the minting of coin was in principle a regalian right throughout much of western Europe. On the Continent, however, that right had gradually been appropriated by local independent rulers in the course of the ninth and tenth centuries as the unity of the Frankish...

  11. MASTER WACE: A CROSS-CHANNEL PROSOPOGRAPHER FOR THE TWELFTH CENTURY?
    (pp. 61-78)
    Valentine Fallan and Judith Everard

    The proposed title for this study, with due deference to Ann Williams, was ‘The English and the Norman Conquest – according to Wace’,¹ but that implied yet another skirmish in the Hastings ancestry stakes or, perhaps, a Domesday database-style dot map of his inventive gazetteer of King Harold’s towns and counties.² However, the cultural re-orientation is intentional and, in the spirit of independent vernacular scholarship so well-represented by Wace (Magister was, surely, the equivalent of Doctor today), there is also a shift in time. His Roman de Rou is re-assessed as the source of an English prosopography for the twenty-year...

  12. FROM MINSTER TO MANOR: THE EARLY HISTORY OF BREDON
    (pp. 79-94)
    Vanessa King

    The purpose of this paper is to chart the early history of Bredon from monastery to episcopal manor between the eighth and early twelfth centuries.¹ The village of Bredon lies at the base of Bredon Hill near the Worcestershire/Gloucestershire border on the river Avon, three and a half miles from Tewkesbury. The modern parish includes the hamlets of Kinsham, Westmancote, Mitton and Bredon’s Norton. Cutsdean was part of the parish until transferred to Gloucestershire in 1912.² The association of these outliers with Bredon can be traced back centuries. All but Kinsham were named in Domesday Book and belonged to the...

  13. EADULFINGTUN, EDMONTON, AND THEIR CONTEXTS
    (pp. 95-114)
    Pamela Taylor

    Ann’s exemplary qualities as an historian include her use of individual detail to construct or correct a wider picture – her simultaneous focus on both trees and wood – and her range across terrains as well as sources. She is equally at home in Wessex and Mercia and, despite a strong preference for woods, has lived in now deforested parts of both Middlesex and Essex. I hope that this paper, which first discusses the exact location of Eadulfingtun and then examines its geographical and administrative contexts, is a fitting tribute.

    The existence around 1000 of somewhere called Eadulfingtun (with minor...

  14. THE FAMILY OF WULFRIC SPOTT: AN ANGLO-SAXON MARCHER DYNASTY?
    (pp. 115-128)
    Charles Insley

    My first encounter with the work of Ann Williams was as an undergraduate student in the early 1990s when she presented what was to become chapter two of her magisterial The English and the Norman Conquest to the Norman Conquest special subject group at the University of Oxford.¹ In this paper she outlined the intricate linkages between local networks of kinship, allegiance and interest and political events on the larger, national scale. Subsequently, I was in the audience at a conference on medieval prosopography, some fifteen years ago when Ann gave her paper on Beorhtric, son of Ælfgar.² In her...

  15. THE BURIAL OF KING ÆTHELRED THE UNREADY AT ST PAUL’S
    (pp. 129-148)
    Simon Keynes

    In the late summer of 1015 Cnut, brother of Harold, king of the Danes, brought a fleet to Sandwich, in north-eastern Kent, and set out from there on the campaign which had led by the close of the following year to his accession as king of the whole of England. In the midst of the Danish invasion, and after a reign of over 38 years, Æthelred, king of the English, died at London on St George’s Day (23 April) 1016.¹ The notice of Æthelred’s death in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle adds that ‘he had held his kingdom with great toil and...

  16. EUSTACE II OF BOULOGNE, THE CRISES OF 1051–2 AND THE ENGLISH COINAGE
    (pp. 149-158)
    Sally Harvey

    The crises of 1051–2 brought out into the open the question of succession to the throne and rendered more acute the fear of foreign influence in the Anglo-Saxon state. Events, in their turn, aggravated existing dissensions over the distribution of office, lands and power – areas that Ann Williams has done so much to illuminate. Yet, in the maelstrom of these two years, Eustace of Boulogne’s intentions on his 1051 visit to England remain mysterious.

    Certainly there was cause for rivalry between the Godwine dynasty and that of Eustace, since both had married into the English royal house. Besides...

  17. THROUGH THE EYE OF THE NEEDLE: STIGAND, THE BAYEUX TAPESTRY AND THE BEGINNINGS OF THE HISTORIA ANGLORUM
    (pp. 159-174)
    K. S. B. Keats-Rohan

    Who commissioned the Bayeux Tapestry and why? The question remains open after a considerable body of innovative new writing on the subject during the last decade has given grounds for a major re-evaluation of the Tapestry. Two ideas in particular demand fuller investigation: first, that the Tapestry is an independent, pro-English, source, artistically the first major fusion of Anglo-Norman-Scandinavian iconography and linguistically influenced by both English and French, and secondly, that it was produced as early as 1068 x 1070, since it precedes the Norman vilification of Harold that arose as a response to the various revolts that began in...

  18. ROBERT OF TORIGNI AND THE HISTORIA ANGLORUM
    (pp. 175-184)
    David Bates

    Robert of Torigni, author of additions to the Gesta Normannorum Ducum and of a chronicle that he pronounced to be a continuation of the universal chronicle of Sigebert of Gembloux, as well as of other less ambitious works, has never attracted the attention bestowed on the likes of Orderic Vitalis, William of Malmesbury and Henry of Huntingdon. This neglect is undoubtedly explicable by his having neither the originality of Orderic nor the depth and polish of Malmesbury and Huntingdon; the briefest of acquaintances with his writings rapidly reveals both his pedestrian prose style and limited range of interests.¹ A notabl...

  19. INVOKING EARL WALTHEOF
    (pp. 185-204)
    Emma Mason

    Earl Waltheof’s career has been well summarized.¹ The verdict is that although he achieved short bursts of effective and energetic military action, he was too readily influenced by those around him.² As a hero-figure he had limitations, but after his death his name was invoked to promote widely-varying interests both in England and beyond, not only in the generations which followed his death but also intermittently down to the early seventeenth century.

    The earliest recorded evidence of the promotion of his name dates from the very beginning of the twelfth century, a generation after his death. Archbishop Anselm wrote two...

  20. HIDDEN LIVES: ENGLISH LORDS IN POST-CONQUEST LINCOLNSHIRE AND BEYOND
    (pp. 205-228)
    David Roffe

    1066 is justifiably the most famous date in English history. England did not become Norman with the death of King Harold on 14 October in that year: the Norman Conquest and settlement was a protracted process that continued into the 1080s and beyond. Nevertheless, the Domesday inquest of 1086 affords a vantage point from which it can be seen that England had changed radically. An English aristocracy had been superseded by a predominantly Norman one. Traditionally, that transfer of power has been seen in essentially military terms. The imposition of ‘the Norman yoke’ was by right of conquest. and the...

  21. LORDSHIP AND LUNCHING: INTERPRETATIONS OF EATING AND FOOD IN THE ANGLO-NORMAN WORLD, 1050-1200, WITH REFERENCE TO THE BAYEUX TAPESTRY
    (pp. 229-244)
    Mark Hagger

    The Bayeux Tapestry shows the Normans dining, shortly after landing at Pevensey in late September 1066 (Figure 1).² It may be supposed, from the previous scene, that at least some of the food they are eating had been looted, even if the wine had been brought from Normandy.³ Some eat chickens while sitting at a trestle table assembled out of shields. The legend above them reads: ‘Here they make lunch’ – although prandium could also be translated as ‘breakfast’. To the right, others, perhaps the better men, dine at a table, drinking from vessels and picking up food with their...

  22. THE EXCHEQUER CLOTH, c. 1176–1832: THE CALCULATOR, THE GAME OF CHESS, AND THE PROCESS OF PHOTOZINCOGRAPHY
    (pp. 245-256)
    S. D. Church

    Richard fitzNigel, in his Dialogue of the Exchequer, composed in the dozen or so years between 1177 and 1189,¹ wrote of the Exchequer the following words:

    The exchequer is a rectangular board, about ten feet long and five feet wide, which those sitting around it use like a table. It has a raised edge about four finger-widths high, so that nothing placed on it can fall off. Over this aforementioned exchequer is placed a cloth bought during the Easter Term, not an ordinary cloth, but black, marked with lines a foot or a spread hand’s width apart.

    It was from...

  23. ANN WILLIAMS: A BIBLIOGRAPHY 1969–2011
    (pp. 257-262)
  24. INDEX
    (pp. 263-288)
  25. TABULA GRATULATORIA
    (pp. 289-290)
  26. Back Matter
    (pp. 291-291)