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Thirteenth Century England XIV

Thirteenth Century England XIV: Proceedings of the Aberystwyth and Lampeter Conference, 2011

Janet Burton
Phillipp Schofield
Björn Weiler
Volume: 14
Copyright Date: 2013
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 256
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  • Book Info
    Thirteenth Century England XIV
    Book Description:

    The articles collected here reflect the continued and wide interest in England and its neighbours in the years between Magna Carta and the Black Death, with many of them particularly seeking to set England in its European context. There are three main strands to the volume. The first is the social dimension of power, and the norms and practice of politics: attention is drawn to the variety of roles open to members of the clergy, but also peasants and townsmen, and the populace at large. Several chapters explore the manifestations and instruments of social identity, such as the seals used by the leading elites of thirteenth-century London, and the marriage practices of the English aristocracy. The third main focus is the uses of the past. Matthew Paris, the most famous chronicler of the period, receives due attention, in particular his changing attitude towards the monarch, but the Vita Edwardi Secundi's portrayal of Thomas of Lancaster and the Anglo-Norman Prose Brut are also considered. Janet Burton is Professor of Medieval History at University of Wales: Trinity Saint David; Phillipp Schofield is Professor of Medieval History at Aberystwyth University; Björn Weiler is Professor of History at Aberystwyth University. Contributors: J.R. Maddicott, Philllipp Schofield, Harmony Dewez, John McEwan, Jörg Peltzer, Karen Stöber, Olga Cecilia Méndez González, Sophie Ambler, Joe Creamer, Lars Kjær, Andrew Spencer, Julia Marvin, Olivier de Laborderie

    eISBN: 978-1-78204-083-5
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Figures and Tables
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-x)
    Janet Burton, Phillipp Schofield and Björn Weiler
  5. List of Contributors
    (pp. xi-xi)
  6. List of Abbreviations
    (pp. xii-xiv)
  7. Politics and the People in Thirteenth-Century England
    (pp. 1-14)
    J.R. Maddicott

    Amorphous though they may seem, ‘the people’ of our title are easy enough to define. They comprised the peasants of the countryside, both free and villein, and most of those living in the towns, below the level of the loose oligarchies which generally controlled town government: in other words, the great bulk of the population, excluding the governing elite of churchmen, nobles and the knightly class. In what follows we shall ask, and try to answer, a series of questions about this large and socially disparate group. How familiar were its members with national affairs and national politics? How was...

  8. Peasants, Litigation and Agency in Medieval England: the Development of Law in Manorial Courts in the Late Thirteenth and Early Fourteenth Centuries
    (pp. 15-26)
    Phillipp R. Schofield

    As more than one commentator has noted, and often from just beyond the area of direct study of the medieval English peasantry, the concentration of effort upon the study of the medieval peasantry has been directed in avenues that might loosely be described as social and economic. Furthermore, a great deal of the investigation of the medieval English peasantry has been based upon detailed analysis of one particular body of material: the records of the manorial court, the manorial court roll. These have been used in a wide variety of ways, to explore landholding, family structure, inter-tenant exchange, lord-tenant relations,...

  9. Medieval Accounting Memoranda from Norwich Cathedral Priory
    (pp. 27-42)
    Harmony Dewez

    At the Fourth Lateran Council, Innocent III ordered that the previously independent houses of Benedictine monks throughout Christendom be grouped and organized into provinces with triennial chapters, a measure which was successfully applied in England.¹ When the first general chapter of the new Benedictine province of Canterbury met at Oxford in 1218–19, one of its clauses stipulated that obedientiaries – monks holding administrative offices within the monastery – should render accounts to the head of the house and this obligation was repeated at every general chapter.² Monasteries at the time were often in debt and such accounts served, amongst...

  10. The Seals of London’s Governing Elite in the Thirteenth Century
    (pp. 43-60)
    John McEwan

    As Andrew McGuinness observed in the proceedings of the fifth Thirteenth Century England conference, scholars have traditionally focussed on the seals of monarchs, nobles, and ecclesiastics (as well as monasteries and boroughs), and overlooked those of people of lesser standing.¹ Our understanding of the seals of relatively humble people has been considerably enhanced by his work and that of a number of other scholars, but much remains to be learned.² Indeed, historians still do not know if people outside the aristocracy, in a similar fashion to the aristocracy, had seals whose iconography indicated their position in society.³ The problem is...

  11. The Marriages of the English Earls in the Thirteenth Century: a Social Perspective
    (pp. 61-86)
    Jörg Peltzer

    The marriages of the English higher aristocracy in the later Middle Ages have been looked at from a variety of angles in recent years.² Joel Rosenthal, for example, examined the motives of earls and barons for marrying and the quality of the personal relationship of the spouses between 1350 and 1500.³ Scott Waugh analysed the exercise of royal lordship by scrutinizing the marriages of wards in the thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries.⁴ A third perspective was taken by Simon Payling, who has studied closely the economics of marriages and the fate of heiresses from the thirteenth up to the sixteenth...

  12. Monks and Politics in Thirteenth-Century Wales and Catalonia
    (pp. 87-100)
    Karen Stöber

    Monasteries and politics tend to be inseparable in medieval history. However close religious communities sought to get to a complete withdrawal from the clamours of the immoral and decadent world outside, ultimately they all sprang from this world and its society. And with this society, religious men and women, a few remarkable and much admired exceptions aside, continued to associate and be associated – and involved in its crises, be they social, economic or political.¹

    Richard Southern once remarked that ‘the history of the medieval church is the history of medieval society’, explaining that

    everywhere in the history of the...

  13. Lope Fernández, Bishop of Morocco: his Diplomatic Role in the Planning of an Anglo-Castilian Crusade into Northern Africa
    (pp. 101-114)
    Olga Cecilia Méndez González

    On Sunday Laetere Jerusalem (6 March) 1250, Henry III of England took the Cross. Seven months later, probably in an attempt to encourage Henry, Pope Innocent IV ordered the Aragonese bishops of Zaragoza and Huesca to send the English king the money that they had collected for the crusade.¹ The English king was part of a select group of monarchs, amongst them Fernando III of León-Castile (1225), and Louis IX of France (1244), who pledged to wage a Holy War against the infidel. A revived enthusiasm had gripped Western Christendom and the Castilian court with the help of the newly...

  14. On Kingship and Tyranny: Grosseteste’s Memorandum and its Place in the Baronial Reform Movement
    (pp. 115-128)
    Sophie Ambler

    On Friday 13 May 1250, Robert Grosseteste, bishop of Lincoln, stood before Pope Innocent IV and the college of cardinals at the papal court at Lyons. Grosseteste had identified several abuses that were damaging to the Church and posed a danger to souls. His chief complaint was against the archbishop of Canterbury, Boniface of Savoy, who was attempting to levy uncustomary procurations, that is, payments from the clergy to support a visitation of the archdiocese. When it was put to Grosseteste by some of the cardinals that Boniface was entitled to the procurations by canon law, the bishop appealed to...

  15. St Edmund of Canterbury and Henry III in the Shadow of Thomas Becket
    (pp. 129-140)
    Joseph Creamer

    Edmund of Abingdon (c. 1175–1240), archbishop of Canterbury (1233–40), died on 16 November 1240 at Soisy-en-Brie, about fifty miles southeast of Paris. After his body was embalmed, it was carried in procession to the Cistercian abbey of Pontigny in Burgundy to be buried, as he had requested. His last journey took six days, and Edmund’s body performed its first miracles among the crowds of Burgundian peasants who sought cures as the body progressed to Pontigny. The enthusiasm of the crowds is surprising since this English archbishop could not have been well known in Burgundy. Whatever the origins of...

  16. Matthew Paris and the Royal Christmas: Ritualised Communication in Text and Practice
    (pp. 141-154)
    Lars Kjær

    One of the most attractive reasons for studying thirteenth-century England is the excellent opportunities for comparative studies.¹ The rich administrative evidence allows us to ask and answer questions that must necessarily remain opaque in more data-poor areas. At the same time, as historians such as Nicholas Vincent and Bjorn Weiler have shown, the interdisciplinary, analytical approaches developed in continental historiography can help us unpack the riches of the English sources and restore complexity and depth to our understanding of the medieval past.² In this paper I will be looking at the way in which the English evidence can help further...

  17. Thomas of Lancaster in the Vita Edwardi Secundi: a Study in Disillusionment
    (pp. 155-168)
    Andrew Spencer

    Ranulph Higden, writing around 1340, said of Thomas of Lancaster: ‘Of this earl and of his deeds there is great strife among common people, whether he should be accounted for saints other none.’¹ It is safe to say that, by the twentieth century, there were no such doubts in the minds of historians looking at his life and deeds. While the historiography of Edward II’s reign has altered greatly since the days of Stubbs, Tout and Conway Davies, the opprobrium heaped on the head of Lancaster is a fixed point of agreement. Stubbs condemned Lancaster as ‘cruel, unscrupulous, treacherous and...

  18. John and Henry III in the Anglo-Norman Prose Brut
    (pp. 169-182)
    Julia Marvin

    Probably composed during the reign of Edward I, with a concise narrative of British history running from the fall of Troy to the death of Henry III in 1272, the Oldest Version of the Anglo-Norman prose Brut was designed for an audience extending past the highest elites of Church and government.¹ Markedly secular in perspective, baronial in its sympathies, and insular in focus, with some attention paid to Scotland, much less to Wales and Ireland, and almost none to the Continent beyond the English regnum, it offers both an account of some of the thirteenth century and a thirteenth-century perspective...

  19. Genealogiae orbiculatae: Matthew Paris and the Invention of Visual Abstracts of English History
    (pp. 183-202)
    Olivier de Laborderie

    Matthew Paris, the great thirteenth-century St Albans chronicler, who stands as one of the major historians of medieval Europe, has long been acknowledged as a firsthand authority for English and European events during his lifetime and as one of the richest sources of information about them, especially for the period 1235–1259.¹ Yet, this very prolific historian and hagiographer, whose numerous writings it would be too long and unnecessary to list exhaustively here,² is mostly known for his Chronica majora, an impressive and voluminous universal chronicle mainly centred on English history, which incorporates a ‘re-issue’ of the Flores historiarum of...

  20. The Genealogical Chronicles of Matthew Paris: Edition
    (pp. 203-236)
    Olivier de Laborderie

    Willelmus primus, rex Anglie primus post conquisic(i)onem ejus.

    Iste Willelmus, dictus Bastardus, dux Normannorum, Angliam sibi, expulso rege Haraldo, triumphator magnificus, potenter adquisditam subjugavit. Abbaciam de Bello, ubi triumpharat, fundavit. Regnavit annis xxi et amplius.

    Willelmus secundus, rex secundus, Rufus.

    Iste Willelmus secundus, Rufus dictus et existens, Anglos nobiles, qui et patrem ejus receperunt et ipsum creaverunt, fatigavit et expulit. Aulam Westmonasterii construxit. Tandem sagitta periit, postquam regnaverat annis xxi.

    Henricus Primus senior, rex tercius.

    Iste Henricus Primus, vir potens et sapiens, juravit leges sancti Eduuardi inviolabiliter tenere, sed postquam vicerat fratrem suum, noluit. Nobile cenobium de Radingo, ubi sepultus...

  21. Back Matter
    (pp. 237-237)