Inheritance, Rights and Goods

  • Miriam MüllerEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of Childhood book series (PSHC)


This chapter explores the nature of material goods which were inherited by underaged heirs, and which can sometimes be found listed in inventories alongside the houses, outbuildings, fields and woodland which were associated with individual holdings. The nature of the tenurial holding of heirs is explored, how much land they inherited, and what their belongings tell us about the nature of the local manorial economy. An important analysis of the relation between peasant wealth to the number of orphans and underaged heirs is conducted. A main part of this chapter focuses on aspects of peasant material culture; and considers the nature of living and working spaces children experienced. This includes a consideration of various aspects of material culture including toys. The nature of rights of inheritance is also considered, especially the vexed and difficult question of inheritance rights of stepchildren and half-brothers and sisters, which has hitherto received little attention in the context of the medieval English peasantry.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of BirminghamBirminghamUK

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