Advertisement

Looking After Underaged Heirs

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

Abstract

This chapter explores in detail the children left in the care of guardians, as well as the principle guardians themselves. The gender and ages of children left top the care of appointed guardians are analysed, and the responsibilities of guardians discussed. Of importance is a detailed discussion of the role of step parentage in medieval peasant communities, and the cultural normalisation of the experience of step parents and half siblings as well as step siblings within rural familial structures. Müller draws attention to the way in which different types of causes of mass—or increased mortality—such as the famine and the Black Death- affected different socio-economic structures within villages and created different set of orphans in terms of background as well as age groups. Müller strongly argues that a main motivation for taking on the responsibilities of underaged heirs was not exploitation or profiteering as has often been proposed, but mutuality and care. The fairly minor roles of both lords and church in looking after orphans is discussed, while Müller offers a detailed analysis of the ways in which lords were able to profit from the allocation of guardianships, and how this profit margin was significantly influenced both by locality and the impact of external factors, such as the Black Death.

Bibliography

Primary Sources

  1. Brandon Court Rolls, Sourced from Microfilm, Bacon collection, University of Chicago 1307–1400; MS 291.Google Scholar
  2. Halesowen Court Rolls, Birmingham Library and Archives, Wolfson Centre MS 3279.Google Scholar
  3. Heacham Court Rolls, Sourced from Microfilm held at the Norfolk Record Office Le Strange Collection.Google Scholar
  4. J. Amphlett, ed., Court Rolls of the Manor of Halesowen 1270–1307 (Oxford, Printed for the Worcestershire Historical Society by James Parker, 1912).Google Scholar
  5. W. Baildon, ed., Court Rolls of the Manor of Wakefield vol. 1; 1274–1297 (Yorkshire Archaeological Society, 1901).Google Scholar
  6. Custumals of the Manors of Laughton, Willingdon and Goring (Sussex Record Society, vol. LX, 1961).Google Scholar
  7. P. Foden, trans. and ed., Records of the Manor of Norton in the Liberty of St Albans, 1244–1539 (Caxton Hill, Hertford: Hertfordshire Record Publications, 2014).Google Scholar
  8. R. Lock, ed. trans., The Court Rolls of Walsham le Willows, 1303–1350 (Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer and Suffolk Record Society, vol. xli, 1998).Google Scholar
  9. D. Noy, Winslow Manor Court Books, Part I, 1327–1377, Buckinghamshire Record Society, no. 35 (2011).Google Scholar
  10. United Kingdom Office for National Statistics, Source 2011 census. https://www.ons.gov.uk/census/2011census.
  11. L.R. Poos and L. Bonfield ed., Select Cases in Manorial Courts 1250–1550; Property and Family Law (London: Selden Society, 1998).Google Scholar
  12. L.F. Salzman ed., Petworth Minister’s Accounts 1347–1553 (Sussex Record Society, vol. LV, 1955).Google Scholar
  13. R.A. Wilson ed., The Court Rolls of the Manor of Hales 1276–1301 and Romsley Courts 1280–1303, Part III (Oxford: Warwickshire Historical Society, 1933).Google Scholar

Secondary Sources Books

  1. A.V. Chayanov, The Theory of Peasant Economy, D. Thorner, B. Kerblay, and R.E.F. Smith, eds. (Homewood, IL: American Economic Association, R.D. Irwing, 1966).Google Scholar
  2. H. Cunningham, The Invention of Childhood (London: BBC Books, 2006). Google Scholar
  3. C. Dyer, Making a Living in the Middle Ages; The People of Britain 850–1520 (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2002). Google Scholar
  4. B.A. Hanawalt, The Ties that Bound, Peasant Families in Medieval England (New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986).Google Scholar
  5. Z. Razi, Life, Marriage and Death in a Medieval Parish Economy, Society and Demography in Halesowen 1270–1400 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980).Google Scholar
  6. S. Shahar, Childhood in the Middle Ages (London and New York: Routledge, 1992). Google Scholar

Secondary Sources Articles and Chapters

  1. S. Bardsley, ‘Women’s Work Reconsidered; Gender and Wage Differentiation in Late Medieval England’, in: Past and Present, vol. 165 (Nov 1999), pp. 3–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. B.J. Beard, ‘Orphan Care in Malawi: Current Practices’, in: Journal of Community Health Nursing, vol. 22, no. 2, (2005) pp. 105–115. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. J.M. Bennett, ‘Conviviality and Charity in Medieval and Early Modern England’. In: Past and Present, vol. 134 (1992), pp. 19–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. E. Clark, ‘Some Aspects of Social Security in Medieval England’, in: Journal of Family History, vol. 7, no 3 (1982), pp. 307–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. E. Clark, ‘The Custody of Children in English Manor Courts’, in: Law and History Review, vol. 3, no. 2 (Autumn 1985), pp. 333–348.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. E. Clark, ‘City Orphans and Custody Laws in Medieval England’, in: The American Journal of Legal History, vol. 34, no. 2 (April 1990), pp. 168–187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. E. Clark, ‘Social Welfare and Mutual Aid in the Medieval Countryside’ in: Journal of British Studies, vol. 33, no. 4; Vill, Guild and Gentry: Forces of Community in Later Medieval England (Oct 1994) pp. 381–406.Google Scholar
  8. M. Daly and M. Wilson, ‘Child Abuse and Other Risks of Not Living with Both Parents’, in: Ethology and Biology, vol. 6 (1985), pp. 197–210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. M. Daly and M. Wilson, ‘“The Cinderella Effect” is no Fairy Tale’ in: Trends in Cognitive Sciences, vol. 9, no. 11 (Nov 2005), pp. 507–508.Google Scholar
  10. C. Dyer, ‘The Rising of 1381 in Suffolk: Its Origins and Participants’, in C. Dyer, ed., Everyday Life in Medieval England (London and New York: Hambledon and London, 2000 edition), pp. 191–220. Google Scholar
  11. G. Foster, ‘The Capacity of the Extended Family Safety Net for Orphans in Africa’, in: Psychology, Health and Medicine, vol. 5, no. 1 (2010), pp. 55–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. K. Gager, ‘Adoption Practices in Sixteenth and Seventeenth-Century Paris’, in: M. Corbier, ed., Adoption et Fosterage (De L’Archéologie à L’Histoire; De Boccard, Paris, 1999), pp. 183–198.Google Scholar
  13. P.J.P. Goldberg, ‘Childhood and Gender in Later Medieval England’, in: Viator, vol. 39, no. 1 (2008), pp. 249–262.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. B.A. Hanawalt, Childrearing Among the Lower Classes of Late Medieval England’, in: Journal of Interdisciplinary History, vol. 8, no. 1 (1977), pp. 1–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. B.A. Hanawalt, ‘Narratives of a Nurturing Culture: Parents and Neighbours in Medieval England’, in: B.A. Hanawalt, ed., Of Good and Ill Repute, Gender and Social Control in Medieval England (New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989), pp. 158–177. Google Scholar
  16. M. Müller, ‘The Function and Evasion of Marriage Fines on a Fourteenth Century English Manor’, in: Continuity and Change, vol. 14, no. 2 (1999), pp. 169–190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. M. Müller, ‘Conflict and Revolt: The Bishop of Ely and His Peasants at the Manor of Brandon in Suffolk ca. 1300–1381’, in: Rural History, vol. 23, no. 1 (April 2012), pp. 1–19.Google Scholar
  18. M. Müller, ‘Peasant Women, Agency and Status in Mid Thirteenth to Late Fourteenth – Century England’, Some Reconsiderations’, in: C. Beattie and M.F. Stevens eds., Married Women and the Law in Premodern Northwest Europe (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2013), pp. 169–190. Google Scholar
  19. S. Sheridan Walker, ‘Widow and Ward: The Feudal Law of Child Custody in Medieval England’, in: S. Mosher Stuard ed., Women in Medieval Society (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1976), pp. 159–172. Google Scholar
  20. R.M. Smith, ‘Women’s Property Rights under Customary Law: Some Developments in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries’, in: Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 5th series, vol. 36 (1986), pp. 165–194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. S. Tarbin, ‘Caring for Poor and Fatherless Children in London, c. 1350–1550’, in: Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth, vol. 3, no. 3 (2010) pp. 391–410.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. The Street Child Ebola Orphan Report (Jan–Feb 2015).Google Scholar
  23. G.A. Tooley, M. Karakis, M. Stokes, and J. Ozanne-Smith, ‘Generalising the Cinderella Effect to Unintentional Childhood Fatalities’, in: Evolution and Human Behaviour, vol. 27 (2006), pp. 224–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of BirminghamBirminghamUK

Personalised recommendations