Robert Thewed: The Ties of Tenure and Locality

  • Jeremy Goldberg
Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)


The previous chapter, in exploring the relationship between gender and memory, grouped witnesses by the nature of the testimony proffered. Gender, however, constitutes but one of a number of identities by which we may explore medieval people. One of the distinctive aspects of the case of Marrays c. de Rouclif is the social diversity of the parties and witnesses. They range in rank from poor peasant to lesser aristocracy, but also include members of the urban franchise and a mitred abbot. This social diversity is contained within one small region, a narrow strip of land stretching from Rawcliffe along the Clifton Road, Bootham, past St Mary’s Abbey, and into Petergate within the city walls and in the shadow of the Minster. In moving along even this modest stretch of road travelers would pass from the Forest of Galtres to the city of York. They would pass through the Liberties of St Peter and of St Mary, from the parish of St Olave to that of St Michael le Belfrey, and through land held variously by lay and ecclesiastical lords. This present chapter proposes to explore the ways in which witnesses may be understood and related to one another in respect of social rank, neighborhood, and jurisdiction. Our starting point will be the testimony of one particular peasant.


Social Diversity Social Rank Previous Chapter City Wall Local Migration 
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© Jeremy Goldberg 2008

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  • Jeremy Goldberg

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