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Robert Thewed: The Ties of Tenure and Locality

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

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Social Diversity Social Rank Previous Chapter City Wall Local Migration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 3.
    Cf. R.H. Hilton, “The Peasantry as a Class,” in The English Peasantry in the Later Middle Ages, ed. Hilton (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1975), pp. 3–19.Google Scholar
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    Cf. Natalie Zemon Davis, The Gift in Sixteenth-Century France (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), pp. 62–72.Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    Orme, Medieval Children, pp. 37–8; Dinn, “Baptism, Spiritual Kinship, and Popular Religion,” pp. 93–106.Google Scholar
  4. 7.
    Richard K. Emmerson and P.J.P. Goldberg, “‘The Lord Geoffrey had me made’: Lordship and Labour in the Luttrell Psalter,” in The Problem of Labour in Fourteenth-Century England, ed. James Bothwell, P.J.P. Goldberg, and W.M. Ormrod (Woodbridge: York Medieval Press, 2000), pp. 43–63.Google Scholar
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    Christopher Woolgar, The Great Household in Late Medieval England (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999), p. 34.Google Scholar
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    Cf. L.R. Poos, Zvi Razi, and Richard M. Smith, “The Population History of Medieval Villages: A Debate on the Use of Manor Court Records,” in Medieval Society and the Manor Court, ed. Razi and Smith (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), pp. 298–368. Nicholas Orme offers a brief discussion of child mortality: Orme, Medieval Children, pp. 113–16.Google Scholar
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    C.C. Dyer, “Gardens and Orchards in Medieval England,” in Everyday Life in Medieval England, ed. Dyer (London: Hambledon Press, 1994), pp. 113–31.Google Scholar
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    The importance of peat extraction to the economy of nearby Selby Abbey is documented in surviving account rolls. These indicate the use of boats for transporting turves and the employment of women in the backbreaking and dusty task of stacking turves: Monastery and Society in the Late Middle Ages: Selected Account Rolls from Selby Abbey, Yorkshire, 1398–1537, ed. John H. Tillotson (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brrewer, 1988), p. 138.Google Scholar
  9. 22.
    For discussions of migration to York see Peter McClure, “Patterns of Migration in the Late Middle Ages: The Evidence of English Place-Name Surnames,” Economic History Review, 2nd ser. 32 (1979): 167–82; Goldberg, Women, Work, and Life Cycle, ch. 6.Google Scholar
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    The very limited comparative evidence available for the English later Middle Ages suggests that life-long residence within a particular community was a minority experience for persons achieving adulthood: L.R. Poos, A Rural Society After the Black Death: Essex 1350–1525 (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1991), pp. 162–4; P.J.P. Goldberg, “Migration, Youth and Gender in Later Medieval England,” in Youth in the Middle Ages, ed. Goldberg and Felicity Riddy (Woodbridge: York Medieval Press, 2004), p. 88 [85–99].Google Scholar
  11. 30.
    Shipton, six miles from York, fell within the parish of Overton, which itself belonged to St Mary’s Abbey. Shipton, however, appears to have come within the Liberty of St Peter. This is the toponymic of Cecily de Shupton, who spent time in the de Rouclif household around the times of the births of the two children. An invaluable description of the extent of the Liberty is printed in Adrian Leake, The Liberty of St Peter of York 1800–1838, Borthwick Paper 77 (York, 1990), pp. 31–4.Google Scholar
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    Charles R. Young, The Royal Forests of Medieval England (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1979), graph 1, pp. 118–19.Google Scholar
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    This record is not referenced by Cox and I have been unable to trace it in The National Archives catalogue: J. Charles Cox, The Royal Forest of England (London: Methuen, 1905), p. 129.Google Scholar
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    Yorkshire Sessions of the Peace, 1361–1364, ed. Bertha H. Putnam, Yorkshire Archaeological Record Series 100 (1939), p. 131.Google Scholar
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    Two comparatively late examples of grants of land at Rawcliffe to the abbey are: William Dugdale, Monasticon Anglicanum: A History of the Abbies and other Monasteries, Hospitals, Frieries and Cathedral and Collegiate Churches …in England and Wales… originally published in Latin by Sir William Dugdale, 6 vols. (London: James Bohn, 1846), III:565–6 (grant of toft and two bovates in 1309); TNA, C 143/230/12 (grant of meadow in 1334). At the time of the dissolution, the abbey enjoyed extensive property rights throughout the locality, but especially in Clifton, Shipton and St Marygate: Dugdale, Monasticon Anglicanum, III:570.Google Scholar
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    Our understanding of neighborliness as performative is influenced by Judith Butler’s treatment of gender in her Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (New York: Routledge, 1990), esp. pp. 24–5, 136.Google Scholar
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    Victoria History of the County of York: The City of York, ed. P.M. Tillott (London: Oxford University Press, 1961), pp. 311–14.Google Scholar
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    There are numerous examples of more conservative and indeed oppressive lordship exercised by monastic landlords in the post-plague era. For a local and near contemporary example of conflict between a peasant family and Meaux Abbey see M J.O. Kennedy, “Resourceful Villains: The Cellarer Family of Wawne in Holderness,” Yorkshire Archaeological Journal 48 (1976): 107–17.Google Scholar
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    Angelo Raine, Mediaeval York: A Topographical Survey based on Original Sources (London: John Murray, 1955), p. 264; Tillott, The City of York, p. 398.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Jeremy Goldberg 2008

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  • Jeremy Goldberg

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