By Rosemary Horrox, W. Mark Ormrod
What used to be existence fairly like in England within the later heart a while? This entire advent explores the total breadth of English lifestyles and society within the interval 1200-1500. beginning with a survey of historiographical and demographic debates, the ebook then explores the crucial issues of later medieval society, together with the social hierarchy, lifestyles in cities and the nation-state, non secular trust, and varieties of person and collective identification. Clustered round those topics a chain of authoritative essays boost our realizing of alternative vital social and cultural good points of the interval, together with the adventure of conflict, paintings, legislation and order, formative years and outdated age, ritual, commute and shipping, and the advance of writing and studying. Written in an obtainable and fascinating demeanour by way of a world group of top students, this e-book is integral either as an creation for college kids and as a source for experts.
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Extra info for A Social History of England, 1200-1500
In spiritual matters these are the pope and his archbishops, bishops and other lesser prelates. In temporal matters they are the king, earls and barons, magnates or vavasours – men, that is, ‘of great dignity’ – and knights. Kings, Bracton explains, associate such men in governing God’s people, investing them with ‘great honour, power and name’ when they gird them with the sword, the sword signifying the defence of the realm. Bracton evidently sees the secular upper classes in essentially military terms and in terms of service to the king and to the state; there are echoes here of the traditional threefold division of mankind into those who fight, those who pray and those who work.
12 It is hardly surprising that a common motif in medieval sermons is the disdain that the rich and high-born felt for their inferiors. As one might expect, this disdain was perceived most often through the prism of the seven deadly sins, the principal one in this context being pride, though it was often also linked to avarice. Such men, we hear, are ‘prowde in lokyng, prowd in spekyng, prowde in heygh crying abovyn othere . . prowd in goinge, standyng and syttynge’, ‘grym in spekynge, heynes [heinous] in berynge .
And if thei speketh with him, hit schal be overthwerte [askance] and despitousliche [scornfully]’. Pride of ancestry is a major factor in all of this. But the high-born were by no means the only culprits. People suffered as much, if not more, from the airs and graces assumed by bailiffs and the like. As one preacher says, those raised from a low to a high position ‘will not deign to look upon their inferiors or the poor, save from a distance and from the tips of their eyes’. 13 The rich, moreover, were highly competitive amongst themselves: ‘everi lord biholdeth othur, how he is arayed, how he is horsid, how he is manned; and so envyth other’.