Power, lordship, and landholding in Anjou, c.1000-c.1150
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This thesis explores the relationship between lordship and landholding in Anjou, from c.1000 to c.1150, focussing specifically on the effects of power upon that relationship. I consider questions central to lordship: how closely connected was lordship with control of land; to what extent was the exercise of seignorial power characterised by the use of force; what influence, if any, did legal norms have upon the exercise of power? I address these questions over four chapters. In chapter 1, I focus on the consent of lords to grants of land, emphasising the close relationship between lordship and landholding. Chapter 2 looks at claims for services lords brought on their tenants of ecclesiastical lands, and highlights the remedies contemporaries possessed against lordly heavy-handedness. In chapter 3, I explore lordship from the perspective of the tenant by outlining warranty of land, and suggest that warranty ensured the tenant considerable security of tenure. Chapter 4 rounds off the thesis through a detailed discussion of five cases, which I use to elucidate the workings of seignorial power, drawing attention to the interactions between lords and their lay followers. I situate these issues within a framework emphasising competition for control of land and resources, and stress the importance of legal norms in relation to such competition. The thrust of my argument is twofold. First, whilst I stress an environment of intense, sometimes violent, competition over resources, I suggest that the exercise of lordly power was not unlimited, nor was it arbitrary. Instead, ideals of good lordship, together with legal norms, served to act as important restraints upon power. Secondly, I emphasise the need to look at both the short-term and long-term consequences of competition over land, and stress that legal norms were influenced by the former, with an eye to the latter. I therefore stress the capacity for legal innovation and change in eleventh- and early twelfth-century society.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
Embargo Date: Print and electronic copy restricted until 15th January 2019
Embargo Reason: Thesis restricted in accordance with University regulations
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