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Open Access (free)
Susan M. Johns

Chester at the age of six on his father’s death in 1101. He married Matilda (I), a daughter of Stephen count of Blois, but they were both drowned in the wreck of the White Ship on 25 November 1120. Ranulf I ‘le Meschin’, Richard’s first cousin, succeeded to the earldom and he married Lucy, the widow of both Ivo Taillebois and Roger fitz Gerold. Their son Ranulf II ‘de Gernons’ was earl from 1129 to 1153. He married Matilda, daughter of Robert earl of Gloucester. She outlived Ranulf and his heir, dying in 1189. Their son Hugh II married Bertrada, daughter of Simon count

in Noblewomen, aristocracy and power in the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm
Open Access (free)
Susan M. Johns

Adela for death. This network of spiritual guidance and social intercourse was normal and part of the culture of aristocratic and noble women – indeed, the women of the Conqueror’s family were particularly prominent as patrons.23 Adela attracted the attention of important clergy who were keen to foster relations with her. For example, Baudri abbot of Bourgueil (1079–1130) wrote a poem of 1,367 lines for Adela which describes the furnishings and rich decorations of her hall and bedchamber.24 It used to be thought that the rich visual imagery and the detail in his

in Noblewomen, aristocracy and power in the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm
Susan M. Johns

undertenant before March 1190.17 There are seven charters in her name from her second widowhood, the period 1193–96.18 Muriel was probably acting to secure her gifts in her old age, and was thus seeking to ensure the security of her favourite foundation after her death. Muriel de Munteni is a truly remarkable example of female influence expressed through two marriages and widowhood. The ways that she was involved in religious benefaction shows how noblewomen could participate in land transfers as witnesses, alienors and confirmers despite changes in the female life cycle

in Noblewomen, aristocracy and power in the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm
Open Access (free)
Susan M. Johns

deserved to meet a miserable end, murdered in her bed by a vassal whom she had deprived of his lands. Chibnall believes that the detail of a murder of a warrior in a bath lies within the epic tradition.21 Thus she implies that the story is a fabrication. The historicity of the detail is not as important here as the significance of the way in which Mabel’s death is described. Orderic depicts Mabel using conventions of the epic genre; such a portrayal adds a certain dignity to her reputation whilst paradoxically seeking to destroy it, and thus he inverts the topos. In

in Noblewomen, aristocracy and power in the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm
The Rotuli de Dominabus et Pueris et Puellis de XII Comitatibus of 1185
Susan M. Johns

sole heir or, with the development of co-parceny in the late twelfth century, they might acquire land as co-heiresses. Land could also be acquired through the institution of dowry: land which was given by a family to the husband when a daughter married (maritagium which could revert to a widow on her husband’s death); and through dower (a third share of her husband’s land allocated to her either on the day of her marriage by her husband or after his death). The correlation of type of land and age of widow in Table 4 shows that the institutions of dower and maritagium

in Noblewomen, aristocracy and power in the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm
Susan M. Johns

tenure of lands by a combination of money and goods in payment. When Muriel granted the lands to Emma she received a peplum, and her daughter Lecia, on confirming this gift, some sandals. The lands were to be held by a render of 2s 110 countergifts and affidation annually after Emma’s death by her heirs.28 These agreements of Lecia de Munteni and her mother, Muriel, with Emma Ravenildescroft suggest the variety of countergifts and that a countergift could apparently be a payment. When husbands and wives were involved in joint actions both could receive countergifts

in Noblewomen, aristocracy and power in the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm
Open Access (free)
Susan M. Johns

wives witness as daughters and mothers of male attestors.90 In 1172 Alexandria, as a widow, and after the death of her son, again granted a charter in favour of Stixwould, which lists nine female witnesses and thirty men.91 When Alexandria’s son had previously granted a confirmation charter at about the same date as his mother’s grant there was only one female witness.92 Such group female attestations show the importance of kin connections, the definition that marital status gave to women, and the role of witnesses as guardians of the social memory of the occasion

in Noblewomen, aristocracy and power in the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm
Open Access (free)
Susan M. Johns

identified as his wife when they were involved in actions against Waltham Abbey.147 When Margaret granted a document in her own name, possibly after the death of Roger, she is described as Margerie filia Aluffi’ de Merch’; the seal which is appended to the charter bears a filia designation; she quitclaimed lands which may have been of her inheritance. In return the monks gave her one mark, and her two sons half a mark each.148 A cartulary copy of a later grant to the canons of Waltham Abbey by Margaret introduces it as Carta Mylonis de Bray. Confirmatio Margarete matris

in Noblewomen, aristocracy and power in the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm
James Paz

being –​closer to God and his angels in the heavenly hierarchy and capable of interceding between the divine kingdom and the fallen world of mankind –​they were certainly not abstract otherworldly spirits. Saints were embodied beings, both in life and after death, when they remained physically present and accessible through their relics, whether a bone, a lock of hair, a fingernail, textiles, a preaching cross, a comb, a shoe. As such, their miraculous healing powers could be received by ordinary men, women and children by sight, sound, touch, even smell or taste

in Nonhuman voices in Anglo-Saxon literature and material culture
James Paz

are divided, my death is ordained.] Andy Orchard has argued that, if we allow ourselves to look beyond similar Latin enigmata by Alcuin and Symphosius, and the conventional ‘fish and river’ solution they offer us, then we might well understand this as a ‘soul and body’ riddle.12 Patrick J.  Murphy concurs, arguing that, while the correct solution must be a fish in the river, the ‘descriptive proposition is shaped by something more –​the unspoken metaphor of the soul and body’ so that the emphasis ‘is on exploring the contrasting relationship of guest with hall’.13

in Nonhuman voices in Anglo-Saxon literature and material culture