Search results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 52 items for :

  • Manchester Medieval Studies x
Clear All
Open Access (free)
Susan M. Johns

’s power. The analytical framework upon which the book is constructed draws on recent theoretical developments in the history of women and power and utilises traditional scholarly approaches to the study of the twelfth century. In so doing it re-defines the nature of twelfth-century lordship. The debate on the roles of medieval women has moved a long way from seeing them as victims of male dominance, and the ideology of separate spheres has been superseded by recent theoretical insights which consider the importance of gender and the impact of the female life cycle on

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

-century countess? David Postles, whilst noting Hawise’s prominence, suggests that she was associated with her husband’s acta to prevent her from claiming dower in the future.6 However, although as Maitland noticed on the evidence of one charter women ‘sometimes’ witnessed documents, there are no examples of women’s testimony being brought forward in the courts of the twelfth century.7 Postles, like Pollock and Maitland before him, tends to view female witnessing from a legal perspective, and whilst the legal nature of charters is well accepted, this legalistic interpretation is

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

, where she ‘worthily reformed her life’ and repented of her ‘mortal sin of luxury’.15 On the presence of women at the battle of Ascalon, he states that women remained off the battlefield with the noncombatants and that they are ‘unwarlike by 14 power and portrayal nature’.16 The emotional weakness of women is made gender-specific in Orderic’s discussion of the expedition and aftermath of the defeat and capture of Mark Bohemond when campaigning against the Turks. He states that Tancred, the commander in chief, ‘did not give way like a woman to vain tears and laments

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

facilitate analysis of the broader contexts of noblewomen’s lives. Traditional and empirical historians have generally studied the Rotuli de Dominabus in the context of debates about the nature of royal lordship in the late twelfth century, examining, for example, the character of Angevin government and reform. This has led to an emphasis on the effectiveness or otherwise of Henry II’s government, which has been analysed either narrowly in England or in the wider context of the nature of the Angevin empire. Similarly the roots of Magna Carta have been traced to the reign

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

be a key route for such dispersal. These themes have been developed in an analysis of private and royal charters as sources for the place of powerful noblewomen as landholders in twelfth-century society. This argued that it is essential to understand the fragmented nature of the discourse on women that charters articulate. In the process of committing land transactions to parchment, élites created a broken narrative which paradoxically both recorded and created custom, practice and procedure. Bloch argued that the twelfth century was one great writing lesson for

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

status upon the nature of countergifts that were given to patrons. Yet gender also impacted on the sorts of gifts that were exchanged. For example, although in the twelfth century noblewomen did on occasion receive horses, only two examples have hitherto been located, and both recipients were heiresses. In 1160–70 Emma de ‘Selveleia’ received, with the consent of ‘H.’, her second husband, two marks and a palfrey when she gave lands worth 15s to Luffield Priory.14 When c. 1170–5 her son and heir by her first marriage subsequently confirmed the grant, he received 20s and

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

, on the seals of male nobility the equestrian figure was the most enduring and dominant form of iconography which symbolised ‘feudal lordship’,4 it is difficult to relate this to changes in ‘feudal lordship’ because such studies float free from the debates about changes in the nature of lordship or society, or any consideration of portrayals and meanings of masculinity.5 Similarly, for noblewomen, it is known that iconographic devices were used on their seals, such as the fleur-de-lys, or the ambivalent bird of prey image,6 yet why and how these symbols emerged is

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

countesses. It will be considered whether they were unusual in the range of roles and functions that they fulfilled. These formal public roles can be explored through an examination of their activity as witnesses, signers, consentors, alienors and co-alienors, which can be related to the gendered functions of wife, mother, heiress or conversely widow or mother of the heir. Each category could define the role of each countess, or more than one could affect her position within the family. The close examination of charters also raises some fundamental problems of the nature

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

problem for the study of lesser noblewomen’s roles is the fragmentary nature of the evidence. This can partly be resolved where sequential or near-sequential copies of charters by the same grantors or their family exist. This chapter discusses female patronage of St Mary’s, Clerkenwell, by the Munteni family in the second half of the twelfth century and shows how land tenure and kin connections could underpin active female patronage over two generations. It also assesses the interactions of the female life cycle and social status upon the participation of wives and

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

Psalms and seven prayers selected by Anselm at her request. He also sent some prayers that he had composed for her. These were a decisive break with previous traditions in personal prayer, and marked a significant step in the development of the Anselmian revolution in the composition of texts for personal devotion. He also included advice on how to meditate.20 The relationship between Adela and Anselm was of both a political and a spiritual, personal nature. Eadmer reveals that it was Adela who played a pivotal role in resolving a dispute between her brother Henry and

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