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History Notes > History of the British Isles II: 1042-1330 Notes

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Background Tutorial Land has great importance
~ Yet inheritance is one of the king's major tools in manipulating the elite To what extent did the king have vassals provide armies? - was there more of an emphasis on mercenary forces?
~ Those who provide armies can be those you need to fight Scotland is more developed - less of a colonial perspective Compurgation


People commend themselves to someone other than their lord - have someone else to go to
~ Disappears after the Conquest
~ Only other recourse is the royal courts To what extent was there assimilation?
~ Castles and fortresses
~ Do not necessarily intermarry Very few executions or confiscations of land
~ Room to manipulate but cannot completely remove All land is from the king but he has clear limits to his power Why couldn't they execute elites?
Public sphere - 12th century or 14th century?
~ Dependent upon whether it comprises legal or governmental interests?
Absentee landlords in Normandy
~ Best thing for the peasants?

From the Vikings to the Normans - W. Davies (ed.) (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003) Introduction Conquest of Wales began by 1070 took most of following 200 years Conquest did not begin in Ireland for another 100 years but in 1170s kings began to include it in their dominions Was never a Norman conquest of Scotland Did the Normans bring a new system of government or did they retain most of the previous one?
Did they enserf the English people?
Were they genuine reformers of the church or did they use it for purposes of their own?
Did the peasants become more enserfed, particularly in the 10th and 11th centuries?
Declining role of kin in the face of the rise of lordship

Kings, Kingships and Kingdoms - Pauline Stafford (pp. 9-40) Kings of Gynedd, Powys, Dyfed and Brycheiniog in Wales - under single overking usually based in Gwynedd
~ Yet had not replaced other kingship by 1100 Kings are already referrred to being rulers of peoples Kingship, overkingship and monarchy Kingship was established by AD 800
~ Yet kin and neighbourhoods were far more important Early obligations of the king e.g. maintenance of bridges, roads and fortifications Kings were warriors but were also often aggressive and predatory leaders of warbands Overkingships or hegemonies were built on personal ties of kinship and marriage
~ Built on success in battle
~ Unstable Overkingship has been contrasted with territorial rule - where the activity of the ruler is felt regularly in taxation, military service and through agents and agencies
~ Intensification of royal activity
~ Can lead to a more restricted pattern of succession and a greater sacrilisation of the ruler less threat from others
~ Trend from overkingship to monarchy Yet were still always core areas where kings had less control e.g. Wessex and Fife
~ Still resorted to personal links and bonds in politics Succession to the throne Claims through blood - royal genealogies particularly survive from Welsh and Irish sources
~ Yet amount of royal blood needed was subject to debate Subject of intense dispute and rivalry
~ All these kingships were loosely speaking 'elective'

Elligibility was further determined by resources, warrior ability and other kingly attributes Every English succession 955-1042 was disputed Malcolm II (1005-35) murdered his way to the throne 11th century - Scottish exiles sought refuge to the south in Northumbria English royal blood fled across the Channel to Flanders or Normandy and after 1066, to Dublin Kings and law Were not essential to the working of law, arbitration and justice
~ Disputes were settled in local courts King's concern with the law was minimal in Wales and Ireland yet it developed strongly in England
~ Scottish documentation is virtually non-existent Wales and Ireland have extensive legal tracts covering topics such as the working of systems of surety, the levels and nature of fines for personal injury, theft, statis and court procedures
~ Statements of custom Yet little record of the law in practice Unlike elsewhere, in England there was no learned class in the law before AD 1100 Were 10th century instructions sent to the localities - very likely that these continued but were not seen as important enough to record English laws are distinguished from Welsh and Irish ones in that they are issued in the king's name - proclaims his responsibility for law and order 10th century commitment to suppress theft, maintain peace and order and to protect the church shaped criticism of kings by the early 11th century Contrast with the lawyers in Wales and Ireland who seemed to take over the king's role Christian tradition was leading to a presentation of the king as law-maker and a concern with his legal activity which fed the development of royal power Church and king Were to some extent sacral Early Ireland - were seen as somehow embodying the fertility and good fortune of the land and its inhabitants
~ The same notions are present in the consecration rituals of the 10th and 11th century English kings Wales - criticism of harrying, predatory kings Sentiments linked the unified rule of one king over one people on earth with the one God in heaven
~ Around AD 1000 Archbishop Wulfstan of York opened a law of Aethelred with 'we shall all love and honour one God and zealously hold one Christian faith and entirely cast off every heathen practice; and we all have confirmed both with word and with pledge that we will hold one Christian faith under the rule of one king'
~ Northern clergyman yet by the 11th century England was a unified kingdom Development of royal resources Monetisation of the English economy by the 10th century

Urban development and trade in Ireland paralleled that of England although not in scale
~ Nothing comparable in Wales or Scotland nor in England north of the Tees
~ Chester and York were the most northerly mints Link between greater wealth of the English kingdom and the power of 10th and 11th century English kingship As guarantors of law, Irish and English kings claimed a share of fines paid in courts
~ 10th century England - extends to local lords gained an interest in the extension of royal power External forces - Vikings and Normans By 1100 Ireland was still beyond Norman reach - Dublin was a refuge for English and Welsh exiles The recent collapse of Gruffydd ap Llywelyn's overkingship in Wales provided the
Normans with an opportunity
~ North-west proved resistant

Britain, Ireland and the South - John Gillingham (pp. 201-232) th


9 , 10 and early 11th centuries - Britain and Ireland had not been much affected by contacts with continental European powers and cultures Kent and London had close commercial and cultural links with Flanders Rapid intensification of relations from the 1040s After 1066 French-style castles and Romanesque churches were erected on a prodigious scale Edward's is the first English royal seal to survive - image of the king in majesty enthroned with orb and sceptre
~ Borrowed from German models Revival of Latin letters 3 momentous developments which brough the islands back into the Mediterranean
~ Gregorian Reform Movement
~ Norman Conquest
~ First Crusade By 1100 only England had been affected but by 1200 Scotland, Ireland and Wales had also been deeply affected Reform England: 1049 - Leo IX launched a spectacular attack on ecclesiastical abuses
~ Argued that priests should be sexually 'pure'
~ Prelates should not be appointed by laymen but 'freely' chosen by other
churchmen In England, unlike Ireland, Scotland and Wales, there were high-ranking clergy who had been educated on the continent 1070 - papal legates removed from office those English prelates whose loyalty William distrusted
~ e.g. Stigand who held both Canterbury and Winchester Lanfranc became archbishop of Canterbury (1070-89)

~ Summoned general councils of the English church with unprecedented frequency
~ Compiled a new canon law collection
~ Espoused many of the aims of Gregorian reform 1093 - William II's misguided choice of Anselm as Lanfranc's successor
~ Set a pattern for monk-archbishops which would not be broken until Thomas Becket in 1162 1095 - Council at Rockingham Anselm summoned a general council of the English church to London in 1102
~ Decreed that men should keep their hair short
~ Ordered priests, deacons and canons to put away their wives
~ Prohibited sons from inheriting their fathers' churches Wales, Scotland and Ireland: No extant Irish or Welsh sources mention Leo IX at Rheims 1073 - Gregory VII wrote to Toirdelbach Ua Briain and the Irish prelates offering them papal help if they were facing any difficulties
~ Also urged Lanfranc to reform marriage not just in England but in Ireland No particular religious centre in Ireland Malchus of Waterford was a key figure in the reform and reorganisation of the Irish church Absence of Scottish sources means we know very little Lanfranc replied to a request of Queen Margaret of Scotland by sending her 3 monks
~ Probably led to the foundation of a Canterbury priory at Dunfermline - first 'regular' Benedictine house in the Scottish kingdom Margaret appears to have tried to impose English custom Church in 11th century Wales has been judged to have been archaic Resistance to Norman impositions Ireland may have been more receptive as it had not been invaded No evidence of any Welsh or Scottish clergy in England whereas Irish monks trained in England had an important role Churches of Dublin and Waterford were important - more outward-looking culture here Norman Conquest Edward the Confessor - half-Norman and French-educated Anglo-Saxon Chronicle - political struggles of 1051-52 brought men to realise that 'there
was little of value except English men on either side'
~ A council meeting 'outlawed all the French men who earlier promoted illegality
and passed unjust judgements and counselled bad counsel' By 1100 not a single bishopric or major abbey was ruled by an Englishman Domesday Book entry for Shrewsbury - 'The English burgesses of Shrewsbury state that it is very hard that they pay as much tax as they paid before 1066'
~ 252 properties paid in time of Edward the Confessor 193 no longer contributed

Many towns and villages were demolished to make way for new Norman buildings
~ Different in the north and west - still traditional small buildings The myth of feudalism: Long before 1066 - society focused on forms of lordship where lord's dependants were
also his tenants and paid rent in many forms including military service After 1066 French lords wielded greater power than before
~ Not due to new customs
~ Military circumstances of the Conquest and opportunities for an entirely new landholding class tightening of the bonds of lordship Gradual spread after 1066 of a tenurial vocabulary in which the word feudum was prominent was a terminological shift Myth of feudalism linked with 'the Norman yoke' Generation after 1066 - far more Frenchmen married English women than had ever been the case before
~ Idea of another 'Norman yoke' putting an end to an Anglo-Saxon 'Golden Age'
for the property rights of women
~ Useful claim that wife had held land in scramble for property - may not be true Scotland, Wales and the Normans: Malcolm posed a real threat to William - survivors of the English royal dynasty fled to Malcolm's court in 1068
~ Malcolm married Edgar's sister Margaret
~ William took an army over the Forth in 1072 and took hostages Malcolm raided again in 1079 and 1091 provoking Norman counter raids in 1080 and 1091
~ Malcolm and his son Edward died in a raid in 1093 power struggle 1081 - William went much further west than any previous king of England Rhigyfarch described 'French tyranny' in Wales
~ 'The people and the priest are despised By the word, heart and deeds of the Frenchmen. They burden us with tribute and consume our possessions. One of them, however lowly, shakes a hundred natives With his commands and terrifies them with his look.' 1100 - Welsh had fought back and forced the Normans to withdraw to the line of the River Conwy
~ After this the Norman advance into south Wales was resumed English settlers
~ By 1135 one observer thought that the Normans had turned Wales into a 'second England' Crusade Anglo-Saxon Chronicle - in 1096 'at Easter there was a very great stir throughout all this
nation and in many other nations through Urban who was called pope though he had nothing of the seat in Rome. And countless people, with women and children, set out because they wanted to war against heathen peoples'

William II raised 10,000 marks to equip Robert Curthose English ships brought vital supplies

possession of Normandy

Lay lords and lay culture Warrior elites
~ Plunder and tribute remained central to the circulation of wealth in the north and west
~ But by the 11th century, England south of the Humber or Tyne had gone through the process of urbanisation and monetisation Norman knights and castles: Only those who lived on the Welsh and Scottish borders had much experience of war - different from France By 1087 as many as 500 castles had been built - some of William's advisers felt that a
land without castles was virtually indefensible The Normans introduced the judicial duel French chivalry: Convention developed whereby the wealthy were taken prisoner rather than injured
~ Established in France and Germany by 1066
~ Different in England - continued killing each other even after the Conquest Hanging of William de Alderie by Rufus in 1095 was the last time for 200 years that an aristocrat would suffer death for rebellion in England William of Poitiers saw clemency as one of the conqueror's outstanding qualities Generous treatment of Edgar Atheling
~ Received at court in 1075
~ 1097 - given command of the Norman army New political morality with lower rates of royal mortality e.g. Henry did not feel able to keep the child William Clito in prison After 1066 very few nobles were killed Fashionable lifestyles: William of Poitiers and the designer of the Bayeux Tapestry were struck by the difference between Norman and English male hairstyles Winchester survey of names
~ c. 1057 - 85% Old English and 15% foreign
~ 1100 - 30% Old English and 70% foreign
~ Pre-Conquest favourite names were Godwine and Alwin Robert and William New game of chess Clerical culture Wales and Ireland: The Wlesh defended their British heritage - late 11th century Welsh renaissance in Latin learning Irish Latin on the whole remained insular and conservative

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