Monday, August 25, 2008

Historical Research Volume 81 Issue 213 (August 2008)

Volume 81 Issue 213 (August 2008) of Historical Research has now been published. Two medieval articles can be found in the contents, namely:

The Gesta Abbatum Monasterii Sancti Albani: litigation and history at St. Albans, by Mark Hagger

This article reconsiders the domestic history of St. Albans abbey, known as the Gesta Abbatum Monasterii Sancti Albani, and concludes that the monks resorted to the fabrication of history in compiling a chronicle that rebutted the hostile claims of the monks of Ely and the bishop of Lincoln. The Gesta is used in conjunction with other documents produced at St. Albans, Domesday Book and the narratives produced at monasteries including Battle and Le Bec. The argument also reveals that the relevant parts of the Gesta were almost certainly written by Adam the cellarer or his clerk, Bartholomew, in the eleven-seventies or eleven-eighties, with the material incorporated into the Gesta by Matthew Paris decades later.

Seigniorial control of villagers' litigation beyond the manor in later medieval England, by Chris Briggs

Medieval villagers were assiduous users of legal structures in defence of private interests. To enforce contracts against and recover debts from residents of other villages, rural plaintiffs had to prosecute in courts situated beyond the boundaries of their 'home' manors. The ability to sue elsewhere than the local manor court was thus crucial to commercial development in the countryside. This article explores the obstacles to such litigation, challenging the claim that servile villeinage acted to restrict villagers' choice of court. It lays the foundation for a larger investigation into the importance of villagers as civil litigants in ecclesiastical and royal jurisdictions.

You can find more information about the journal here.