Burgesses and landed men in North-East Scotland in the later Middle Ages : a study in social interaction
The thesis attempts an investigation of social change and development within late medieval urban and landed society in North-East Scotland. Analysis has been concentrated on the social implications of the evidence produced by a study of the Aberdeen burgh property market in the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. To deal with the often copious evidence has entailed the use of basic computing techniques. Aside from this research has been made on the processes of social interaction within urban society and includes investigation of the elite families, heiresses, the craftsmen of Aberdeen, and the social composition of the burgesses of guild between 1399 and 1510. A chapter has been devoted to comment on the activities of the notaries of Aberdeen in the later middle ages. They were a vigorous and enterprising group of men busy building up their fortunes. After examination of the social developments within Aberdeen urban society the emphasis of the thesis moves to the investigation of the major landed families of north-east Scotland. This includes the Gordons, the earls of Mar, the Forbes, the Irvines of Drum, the Hays, the Lesleys, the Keiths, and Setons of Meldrum. Their accumulation of estates, marriages, royal favour, and bonds of manrent all receive comment. The final section of the thesis is devoted to the subject of both the political and economic-social interaction between burgesses and landed men. There was a variety of contact along these broad fronts. Aside from the chapters and conclusion the thesis contains three appendices of useful information. The first sets out the genealogies of the eleven elite families of Aberdeen, the second looks at medieval urban price data between 1435 and 1531. The third covers the taxation of medieval Aberdeen from 1448 to 1472.