Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.594221
Title: Life and death : a study of the wills and testaments of men and women in London and Bury St. Edmunds in the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries
Author: Wood, Robert
ISNI:       0000 0004 5348 0917
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2014
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Abstract:
The aim of this thesis is to investigate the lives of men and women living in London and Bury St. Edmunds in the late fourteenth - early fifteenth centuries. Sources studied include the administrative and legal records of the City of London and of the Abbot and Convent of St. Edmund's abbey; legislation and court records of royal government and the wills and testaments of Londoners and Bury St. Edmunds' inhabitants. Considerable research on a wide range of topics on London, but far less work on Bury St. Edmunds, has already been undertaken; however, this thesis is the first systematic comparative study of these two towns. The introduction discusses the historiography and purpose of the thesis; the methodology used, and the shortcomings of using medieval wills and the probate process. Chapter One discusses the testamentary jurisdiction in both towns; who was involved in the will making process, and the role that clerics played as both executors and scribes and how the church courts operated. Chapter Two focuses on testators' preparations for the afterlife, their choices concerning burial location, funeral arrangements and the provisions made for prayers for their souls. Chapter Three examines in detail their pious and charitable bequests and investigates what ‘good works' testators chose to support apart from ‘forgotten tithes'. The family and household relationships, including servants and apprentices, are examined in Chapter Four, exploring the differences in bequests made depending on the testators' marital status, together with evidence for close friendships and social networks. Chapter Five discusses the ownership and types of books referred to in wills and the inter-relationship between the donors and the recipients. Testators' literacy and the provision for education are also investigated.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.594221  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Wills ; testaments ; 14th century ; fourteenth century ; fifteenth century ; 15th century ; London ; Bury St Edmunds ; will making process ; clerics ; church courts ; burial location ; funeral arrangements ; bequests ; household relationships
Share: