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Title: Gentry perceptions of violence in fourteenth-century England
Author: McLaughlin, Rhian Elizabeth
ISNI:       0000 0004 5363 7179
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis is an examination of gentry perceptions of violence in fourteenth-century England. It is intended to demonstrate the potential for advancing studies of this nature by combining literary and legal evidence. It is also the aim of this thesis to advance understanding of late-medieval gentry violence by moving beyond focusing on one geographical area, and instead engaging in comparison of different counties, namely Hampshire, Nottinghamshire and Cumberland. This enables an assessment of the impact of different local pressures on gentry perceptions of violence. Ultimately this investigation shows that there was little variety in terms of gentry perceptions of violence nationwide, despite differing local circumstances. Part One of the thesis begins with an introduction to elite society and the balance of power in fourteenth-century Hampshire, Nottinghamshire and Cumberland. It demonstrates that these counties were sufficiently different to enable a meaningful consideration of how far local circumstances affected gentry perceptions of violence. The service engaged in by the sample gentry is then considered. This consideration shows that the sample gentry did not develop a clear preference for military or administrative service and provides a basis for investigation of the impact of different forms of service on perceptions of violence. Part Two commences with the use of legal evidence to provide a range of potential motivations for gentry violence. This is then combined with literary evidence to show that gentry perceptions of violence were affected by motivation, victim, the level of violence, and any impact the violence had on them. The thesis concludes by showing that the gentry did not regard violence as something which was likely to hinder their careers, or a direct affront to the crown. Nonetheless, they did wish for violence to be limited and justified in order to preserve stability.
Supervisor: Ormrod, Mark Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available