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Title: Late medieval society in North-West England : Cheshire and Lancashire, 1375-1425
Author: Bennett, Michael J.
ISNI:       0000 0001 2415 9495
Awarding Body: University of Lancaster
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 1975
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This work is offered as a contribution to an understanding of pre-industrial English society. More specifically, it presents a structural analysis of Cheshire and Lancashire society in the last quarter of the fourteenth century and the first quarter of the fifteenth century. Following an introductory chapter on the scope and method of the study, there are ten chapters grouped into three main sections. In the first main section an attempt is made to delineate the boundaries of social identification in the North-West, and to draw attention to the importance of the local communities in the functioning of medieval society. In the second main group of chapters the social structure of the North-West is viewed from a rather more conventional perspective, and after an assessment of the demographic scale of the regional society the discussion centres upon the stratification of the local population. The third and final section moves outside the narrow world of rural society in the North-West to look ~t the important problem of social mobility. Through a detailed examination of the careers of Cheshire and Lancashire men it is possible to identify a number of fairly distinct ~venues ~f social advancement, and accordingly there are chapters on commerce, the church, military service, and law and government. All in all the main purpose of this study is to give soma: indication of the complexity of late medieval society, and of the large number of variables which served to give each individual. family or wider grouping an unique position in the community. At the same time it is hoped to show that the inner cohesion of the social structure, the balanced tension between the vertical and horizontal bonds. of allegiance, made the social order far more fluid and flexible than is often acknowledged. Although this study largely stands as an analysis of a particular community at a particular cross-section in time, the emphasis is inevitably placed on the more dynamic elements of the social system, and attention is continually drawn to the nature and direction of social change in the later middle ages.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available