Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The Claxtons : a north-eastern gentry family in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries
Author: Barker, Brian Austin
ISNI:       0000 0004 2689 4997
Awarding Body: University of Teesside
Current Institution: Teesside University
Date of Award: 2003
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
The purpose of this thesis is to discover the history of the Claxton family in northeastern England in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries; it is divided into six chapters dealing with separate but related topics. The first identifies individual family members and clarifies many obscure relationships that have confused previous attempts to produce accurate genealogies of the family. The second is an in-depth examination of the family estates, tracing the accumulation and disbursement of individual manors and parcels of land. The third is an evaluation of the estates in the context of the regional economy, with an analysis of economic structures and change on particular manors. Chapter four is an examination of the local community and the social networks in which the Claxtons were involved, including the `horizontal' and `vertical' links of several family members, and particularly their close association with the Nevill family. These connections help explain the relative importance of magnate affiliation and gentry independence (or dependence) in the palatinate of Durham. The fifth describes those legal disputes in which members of the family were involved and what influence they were able to bring to bear to secure their objectives, revealing the nexus of private relationships that lay behind conflict resolution. Chapter six looks at office holding and the political involvement of the family, both in the palatinate and on the wider national scene. Also addressed is the extent to which Claxton military and diplomatic service extended beyond the confines of northern England and the Scottish border. The final part discusses individuals who have featured prominently in the previous chapters, with special reference to their religious affiliations. The conclusion amplifies and reviews key themes that emerge from the thesis and places them in their historiographical context. The gentry in the bishopric and the county of Northumberland are under-researched in comparison with the bishops of Durham and the ecclesiastical corporation of Durham Priory. The thesis also discusses the careers of several members of the local gentry whose interests and activities coincided with those of various Claxtons across the period. The principal source used is the Claxton family archive, deposited with Durham Priory in the late fifteenth century and thereafter never retrieved. Using this rich and recently untapped documentation, together with other detailed records of the palatinate of Durham, the thesis fills a significant gap in our knowledge of the late-medieval north-east and contributes to the current debate concerning regional differences in the period.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available