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Title: The reeve in late Anglo-Saxon England
Author: Shields-Más, Chelsea
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2013
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The aim of this research is to build a picture of the reeve in late Anglo-Saxon England. This little-understood figure has traditionally received limited attention in scholarship, and this study attempts to rectify this, and to shed light upon this official and his impact on English society. Chapter One explores the nature and implications of the reeve’s role as an administrator in Anglo-Saxon government. The law codes emerge as a key source in determining how legislators saw the reeve fitting into and contributing to the mechanisms of the administration. Chapter Two looks at the reeve’s status in late Anglo-Saxon society, as well as both the nature of the reeve’s relationship with the king, as well as how he acted as a counterbalance to the powerful and influential ealdormen in the localities. Taking a step away from the reeve as a royal agent, Chapter Three focuses on the reeve as an estate manager for the private aristocratic lord. The nature of the reeve’s work on the late Anglo-Saxon estate, as well as how he was rewarded for that work, is explored. The resultant picture not only broadens our knowledge of the private reeve, but also how he fit into tenth- and eleventh-century English society. Chapter Four explores the manner in which the reeve is presented in late Anglo-Saxon homiletic discourse. Arguably, the increasing number of negative references to the reeve in these moralizing texts is reflective of his growing prominence and influence in late Anglo-Saxon England. The work of Archbishop Wulfstan of York is also examined: it is argued that despite the plethora of moralizing references to the reeve at this time, Wulfstan’s thinking represented a departure from this trend. The archbishop crafted a role for the reeve that was integral to the realization of his vision of a “holy society”.
Supervisor: Cubitt, Catherine Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available