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Title: Charity in Rouen in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries (with special reference to Mont-aux-Malades)
Author: Brenner, Elma Helen Olwen
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2008
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By focusing on the leper house of Mont-aux-Malades, this thesis examines the religious, social and economic significance of charity in Rouen between c. 1100 and c. 1300. In particular, it considers the motivation for charity and attitudes towards lepers, and aims to shed light on the society of medieval Rouen. The Introduction contains an overview of the history of Rouen and Mont-aux-Malades in the period, a survey of the recent literature on charity and leprosy in Normandy and Western Europe, and a discussion of sources. Part One addresses the institutional development and patronage of Mont-aux-Malades. The leper house was linked to royal, aristocratic and burgess patrons, leading it to become an increasingly important charitable institution. Part Two places Mont-aux-Malades in the context of Rouen and Upper Normandy. A discussion of the leper house’s property tenure within the city is followed by an analysis of its agricultural and commercial activities in the local area, the Pays de Caux and the forest of Lyons. Part Three addresses the administration of charity at Mont-aux-Malades. The healthy canons and lay personnel cared not only for the resident lepers, but also for lepers elsewhere in satellite leper hostels. However, at Rouen, only high status lepers gained admittance to Mont-aux-Malades itself. In the medieval understanding of charity, the care of the soul was closely connected to that of the body, so that religious activities at Mont-aux-Malades took on a particular importance. The Conclusion argues that charity facilitated social and religious cohesion in twelfth- and thirteenth-century Rouen. Lepers were not excluded, but remained members of the city’s society. Interaction between different social and religious groups, including the healthy and the sick, sustained and strengthened this society.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available