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Title: Women and wills in early modern England : the community of Stratford-Upon-Avon, 1537-1649
Author: Appleton, Stephanie Jane
ISNI:       0000 0004 6349 9128
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2017
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This study employs the entire body of surviving wills for Stratford-upon-Avon, 1537-1649, alongside other documentary evidence including ecclesiastical court depositions, local Court of Record proceedings, and minutes and accounts of the town's Corporation, in order to examine aspects of everyday life in this early modern town. In particular, it uses the wills as a lens through which to examine the 'culture of will-making', kinship, affect, and women's legal status and economic opportunities in Stratford. The focus on the town's women provides important additional knowledge which contributes to the growing scholarship on the experiences of non-elite women in England at this time, while its innovative use of the database Nvivo to classify the bequests and naming patterns found in the wills allows for greater nuance in our understanding of how early modern people may have thought and felt about their friends, family, and possessions. Methodologically, the thesis argues for a holistic treatment of the wills, and demonstrates their utility and complexity as a source, while its findings challenge some commonly-held assumptions about the nature of kinship and about the financial dealings and legal opportunities enjoyed by middling sort women in early modern England.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: University of Birmingham
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: DA Great Britain ; HQ The family. Marriage. Woman