Urban Legal Culture as Reflected by a Monastic Chronicle (13th-century England)
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Urban Legal Culture as Reflected by a Monastic Chronicle (13th-century England)
Annotation
PII
S207987840007688-5-1
DOI
10.18254/S207987840007688-5
Publication type
Article
Status
Published
Authors
Anna Anisimova 
Affiliation:
Institute of World History RAS
State Academic University for the Humanities
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Abstract

The article deals with the information on law history that can be extracted from the sources, not legal. The research is based on the way the urban law is reflected in the monastic chronicle composed in Dunstable priory (Bedfordshire, England), mostly during the 13th century. The town in itself was not the focus of this chronicle, as its authors were more interested in the rights and privileges of their monastic house. However, as Dunstable was a part, and quite significant at that, of the priory’s property, “Annals” pay rather extensive attention to the town and its inhabitants. Mostly the chronicle gives a description of conflict situations, usually connected with the townspeople’s claims to different rights, but it also touches on the daily practice of urban legal activities. There is information on principal judicial institutions, i.e., a seigneurial curia, a town’s court, visits of itinerary judges, central courts, as well as town’s officials and inhabitants’ expectations and opportunities regarding these issues. Besides, “Annals” not infrequently include the whole texts of different legal documents, for example, agreements, royal writs, judicial decisions. Some of them are not known from elsewhere. Thus, in combination with other monastic sources — a cartulary and a treatise, both written in the same century, the chronicle pictures a rather vivid impression of the legal system of a small seigneurial town and shows the development of its community.

Keywords
small town, medieval town, monastic chronicle, urban law, social history
Received
09.09.2019
Publication date
15.12.2019
Number of characters
35549
Number of purchasers
3
Views
48
Readers community rating
0.0 (0 votes)
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