HIST 371 Lecture Outline (Fall 2016 – Week 6)


Week 6: Lords, Knights, And Ladies



Medieval fiddle (vielle) music, played by Barry Hall (2:18 min.)

“Estampie real” (from the “Chansonnier du Roi,” Paris, Bibl. nat., MS fonds français 844, folios 103-4, c. 1300; 57:46 min.)
(for notes on MS, see http://www.goear.com/listen/a7db187/estampies-royales-manuscript-royal-de-paris-siecle-xiii-jordi-savall-hesperion-xxi)


Bartlett, England under the Norman and Angevin Kings, pp. 206-213 (Social semantics; Earls; Barons), pp. 229-235 (Birth and Bearing; Knighting), pp. 245-252 (Seals, Heraldry, Arthurian Legend)

Faulkner, “The Knights in the Magna Carta Civil War”

Carlin and Crouch, Lost Letters of Medieval Life, pp. 73-77 (Document 15), 85-90 (Document 20), 92-98 (Documents 22-23), 158-165 (Documents 47-48), 216-218 (Documents 67-68)


Robert Bartlett, Inside the Medieval Mind: Power (Part 2 of 6)
(9:46 minutes : Forest Law (0:00-3:20); outlaws (3:20-4:39); castles (5:30-7:30); aristocratic priorities (7:30-9:46))


The Angevin “Empire”:

Henry III’s territories:

Medieval England and Wales:

Wales and the Marches in the Thirteenth Century:

Map of England by Matthew Paris

Family Trees:

The Norman and Angevin/Plantagenet kings of England, 1066-1377:

The descendants of Henry II and Eleanor of Acquitaine:

Topics and Terms:

Earl (16 earldoms in England in 1200): Earls received the “third penny” from their counties (i.e., one-third of the profits of the county court and the royal boroughs). An earl typically controlled 100 knights’ fees or more.
Baron (approx. 100-200 tenants-in-chief below the level of earl, holding more than 5 knights’ fees and with annual incomes of around £100 or more)
Knight banneret (wealthy knight who led his own troops into battle, under his square banner)
Knight bachelor (young or poor knight who did not lead his own troops, but fought under another’s banner and carried a triangular pennon, not a banner.)
Examples of medieval seals and seal matrices
Heraldry (click here for page of Matthew Paris’s shields of arms from his Liber Additamentorum)
Legends of King Arthur and his court invented by Geoffrey of Monmouth’s History of the Kings of Briton (1136)

Dispersion of lands of knights:
Too many children or no male heir
Inability to repay debts
Sale of lands to fund Crusading venture
Confiscation/disinheritance (e.g., for rebellion)

Administrative duties of knights in the shires:
Served as coroners
Served as jurors at county courts (monthly), grand assizes (12 local knights, annually: pleas of land), petty assizes (4 knights plus freeholders, quarterly: pleas of land), and royal eyres (occasionally)
Go in groups of four to check on excuses of essoiners and register their appointment of attorneys
Beginning in 1233-4, serve on ad hoc commissions of the peace (e.g., to rid forests of bandits)
Often served as stewards for regional magnates

4 major factors that influenced knights of Beds., Cambs., Hunts., and Northants. who rebelled in 1215-17:
lordship; neighborhood contacts; family relationships; the impact of the royal government at personal and communal level

Humoral medicine
Phlebotomy (therapeutic bloodletting)
Household accounts
Roman numerals
Lenten fast
Trencher bread
Mortal enmity
Affinity (of a magnate)

Money Quiz:

Robert Bartlett, in England under the Norman and Angevin Kings (p. 206), writes that:

16 marks = £10 13s. 4d.
10 marks = £6 6s. 8d.

Is this correct?


Record of assize of mort d’ancestor, from the Bedfordshire eyre of 1227
(Gilbert fitzAdwin brought suit against John de Scalers, who had custody of Beatrice, the under-age heiress of Elias de Beauchamp, and Ivo de Blackwell and Alice his wife (widow of Elias, who was holding part of the property in dispute as her dower). The plea was adjourned because both sets of defendants vouched Beatrice to warrant their right. )

Garbing of a new knight and Kneeling knight (by Matthew Paris)
Clothing, Armor, and Weapons of a Mid Thirteenth-Century English Knight (by Andy Goddard, medieval re-enactor)
Dubbing: Queen Elizabeth II dubbing Professor Sir Basil Markesinis, QC, FBA, Knight Bachelor at Buckingham Palace, 9 March 2005, for Services to International Legal Relations.

Drawings of armed knights:
Jousting knights, by Matthew Paris, c. 1250

Images from the Maciejowski Bible (1234-44):








Practice for Editing your letters:

What points should be discussed in an edition of the following Neville letter (Blaauw, p. 70, no. 686)?

To his Reverend Lord Ralph, by the grace of God Bishop of Chichester, Chancellor of our Lord the King, his devoted Simon de Senliz greeting, and with the greatest reverence due, and devoted service (famulatum) in all things. —

As I have otherwise informed you, the time for auditing the accounts of your reeves (prepositis) in your diocese is at hand, and it behoves you that they should be audited quickly; so that, if you please, most dear lord, be pleased to send into your diocese some one of your household (de familia vestra) to audit the account.

You have moreover directed me to come to you in London within 15 days after the feast of St. Michael. Wherefore I should wish most freely to audit the account first with some one of your household, so that, on my arrival, I might be able reasonably to answer about the proceeds of your diocese.

Deign to let me know your good will, if you please, about the aforesaid.

Know, moreover, lord, that on the Saturday next after the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (Sept. 14), there came to me a certain monk from Bordele, telling me that 40 lambs and two sheep (xl. agni et duo multones) had been sent to you from the abbot of Bordele, and were at a certain grange of the house of Waverle; in consequence of which I asked the said monk to lend you his shepherd (bercarium suum), until I could procure another suitable, and this he willingly granted me.

May your holiness always prosper in the Lord


Bartlett, England under the Norman and Angevin Kings, pp. 547-549 (freedom to marry), 555-558 (dower and marriage-portions; divorce and separation)

Labarge, A Baronial Household of the Thirteenth Century, pp. 9-17 (Introduction), 38-52 (Chap. 2, “The Lady of the House”), 189-201 (Appendix: Extract from the household roll of Eleanor, Countess of Leicester, 1265)

Robert Grosseteste, Bishop of Lincoln: Rules for the household of the widowed Countess of Lincoln, 1240 x 1242

Terms and topics:

Marriage: no barriers to marry (e.g., no consanguinity; permission of lord) +vows + consummation = valid marriage
Guardianship (of heirs and heiresses)
Merchet: fine payable to lord for permission of female serfs to marry
Dower: property granted to the wife by the husband at marriage to support her during her lifetime as widow, if she survives her husband
Dowry (marriage portion): property brought to the marriage by the wife
Divorce (annulment): only possible if original marriage was deemed invalid

Literaray sources:

Jehan et Blonde, by Philippe de Beaumanoir

Video: Robert Bartlett, Inside the Medieval Mind: Sex (Part 2 of 6)
(9:37 minutes)
(0:00-1:25, Eve’s sin; 1:26-4:45: dowries; 4:46-9:37 courtly love: the poets)


Seal of Eleanor, countess of Leicester [sister of Henry III]

Eleanor de Montfort and her children (from a later family tree)

Seal of Simon de Montfort’s father Simon (d. 1218)

Seal of Isabelle de Rochefort (French, 1272)