By Frederik Pedersen
Intimate information about the non-public lives of medieval individuals are frustratingly infrequent. We seldom understand what the boys and girls of the center a while considered marriage, not to mention approximately intercourse. The files of the church courts of the province of York, more often than not courting from the fourteenth century, presents a welcome mild on deepest, kin existence and on person reactions to it. They contain quite a lot of attention-grabbing situations related to disputes concerning the validity of marriage, consent, intercourse, marital violence, impotence and estate disputes. in addition they exhibit how largely the legislation of marriage have been either recognized and permitted. Marriage Disputes in Medieval England bargains a amazing perception into own lifestyles within the center ages.
'Then Maud stated, "God forbid so you might have the ability to understand me carnally until you are going to marry me". Robert spoke back, "Behold my oath that if I take someone to be my spouse i'll take you in the event you will yield to me". Maud replied, "Behold my oath that i'll be at your disposal". And Robert took her in his hands and threw her to the floor in "Le Kowbos" and knew her carnally.' --Maud Schipyn and Robert Smyth, October 17, 1355
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Additional resources for Marriage Disputes in Medieval England
9 These three clerics - Gilbert Pocklington, David Ledes and John Couthorp (the last being a kinsman of the Huntington family) - met Agnes's parents, her uncle William Huntington and John Bristol's parents in Mulberry Hall on Monday 7 February 1339. Long before this meeting, Agnes's parents had made their disapproval of John Bristol clear to the servants of the household. On the morning of 7 February the matron of the household, Margaret Foxholes, was caught in a conflict of loyalties as Agnes and John tried to use her in their attempt to create a legally binding marriage, using the canon law rule that spoken consent was enough.
Instead, the cause papers constitute a comprehensive selection of the legal problems that the court might encounter. Although we cannot be sure that they are a totally random sample of the court's business, they can be said to be an unbiased sample of the actual cases that came before the courts in the fourteenth century. This must be kept in mind when using the cause papers for a historical study. Although the cause papers offer us an unrivalled window into the minds and mentalities of the litigants in the court of York in the fourteenth century, they do not represent what the average person could expect from marriage at that time, nor can they be made to yield significant statistical information on what people thought about marriage in the northern province.
It appears that the maximum number was never filled. The consistory court included a registry to preserve and copy the written decisions and other documents produced in connection with litigation in the court. This department of the court has left us with a large selection of legal documents from the cases conducted at the Curia Eboracensis. These documents offer an unrivalled opportunity to analyse the way in which a medieval court applied the rules of canon law in the area of its jurisdiction.
Marriage Disputes in Medieval England by Frederik Pedersen