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The nature and function of the manor court 1350-1700

Saaler, Mary; (1994) The nature and function of the manor court 1350-1700. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The aim of the study is to analyse the records of three manor courts over a relatively long time-scale, with the object of identifying the changes which occurred in the nature and function of the manor court from 1350 until 1700. The principal source material consists of previously untranslated and untranscribed records of the view of frankpledge, or court leet, and court baron of the Surrey manors of Carshalton, Farleigh and Merstham, which lie 16-26 km. from London. Since the manors differ in their historical and geographical background, we can use this material to make comparisons and to identify broader regional trends. Following a discussion of the history of the manors and the extent and compilation of the records, with the aid of a computer data-base, I have examined the functions of the view. These are defined as a) residence, b) supervision of trade, c) minor criminal offences, d) management of the environment and e) the procedures of payment, distraint and dispute settlement. This is followed by an assessment of the roles of officials, identified as tithingmen, ale tasters, constables and jurors. This leads to a discussion of the influence of external factors, such as the quarter sessions and parliamentary legislation. I have similarly analysed the records of the court baron to show changes in property-holding, the role of the jurors and in procedures, such as dispute settlement, use of pledges and distraint. By making this investigation, we can see the reactions of the community to social and economic factors as it developed from a medieval to an early modern society.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: The nature and function of the manor court 1350-1700
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Social sciences; Manor courts
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10101055
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