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Abduction and power in late medieval England : petitions to the Court of Chancery, 1389-1515

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Abduction and power in late medieval England : petitions to the Court of Chancery, 1389-1515

Pope, Julia (2002) Abduction and power in late medieval England : petitions to the Court of Chancery, 1389-1515. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This study examines fifty petitions sent to the Court of Chancery between 1389 and 1515 that relate to abduction. Although abduction was a serious problem in late medieval England, there have been few previous studies of the subject, and none have made use of Chancery petitions. This source sheds light on the way victims of abduction, or more often their families, presented their cases to the court. Many victims were young women who had been placed in wardship, suggesting that concerns over money and property, not primarily sexual violence, were paramount in such cases. Some of the other issues addressed include the point of view of the accused abductor, the problem of terminology, and the question of the victim's consent. The position that victims were viewed merely as male-owned property is criticized. The role of the family, and particularly mothers, in abduction cases is also examined. Finally, two cases in which the alleged abduction eventually resulted in the marriage of victim and abductor demonstrate that claims of abduction should not be simply taken at face value by historians. Rather, these petitions demonstrate the shifting claims of power exerted by various parties.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > History
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Pope, Julia
Pagination:iv, 110 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (M.A.)
Program:History
Date:2002
Thesis Supervisor(s):McSheffrey, Shannon
ID Code:1831
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:22
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:23
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