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For the good order to be had thereby : civic archives and the creation of conformity in late medieval London, c. 1475-1525

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For the good order to be had thereby : civic archives and the creation of conformity in late medieval London, c. 1475-1525

May, Evan F (2010) For the good order to be had thereby : civic archives and the creation of conformity in late medieval London, c. 1475-1525. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Medieval cities were complex communities supervised and controlled by elite groups who sought to impose their conception of order upon them, a conception which included strict ideas of proper behaviour and social hierarchy as well as the prevention of criminal behaviour. How they were able to do so in the absence of coercive instruments such as a police force is an interesting problem, and there is little doubt that both royal authority and the members of the elite themselves expected that it was an achievable goal. This thesis explores a variety of strategies used by the government of late medieval London to maintain order in their city, including the mobilization of peer supervision and the craft guild system. Most significantly, I argue that the composition of the civic court records used as evidence in this study are themselves another tool used by London's mayor and aldermen to promote their ideals of correct behaviour, hierarchy, and deference in the mind of the reader, and therefore in their city at large. This argument has implications not only for the management of medieval urban communities, but also for the approaches taken by historians to medieval documents in general, which must be interrogated carefully to determine the agendas their creators may have had, so that these are not accepted unproblematically by the researching historian.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > History
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:May, Evan F
Pagination:vi, 309 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:History
Date:2010
Thesis Supervisor(s):McSheffrey, Shannon
ID Code:979293
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:09 Dec 2014 17:56
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:48
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