Women, town courts and customary law in context
in Medieval women and urban justice
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This chapter provides the essential context for understanding the workings of town courts and the legal actions that women were involved in. It describes the three towns that are the focus of the book, detailing their political status, populations, local government and other key features. It then discusses the procedures and customs of the courts of these towns, the nature of the legal process, and the records of these courts. Finally, it discusses different approaches to the study of court records, outlining the way that these records have been used in creating this study, discussing issues in both quantitative and qualitative analysis and the way that women’s legal experiences are interpreted and reconstructed. This chapter therefore serves as a valuable standalone introduction to town courts and their records, as well as the basis for the remainder of the book.

Medieval women and urban justice

Commerce, crime and community in England, 1300–1500

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