Teresa Phipps
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The conclusion brings together the different legal actions and pleas examined throughout the book to create a picture of the wide-ranging and varied means by which medieval urban women engaged with the law. It highlights the richness of the sources used throughout the book for examining women’s legal lives and enriching our understanding of urban justice through the recovery of stories that might otherwise go untold. In assessing the nature of women’s legal actions, it argues that these were often not defined primarily or solely by gender, with women being involved in the same legal actions and pleas as men. Finally, it draws together the numerous factors that determined women’s engagement with the law, including the type of plea or offence, a woman’s marital status, and the customs and practices of the town in which she lived. This means that there was no singular type of urban woman litigant and no definitive legal experience for urban women. Instead, the conclusion, and the book as a whole, highlights the importance of paying attention to the individual details contained within each legal action in order to better understand women’s experiences of and negotiation of justice within medieval towns.

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Medieval women and urban justice

Commerce, crime and community in England, 1300–1500


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