Rees Davies
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Kinsmen, neighbours and communities in Wales and the western British Isles, c. 1100–c. 1400
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In societies which constructed social relationships so predominantly in kin terms, it was inevitable that the processes of peace-keeping, dispute resolution and the maintenance of social order should be grounded in a measure in the community of kinsmen. Kinsmen and neighbours might often be the same, as the details of the boundary evidence in deed collections sometimes make clear. In the world of agnatic lineages that meant that many neighbours were a fortiori not kinsmen. But neighbours they remained, and cooperation between neighbours was an economic necessity, not a theoretical aspiration, for the vast majority of medieval communities, those of the western British Isles included. The western British Isles, and Wales in particular, provide ample evidence to support Susan Reynolds's general claim of 'the strength and character of the medieval drive to association'.

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Law, laity and solidarities

Essays in honour of Susan Reynolds

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