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Trevor Dean

in Brolo, for example, was run first by deacons and friars, then from 1260 by the Humiliati. This picture changed during the fourteenth century, largely it seems as a result of the effects of demographic crisis and economic change on the nuclear family. Infants, according to Albini, ‘paid the price’ for the chronic poverty of the labouring classes: the abandonment of children increased

in The towns of Italy in the later Middle Ages
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Jennifer Ward

or sister as executor points to the same conclusion. On the whole, however, the combined evidence of chronicles, letters, household accounts, wills and records of royal government shows that interest was focused on the nuclear family. Nobles and gentry were aware of wider kindred groups, and knew that death and accidents of inheritance might well lead to a distant relation achieving prominence. The evidence that

in Women of the English Nobility and Gentry, 1066-1500
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P. J. P. Goldberg

/or servants, though children below tax age (fourteen in respect of the 1377 tax, which is generally regarded to be the most satisfactory for demographic purposes) do not appear in the tax returns. It is this world of ‘nuclear’ households in which, for peasant farmers, artisans or merchants alike, the household was also the labour force. Indeed, for the artisan family, into which the Goodwife’s daughter was

in Women in England c. 1275–1525