, the assumption being that his royal birth made him a de facto leader of the crusade. Anna also records a letter that Hugh allegedly sent to the Byzantine Emperor demanding a ‘magnificent reception’ upon his arrival in Constantinople because of his royal status. 92 No western source mentions such a letter, and we must doubt whether it ever existed. However, what is important is that Anna’s reference makes plain that Hugh’s royal identity was well known, presumably because he was trading on his brother’s political capital.
explicit practices were pious in purpose. The Lucchese nation, for example, had a chapel dedicated to the Volto Santo or the Holy Face, a much-venerated crucifix in Lucca, in London’s church of St Thomas of Acon, where its members met for mass. 46 There is some limited evidence that the Italian merchants resident in London employed confessors from Italy. 47 These may have provided the nations with religious services in their native tongue.
Other alien residents in the English capital also set up fraternities. Like English parish guilds, these
identified right across England, from Kent and Sussex in the South-East to Lincolnshire and Yorkshire in the North, even though none of these counties recorded more than two individuals. Only two Gascons appear in the surviving list of London defaulters for the 1440 payment, and few in later assessments for the capital, though trading links between London and Bordeaux undoubtedly brought more transitory visitors from Gascony into the city. 9 The precise origins of most assessed Gascons are unrecorded. Some, inevitably, were from Bordeaux. Margaret, the wife of the
important as a measure of the instrumental nature of popular xenophobia, however, are discernible examples of scaled-up, premeditated attacks on targeted groups of immigrants. As chapter 10 made clear, the Peasants’ Revolt is virtually the only occasion on which we find evidence of such organised violence taking place outside London over the entire period covered by this book – and even then, the instances beyond the capital were confined to a small number of places in East Anglia. In particular, our analysis has highlighted the way that generalised contempt of
blurred social distinctions and stimulated the elites to spend more on luxuries, so as to set themselves apart from the rest of the population. 3
Most of these consumer goods were produced within England, bringing about a boom in the manufacturing industries. This, in turn, attracted numerous foreign craftsmen, whose skills and capital sometimes allowed them to cater for the increasingly cosmopolitan and quickly changing tastes of English consumers more adequately than native producers. Many of these artisans employed fellow aliens as
The case of Hincmar of Laon in the Annals of St-Bertin
Rheims keeps quiet about for the whole time in the annals. He is also silent on the political implications of the punishment. Blinding is not really the style in which conflicts among intellectuals were resolved in the West, but it was a punishment for political treason. Hincmar of Laon was blinded as a rebel against the king and the political order – one may recall the rebellion of Bernard of Italy. Blinding as commutation of capital punishment in treason cases was a Byzantine practice imported to the west in the sixth and seventh centuries. 55 We do not know whether
The setting, the main characters, and two questions
Lester K. Little
few paces, and, in the huge open space at the centre of it all, a palace raised up on staunch columns and pointed arches, with the tallest tower he had ever seen standing guard over it, and just behind, a massive church big enough to hold the church of Saint-Matteo ten times over.
These varied sightings and impressions exist only in our imagination because we do not know whether Alberto has stopped off in the capital of his province; we know only that, visit or no visit, he continues some 75 km across the flattest land he has ever seen
authorities of London over the city’s rights to regulate its own waterways, however, the civic elite submitted a petition to Richard II’s first Parliament, which tellingly labelled Reginald as a ‘Fleming’ and immediately thereby associated him with the Flemish community of weavers who were so unpopular in the capital around this time. 33
There are a number of similar examples of the way in which host communities could sustain memory and prompt suspicion about ‘enemies’ of lesser social status, too. The Scottish woman Alicia Emson was said to have
defining marker of legal status, for they were defined by their religious faith and therefore included both first-generation immigrants and significantly larger numbers of descendants of immigrants. In Norman and Angevin England, Jews were regarded as a royal possession and an exploitable asset. In return for promises of general protection and freedom of religious expression, the Jewish community was expected to pay heavy taxes and make available its liquid capital in the form of large loans to the crown. As early as 1233 the crown was adamant that only those Jews who
the capital and certain other English towns. This was often played out in relation to those groups – the German and Scandinavian members of the Hanse, the merchants of Gascony and those representing the great Italian banking companies – to whom the crown gave specially privileged status and rights. 42
At first, therefore, government policy regarding aliens was all about creating discreet but effective means by which foreigners involved in trade, whether resident or not, could uphold their interests in England. 43 An important feature of