could participate in contemporary politics effectively and decisively. The inclusion of the sealing clause by Paris is indicative of this executive power and confirms that Paris knew the significance of the use and ownership of a seal.
Such seals were symbolically powerful and the seal matrices themselves as tangible objects resonated with symbolic associations. Just over thirty years later the obliteration of the royal power and inheritance of Gwynedd by Edward I after the defeat of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd involved measures to counter the
consortium of conversi. These lay men and women elected their own maestro but an advocate, selected by the commune and invested by the bishop, protected their interests in the public arena. 1 When they worked, such alliances illustrate a very effective mechanism for the balance of power and a way of dealing will the variety of competing interests in running the hospital.
In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries these relationships did work to a large degree, as well as any such alliance forged between competing political players could. However
the servants of God’ ( servus servorum Dei ), a title adopted by many of his successors particularly from the second half of the eleventh century. This not only underlined his humility, but also reinforced Gregory’s understanding both of papal authority and the pope’s pastoral role. Gregory clearly was convinced that the pope was the jurisdictional as well as the spiritual head of the Church; yet it is evident from the letters in his Register that he understood this chiefly in terms of the Roman Church being the final court of appeal rather than as an executive
Bernhard Zeller, Charles West, Francesca Tinti, Marco Stoffella, Nicolas Schroeder, Carine van Rhijn, Steffen Patzold, Thomas Kohl, Wendy Davies and Miriam Czock
scattered land holdings in many regions, even those lords who were involved in macro-politics might be neighbours in small settlements, allowing us to see them both as outsiders to local society and as insiders.
The following two chapters treat the question of how outside interventions influenced local practices. In this chapter we will discuss the ways in which secular office holders, especially lower office holders, were present and how they acted within local society. Chapter 7 will change the perspective: in it, we will focus on other kinds of outside intervention
acquisition and development of legal consciousness among those who were
not themselves lawyers or judges is a significant feature of the
political history of the period 1215–1381. The political
ramifications of this phenomenon will be explored in Chapters 5 and 6 . In this chapter it is
argued that from childhood through to adulthood legal relationships,
within which urban women accessed and engaged with the legal system.
Towns and courts
This study intentionally focuses on
‘middling’ status late medieval English towns. Nottingham, Chester and Winchester
sat somewhere in the middle of the country’s urban hierarchy, smaller in population and
of lesser political and economic stature than large cities such as London, Bristol, Norwich
and York, but more developed and urbanised than the hundreds of small towns that bridged the
gap between urban and rural society. The focus