Lower office holders
Bernhard Zeller, Charles West, Francesca Tinti, Marco Stoffella, Nicolas Schroeder, Carine van Rhijn, Steffen Patzold, Thomas Kohl, Wendy Davies and Miriam Czock

Local societies were not independent of their surroundings in most parts of western Europe in the early Middle Ages, perhaps with the exception of some very localised regions in northern Iberia. Most ‘small worlds’ belonged to regional or supra-regional networks and structures. Office holders and agents – ranging from mayors and priests to bishops, counts, viscounts and centenarii (hundredmen) – intervened in local affairs for landowners, kings and other lords they represented. Since kings, powerful lay aristocrats and religious institutions had large

in Neighbours and strangers
Bernhard Zeller, Charles West, Francesca Tinti, Marco Stoffella, Nicolas Schroeder, Carine van Rhijn, Steffen Patzold, Thomas Kohl, Wendy Davies and Miriam Czock

This chapter discusses the basic constituents of early medieval rural societies. It focuses on material dimensions, such as settlement, topography and access to resources, as well as on fundamental factors that define the position of individuals within local societies and groups, such as legal status and socio-economic stratification. The first section therefore draws on recent settlement archaeology to discuss the shape, size and internal organisation of rural settlements. The second section deals with the socio-economic and legal stratification of local

in Neighbours and strangers
Author: Mark Bailey

This book aims to provide a broad introduction to the structure and composition of the English manor between c. 1200 and c. 1500 and to serve as a user's guide to its principal records. It considers the form, evolution and usefulness to historians of a group of closely related records: surveys, custumals, extents, terriers and rentals. Manorial accounts build upon the 'static' information contained in surveys, extents and rentals by recording in detail how the individual elements of the manor were managed and what they actually yielded over the agricultural year. The earliest known manorial accounts survive from the bishop of Winchester's estate in the 1200s and 1210s, where they were enrolled with other estate and household records. The abundant records of manor courts represent the single most important source for the study of English local society in the Middle Ages, and offer unique and highly detailed information relating to a wide range of subjects. The book provides a general introduction to the manorial court, its format, procedures and business, and its usefulness to the historian, and considers changes to its business in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The decline of the frankpledge system, and by extension the declining powers of the leet court, is mirrored by a fall in the business conducted in manor courts during the fifteenth century.

Abbey, court and community 1525–1640
Author: J. F. Merritt

Early modern Westminster is familiar as the location of the Royal Court at Whitehall, parliament, the law courts and the emerging West End, yet it has never been studied in its own right. This book reveals the often problematic relations between the diverse groups of people who constituted local society - the Court, the aristocracy, the Abbey, the middling sort and the poor - and the competing visions of Westminster's identity which their presence engendered. There were four parishes in Westminster at the turn of the sixteenth century. The parishes of St Martin's and St Margaret's have been identified as two of only eighteen English parishes for which continuous and detailed parish records survive for the turbulent period 1535-1570. Differences in social organization, administrative structure and corporate life in the two parishes also provide a study in contrasts. These crucial differences partly shaped forms of lay piety in each parish as well as their very different responses to the religious reformations of Henry VIII and his children. The death of Henry VIII heralded important changes in Westminster. Most strikingly, however, this was a period of major religious change, in stark contrast to the piecemeal changes of Henry's reign. The dissolution of Westminster's abbey gave rise to special problems. The book examines individuals who wielded the most influence at the local government; as well as the social identity of these parish elites. Finally, it explores the interaction of religion with the social and political developments observed in the post-Reformation town.

Local societies in early medieval Europe

This is an exploration of social cohesion in rural settlements in western Europe in the period 700–1050 CE, and of the extent to which settlements, or districts, constituted units of social organisation. It focuses on the interactions, interconnections and networks of people who lived side by side – neighbours. Drawing evidence from most of the current western European countries, the book plots and interrogates the very different practices of this wide range of regions in a systematically comparative framework, offering a new approach to well-known problems of the early Middle Ages by bringing together expertise from different national traditions. It examines how people in the localities of the early medieval West worked together in pursuit of shared goals beyond the level of the household, and how (and whether) they formed their own groups through that collective action. It considers the variety of local responses to the supra-local agents of landlords and rulers and the impact, such as it was, of those agents on the small-scale residential group. It also assesses the impact on local societies of the values, instructions and demands of the wider literate world of Christianity, as delivered by local priests.

Abstract only
Bernhard Zeller, Charles West, Francesca Tinti, Marco Stoffella, Nicolas Schroeder, Carine van Rhijn, Steffen Patzold, Thomas Kohl, Wendy Davies and Miriam Czock

Physical geography Physical context is one of the factors that makes for difference between local societies, and a brief look at the range of landforms in which ours were located is essential. Most of the regions considered in this book lie on the continental landmass of western Europe, a landmass that is cut by the mountain chains of the Alps and Pyrenees and is dominated by a handful of great river systems – the Rhine, running from its source in Switzerland to its delta mouth in the Netherlands; the Danube, running from its source in western Germany to its

in Neighbours and strangers
Bernhard Zeller, Charles West, Francesca Tinti, Marco Stoffella, Nicolas Schroeder, Carine van Rhijn, Steffen Patzold, Thomas Kohl, Wendy Davies and Miriam Czock

External interventions in local society took place in very different ways in early medieval Europe. Their intensity depended, to a large degree, on the extent of claims made by central authorities and other powers, such as lay aristocrats or heads of religious institutions. In the early ninth century, for example, Frankish rulers of the Carolingian family attempted to control everyday life even within local society – a remarkable and far-reaching intention. The new norms written down for this purpose in capitularies, conciliar records and episcopal statutes are

in Neighbours and strangers
Abstract only
John Beckett

history, which can now be presented on audio tapes, video tapes, and CD-Roms, and 2—writing local history through exhibitions and websites (which of course can be updated as work proceeds). It uses resources which were not available to earlier generations of historians, including photography and recorded oral testimony. It can be studied through university certificate, diploma or MA courses, and it can be listened to for information and, perhaps, amusement at one of the numerous local societies up and down the country. It shelters a range of interests, from community

in Writing local history
Abstract only
Ian Carter

, 118 for railway history groupies, 60 for diesel and electric locomotive and rolling stock preservation groups, 57 for steam locomotive preservation groups – and so on. This is to say nothing of this site’s link to enthusiast bodies serving the modern prototype; nor of sites serving modelling fractions in the railway fancy. In 2003 the key model engineering list identified 119 local societies in Britain. Of these 44 (37 per cent) had no website. While the most comprehensive current list tallies 467 local railway modelling clubs, 9780719065668_4_003.qxd 29/01/2008 12

in British railway enthusiasm
Abstract only
The work of migrancy
Dianne Lawrence

– literally and psychologically – for wider society. For her peers her determination to adhere to certain modes of behaviour was welcomed with enthusiasm. Hers was the voice of cultural authority and her performance encouraged and stimulated the establishment of like-minded groups, which became powerbases for local society. Such groups generated their own ideas and modes of behaviour on the basis of site-specific circumstances, incorporating them into the broader philosophies of their British heritage. This helped to foster stability in

in Genteel women