By J. Goldberg
Did medieval girls have the facility to decide on? this can be a query on the center of this publication which explores 3 proceedings from Yorkshire within the many years after the Black loss of life. Alice de Rouclif was once a baby heiress made to marry the illegitimate son of the neighborhood abbot after which kidnapped by way of her feudal greater. Agnes Grantham was once a profitable businesswoman ambushed and assaulted in a wooded area when on her option to dine with the grasp of St Leonard’s health facility. Alice Brathwell was once a decent widow who attracted the attentions of a supposedly aristocratic conman. those are their tales.
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Extra info for Communal Discord, Child Abduction, and Rape in the Later Middle Ages
De Rouclif that dates back to my first reading the case in 1983. I returned to it nearly a decade later when I transcribed and translated the case for teaching purposes and subsequent publication. Since then I have used it with a range of final-year undergraduates and master’s students. Their contributions to discussion over the years have been invaluable. I am most grateful to Prof. Mark Ormrod, my current head of department, for helping me find the opportunity to put my thoughts to paper and for specific advice about the Privy Seal office.
46 But the story does not end here. Ellen de Rouclif, Alice’s mother made courageous efforts to regain custody of her daughter, and hence to release her from Sir Brian, even taking her cause before the king in council. On the basis of her appeal, letters were issued under the privy seal addressed to Sir Brian. Before Christmas 1365 she also involved Lord de A L IC E DE ROU C L I F 27 Percy, presumably Henry Percy, third lord of Alnwick, hoping that his intervention would help secure the return of her daughter.
In practice there was precious little scope for twelve-year-old girls to repudiate marriages their parents or guardians had arranged for them and, even had she so wanted, Alice had little opportunity to repudiate hers prior to her abduction. 39 It follows that from the point of view of the local aristocracy, the spousals were perhaps understood to constitute a de facto marriage. What was contentious here was not so much the earlier contract or spousals but rather whether she affirmed it. This could have been done either by a simple verbal affirmation before witnesses or, as seems to have been both the norm and expected, by allowing the relationship to be physically consummated.
Communal Discord, Child Abduction, and Rape in the Later Middle Ages by J. Goldberg