IMC 2007: Sessions

Session 1014: City, High Politics, and Relations between Town and Country

Wednesday 11 July 2007, 09.00-10.30

Moderator/Chair:Richard H. Britnell, Department of History, University of Durham
Paper 1014-a'The Ties That Bind': Connections between the City of London and the County of Essex during the 13th Century, as Revealed during the Civil Wars of 1215-17 and 1263-67
(Language: English)
Tony Moore, Humanities Research Institute, University of Sheffield
Index terms: Genealogy and Prosopography, Local History, Politics and Diplomacy
Paper 1014-b'In a blessid borugh that Bristow is named': Poetry, Provincial Politics, and the Revolution of 1399
(Language: English)
Peter Fleming, School of History, University of the West of England, Bristol
Index terms: Language and Literature - Middle English, Local History, Politics and Diplomacy
Paper 1014-cHumphrey, Duke of Gloucester, and the City of London
(Language: English)
Lucy Clare Rhymer, St John's College, University of Cambridge
Index terms: Historiography - Modern Scholarship, Mentalities, Politics and Diplomacy

Paper a: During the Middle Ages there was an extremely close relationship between the city of London and the neighbouring county of Essex. This paper will explore the political dimension of this relationship, using the Magna Carta civil war and the Barons’ War as a point of entry. I will first demonstrate the consistent level of support for the rebels among the county gentry and the citizenry during both rebellions, and also the interaction between the rebels within and without the city walls, before attempting to explain this shared political activity in terms of the various bonds linking London and its hinterland.
Paper b: The poems ‘Richard the Redeless’ and ‘Mum and the Sothsegger’ probably shared a common author with west country connections, and comment on the fall of Richard II and the reign of Henry IV. They are well-known to scholars, but this paper breaks new ground by suggesting a specifically Bristol context for the poems, relating them to events within the town (its support for Bolingbroke in 1399 was soon followed by disillusionment with his regime, manifest through serious popular disorder), and by proposing a possible identity for the poet. This interpretation raises significant questions about the sophistication of provincial political culture.
Paper c: It has long been assumed that Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester (1390-1447), was much favoured by the people and corporations of London, yet there has been surprisingly little investigation into the foundations of this relationship. Recent studies have tended to view Gloucester’s popularity in terms of the duke’s posthumous reputation as the ‘good duke Humphrey’, but examination of a range of sources (including chronicles, popular contemporary literature, correspondence and the journals of the Court of the Common Council) reveals that Gloucester captured the city’s imagination in life as well as death. This paper will explore a point of interaction between high and low politics with particular reference to unrest in the capital in the mid-1420s.