IMC 2007: Sessions

Session 1515: Compassionate Cities?: Care for the Sick and Young

Thursday 12 July 2007, 09.00-10.30

Moderator/Chair:Monica Green, Department of History, Arizona State University
Paper 1515-aCustody of the Mentally Ill and their Property in Medieval English Cities
(Language: English)
Wendy J. Turner, Department of History, Anthropology & Philosophy, Augusta State University, Georgia
Index terms: Daily Life, Law, Social History
Paper 1515-bPoor in Christ or a Social Problem?: The Growth of Crakow's Municipal Social Welfare Institutions, 13th to 16th Century
(Language: English)
Wladyslaw Roczniak, Bronx Community College, City University of New York
Index terms: Daily Life, Economics - Urban, Medicine, Social History

Paper a: In medieval England, chartered cities could set up legal conditions for the care and custody of the mentally ill and their property. After 1300, often if no provision was made for the care of a mentally incapacitated individual by his or her parent, the care of the individual and the income from his property would belong to the mayor. This situation had some similarities to the royal system of wardship, but several key differences.
Paper b: The growth of the Polish medieval city profoundly affected the methods and meaning of alms-giving. Newly emerging municipalities preserved their institutional freedom from religious and feudal establishments by co-opting virtually every social function into their sphere of influence. They also contended with the proliferation of the poor and the marginalized. The need to control this loose and dependent population became admixed with ideological and legal acceptance of the city’s social responsibility over its poorest citizens and with genuine notions of Christian charity. This paper will examine in detail the role Crakow’s development into a bustling metropolis played in the transformation of the nascent Polish philanthropic scene.