IMC 2007: Sessions

Session 602: Family and Power-Politics in Late Medieval England

Tuesday 10 July 2007, 11.15-12.45

Moderator/Chair:James Bothwell, School of History, University of Leicester
Paper 602-aEnglish Royal Minorities and the Hundred Years War
(Language: English)
Frank Lawrence Wiswall, Cranbrook Kingswood School, Michigan
Index terms: Political Thought, Politics and Diplomacy
Paper 602-bSelling Wardship in Mid-13th-Century England
(Language: English)
Hui Liu, Department of History, National Taiwan University
Index terms: Administration, Law, Social History
Paper 602-cThe Holland Siblings: The Non-Royal Half-Siblings of Richard II
(Language: English)
Diane Martin, College of Arts & Humanities, Houston Baptist University, Texas
Index terms: Genealogy and Prosopography, Politics and Diplomacy

Abstract paper a: The Hundred Years’ War was caused in part by the succession of a minor, Edward III, to the English throne, and the subsequent course of the war and efforts to make peace were partly affected by two more royal minorities, those of Richard II and Henry VI. This paper will analyse the significance of the three minorities to the Anglo-French diplomacy of the period, and will suggest that the succession of minors in England was a crucial circumstance in the course of larger events.
Abstract paper b: Legal records of mid-13th-century England show evidence that some parents were selling the wardship of their children whilst still alive without their lords’ knowing. Was such arrangement an attempt by the parents to sidestep the feudal system so as to ensure better care for their children after their death? Or was it a scheme of unscrupulous buyers taking advantage of dying parents’ financial difficulties? This paper seeks to explore such problematic, and as yet little studied, practice in the context of other wardship litigations, and to see what light it can shed on family strategy and feudal system of the time.
Abstract paper c: This paper will analyse the influence Richard II’s half-siblings enjoyed during his reign. From marrying into the wealthiest English families to promotion to earldoms, the Holland siblings received enormous royal patronage and favour. The king and his half-siblings shared a common mother, Joan of Kent. This paper will evaluate if Richard’s favouring of his half-brothers and sister from his mother’s previous marriage diminished his ability to provide sufficient patronage to the dissatisfied nobility.