Some significant strands in the theory of property rights in 12th-century England have been developed while working ‘top-down’. Through the large numbers of private charters which survive from this period, however, it may be possible to see how property was thought about and treated in pragmatic terms lower down in society. This paper will address ideas of property, inheritance, and ‘right’ which arise from these charters. In particular, the role of the ambitious minor lord, and the phenomenon of tenant-lords with split allegiance will be examined as forces for driving or consolidating practices and ideas around land. Through this it may be possible to challenge older narratives about the ‘birth of the Common Law’.
The corporate nature of monarchy required the participation of family members to ensure the smooth governance of a realm. The far-flung territories of the Crown of Aragon and the absence or incapacitation of the king in fifteenth-century Scotland necessitated the creation of the offices of lieutenant and governor in both kingdoms. The offices were not equal and the power exercised in these positions varied. This paper will examine the powers and limitation of the lieutenants/governors Maria de Luna of Aragon and Robert Stewart Duke of Albany in Scotland with consideration given to their previous positions, family ties, geographic location, and genders.
The history of the late medieval principality of Württemberg is characterised by the close bonds between the lord and his urban elites. Members of these elites served as ducal officials, but also as urban representatives at the diets with a significant political influence. Their ambivalent positions led to complicated relations, as became particularly apparent in 1498 (deposition of duke Eberhard II) and 1514 (Poor Conrad and Treaty of Tübingen). The aim of this paper is to shed light on the communication strategies and networks of both sides in times of cooperation and conflict.