Session 519: Managing Restraint: Voluntary and Involuntary Abstinence and Shortage
Tuesday 5 July 2016, 09.00-10.30
|Peter Firth, Centre for Lifelong Learning, University of Liverpool
|Fasting for Others: Completing Penance by Proxy in the Early Middle Ages
Index terms: Canon Law, Ecclesiastical History, Lay Piety, Religious Life
|Bedfordshire 1272, 1297, 1309, 1332: The Great European Famine, Population Dynamics, and Church Enlargement
Index terms: Architecture - Religious, Demography, Ecclesiastical History, Local History
|Intercession: Praise and Hope
Index terms: Liturgy, Religious Life, Theology
|Attitudes of the Polish Clergy towards Alcoholic Beverages in the Middle Ages
Index terms: Historiography - Medieval, Language and Literature - Slavic, Mentalities, Religious Life
The returns cover the twenty-fifth of 1272, the ninth of 1297, the twenty-fifth of 1309, and the fifteenth and tenth of 1332. The first has survived for the northern hundred of Willey and four parishes in the adjacent Stodden Hundred; the 1297 returns cover the three hundreds of Barford, Biggleswade, and Flitt, together comprising most of the eastern part of the county and the towns of Bedford, Dunstable, Leighton Buzzard, and Luton; the two later returns are for the whole county. The 1272 and 1297 returns were published by the Bedfordshire Historical Record Society in 1992 and 1969 respectively; the 1309 and 1332 returns were edited by S.H.A. Harvey in the Suffolk Green Book series as long ago as 1909.
The paper considers the possibilities of examining family longevity within individual villages and how members of different families may have moved about within the county over two generations in the final third of the 13th century and the first third of the 14th century.
The records also give numbers of tax payers and the sums collected in each parish: in most places both are less in 1332 than they were in 1309 and either 1297 or 1272. Comparison of numbers paying and sums collected in 1332 can be compared to the summary record of taxes collected in 1334.
One supplementary investigation concerns the experience of population dynamics in this period with those of a later, but still pre-industrial time. Given the depth of 18th-century records for some north Bedfordshire parishes, notably Great Barford, it is also possible to compare these seventy years between 1272 and 1332 with the 18th-century's experience of almost a complete replacement of tenants every twenty or so years.
A second sidelight is shed some light on the resources available to individual parishes to enlarge or upgrade their parish church and how the dearth in the famine years affected church building in the county.