Household knights, sworn to the service of kings and magnates, have received relatively little attention from historical scholarship, arguably rendering them something of an ‘other’ in our understanding of late medieval knighthood. Prior research has focused on their military activity and connections with their lords, but the emphasis here will be on their seldom-considered combat and administrative duties in county law enforcement. By drawing on evidence from the Patent Rolls and other government records, this paper aims to throw light on the local connections of household knights and their ‘other’ role as crime-fighter in late medieval England.
The indenture system that flourished in English armies during the Hundred Years War created opportunities for private enterprise in warfare, with the crown contracting out responsibility for recruiting, paying, and maintaining men at arms and archers. This approach allowed for the development of greater professionalism among the fighting men of the period, and saw the development of some professional soldiers and a nascent military service market. However, there was still no national standing army and no full time employment for the majority of soldiers, especially before the conquest of Normandy in 1417. This paper will focus on the economic and social position of archers outside of their military role, and consider their background and occupations in the ‘civilian’ world. To achieve this, the research draws on the occupational and wealth data listed in the nominal records of the 14th-century poll tax returns, combined with the muster roll data from the Soldier in Later Medieval England project, and extrapolating as to what this data could indicate about social status and the position of archers in society. The combination of these two datasets into one database provided the opportunity to link military service with ‘civilian’ demographic data and consider a range of research questions. What were they doing when they were not actively engaged in military service? Were they members of the poorest sections of society, or were they relatively prosperous? Are the trends of occupation and wealth similar between the archers and the ‘civilians’ in the poll tax returns? Where they embedded in, and representative of, the society from which they came? These questions are important to the development of our understanding of these men and their lives.
Wie kaum ein anderes Beispiel der mittelhochdeutschen Erzählliteratur macht der Herzog Ernst (B) deutlich, dass ‘otherness’ nicht essentialistisch zu begreifen ist, sondern immer nur als Ergebnis einer Zuschreibung (‘othering’), und dass diese Zuschreibung nicht statisch-gleichförmig verläuft, sondern dynamischen Verschiebungen unterliegen kann: Steht die religiöse Differenz im Vordergrund, scheinen die Wundervölker des Orients auch zivilisatorisch auf einer niedrigeren Stufe zu stehen als die abendländischen Ritter, dominiert aber die Bewunderung für die höfischen Aspekte fremder Kulturen, scheint umgekehrt das religiöse Paradigma keine Rolle mehr zu spielen. Der Beitrag versucht die spezifische Ambivalenz des ‘anderen’ Raumes Orient nachzuzeichnen, wobei ‘Ambivalenz’ in diesem Zusammenhang als Effekt einer Pluralisierung von Paradigmen der Fremdwahrnehmung (‘christlich – heidnisch’, ‘höfisch – unhöfisch’) sowie ihrer je eigenen Axiologien zu beschreiben wäre.