While investigating the charters of the Flemish comital chancery under Margaret of Constantinople (1244-1278) and Guy of Dampierre (1252-1278), I have come across an interesting case of about 25 arbitration charters dealing with political and legal matters such as the succession conflict between the Avesnes and Dampierre families, making them stand out from the rest of the comital charter corpus. The charters in this case are remarkable as material witnesses of political disputes ranging from disagreements about jurisdictions and land transactions to inheritance conflicts. Researching these charters using comparative textual analysis and discourse analysis, as well as considering the material context in which these charters were produced and the ‘archival bond’ in which they were preserved, will provide new insights about political negotiation techniques, the use of authority, and decision making in 13th-century Flanders.
The major movement of peoples was a part of medieval cross-Channel relations between 1066 and 1204. The conquering Norman army included Flemish knights and some were handsomely compensated with land-holdings in England by William I. This was the start of post-Conquest migration and settlements of Flemings in England. Of the 9,500 Domesday estates recorded for 1086, 8% were controlled by tenants-in-chief from the southern Low Countries. Some of them continued to hold land in the county of Flanders. This paper reports of a study on the type and ambit of ownership that Flemings had on English land and how that compares to their ownership in land they held in Flanders.