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IMC 2019: Sessions

Session 818: Breaking the Mould, II: Seals and Status in the Medieval British Isles

Tuesday 2 July 2019, 16.30-18.00

Sponsor:The National Archives
Organiser:Paul R. Dryburgh, The National Archives, Kew
Moderator/Chair:Paul R. Dryburgh, The National Archives, Kew
Paper 818-aLow Status Seals, Materiality, and Identity in Rural England, c. 1200-1350
(Language: English)
Alister Sutherland, School of History, Politics & International Relations, University of Leicester
Index terms: Archives and Sources, Daily Life, Economics - Rural
Paper 818-bSeals of Approval: The Medieval Seals of Lincoln Cathedral
(Language: English)
Marianne Wilson, Department of Collections Expertise & Engagement, The National Archives, Kew
Index terms: Archives and Sources, Ecclesiastical History
Paper 818-cPutting the Seal on Status: The Heraldry of the Randolphs, c. 1230-1346
(Language: English)
Ethan Gould, School of Philosophical, Historical & International Studies, Monash University, Victoria
Index terms: Archives and Sources, Heraldry, Politics and Diplomacy

Seals are one of the most important material legacies of medieval Europe. For all strata of society the impression of a metal matrix into soft wax provided authentication and validation of an individual or a community's will, and gave a window into the construction of status and self-identity. This session will explore the use of seals - and material and performative culture across the medieval British Isles - by examining case studies of low status usage in rural Warwickshire and Lincolnshire, the range of seals employed by the corporate community of Lincoln Cathedral, and the aristocratic family of Randolph, whose seals and heraldic imagery marked the rise of that dynasty to the pinnacle of Scottish society in the 14th century.