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IMC 2023: Sessions

Session 141: Outcomes of Late Medieval Mobility

Monday 3 July 2023, 11.15-12.45

Moderator/Chair:Gerhard Jaritz, Department of Medieval Studies, Central European University, Budapest
Paper 141-aFraudulent Goods and Foreign Artisans: Aliens in Late Medieval London's Craft Guild Regulations
(Language: English)
Bethany Donovan, Department of History, University of Michigan
Index terms: Economics - Urban, Local History, Social History
Paper 141-bPiers Plowman: Langland's Response to Anti-Mobility Legislation
(Language: English)
Andrew William Hamilton, School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy & Politics, Queen's University Belfast
Index terms: Law, Social History

Paper -a:
Throughout the late medieval period, London guilds repeatedly complained of the threat they believed foreign craftspeople posed to their livelihoods and to consumers. Foreigners were accused of bringing substandard wares into the city for sale, or of producing false work illicitly within the city's walls, in both cases potentially imperiling the reputation of London's own artisans. This paper will examine the rhetoric surrounding such so-called 'aliens' in civic records and craft guild regulations from the 14th and 15th centuries, exploring how these concerns fit into a wider context of deep-seated anxieties around fraudulent goods, surveillance, social mobility, and consumer choice.

Paper -b:
This paper explores Piers Plowman's dialogue with labour legislation's anti-mobility sentiment and concept of vagrancy. Moving beyond Anne Middleton's analysis of the relationship between C-text autobiography and 1388 Cambridge Statute, it identifies themes which indicate how the author navigated judicial or cultural beliefs concerning vagrancy. Ultimately, this paper provides insight into Langland's discursive intent and the popular reception of labour legislation’s mobility restrictions.