Compton 2014 Property

Title Information

Author: Emily Compton

Title: Property, Propriety, and Patriarchy

Subtitle: Abduction, Assault and Housebreaking in the Court of Common Pleas, 1399-1500

Thesis: M.A. Thesis, University of Guelph

Year: April 2014

Pages: v + 112pp.

Language: English

Keywords: 14th Century | English History | Prosecution: Trials

Full Text

Link: The Atrium, University of Guelph Institutional Repository (Free Access)

Additional Information

Abstract: »This thesis examines the offenses of abduction, assault, and housebreaking before the Court of Common Pleas in England, from 1399-1500. The evidence for this study is provided by the digitized, archived records of the Common Pleas, created by Dr. Jonathan Mackman and Dr. Matthew Stevens. The records of the Common Pleas have, until quite recently, been an untapped resource for examining the social, legal, and cultural history of medieval England. Through examining these records, I suggest the concept of patriarchal legal stewardship greatly informed how these cases were pleaded, and in what ways individuals and households could be involved in these civil suits. Research reveals that although it was mostly men who act as a stewarding plaintiff, it was possible for women to fulfill a similar role. Largely, the intersection of social status, gender and the household informed how individuals experienced the offenses of abduction, assault, and housebreaking.« (Source: Thesis)


  Abstract (p. ii)
  Acknowledgements (p. iii)
  List of Tables and Figures (p. v)
  Chapter 1: Introduction (p. 1)
  Chapter 2: Historiography (p. 13)
    Violence, Society, and the Medieval State (p. 15)
    The English Common Law System and the Court of Common Plea (p. 18)
    Gender, The Household, and Governance (p. 23)
  Chapter 3: Abduction Cases in the Court of Common Pleas (p. 32)
    Introduction (p. 32)
    Terminology and Historiography (p. 35)
    Abduction, Marriage and Wardship (p. 38)
    The Abduction of Wives and Women (p. 43)
    The Abduction of Servants (p. 46)
  Chapter 4: Assault in the Court of Common Pleas (p. 56)
    Introduction (p. 56)
    Frameworks and Methodology (p. 58)
    Men, Masculinity and the Household in the Common Pleas Records (p. 63)
    Women and Assault Cases in the Court of Common Pleas (p. 71)
    Conclusions (p. 77)
  Chapter 5: Households and Housebreaking in the Court of Common Pleas (p. 80)
    Introduction (p. 80)
    Methodologies and Historiographical Debate: The Medieval House and "Housebreaking" as a Crime (p. 80)
    The Lay Household in Cases of Housebreaking (p. 87)
    The Religious Household in Housebreaking Cases (p. 93)
    Conclusions (p. 96)
  Chapter 6: Conclusion (p. 98)
  Bibliography (p. 108)
    Primary (p. 108)
    Secondary (p. 108)

Wikipedia: Court of Common Pleas (England)

Added: December 6, 2014 – Last updated: December 6, 2014