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The Creation of a Community : The City of Wells in the Middle Ages - David Gary Shaw

The Creation of a Community

The City of Wells in the Middle Ages

Hardcover

Published: 8th July 1993
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This is the first scholarly history of the city of Wells in the Middle Ages. David Gary Shaw makes full use of the rich archives of Wells to trace its growth from a rural manor into the prosperous borough it became by the late twelfth century. Dr Shaw examines the variety of trades which flourished in Wells - including tanning, glove-making, and cloth-manufacture - and analyses the composition of the burgess community. He also explores the importance of the family, the extent of social mobility, the position of women, and the roles of conviviality on the one hand and religion on the other in shaping communal activity and communal spirit. Dr Wells makes full use of the rich archives of Wells to present in vivid and telling detail the anatomy of a medieval borough.

'Here is a valuable addition to the small corpus of modern monographs devoted to individual English towns in the medieval period. Shaw writes shrewdly about 'community', conscious of the voguish and treacherous nature of the concept. Shaw's book, while acknowledging the gap between pious ideal and reality, goes far to demonstrate the practical and ideological impact on one medieval urban society of that communitarian discourse.' Gervase Rosser, The Ricardian, X, No. 126, Sept 1994 `sensitive and probing book...a well-presented and thoughtful study' Journal of Interdisciplinary History `Dr Shaw's is a very fine book, analysing the borough community in as much detail as the records permit, providing much information on the town in its own right, but also setting his study in a wider English and European context ... a welcome reminder of the great variety of medieval towns, so often very different from what he calls 'the national model ... of places like Lincoln or Oxford.'' D.M. Palliser, University of Leeds, EHR Apr. 96

List of Figures
List of Maps
List of Tables
List of Abbreviations
Introductionp. 1
Originsp. 11
The Early Churchp. 17
The Development of the Townp. 24
The Size of a Small Townp. 36
The Physical Cityp. 36
The Smaller Town in Medieval Europep. 41
Size of Populationp. 43
Population Change: Dilapidation and Decayed Rentsp. 47
Population Change: The Admissions Listp. 54
Migrationp. 58
Relative Sizep. 60
Economyp. 64
Occupational Structurep. 64
Cloth-Makingp. 70
Wells and its Countrysidep. 81
Tradep. 85
Labourp. 94
Conclusion: Qualifying Urban Declinep. 101
The Balance of Authorityp. 104
The Burgesses' Power, c.1300p. 107
The Moment of Crisisp. 114
The Community's Resourcesp. 125
The Accommodationp. 129
Conclusionp. 138
The Social History of the Borough Community, 1377-1500p. 141
Membershipp. 142
Socio-Economic Compositionp. 152
Participation and Office-Holdingp. 157
Trades and 'Power'p. 164
Oligarchyp. 167
The Culture of the Borough Community, 1377-1510p. 177
The Community Idealp. 178
The Institutions of Communityp. 197
The Social World Completedp. 216
The Foreigners: A Neglected Social Categoryp. 216
Economic and Political Situationp. 219
Povertyp. 227
The Scope of Povertyp. 228
Womenp. 248
Conclusionp. 253
The Culture of the Churchp. 255
The Cathedralp. 257
The Parishp. 258
The Parish Guildsp. 261
Chantry and Communityp. 266
Prayerp. 269
Alms: The Givingp. 271
Educationp. 275
New Livesp. 277
Heterodoxy and Controlp. 281
Conclusionp. 285
Conclusion: The Complexity of Small Thingsp. 286
App. I. Wells Bishopsp. 291
App. II. Stewards and Masters of Wells Boroughp. 292
Bibliographyp. 294
Indexp. 317
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780198204015
ISBN-10: 0198204019
Series: Oxford Historical Monographs
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 348
Published: 8th July 1993
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.3 x 14.4  x 2.6
Weight (kg): 0.58