altmarius

cultură şi spiritualitate

A Marriage in Medieval London: The Brother’s Tale


https://www.medievalists.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Marriage-in-Medieval-London-200x122.png 200w, https://www.medievalists.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Marriage-in... 300w, https://www.medievalists.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Marriage-in... 768w, https://www.medievalists.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Marriage-in... 570w" sizes="(max-width: 781px) 100vw, 781px" data-attachment-id="81311" data-permalink="https://www.medievalists.net/2020/01/a-marriage-in-medieval-london-the-brothers-tale/marriage-in-medieval-london/" data-orig-file="https://www.medievalists.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Marriage-in-Medieval-London.png" data-orig-size="781,476" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="Marriage in Medieval London" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://www.medievalists.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Marriage-in-Medieval-London-300x183.png" data-large-file="https://www.medievalists.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Marriage-in-Medieval-London-570x347.png" />

By Danièle Cybulskie

While historians definitely rely on archaeological evidence, tax records, and literature to get a picture of life hundreds of years ago, a whole lot of what we know about medieval life comes to us through court documents. In them, we can find the facts of legal cases, the opinions of the people of the time, as well as biographical details that (although often incidental to the case) are both fascinating and intriguing. Medieval people, as any short survey of the documents will bear out, were definitely not shy about suing people, and this is a lucky thing for historians.

In Love and Marriage in Late Medieval London, Shannon McSheffrey has collected together depositions from a wide variety of marital cases: divorce; bigamy; adultery; and even disputes about whether or not a marriage took place at all. As McSheffrey points out, the scribes recording these depositions are concerned with establishing the witness’ credibility, their relationship to the aggrieved parties, what they witnessed, and whether or not what they witnessed constituted a true marriage. It is the testimony of one of these witnesses that stood out to me, especially.

On January 15, 1472, in the case of Elizabeth Isaak versus John Bolde (Elizabeth was suing John), the deposed witness was Elizabeth’s brother, Walter Isaak. Presumably, John was disputing the validity of the marriage, as Walter’s testimony is mainly concerned with the couple speaking and acting like a married couple. Although it’s tricky to be sure we’re hearing what we think we’re hearing (scribes translated most testimony from the English they heard into Latin later, so there is huge potential for human error in translation), if we read between the lines of Walter’s testimony, we can see him as what he is very likely to have been: a little brother eager to defend his sister by being as precise and helpful a witness as possible.

Walter is identified by the scribe as “of the parish of St. Mary Bothaw, patten-maker, illiterate, of free condition, twenty years old and more”. Immediately, we get a picture of a young man, free (as in, not a serf), and apparently established. He isn’t listed as an apprentice, but as a “patten-maker”; that is, he makes a specific type of wooden overshoe meant to keep people’s feet out of the mud (here’s an 18th-century example). It’s very likely that Walter is Elizabeth’s younger brother, as instead of saying he’s known her since she was born, “He says that he has known Elizabeth Isaak from the time of his ability to distinguish people”. Walter has known her husband, John, for much less time, saying he has known “John Bolde for the last two years and a third”. As many other medieval witnesses don’t bother with fractions, this suggest that Walter has thought about this carefully and is being precise in order to be helpful.

Walter reveals “that on a certain Sunday three weeks after the feast of Pentecost a year ago [i.e., 1 July 1470], in the afternoon,” Elizabeth and John discussed getting married while in the home of a friend, and then proceeded to speak the necessary words. Walter lists the four people who were present, and then describes the events:

At length John Bolde asked Elizabeth whether she could find it in her heart to have John as her husband, and she answered that she wished freely to have him as her husband if this deponent, her brother [Walter], would consent to it, and then this deponent gave them his consent. Then Elizabeth said to John, ‘I will have you as my husband and forsake all other men for you, by my faith.’ John answered her, ‘And I will have you as my wife and forsake all other women for you, by my faith.’

It was very important for Walter to have correctly remembered the words spoken, as it was critical for the two to have established that they both were clearly and unequivocally entering freely into the agreement. All that was required for a medieval marriage to be legitimate was consent, although consummation made it all much tidier. Given the rest of Walter’s testimony, Elizabeth and John did not likely consummate their marriage until shortly thereafter, as Walter recalls them exchanging similar words a few days later, with John saying, “I will take you as my wife before the next feast of Pentecost”.

As McSheffrey notes, it wasn’t necessary for a woman to gain the consent of her male relatives to get married, even though they were her guardians (much to their chagrin). It may have been for her own protection that Elizabeth had brought her brother to witness her making this contract with John, and it certainly helped that he was able to witness their exchange of words a second time. This would – she could reasonably have assumed – eliminate later doubt that the marriage was valid, an important consideration, given that they had said their vows privately. The very fact that this was later disputed before the courts, however, shows John still thought he could cast doubt on it.

It may be more likely (and more appealing to my own romantic heart) that Elizabeth asked for Walter’s consent as a sign of respect for him, and a chance for him to voice his approval. The approval of her family seems to have been important to Elizabeth, as Walter later testifies that Elizabeth had also taken John to see her mother, Beatrice, where “John Bolde asked Beatrice’s consent and good will, so that Beatrice would like John better, because he had taken Elizabeth as his wife.” Like Walter, Beatrice was supportive, and “immediately gave him her good will.”

Although Walter testified that “after these words were spoken between them, John and Elizabeth ate, drank, and spoke together as man and wife, as [he] saw many times,” evidently, something went wrong in the marriage for it to have ended up in dispute just one year later. Still, without this case having been before the courts, we might never have known about London’s keen and helpful Walter Isaak, patten-maker, little brother, and defender of his sister Elizabeth.

For this case, and many more fascinating depositions, check out Love and Marriage in Late Medieval London by Shannon McSheffrey.

You can follow Danièle Cybulskie on Twitter @5MinMedievalist

Click here to read more articles from the Five-Minute Medievalist

Top Image: 15th century lovers – UBH Cod. Pal. germ. 359 fol. 61

Vizualizări: 2

Adaugă un comentariu

Pentru a putea adăuga comentarii trebuie să fii membru al altmarius !

Alătură-te reţelei altmarius

STATISTICI

Free counters!
Din 15 iunie 2009

200 state 

(ultimul: Micronesia)

Numar de steaguri: 242

Record vizitatori:    8,782 (3.04.2011)

Record clickuri:

 16,676 (3.04.2011)

Steaguri lipsa: 42

1 stat are peste 600,000 clickuri (Romania)

1 stat are peste 90.000 clickuri (USA)

1 stat are peste 40,000 clickuri (Moldova)

1 stat are peste 20,000  clickuri (Italia)

2 state au peste 10.000 clickuri (Franta,  Germania)

6 state au peste 5.000 clickuri (Olanda, Belgia, Marea Britanie, Canada, UngariaSpania )

10 state au peste 1,000 clickuri (Polonia, Rusia,  Australia, IrlandaIsraelGreciaElvetia ,  Brazilia, Suedia, Austria)

50 state au peste 100 clickuri

24 state au un click

altmarius.ning.com-Google pagerank,alexa rank,Competitor

DE URMĂRIT

1. ANTICARIAT ALBERT

http://anticariatalbert.com/

2. ANTICARIAT ODIN 

http://anticariat-odin.ro/

3. TARGUL CARTII

http://www.targulcartii.ro/

4. PRINTRE CARTI

http://www.printrecarti.ro/

5. MAGAZINUL DE CARTE

http://www.magazinul-de-carte.ro/

6 ANTICARIAT PLUS

http://www.anticariatplus.ro/

7. DEPOZITUL DE CARTI 

http://www.calinblaga.ro/

8. CARTEA DE CITIT

http://www.carteadecitit.ro/

9. ANTICARIAT ON-LINE
http://www.carti-online.com/

10. ANTICARIATUL DE NOAPTE

 http://www.anticariatuldenoapte.ro/

11. ANTICARIATUL NOU

http://www.anticariatulnou.ro

12. ANTICARIAT NOU

https://anticariatnou.wordpress.com/

13. ANTICARIAT ALEPH

https://www.anticariataleph.ro/

14. ANTIKVARIUM.RO

http://antikvarium.ro

15.ANTIKVARIUS.RO

https://www.antikvarius.ro/

16. ANTICARIAT LOGOS

http://www.anticariat-logos.ro/

17. ANTICARIAT.NET

http://www.anticariat.net/informatii-contact.php

18. TIMBREE

www.timbree.ro

19. FILATELIE

 http://www.romaniastamps.com/

20 MAX

http://romanianstampnews.blogspot.com

21. STAMPWORLD

http://www.stampworld.com

22. LIBMAG

https://www.libmag.ro/oferta-carti-polirom/?utm_source=facebook-ads-7-99-polirom&utm_medium=banner-facebook&utm_campaign=7-99-polirom-facebook&utm_content=new-3

23. DAFFI'S BOOKS

https://www.daffisbooks.ro/

24. MAGIA MUNTELUI

http://magiamuntelui.blogspot.com

25. RAZVAN CODRESCU
http://razvan-codrescu.blogspot.ro/

26.RADIO ARHIVE

https://www.facebook.com/RadioArhive/

27.EDITURA UNIVERSITATII CUZA - IASI

http://www.editura.uaic.ro/produse/colectii/documenta/1

28. EDITURA ISTROS

https://www.muzeulbrailei.ro/editura-istros/

29 ORIZONTURI CULTURALE

http://www.orizonturiculturale.ro/ro_home.html

30. SA NU UITAM

http://sanuuitam.blogspot.ro/

31. MIRON MANEGA
http://www.certitudinea.o

32. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC ROMANIA

https://www.natgeo.ro/revista

33. KORUNK

http://ideakonyvter.ro/53-korunk

Insignă

Se încarcă...

Anunturi

Licenţa Creative Commons Această retea este pusă la dispoziţie sub Licenţa Atribuire-Necomercial-FărăModificări 3.0 România Creativ

Note

Erfolgsgeschichte Taunusbahn

Creat de altmariusclassic Sep 13, 2013 at 11:02am. Actualizat ultima dată de altmariusclassic Sep 13, 2013.

Schnell und Steiner

Creat de altmariusplus Iun 19, 2013 at 1:59pm. Actualizat ultima dată de altmariusplus Iun 19, 2013.

Grosse Kunstfuehrer zum Schnell &Steiner

Creat de altmariusclassic Dec 21, 2012 at 6:55pm. Actualizat ultima dată de altmariusclassic Dec 21, 2012.

Hermann Hesse -bucher

Creat de altmariusscience Nov 7, 2012 at 5:47pm. Actualizat ultima dată de altmariusscience Nov 7, 2012.

Grosse Kunstfuehrer zum Schnell & Steiner - 1

Creat de altmariusclassic Oct 8, 2012 at 7:52pm. Actualizat ultima dată de altmariusclassic Oct 8, 2012.

Neuerscheinungen zum Schnell &Steiner - 3

Creat de altmariusclassic Oct 8, 2012 at 7:50pm. Actualizat ultima dată de altmariusclassic Oct 8, 2012.

Neuerscheinungen zum Bohlau - 1

Creat de altmarius Aug 29, 2012 at 7:30am. Actualizat ultima dată de altmarius Aug 29, 2012.

Neuerscheinungen zum Schnell & Steiner - 2

Creat de altmarius Aug 29, 2012 at 7:26am. Actualizat ultima dată de altmarius Aug 29, 2012.

Neuerscheinungen zum Schnell & Steiner

Creat de altmariusplus Mar 14, 2012 at 3:01pm. Actualizat ultima dată de altmariusplus Mar 14, 2012.

Grosse Kunstfuhrer: Maribor

Creat de altmariusconcurs Feb 22, 2012 at 1:08pm. Actualizat ultima dată de altmariusconcurs Feb 22, 2012.

© 2020   Created by altmarius.   Oferit de

Embleme  |  Raportare eroare  |  Termeni de utilizare a serviciilor