A Gentry Community: Leicestershire in the Fifteenth Century, by Eric Acheson

By Eric Acheson

This ebook examines the fifteenth-century gentry of Leicestershire lower than 5 extensive headings: as landholders, as individuals of a social neighborhood according to the county, as contributors in and leaders of the govt of the shire, as individuals of the broader family and, eventually, as contributors. Economically assertive, they have been additionally socially cohesive, this team spirit being supplied by way of the shire group. The shire additionally supplied crucial political unit, managed through an oligarchy of improved gentry households who have been really autonomous of outdoor interference. the elemental social unit was once the extended family, yet exterior affects, supplied by means of trouble for the broader kinfolk, the lineage or monetary and political development, weren't significant determinants of relatives approach. Individualism one of the gentry used to be already proven by way of the 15th century, revealing its body of workers as a confident and assured stratum in overdue medieval English society.

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Charles Ross maintains that 'there is no evidence that Hastings was in Edward's company' (Ross, Edward IV, p. 31 n. 3). While it is true that William Worcester omits Hastings from his list of those present at Mortimer's Cross (see William Worcestre, Itineraries, ed. J. H. Harvey, Oxford, 1969, pp. 203-5), Clement Paston's letter to his brother, John, dated 23 January 1461, strongly suggests that Hastings was present (see Paston Letters, 1, p. 197). "3 C. A. J. , 30, 1948, p. 56. 111 "• Paston Letters, 1, p.

C. Darby, Cambridge, 1936, p. 232. R. S. Schofield, 'The geographical distribution of wealth in England, 1334-1649', Econ. Hist. , 18, 1965, p. 504. 29 Slate was quarried at Swithland and high-quality mortar-lime was extracted from extensive pits at Barrow-on-Soar. 30 However, there is nothing to suggest that the medieval extractive industry was on anything but a small scale, no doubt important to the very local or parish economy and to the income of individual landholders, but of lesser significance to the economy of the shire as a whole.

31 n. 3). While it is true that William Worcester omits Hastings from his list of those present at Mortimer's Cross (see William Worcestre, Itineraries, ed. J. H. Harvey, Oxford, 1969, pp. 203-5), Clement Paston's letter to his brother, John, dated 23 January 1461, strongly suggests that Hastings was present (see Paston Letters, 1, p. 197). "3 C. A. J. , 30, 1948, p. 56. 111 "• Paston Letters, 1, p. 197. 115 Moreover, within Leicestershire itself, his power was no less enhanced. Apart from the stewardship of the duchy of Lancaster possessions within the county, Hastings was granted the forfeited estates of Lancastrian supporters, lord Beaumont, lord Roos and the earl of Wiltshire.

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