Old notes from the Leeds International Medieval Congress, July 2011

Posted: January 17, 2012 in Conferences, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,

One of the smaller projects I have in the works is an article on Frederick Barbarossa’s generalship, a version of which I gave at Leeds Medieval Congress this past summer.  In working on it again yesterday, I came across my notes from some of the Leeds sessions I attended–incomplete notes, but they might be of interest to folks researching the crusades or medieval military history, as a lot of these papers represent the latest innovative work from dynamic scholars, both younger and established.  I apologize in advance for the choppiness and uneven coverage, as well as for any errors of interpretation of which I’m sure there are a few. And regarding the armor and weapons papers, much is lost since those presentations relied heavily on great visual aids.  See the archived congress pages for more information about the sessions themselves.

Here’s a list of the papers my notes cover:

–Danielle Park, “Diplomats and Diplomatics: New Directions in the Use of Charter Evidence – The Concept and Consequences of the Crusades in the Charters of Crusade Regents”

–James Naus, “Crusade and Legitimacy: The Ideology and Imagery of Reconquest in France”

–Ian Wilson; “Cowardice, Chivalry, and the Crusades”

–Andrew Spencer, “‘Apres moi, le deluge’: The Lancastrian Affinity after Earl Thomas”

–David Simpkin, “Retinues under Stress: The Impact of War Mortalities on Military Networks during the Later Middle Ages”

–Lucy Rhymer, “‘We, my blessed Lord Gloucester’s servants, may now come out of hiding’: The Fate of Duke Humphrey’s Posthumous Retinue”

–Claire Featherstonhaugh, “The Government Activities of the Earls, c. 1330-1360”

–Kathleen Neal, “Reason and Right: Letters of Request to Chancery in 13th-Century England”

–Gwillim Dodd, “Form and Substance: Letters to King Edward II, 1307-1327”

–Nick Dupras, “Busy Hammers: The Construction of Armour in Late Medieval Europe”

–Jenny Day, “‘Maen Wyn, do not leave your knife behind!’: The Fall and Rise of Knives and Bows in Medieval Welsh Poetry”

–Arbitration and Reputation: Informal Dispute Resolution and ‘Out of Court’ Settlements in Medieval Law – A Round Table Discussion

–Thom Richardson, “Armourer’s Tools”

–Kelly DeVries, “What Armour Was Worn by Second Crusaders?: Evidence from the Baptismal Font of the Church of San Frediano, Lucca”

–SarahLouise Howells, “Affluence and Aesthetics: An Investigation into the French Armoured Gisant”

Session 206—New Directions in Crusades Studies, II

Danielle Park, “Diplomats and Diplomatics: New Directions in the Use of Charter Evidence – The Concept and Consequences of the Crusades in the Charters of Crusade Regents” focusing on those left behind; crusade regencies through close reading of charters and diplomatic sources  –using charters as sources, paying attention to phrasing, and personal details   –Clementia, countess of Flanders  –regent’s power not framed as temporary, as that would undermine authority  –Clementia received 1/3 of Flanders, and participated in charters of husband Robert, and in the first year of son Baldwin’s letter  –joint act of sealing the charter to return unlawful levy  –she comes into her own esp after Robert’s instructions fade  –and charters reveal much about crusade thought, and the independence Robert had given her as regent

James Naus, “Crusade and Legitimacy: The Ideology and Imagery of Reconquest in France” –ideology and kingship  –ideology of crusade for the operation and structure of power at this time    –“potential threat to existing power structures by returning crusaders”  –gain of honor in many cases; “triumph rituals”   –the text of Suger, deeds of Louis; not a chronological retelling; not similar to other royal bio examples    –Louis has four of his five children married to crusaders  –begins to employ crusading ideology strategies in his own warfare   –the second-generation crusading chronicles fit the crusade to western intellectual framework   –can be employed to support Capetian kingship  –Suger’s attempt to undercut this prestige; being a crusader shouldn’t be enough to cover a previous and continuing bad reputation   –Louis’ reduction of Hugh’s castle is cast in newer light—God’s aid, church intervenes, gives support, Louis does brave deeds; same as with Thomas of Marle

Ian Wilson; “Cowardice, Chivalry, and the Crusades” —Chivalry, Cowardice, Crusade, laws of war   –“the dark side of chivalry”; the coward  –early studies, Verbruggen and Contamine, saw it as the opposite of bravery    –Steven Isaacs, study on Young King Henry; Richard Abels on Anglo-Saxon cowardice   –in 12th century, NO standard def; related to shame; chivalry begins to transform ideas of shame   –two examples here; Antioch desertions, and after the fall of Acre, 1191   –nearest in Latin, ignomia, which is not what the Gesta uses for Peter the Hermit’s attempted desertion  –context is critical   –Stephen of Blois; cases of desertion relate acts to sewers, always walking or running, no riding  –“fail to live up to their vows through their sin and lack of faith”    –in 12th c, chivalry is the “culture of the soldier”; based around simple martial mores  –the shift from martial to noble expectation; becomes wider in application; failure to live up to rank exposes one to wider shame than before   –Philip II at Acre; decision to leave crusade; Ambroise says illness isn’t an excuse   –Louis IX after release; he as duty to stay in east, help his captured knights; to do other than that would be cowardly  –but flight does not equal cowardice   –cowardice was a single act, an interpretation  –“cowardice as behavior was fluid, mirroring changes in society”

Session 303  What Happened Next?: How Retainers Cope with Rich Lord’s Death

Andrew Spencer,‘Apres moi, le deluge’: The Lancastrian Affinity after Earl Thomas”—Lancastrian Affinity after Earl Thomas’ Death   –open with acclamation on his death  –first cousin of Edward II, and holder of 5 earldoms  –this paper goes from his death, to Edward III’s coup  –from 1321, small stream of desertion of the 47 in the list  –Robert Holland the most serious case  –30 of the 47 in sample rebel with their lord, despite low chances of success  –17 fined afterward  –4 executed  –some who survive Boroughbridge continue fighting; Wm Trussell in particular  –but rest make their peace   –they stand mainperned for each other    –some go to Despensers; pay heavy price   –9 go over to Gascony 1322-1326, St. Sardos  –17 serve Eii in England     –John de Beck and Wm Trussell captured with Eii in 1326      –Earl Thomas’ ghost; pilgrimage to it  –brother Henry survives; has supporters on both sides of Boroughbridge  one of Henry’s oldest retainers made royal chamberlain, 1326  –H seems to have made no attempts to recruit from his brother’s former affinity   –in 1327, not a single one found in Waredale army   –later years, 1328-1332, about 10 then join; but several join M and Is  –Swynnteron spts M and I against Lancaster  –Robert Holland again; murdered by Thomas Wither   –some conclusions and patterns: keen to rehabilitate themselves

David Simpkin,Retinues under Stress: The Impact of War Mortalities on Military Networks during the Later Middle Ages” –Effect of War Mortalities on Military Retinues   –historians focus on two levels: vertical, and horizontal  –so, what happens when retinue leader dies?  –did they stop performing mil service? Did someone take on a leadership role himself? Etc.  –three examples: Gilbert de Clare, 1314; John Rondel, 1379; Montagu, earl of Salisbury, 1428  –lots of variation, of course, but some commonalities as well.   –three retinues led in 1319, but none of Hereford’s men appears in this sample    –two of the remaining men, of the 5, served in 1310 and 1314 and 1319, apparently on their own   –so, the death of a lord in battle could seriously affect military service; horizontal ties don’t seem to exist/be a factor here    –2. Arundel’s death at sea   –22 men go on to serve his brother after Sir John’s death  –an exception to generally weakening retinue ties; but, could be that they had served under both, and accident of good documentation   –3. Salisbury; “high levels of retinue turnover”; garrison and full-time war, as Pollard has shown, affected Talbot  –of 21 men in 1428, only one seems to have served with him before  did they serve, or serve together afterward?   –no real evidence of service with same lord     –Conclusions: later eras, looser ties, have advantage of allowing soldiers to react more flexibly after lord’s death

Lucy Rhymer, “‘We, my blessed Lord Gloucester’s servants, may now come out of hiding’: The Fate of Duke Humphrey’s Posthumous Retinue” —Humphry Gloucester’s retinue; 1450  –the ‘myth of the good duke Humphrey” created by Duke of York; he was standing up against corruption, and selling-out of England  –Gloucester doesn’t have much of a retinue by 1447  –about 28 of his follower arrested throughout the country  –several tried; 8 condemned, but spared on the scaffold   –but now, let’s look at these eight chaps; they supported him –Patent Roll pardons, come after Suffolk’s scaffold ones; so,  these first pardons not regarded as full and effective?   –one example of switching faction   –community of interests encouraging switch; Gloucester and York probably connected  –York tries to show himself as Gloucester’s political heir   –hard to see coherence, and loyalty was fluid; and his affinity was bound by crown, not to a locality

Q&A; military vs administrative service? Different or the same?  –seems to be something to that, yes; Lancaster’s knights take longer to get new appointments, the admin folks are reappointed almost immediately

Session 629  14th-Century Studies, V: Accessing and Exercising Governance

Claire Featherstonhaugh,The Government Activities of the Earls, c. 1330-1360″—government activities of the earls  –two earls; Arundel and Huntington, what their activities reveal regard factions and governance  –old argument: “new men” of 1337, or the home-vs-abroad earls  –Claire argues, a sort-of division btwn administrative and military offices  –A and H prominent in all these strands   –Arundel son of executed earl, 1326; Clinton one of the new earls, switched from M&I to Eiii   –Huntington, justiciar of Chester   –Arundel military/judicially active, from 1331; Nov 1334, receives Justiciar of N Wales  –serves as administrator of Kent and coastal defense, and keeper of Caernarvon; and south coast, maritime lands of Southampton –both served on Crécy-Calais campaign; Huntington sent home after capture of Caen   –mostly, they served overseas in diplomatic capacities   –Arundel and Derby   –other earls, more military activity; but one, Earl of March, has similar later career, in which he does mostly admin stuff   –so, the split among the earls could be more admin/military, not new-vs-old men

Kathleen Neal,Reason and Right: Letters of Request to Chancery in 13th-Century England”—Letters to Chancery, 13th century England   –ref to Dodd’s arguments as chancellor as lawman  –words and rhetorical strategy   –narratio and petition; form not very different from that to [Parliament??]  –often request for counsel; not nec. an admin solution to problem (though of course the two could go together)    –from the perspective of letter-writing, the most powerful reason for chancellor to act; it was the salutatione and exortium;    salutations, use terms of kinship and/or close feeling, friendship, and love; more intimate language than petitions  –exordia use similar claims of love, regard, kinship, and religion   –recognized the limits to the chancellor’s ability to show patronage, despite hoping that they might benefit from it   –“complex notion of access to government, and exercise of it”

Gwillim Dodd, “Form and Substance: Letters to King Edward II, 1307-1327” —Letters to King Edward II      –where letters compare to bills, petitions, etc., where it fits in to documentary culture  –letters in patent rolls, letting people know about a royal decision or commission; letters under privy seal, basically an order; both indicate authority of sender over recipient  –many sent TO king don’t fit into model; many ask for intervention of the crown   –differences btw letters and petitions: letters have their roots in Latin (though both are in French); petitions are terse; letters are more verbose, gives titles, etc. (prob. Influences epistolary diplomatic, as N. Saul has explored); letter almost always concludes with clause that dates letter   –letter is cheaper than delivering a petition, but it just     –SC 1/33/203, letter to Eii from men and lieges of boston, 1 August 1311; asking for relief from costs of giving shipping spt; at least, have surrounding towns contribute too; a lot of towns send letters, rather than petitions; so, “common assumptions about how best to communicate the town’s position to the crown”  –often responding to letter received from the king   –example, SC8/346/1394 (c.1324), Beusevil’s letter; SC8/11/538 (1334), Beusevil’s petition  –petitioners ask for judicial intervention, display of royal justice; letters tend to be more personalized, reaction to royal policy or commissions   –Wm Rothwell, Language and Government   –choice to write in French, not Latin; shows a wider conscious choice beyond the southeast corner       —Q&A; how do we tell the difference btw letter and petition?  Opening and Closing clauses, mostly; look for dates at close of letter…

Session 803, Weapons and Armour in the Age of Chivalry: Hammers, Bows, Swords, and Knives

Nick Dupras, “Busy Hammers: The Construction of Armour in Late Medieval Europe” —construction of armor in late Middle ages  –armorers have left no treatises on how they worked  –forge-welding and raising in the construction of helmets   –forge-welding, a difficult process; heat two pieces till edges of both are molten, then hammer them together; easy for metal to cool btw being taken from forge, to anvil, to being hammered  –examples from the Royal Armories   –braizing; a type of soldering, using a copper or high copper alloy    –forge-welding used to create components in 14th century, but not for basinets; smaller welds were not as problematic as with helmets     –the moustache helmet at Leeds Armory  –15th-century Sallet; can see hammer strokes on interior; armorer turning metal under the hammer, one row at a time

Rob Jones, “The Sword that Severed Malchus’ Ear: The Falchion and Messer in Medieval Iconography” The appearance of the falchion in medieval iconography (wrote “Bloodied Banners”) –knight’s sword, of course  –but let’s look at the falchion, the other sword-weapon; where and why the falchion appears in art  –a weapon with single-edged blade, slight curve, clipped point; and the other kind, more heavily curved, with sharp clipped point    –messer, different type of handle   –Robert the Devil romance (English, Sir Gowther); makes a terrible falchion that only he can yield; throws it away when he seeks absolution  –often used to show “eastern” influences (even though eastern warriors didn’t use swords quite like that—either double-edged, or only a slight curve [as with Mongols, Persians]) –why? A matter of recognition?   –falchion is a nasty weapon: Talhofer MS, this is where limbs are chopped off   –so, a twisted form of the knight’s sword?   –falchion being described as messer in Germany? “Malcus” being used as synonymous with ‘falchion’   –and then, the death of Watt Tyler  –it is ultimately the weapon of the commoner; and increasingly the weapon of the ancient

Jenny Day, “‘Maen Wyn, do not leave your knife behind!’: The Fall and Rise of Knives and Bows in Medieval Welsh Poetry”  —knives and swords in Welsh poetry  –these are the most common weapons, not the bow!!  –12th-13thcentury, and lesser poets after 1282-3  –changes about the this time in form and function of dagger   –[I’ll need the handout to get good notes…]   –depictions of archery; #7 on handout   –prowess at archery often mentioned in 14th/15th century poetry; but it is a leisure pursuit, part of the 24 things at which a nobleman should quality   –the issue with these weapons is one of status; sword and spear are the noblest weapons; daggers always somewhat associated with thieves and assassins

Session 902, 7:30 session. Arbitration and Reputation: Informal Dispute Resolution and ‘Out of Court’ Settlements in Medieval Law – A Round Table Discussion (led by Adrian Bell)

Tony Moore: property, trespass and debt over 40 S; is there overlap on different types of medieval English courts?  Typical view—long, overdrawn, dull process interspersed with outbursts of violence  –today, we think of a variety of strategies, including arbitration  –[??’s] work on appeals of felony; attitude of justices on out-of-court settlements, arbitration; common law courts recognize arbitration  –silence of royal records on informal resolution   –default on appearance rises dramatically in 14th and 15th centuries  –Carpenter: object of lit is less to get a verdict, as to force opponent to negotiating table

James Davis—urban courts   –similar to what you find elsewhere; neighborly negotiations  –focus on Newmarket and ? in Suffolk; seems that plaintiff is 4x more likely to win if it goes to court verdict; can take six months to get a license of concord, though things move swiftly after that  –types of arbitrators vary; advantages of arbitration were many, of course; sense of flexibility; “all about compromise”  –remember, though, that arbitration is connected to the court  –a process, diffuses civic tension; voluntary; burgesses were often the main arbiters

David Routt—manorial courts; important, esp for pre-plague period  –was it the lord’s court or the locals’ court?  –is there evidence of extra-curial agreements? Yes; certain things were considered a lord’s monopoly  –license of concord common  –plea of agreement; often you don’t know what happens after these are entered  –then, plea of debt, etc. etc.  –court rolls don’t often tell you about the arbitration

Bronach Kane—church courts   –bishop’s court centers around arbitration; by 13th c, bishop trying to make the court the arena of first appeal   –accidents of survival are important, affect our understanding of what happened  –hard to enforce marriage cohabitation judgments; many people abscond  –arbitration can strengthen structures, as it relies on local structures and individuals to be effective

Mark Koyama—law and economics, and medieval economic history  –Daniel Klerman, 2001  –question: how do laws influence social behaviour?   –courts enforce contracts, resolving disputes, aid negotiation and bargaining   –Chris Briggs, work on manorial courts  -if you don’t have a court system, how do you have a credit market?  You can, but it has to be enforced through constant interaction   –credit valuable when it’s extended between strangers    –if you add a court, L can decide to sue or not sue B   –advantages of going to court

Session 1305 Armour and Art: The Making and the Representing

Thom Richardson, “Armourer’s Tools”   –we have the accounts of Henry VIII’s ‘new super armory’ he tried to set up in competition with Maximilian  –no drills; if you have a drilled piece, that’s a sign of later work    –interesting, all the specialized equipment you need; a rivet-cutter, for instance; “absolutely essential” for snipping off rivets after you hammer the pieces closed  –very strong continuity through the centuries

Kelly DeVries,What Armour Was Worn by Second Crusaders?: Evidence from the Baptismal Font of the Church of San Frediano, Lucca” –lack of standardization in armor –early survivals of armor rare; artistic evidence very important  –font shows armor in transition to more complete mail harness  –realistic poses, minus the one chap twisted around 180 degrees

SarahLouise Howells,Affluence and Aesthetics: An Investigation into the French Armoured Gisant”   –why does the mail look as it does in different media?  –stone effigies, closest we come to three-dimensional human being in art   –Temple Church, Jean d’Alluye, Loire Valley  –tomb sculpture derives from cathedral doorjambs    –changes in depiction of armor and clothes; folds show that you’re standing up, in effect, even though you’re dead!!   –French college of arms dissolved, records lost, so we don’t know who a lot of these effigies are   –Queen Berengaria effigy, Le Mans   –Richard I, Fontevraud; Geoffrey Plantagenet, Le Mans   –ultimately, we should think about the play of light and dark on the stone, as affecting how the artist renders detail in the stone


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