York: The Making of a City 1068-1350

York: The Making of a City 1068-1350

by Sarah Rees Jones


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York was one of the most important cities in medieval England. This original study traces the development of the city from the Norman Conquest to the Black Death. The twelfth and thirteenth centuries are a neglected period in the history of English towns, and this study argues that the period was absolutely fundamental to the development of urban society and that up to now we have misunderstood the reasons for the development of York and its significance within our history because of that neglect.

Medieval York argues that the first Norman kings attempted to turn the city into a true northern capital of their new kingdom and had a much more significant impact on the development of the city than has previously been realised. Nevertheless the influence of York Minster, within whose shadow the town had originally developed, remained strong and was instrumental in the emergence of a strong and literate civic communal government in the later twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Many of the earlier Norman initiatives withered as the citizens developed their own institutions of government and social welfare.

The primary sources used are records of property ownership and administration, especially charters, and combines these with archaeological evidence from the last thirty years. Much of the emphasis of the book is therefore on the topographical development of the city and the changing social and economic structures associated with property ownership and occupation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780198201946
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 12/24/2013
Pages: 416
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Sarah Rees Jones is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of History at the University of York where she is based in the interdisciplinary postgraduate Centre for Medieval Studies. For many years she has worked with archaeologists in York studying the material development of the city and she has also published broadly in the field of medieval urban social and cultural history.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Landscapes of Lordship at the time of the Conquest: The Minster, the King, and the Earl
3. Landscapes of Lordship on the Eve of the Conquest: Lesser Landowners and their Urban Estates
4. The King, the Barons, and the Shire
5. Church Landlords
6. Householders, Civic Society, and Civic Government
7. Town and Country: Trade, Fairs, Markets, and Festivals
8. Domestic Property
9. Conclusion

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