Middle-class writing in late medieval London by Malcolm Richardson

By Malcolm Richardson

Richardson explores how a robust tradition of writing used to be created in past due medieval London, even if at the start few population may perhaps really write themselves. while earlier experiences have tended to target middle-class literary studying styles, this research examines writing abilities individually either from analyzing talents and from literature.

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London Middle-Class Writing 33 So it seems certain that in large part English towns created searchable records repositories as a protective reaction to the royal stockpiling of documentary evidence at Westminster and on Chancery Lane. If, as Patrick Geary has argued, the church could reshape history through its monopoly of history’s surviving documents, then the king could reshape a town’s rights and privileges by having his emerging clerks pull documents from their files selectively – or lose them.

The ensuing Great Depression was possibly not as debilitating as it has been made out to be,8 but it was bad enough. The earlier period was also marked by overpopulation in relation to food production, with a particularly horrifying famine in the second decade of the fourteenth century. Italy, with its residual if sometimes dim Roman heritage and shipping access to the Islamic world, was in important ways the exception. Its institutions were always more sophisticated and most often the catalyst for innovation.

These professionals were almost certainly drawn directly from the middle class without passing through church positions. Since the Common Clerk’s office can be traced back to at least 1274, the earlier city clerks are among the first Englishmen who were genuine ‘clerks’ without being ‘clerics’. Those professional scribes who were in minor orders were subsequently confined largely to the non-civic administration and the fringes of the legal profession. Records of Other City Entities Besides the city administration, Londoners dealt with several other organizations which recorded their public lives.

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