By J. Goldberg
Did medieval girls have the ability to settle on? this can be a query on the center of this publication which explores 3 proceedings from Yorkshire within the many years after the Black dying. Alice de Rouclif used to be a toddler heiress made to marry the illegitimate son of the neighborhood abbot after which kidnapped by way of her feudal improved. Agnes Grantham was once a profitable businesswoman ambushed and assaulted in a wooded area while on her method to dine with the grasp of St Leonard's sanatorium. Alice Brathwell used to be a good widow who attracted the attentions of a supposedly aristocratic conman. those are their tales.
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Extra resources for Communal Discord, Child Abduction, and Rape in the Later Middle Ages
The questions would have been put to them in the vernacular, though they are recorded only in Latin. Their answers likewise would have been made in the vernacular, but for the purposes of drawing up the depositions, these were also translated into Latin. There is thus a necessary distance between the words spoken and the resultant text. ) 36 DISCOR D, CH I L D A BDUCT ION, A N D R A PE This process of converting verbal responses into written depositions begs a number of questions. How far does the clerk attempt a verbatim transcript that is then reworked as a Latin text?
Cases concerning the validity of marriages were a significant part of that business. Because marriage was a sacrament of the Church, such cases fell exclusively within the jurisdiction of the Church courts and the canon law. Most matrimonial litigation comprised actions either to enforce marriages or to annul them. John Marray’s case and its defence display elements of both. 48 Canon law recognized two forms of binding contract. ” Such de presenti contracts constituted immediately binding marriages so long as both parties were free to marry.
Whether Alice regarded this as consensual sex is a moot point, but she apparently readily acknowledged that it had taken place. Alice’s concern was not, as we would see it today, that her husband-to-be had effectively raped her, but rather that he had had sexual relations with her prior to the solemnization of their marriage. Her lament was that she was willing to be his wife, but not his mistress. She complained to Anabilla, urging that the marriage take place as soon as possible and made her case in person before John, who ordered her to be quiet and wait patiently.