By Frederik Pedersen
Intimate information about the private lives of medieval individuals are frustratingly infrequent. We seldom be aware of what the lads and girls of the center a long time considered marriage, not to mention approximately intercourse. The files of the church courts of the province of York, generally courting from the fourteenth century, offers a welcome mild on inner most, relatives lifestyles and on person reactions to it. They comprise quite a lot of attention-grabbing circumstances regarding disputes concerning the validity of marriage, consent, intercourse, marital violence, impotence and estate disputes. in addition they exhibit how commonly the legislation of marriage have been either identified and authorized. Marriage Disputes in Medieval England bargains a awesome perception into own existence within the center ages.
'Then Maud acknowledged, "God forbid so you might have the ability to grasp me carnally until you are going to marry me". Robert replied, "Behold my oath that if I take someone to be my spouse i'm going to take you if you happen to will yield to me". Maud responded, "Behold my oath that i'll be at your disposal". And Robert took her in his hands and threw her to the floor in "Le Kowbos" and knew her carnally.' --Maud Schipyn and Robert Smyth, October 17, 1355
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Additional info for Marriage Disputes in Medieval England
The letter is endorsed Proponitum die Martis, which presumably refers to the Wednesday before the first session of the court on 16 September 1345, that is 14 September. 34 They explained that on 25 July 1345 Simon and Agnes had had an argument over the sale of her lands in Huntington and Earswick. 35 Simon believed her to be dead and took refuge in the cemetery of the local church, but not before asking a neighbour called Nicholas Franteys to go to their house to see if Agnes was still alive. She was still alive, but in such a bad state that, after washing her face in a well in the garden, Nicholas and his fellow witness William Joveby carried her still bleeding to her neighbour John SnaweshilPs house.
This often means that a case which is seemingly about one thing is really about something quite different. It is rare for the historian to be able to demonstrate not only that such a transformation took place, but also how a dispute was transformed when it was argued in a church court. However, a number of the cause papers can be used for this purpose. Here the longest surviving fourteenth-century cause paper in York will be analysed to show how a dispute, although really about the rights over land which a woman brought into her marriage, was mutated into a case concerning the legality of her marriage.
Cui ipsa jurata respondit, *Non, per sanctam Mariam, penitet me quod tantum audivi quantum audivi'. Et sic ipsa jurata a prefata domo recessit et Johannem et Agnetam supradictos in prefata domo solos dimisit... Et dicta Agneta sequebatur earn et elevatis manibus dixit sic, 'Margareta, rogo vos, vadatis ad ostium aule et loquamini cum dicto Johanne'. Et statim ipsa jurata adivit ostium predicte aule versus stratam regiam in Petergat Eboracensis et ipsa Agneta ea [sic] sequebatur prefatam juratam.