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Castles in Medieval SocietyFortresses in England, France, and Ireland in the Central Middle Ages$
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Charles L. H. Coulson

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780198208242

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198208242.001.0001

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Castle-Lords, Castle-Lordships, and Noble Civilization

Castle-Lords, Castle-Lordships, and Noble Civilization

(p.192) 1 Castle-Lords, Castle-Lordships, and Noble Civilization
Castles in Medieval Society


Oxford University Press

Because the lords of castles were public figures involved in local and even ‘national’ government during the medieval period, none of them can be regarded as what today would be a ‘private citizen’. This chapter discusses the more personal aspects of noble architectural ambition in medieval England and France so as to show more of the practical implications and individual vicissitudes, and examines how closely jurisdictional powers were associated with castle-status. It also presents a range of case-studies involving relationships between greater lords in which fortresses were crucial. Some 13th- and 14th-century examples are presented showing that in England, the social, tenurial, and economic eminence of the castle conferred power, but also imposed responsibilities. The chapter also explores castellation and jurisdiction as insignia of nobility.

Keywords:   castles, fortresses, England, France, medieval period, castle-lords, nobility, castellans, castellation, jurisdiction

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