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The Shape of the State in Medieval Scotland, 1124–1290$
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Alice Taylor

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198749202

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198749202.001.0001

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Common Burdens in the Regnum Scottorum

Common Burdens in the Regnum Scottorum

(p.84) 2 Common Burdens in the Regnum Scottorum
The Shape of the State in Medieval Scotland, 1124–1290

Alice Taylor

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the resources generally available to the kings of Scots throughout their kingdom. It argues that land within the kingdom was assessed fiscally, and that these fiscal units were liable to perform three ‘common burdens’ for the king: army service, aid, and labour service, which were demanded on an extraordinary rather than routine basis. These common obligations were not levied exclusively or even predominantly through a network of royal officials. Before, roughly, the late 1160s, they were levied on a provincial basis but, after this point, lords—ecclesiastical and lay—took responsibility for the land they themselves controlled within and across provinces. By the 1220s, therefore, common burdens were levied through the structures of landholding and lordship. But royal authority was not fragmented by the delegation of responsibility; it was maintained and made more pervasive as a result of its mediation through the great men of the kingdom.

Keywords:   lordship, army service, law, charter diplomatic, medieval Scotland, mormaer, thane, cáin, coinnmed

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