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Contesting the CityThe Politics of Citizenship in English Towns, 1250 - 1530$
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Christian D. Liddy

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198705208

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198705208.001.0001

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Citizenship and Citizens

Citizenship and Citizens

(p.20) 2 Citizenship and Citizens
Contesting the City

Christian D. Liddy

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the theory and practice of urban citizenship between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries. Citizenship, although one of the most ubiquitous modes of social and political organization in medieval towns, is not well understood in late medieval England. The lists of freemen entering the franchise have been subject to detailed, statistical analysis, by scholars working in the fields of urban demography and financial and economic history. This chapter asks instead: what did it mean to be a citizen in late medieval English towns? There was no single answer to this question. The point of departure is the oath sworn by the new entrant to the civic franchise.

Keywords:   oaths, identities, rights, duties, crafts

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