England in the
Middle Ages concerns the history of
England during the
medieval period, from the end of the 5th century through to the start
of the Early Modern period in 1485. When
England emerged from the
collapse of the Roman Empire, the economy was in tatters and many of
the towns abandoned. After several centuries of Germanic immigration,
new identities and cultures began to emerge, developing into predatory
kingdoms that competed for power. A rich artistic culture flourished
under the Anglo-Saxons, producing epic poems such as
sophisticated metalwork. The
Anglo-Saxons converted to
the 7th century and a network of monasteries and convents was built
across England. In the 8th and 9th centuries
England faced fierce
Viking attacks, and the fighting lasted for many decades, eventually
Wessex as the most powerful kingdom and promoting the
growth of an English identity. Despite repeated crises of succession
and a Danish seizure of power at the start of the 11th century, by the
England was a powerful, centralised state with a strong military
and successful economy.
Norman invasion of England
Norman invasion of England in 1066 led to the defeat and
replacement of the Anglo-
Saxon elite with Norman and French nobles and
William the Conqueror
William the Conqueror and his successors took over
the existing state system, repressing local revolts and controlling
the population through a network of castles. The new rulers introduced
a feudal approach to governing England, eradicating the practice of
slavery but creating a much wider body of unfree labourers called
serfs. The position of women in society changed as laws regarding land
and lordship shifted. England's population more than doubled during
the 12th and 13th centuries, fuelling an expansion of the towns,
cities and trade, helped by warmer temperatures across Northern
Europe. A new wave of monasteries and friaries were established, while
ecclesiastical reforms led to tensions between successive kings and
archbishops. Despite developments in England's governance and legal
system, infighting between the Anglo-Norman elite resulted in multiple
civil wars and the loss of Normandy.
The 14th century in
England saw the Great Famine and the Black Death,
catastrophic events that killed around half of England's population,
throwing the economy into chaos and undermining the old political
order. Social unrest followed, resulting in the
Peasants' Revolt of
1381, while the changes in the economy resulted in the emergence of a
new class of gentry, and the nobility began to exercise power through
a system termed bastard feudalism. Nearly 1,500 villages were deserted
by their inhabitants and many men and women sought new opportunities
in the towns and cities. New technologies were introduced, and England
produced some of the great medieval philosophers and natural
scientists. English kings in the 14th and 15th centuries laid claim to
the French throne, resulting in the Hundred Years' War. At times
England enjoyed huge military success, with the economy buoyed by
profits from the international wool and cloth trade, but by 1450 the
country was in crisis, facing military failure in France and an
ongoing recession. More social unrest broke out, followed by the Wars
of the Roses, fought between rival factions of the English nobility.
Henry VII's victory in 1485 conventionally marks the end of the Middle
England and the start of the Early Modern period.
1 Political history
Middle Ages (600–1066)
Middle Ages (1066–1272)
Middle Ages (1272–1485)
2 Government and society
2.1 Governance and social structures
Middle Ages (600–1066)
Middle Ages (1066–1272)
Middle Ages (1272–1485)
2.2 Women in society
3.1 Rise of Christianity
3.2 Religious institutions
3.3 Church, state and heresy
3.4 Pilgrimages and Crusades
4 Economy and technology
4.2 Economy and demographics
4.3 Technology and science
6.2 Literature, drama and music
7.2 Popular representations
10.3 Architecture, castles, churches, landscape
10.4 Specialized studies
Middle Ages (600–1066)
Main article: History of Anglo-
At the start of the Middle Ages,
England was a part of Britannia, a
former province of the Roman Empire. The local economy had once been
dominated by imperial Roman spending on a large military
establishment, which in turn helped to support a complex network of
towns, roads, and villas. At the end of the 4th century, however,
Roman forces had been largely withdrawn, and this economy
collapsed. Germanic immigrants began to arrive in increasing
numbers during the 5th century, establishing small farms and
settlements, and their language, Old English, swiftly spread as
people switched from
British Celtic and
British Latin to the language
of this new elite. New political and social identities emerged,
including an Anglian culture in the east of
England and a Saxon
culture in the south, with local groups establishing regiones, small
polities ruled over by powerful families and individuals. By the
7th century, some rulers, including those of Wessex, East Anglia,
Essex, and Kent, had begun to term themselves kings, living in villae
regales, royal centres, and collecting tribute from the surrounding
regiones; these kingdoms are often referred to as the Heptarchy.
Saxon helmet from the
Sutton Hoo burial, 7th century
In the 7th century, the kingdom of Mercia rose to prominence under the
leadership of King Penda. Mercia invaded neighbouring lands until
it loosely controlled around 50 regiones covering much of England.
Mercia and the remaining kingdoms, led by their warrior elites,
continued to compete for territory throughout the 8th century.
Massive earthworks, such as the defensive dyke built by Offa of
Mercia, helped to defend key frontiers and towns. In 789, however,
the first Scandinavian raids on
England began; these
grew in number and scale until in 865 the Danish micel here or Great
Army, invaded England, captured
York and defeated the kingdom of East
Anglia. Mercia and Northumbria fell in 875 and 876, and Alfred of
Wessex was driven into internal exile in 878.
However, in the same year Alfred won a decisive victory against the
Danes at the Battle of Edington, and he exploited the fear of the
Viking threat to raise large numbers of men and using a network of
defended towns called burhs to defend his territory and mobilise royal
resources. Suppressing internal opposition to his rule, Alfred
contained the invaders within a region known as the Danelaw. Under
his son, Edward the Elder, and his grandson, Æthelstan, Wessex
expanded further north into Mercia and the Danelaw, and by the 950s
and the reigns of
Eadred and Edgar,
York was finally permanently
retaken from the Vikings. The West
Saxon rulers were now kings of
the Angelcynn, that is of the whole English folk.
With the death of Edgar, however, the royal succession became
problematic. Æthelred took power in 978 following the murder of
his brother Edward, but
England was then invaded by Sweyn Forkbeard,
the son of a Danish king. Attempts to bribe Sweyn not to attack
using danegeld payments failed, and he took the throne in 1013.
Swein's son, Cnut, liquidated many of the older English families
following his seizure of power in 1016. Æthelred's son, Edward
the Confessor, had survived in exile in Normandy and returned to claim
the throne in 1042. Edward was childless, and the succession again
became a concern.
England became dominated by the Godwin family,
who had taken advantage of the Danish killings to acquire huge wealth.
When Edward died in 1066,
Harold Godwinson claimed the throne,
defeating his rival Norwegian claimant, Harald Hardrada, at the battle
of Stamford Bridge.
Middle Ages (1066–1272)
England in the High Middle Ages
England in the High Middle Ages and Anglo-Norman
Section of the
Bayeux Tapestry showing the final stages of the battle
In 1066, William, the Duke of Normandy, took advantage of the English
succession crisis to invade. With an army of Norman followers and
mercenaries, he defeated Harold at the battle of Hastings and rapidly
occupied the south of England. William used a network of castles
to control the major centres of power, granting extensive lands to his
main Norman followers and co-opting or eliminating the former
Saxon elite. Major revolts followed, which William
suppressed before intervening in the north-east of England,
establishing Norman control of
York and devastating the region.
Some Norman lords used
England as a launching point for attacks into
South and North Wales, spreading up the valleys to create new Marcher
territories. By the time of William's death in 1087, England
formed the largest part of an Anglo-Norman empire, ruled over by a
network of nobles with landholdings across England, Normandy, and
Wales. England's growing wealth was critical in allowing the
Norman kings to project power across the region, including funding
campaigns along the frontiers of Normandy.
Norman rule, however, proved unstable; successions to the throne were
contested, leading to violent conflicts between the claimants and
their noble supporters. William II inherited the throne but faced
revolts attempting to replace him with his older brother Robert or his
cousin Stephen of Aumale. In 1100, William II died while hunting.
Despite Robert's rival claims, his younger brother Henry I immediately
seized power. War broke out, ending in Robert's defeat at
Tinchebrai and his subsequent life imprisonment. Robert's son Clito
remained free, however, and formed the focus for fresh revolts until
his death in 1128. Henry's only legitimate son, William, died
White Ship disaster of 1120, sparking a fresh succession
crisis: Henry's nephew, Stephen of Blois, claimed the throne in 1135,
but this was disputed by the Empress Matilda, Henry's daughter.[nb
1] Civil war broke out across
England and Normandy, resulting in a
long period of warfare later termed the Anarchy. Matilda's son, Henry,
finally agreed to a peace settlement at Winchester and succeeded as
king in 1154.
Henry II was the first of the Angevin rulers of England, so-called
because he was also the Count of Anjou in Northern France. Henry
had also acquired the huge duchy of Aquitaine by marriage, and England
became a key part of a loose-knit assemblage of lands spread across
Western Europe, later termed the Angevin Empire. Henry reasserted
royal authority and rebuilt the royal finances, intervening to claim
power in Ireland and promoting the Anglo-Norman colonisation of the
country. Henry strengthened England's borders with Wales and
Scotland, and used the country's wealth to fund a long-running war
with his rivals in France, but arrangements for his succession once
again proved problematic. Several revolts broke out, led by
Henry's children who were eager to acquire power and lands, sometimes
backed by France, Scotland and the Welsh princes. After a final
confrontation with Henry, his son Richard I succeeded to the throne in
Richard spent his reign focused on protecting his possessions in
France and fighting in the Third Crusade; his brother, John, inherited
England in 1199 but lost Normandy and most of Aquitaine after several
years of war with France. John fought successive, increasingly
expensive, campaigns in a bid to regain these possessions. John's
efforts to raise revenues, combined with his fractious relationships
with many of the English barons, led to confrontation in 1215, an
attempt to restore peace through the signing of the Magna Carta, and
finally the outbreak of the First Barons' War. John died having
fought the rebel barons and their French backers to a stalemate, and
royal power was re-established by barons loyal to the young Henry
III. England's power structures remained unstable and the outbreak
Second Barons' War
Second Barons' War in 1264 resulted in the king's capture by
Simon de Montfort. Henry's son, Edward, defeated the rebel
factions between 1265 and 1267, restoring his father to power.
Middle Ages (1272–1485)
England in the Late Middle Ages
Richard II meets the rebels calling for economic and political
reform during the
Peasants' Revolt of 1381
On becoming king, Edward I rebuilt the status of the monarchy,
restoring and extending key castles that had fallen into
disrepair. Uprisings by the princes of
North Wales led to Edward
mobilising a huge army, defeating the native Welsh and undertaking a
programme of English colonisation and castle building across the
region. Further wars were conducted in
Flanders and Aquitaine.
Edward also fought campaigns in Scotland, but was unable to achieve
strategic victory, and the costs created tensions that nearly led to
civil war. Edward II inherited the war with Scotland and faced
growing opposition to his rule as a result of his royal favourites and
military failures. The
Despenser War of 1321–22 was followed by
instability and the subsequent overthrow, and possible murder, of
Edward in 1327 at the hands of his French wife, Isabella, and a rebel
baron, Roger Mortimer.[nb 2] Isabella and Mortimer's regime lasted
only a few years before falling to a coup, led by Isabella's son
Edward III, in 1330.
Like his grandfather, Edward III took steps to restore royal power,
but during the 1340s the
Black Death arrived in England. The
losses from the epidemic, and the recurring plagues that followed it,
significantly affected events in
England for many years to come.
Meanwhile, Edward, under pressure from France in Aquitaine, made a
challenge for the French throne. Over the next century, English
forces fought many campaigns in a long-running conflict that became
known as the Hundred Years' War. Despite the challenges involved
in raising the revenues to pay for the war, Edward's military
successes brought an influx of plundered wealth to many parts of
England and enabled substantial building work by the king. Many
members of the English elite, including Edward's son the Black Prince,
were heavily involved in campaigning in France and administering the
new continental territories.
Edward's grandson, the young Richard II, faced political and economic
problems, many resulting from the Black Death, including the Peasants'
Revolt that broke out across the south of
England in 1381. Over
the coming decades, Richard and groups of nobles vied for power and
control of policy towards France until Henry of Bolingbroke seized the
throne with the support of parliament in 1399. Ruling as Henry IV,
he exercised power through a royal council and parliament, while
attempting to enforce political and religious conformity. His son,
Henry V, reinvigorated the war with France and came close to achieving
strategic success shortly before his death in 1422. Henry VI
became king at the age of only nine months and both the English
political system and the military situation in France began to
A sequence of bloody civil wars, later termed the Wars of the Roses,
finally broke out in 1455, spurred on by an economic crisis and a
widespread perception of poor government. Edward IV, leading a
faction known as the Yorkists, removed Henry from power in 1461 but by
1469 fighting recommenced as Edward, Henry, and Edward's brother
George, backed by leading nobles and powerful French supporters, vied
for power. By 1471 Edward was triumphant and most of his rivals
were dead. On his death, power passed to his brother Richard of
Gloucester, who initially ruled on behalf of the young Edward V before
seizing the throne himself as Richard III. The future Henry VII,
aided by French and Scottish troops, returned to
England and defeated
Richard at the battle of Bosworth in 1485, bringing an end to the
majority of the fighting, although lesser rebellions against his Tudor
dynasty would continue for several years afterwards.
Government and society
Governance and social structures
Middle Ages (600–1066)
Main article: Social history of the Early Middle Ages
Saxon mancus, showing the face of Æthelred the Unready
Saxon kingdoms were hierarchical societies, each based on
ties of allegiance between powerful lords and their immediate
followers. At the top of the social structure was the king, who
stood above many of the normal processes of Anglo-
Saxon life and whose
household had special privileges and protection. Beneath the king
were thegns, nobles, the more powerful of which maintained their own
courts and were termed ealdormen. The relationship between kings
and their nobles was bound up with military symbolism and the ritual
exchange of weapons and armour. Freemen, called churls, formed the
next level of society, often holding land in their own right or
controlling businesses in the towns. Geburs, peasants who worked
land belonging to a thegn, formed a lower class still. The very
lowest class were slaves, who could be bought and sold and who held
only minimal rights.
The balance of power between these different groups changed over time.
Early in the period, kings were elected by members of the late king's
council, but primogeniture rapidly became the norm for succession.
The kings further bolstered their status by adopting Christian
ceremonies and nomenclature, introducing ecclesiastical coronations
during the 8th century and terming themselves "Christ's deputy" by the
11th century. Huge estates were initially built up by the king,
bishops, monasteries and thegns, but in the 9th and 10th centuries
these were slowly broken up as a consequence of inheritance
arrangements, marriage settlements and church purchases. In the
11th century, the royal position worsened further, as the ealdormen
rapidly built up huge new estates, making them collectively much more
powerful than the king—this contributed to the political instability
of the final Anglo-
Saxon years. As time went by, the position of
the churls deteriorated, as their rights were slowly eroded and their
duties to their lords increased.
The kingdom of Wessex, which eventually laid claim to
England as a
whole, evolved a centralised royal administration. One part of this
was the king's council, the witenagemot, comprising the senior clergy,
ealdormen, and some of the more important thegns; the council met to
advise the king on policy and legal issues. The royal household
included officials, thegns and a secretariat of clergy which travelled
with the king, conducting the affairs of government as it went.
Under the Danish kings, a bodyguard of housecarls also accompanied the
court. At a regional level, ealdormen played an important part in
government, defence and taxation, and the post of sheriff emerged in
the 10th century, administering local shires on behalf of an
Saxon mints were tightly controlled by the kings,
providing a high-quality currency, and the whole country was taxed
using a system called hidage.
Saxon kings built up a set of written laws, issued either as
statutes or codes, but these laws were never written down in their
entirety and were always supplemented by an extensive oral tradition
of customary law. In the early part of the period local assemblies
called moots were gathered to apply the laws to particular cases; in
the 10th century these were replaced by hundred courts, serving local
areas, and shire moots dealing with larger regions of the kingdom.
Many churchmen and thegns were also given permission by the king to
hold their own local courts. The legal system depended on a system
of oaths, in which the value of different individuals swearing on
behalf of the plaintiff or defendant varied according to their social
status - the word of a companion of the king, for example, was worth
twelve times that of a churl. If fines were imposed, their size
similarly varied accord to the oath-value of the individual. The
Saxon authorities struggled to deal with the bloodfeuds between
families that emerged following violent killings, attempting to use a
system of weregild, a payment of blood money, as a way of providing an
alternative to long-running vendettas.
Middle Ages (1066–1272)
England in the High Middle Ages
Further information: Social history of the High Middle Ages
Anglo-Norman 12th-century gaming piece, illustrating soldiers
presenting a sheep to a figure seated on a throne
Within twenty years of the Norman conquest, the former Anglo-Saxon
elite were replaced by a new class of Norman nobility, with around
Normans and French settling in England. The new earls
(successors to the ealdermen), sheriffs and church seniors were all
drawn from their ranks. In many areas of society there was
continuity, as the
Normans adopted many of the Anglo-Saxon
governmental institutions, including the tax system, mints and the
centralisation of law-making and some judicial matters; initially
sheriffs and the hundred courts continued to function as before.
The existing tax liabilities were captured in Domesday Book, produced
Changes in other areas soon began to be felt. The method of government
after the conquest can be described as a feudal system, in that the
new nobles held their lands on behalf of the king; in return for
promising to provide military support and taking an oath of
allegiance, called homage, they were granted lands termed a fief or an
honour.[nb 3] Major nobles in turn granted lands to smaller
landowners in return for homage and further military support, and
eventually the peasantry held land in return for local labour
services, creating a web of loyalties and resources enforced in part
by new honorial courts. This system had been used in Normandy and
concentrated more power in the king and the upper elite than the
Saxon system of government. The practice of slavery
declined in the years after the conquest, as the
the practice backward and contrary to the teachings of the church.
The more prosperous peasants, however, lost influence and power as the
Normans made holding land more dependent on providing labour services
to the local lord. They sank down the economic hierarchy, swelling
the numbers of unfree villeins or serfs, forbidden to leave their
manor or seek alternative employment.
At the centre of power, the kings employed a succession of clergy as
chancellors, responsible for running the royal chancery, while the
familia regis, the military household, emerged to act as a bodyguard
and military staff. England's bishops continued to form an
important part in local administration, alongside the nobility.
Henry I and Henry II both implemented significant legal reforms,
extending and widening the scope of centralised, royal law; by the
1180s, the basis for the future English common law had largely been
established, with a standing law court in Westminster—an early
Common Bench—and travelling judges conducting eyres around the
country. King John extended the royal role in delivering justice, and
the extent of appropriate royal intervention was one of the issues
addressed in the
Magna Carta of 1215. The emerging legal system
reinvigorated the institution of serfdom in the 13th century by
drawing an increasingly sharp distinction between freemen and
Many tensions existed within the system of government. Royal
landownings and wealth stretched across England, and placed the king
in a privileged position above even the most powerful of the noble
elite. Successive kings, though, still needed more resources to
pay for military campaigns, conduct building programmes or to reward
their followers, and this meant exercising their feudal rights to
interfere in the land-holdings of nobles. This was contentious
and a frequent issue of complaint, as there was a growing belief that
land should be held by hereditary right, not through the favour of the
king. Property and wealth became increasingly focused in the
hands of a subset of the nobility, the great magnates, at the expense
of the wider baronage, encouraging the breakdown of some aspects of
local feudalism. As time went by, the Norman nobility
intermarried with many of the great Anglo-
Saxon families, and the
links with the Duchy began to weaken. By the late 12th century,
mobilising the English barons to fight on the continent was proving
difficult, and John's attempts to do so ended in civil war. Civil
strife re-emerged under Henry III, with the rebel barons in 1258–59
demanding widespread reforms, and an early version of Parliament was
summoned in 1265 to represent the rebel interests.
Middle Ages (1272–1485)
Main article: Social history of the Late Middle Ages
Early 15th-century depiction of Edward III, shown wearing the
chivalric symbols of the Order of the Garter
On becoming king in 1272, Edward I reestablished royal power,
overhauling the royal finances and appealing to the broader English
elite by using Parliament to authorise the raising of new taxes and to
hear petitions concerning abuses of local governance. This
political balance collapsed under Edward II and savage civil wars
broke out during the 1320s. Edward III restored order once more
with the help of a majority of the nobility, exercising power through
the exchequer, the common bench and the royal household. This
government was better organised and on a larger scale than ever
before, and by the 14th century the king's formerly peripatetic
chancery had to take up permanent residence in Westminster.
Edward used Parliament even more than his predecessors to handle
general administration, to legislate and to raise the necessary taxes
to pay for the wars in France. The royal lands—and incomes from
them—had diminished over the years, and increasingly frequent
taxation was required to support royal initiatives. Edward held
elaborate chivalric events in an effort to unite his supporters around
the symbols of knighthood. The ideal of chivalry continued to
develop throughout the 14th century, reflected in the growth of
knightly orders (including the Order of the Garter), grand tournaments
and round table events.
Society and government in
England in the early 14th century were
challenged by the Great Famine and the Black Death. The economic
and demographic crisis created a sudden surplus of land, undermining
the ability of landowners to exert their feudal rights and causing a
collapse in incomes from rented lands. Wages soared, as employers
competed for a scarce workforce. Legislation was introduced to limit
wages and to prevent the consumption of luxury goods by the lower
classes, with prosecutions coming to take up most of the legal
system's energy and time. A poll tax was introduced in 1377 that
spread the costs of the war in France more widely across the whole
population. The tensions spilled over into violence in the summer
of 1381 in the form of the Peasants' Revolt; a violent retribution
followed, with as many as 7,000 alleged rebels executed. A new
class of gentry emerged as a result of these changes, renting land
from the major nobility to farm out at a profit. The legal system
continued to expand during the 14th century, dealing with an
ever-wider set of complex problems.
By the time that Richard II was deposed in 1399, the power of the
major noble magnates had grown considerably; powerful rulers such as
Henry IV would contain them, but during the minority of Henry VI they
controlled the country. The magnates depended upon their income
from rent and trade to allow them to maintain groups of paid, armed
retainers, often sporting controversial livery, and buy support
amongst the wider gentry; this system has been dubbed bastard
feudalism.[nb 4] Their influence was exerted both through the
House of Lords
House of Lords at Parliament and through the king's council. The
gentry and wealthier townsmen exercised increasing influence through
the House of Commons, opposing raising taxes to pay for the French
wars. By the 1430s and 1440s the English government was in major
financial difficulties, leading to the crisis of 1450 and a popular
revolt under the leadership of Jack Cade. Law and order
deteriorated, and the crown was unable to intervene in the factional
fighting between different nobles and their followers. The
Wars of the Roses
Wars of the Roses saw a savage escalation of violence
between the noble leaderships of both sides: captured enemies were
executed and family lands attainted. By the time that Henry VII took
the throne in 1485, England's governmental and social structures had
been substantially weakened, with whole noble lines extinguished.
Women in society
Main articles: Women in the
Middle Ages and Anglo-
A depiction of an English woman c. 1170 using a spindle and distaff,
while caring for a young child
England was a patriarchal society and the lives of women were
heavily influenced by contemporary beliefs about gender and
authority. However, the position of women varied considerably
according to various factors, including their social class; whether
they were unmarried, married, widowed or remarried; and in which part
of the country they lived. Significant gender inequities
persisted throughout the period, as women typically had more limited
life-choices, access to employment and trade, and legal rights than
Saxon society, noblewomen enjoyed considerable rights and
status, although the society was still firmly patriarchal. Some
exercised power as abbesses, exerting widespread influence across the
early English Church, although their wealth and authority diminished
with the monastic reforms of the 9th century. Anglo-
began to hold lands in their own right in the 10th century and their
households contributed to the running of the kingdom. Although
women could not lead military forces, in the absence of their husbands
some noblewomen led the defence of manors and towns. Most
Saxon women, however, worked on the land as part of the
agricultural community, or as brewers or bakers.
After the Norman invasion, the position of women in society changed.
The rights and roles of women became more sharply defined, in part as
a result of the development of the feudal system and the expansion of
the English legal system; some women benefited from this, while others
lost out. The rights of widows were formally laid down in law by
the end of the 12th century, clarifying the right of free women to own
property, but this did not necessarily prevent women from being
forcibly remarried against their wishes. The growth of
governmental institutions under a succession of bishops reduced the
role of queens and their households in formal government. Married or
widowed noblewomen remained significant cultural and religious patrons
and played an important part in political and military events, even if
chroniclers were uncertain if this was appropriate behaviour. As
in earlier centuries, most women worked in agriculture, but here roles
became more clearly gendered, with ploughing and managing the fields
defined as men's work, for example, and dairy production becoming
dominated by women.
The years after the
Black Death left many women widows; in the wider
economy labour was in short supply and land was suddenly readily
available. In rural areas peasant women could enjoy a better
standard of living than ever before, but the amount of work being done
by women may have increased. Many other women travelled to the
towns and cities, to the point where they outnumbered men in some
settlements. There they worked with their husbands, or in a
limited number of occupations, including spinning, making clothes,
victualling and as servants. Some women became full-time ale
brewers, until they were pushed out of business by the male-dominated
beer industry in the 15th century. Higher status jobs and
apprenticeships, however, remained closed to women. As in earlier
times, noblewomen exercised power on their estates in their husbands'
absence and again, if necessary, defended them in sieges and
skirmishes. Wealthy widows who could successfully claim their
rightful share of their late husband's property could live as powerful
members of the community in their own right.
Main article: English national identity
The English Gothic vaulted ceiling of St George's Chapel, Windsor
An English cultural identity first emerged from the interaction of the
Germanic immigrants of the 5th and 6th centuries and the indigenous
Romano-British inhabitants. Although early medieval chroniclers
described the immigrants as
Angles and Saxons, they came from a much
wider area across Northern Europe, and represented a range of
different ethnic groups. Over the 6th century, however, these
different groups began to coalesce into stratified societies across
England, roughly corresponding to the later Angle and
Bede in the 8th century. By the 9th century, the term
the Angelcynn was being officially used to refer to a single English
people, and promoted for propaganda purposes by chroniclers and kings
to inspire resistance to the Danish invasions.
Normans and French who arrived after the conquest saw themselves
as different from the English. They had close family and economic
links to the Duchy of Normandy, spoke
Norman French and had their own
distinctive culture. For many years, to be English was to be
associated with military failure and serfdom. During the 12th
century, the divisions between the English and
Normans began to
dissolve as a result of intermarriage and cohabitation. By the
end of the 12th century, and possibly as early as the 1150,
contemporary commentators believed the two peoples to be blending, and
the loss of the Duchy in 1204 reinforced this trend. The
resulting society still prized wider French cultural values, however,
and French remained the language of the court, business and
international affairs, even if Parisians mocked the English for their
poor pronunciation. By the 14th century, however, French was
increasingly having to be formally taught, rather than being learnt
naturally in the home, although the aristocracy would typically spend
many years of their lives in France and remained entirely comfortable
working in French.
During the 12th and 13th centuries, the English began to consider
themselves superior to the Welsh, Scots and Bretons. The English
perceived themselves as civilised, economically prosperous and
properly Christian, while the
Celtic fringe was considered lazy,
barbarous and backward. Following the invasion of Ireland in the
late 12th century, similar feelings were expressed about the Irish,
with the distinctions clarified and reinforced in 14th-century English
legislation. The English also felt strongly about the foreign
traders who lived in the special enclaves in London in the Late Middle
Ages; the position of the Jews is described below, but Italian and
Baltic traders were also regarded as aliens and were frequently the
targets of violence during economic downturns. Even within
England, different identities abounded, each with their own sense of
status and importance. Regional identities could be important - men
and women from Yorkshire, for example, had a clear identity within
English society, and professional groups with a distinct identity,
such as lawyers, engaged in open fighting with others in cities such
Main article: History of the Jews in
Clifford's Tower in the city of York, the site of an anti-Jewish
pogrom in 1190
The Jewish community played an important role in
much of the period. The first Jews arrived in
England in the aftermath
of the Norman invasion, when
William the Conqueror
William the Conqueror brought over
wealthy members of the
Rouen community in Normandy to settle in
London. The Jewish community expanded out across
provided essential money-lending and banking services that were
otherwise banned by the usury laws. During the 12th century, the
Jewish financial community grew richer still, operating under royal
protection and providing the king with a source of ready credit.
All major towns had Jewish centres, and even the smaller towns saw
visits by travelling Jewish merchants. Towards the end of Henry
II's reign, however, the king ceased to borrow from the Jewish
community and instead turned to extracting money from them through
arbitrary taxation and fines. The Jews became vilified and
accusations were made that they conducted ritual child murder,
encouraging the pogroms carried out against Jewish communities in the
reign of Richard I. After an initially peaceful start to John's
reign, the king again began to extort money from the Jewish community
and, with the breakdown in order in 1215, the Jews were subject to
fresh attacks. Henry III restored some protection and Jewish
money-lending began to recover. Despite this, the Jewish
community became increasingly impoverished and was finally expelled
England in 1290 by Edward I, being replaced by foreign
Main article: Religion in Medieval England
Rise of Christianity
Gregorian mission and Hiberno-Scottish mission
Saxon reliquary cross, with English-carved walrus ivory Christ
and German gold and cedar cross, c. 1000
Christianity had been the official imperial religion of the Roman
Empire, and the first churches were built in
England in the second
half of the 4th century, overseen by a hierarchy of bishops and
priests. Many existing pagan shrines were converted to Christian
use and few pagan sites still operated by the 5th century. The
collapse of the Roman system in the late 5th century, however, brought
about the end of formal Christian religion in the east of England, and
the new Germanic immigrants arrived with their own polytheistic gods,
Thunor and Tiw, still reflected in various English
place names. Despite the resurgence of paganism in England,
Christian communities still survived in more western areas such as
Gloucestershire and Somerset.
The movement towards
Christianity began again in the late 6th and 7th
centuries, helped by the conversion of the
Franks in Northern France,
who carried considerable influence in England. Pope Gregory I
sent a team of missionaries to convert King
Æthelberht of Kent
Æthelberht of Kent and
his household, starting the process of converting Kent. Augustine
became the first
Archbishop of Canterbury and started to build new
churches across the South-East, reusing existing pagan shrines.
Oswald and Oswiu, kings of Northumbria, were converted in the 630s and
640s, and the wave of change carried on through the middle of the 7th
century across the kingdoms of Mercia, the South Saxons and the Isle
of Wight. The process was largely complete by the end of the 7th
century, but left a confusing and disparate array of local practices
and religious ceremonies. This new
Christianity reflected the
existing military culture of the Anglo-Saxons: as kings began to
convert in the 6th and 7th centuries, conversion began to be used as a
justification for war against the remaining pagan kingdoms, for
example, while Christian saints were imbued with martial
Viking invasions of the 8th and 9th centuries reintroduced
paganism to North-East England, leading in turn to another wave of
conversion. Indigenous Scandinavian beliefs were very similar to other
Germanic groups, with a pantheon of gods including Odin,
Ullr, combined with a belief in a final, apocalyptic battle called
Ragnarok. The Norse settlers in
England were converted relatively
quickly, assimilating their beliefs into
Christianity in the decades
following the occupation of York, which the
Archbishop had survived.
The process was largely complete by the early 10th century and enabled
England's leading Churchmen to negotiate with the warlords. As
the Norse in mainland
Scandinavia started to convert, many mainland
rulers recruited missionaries from
England to assist in the
Fountains Abbey, one of the new Cistercian monasteries built in the
With the conversion of much of
England in the 6th and 7th centuries,
there was an explosion of local church building. English
monasteries formed the main basis for the church, however, and were
often sponsored by local rulers, taking various forms, including mixed
communities headed by abbesses, bishop-led communities of monks, and
others formed around married priests and their families.
Cathedrals were constructed, staffed either with secular canons in the
European tradition or, uniquely to England, chapters of monks.
These institutions were badly affected in the 9th century by Viking
raids and predatory annexations by the nobility. By the start of
the 10th century, monastic lands, financial resources and the quality
of monasteries' religious work had been much diminished. Reforms
followed under the kings of
Wessex who promoted the Benedictine rule
then popular on the Continent. A reformed network of around 40
monastic institutions across the south and east of England, under the
protection of the king, helped re-establish royal control over the
The 1066 Norman conquest brought a new set of Norman and French
churchmen to power; some adopted and embraced aspects of the former
Saxon religious system, while others introduced practices from
Normandy. Extensive English lands were granted to monasteries in
Normandy, allowing them to create daughter priories and monastic cells
across the kingdom. The monasteries were brought firmly into the
web of feudal relations, with their holding of land linked to the
provision of military support to the crown. The
Saxon model of monastic cathedral communities, and within
seventy years the majority of English cathedrals were controlled by
monks; every English cathedral, however, was rebuilt to some extent by
the new rulers. England's bishops remained powerful temporal
figures, and in the early 12th-century raised armies against Scottish
invaders and built up extensive holdings of castles across the
New orders began to be introduced into England. As ties to Normandy
waned, the French
Cluniac order became fashionable and their houses
were introduced in England. The
Augustinians spread quickly from
the beginning of the 12th century onwards, while later in the century
Cistercians reached England, creating houses with a more austere
interpretation of the monastic rules and building the great abbeys of
Rievaulx and Fountains. By 1215, there were over 600 monastic
communities in England, but new endowments slowed during the 13th
century, creating long-term financial problems for many
institutions. The Dominican and
Franciscan friars arrived in
England during the 1220s, establishing 150 friaries by the end of the
13th century; these mendicant orders rapidly became popular,
particularly in towns, and heavily influenced local preaching.
The religious military orders that became popular across Europe from
the 12th century onwards acquired possessions in England, including
the Templars, Teutons and Hospitallers.
Church, state and heresy
Main article: Church and state in medieval Europe
Mid-13th-century depiction of the death of
Archbishop Thomas Becket
The Church had a close relationship with the English state throughout
the Middle Ages. The bishops and major monastic leaders played an
important part in national government, having key roles on the king's
council. Bishops often oversaw towns and cities, managing local
taxation and government. This frequently became untenable with the
Viking incursions of the 9th century, and in locations such as
Worcester the local bishops came to new accommodations with the local
ealdormen, exchanging some authority and revenue for assistance in
defence. The early English church was racked with disagreement on
doctrine, which was addressed by the
Synod of Whitby
Synod of Whitby in 664; some
issues were resolved, but arguments between the archbishops of
York as to which had primacy across Britain began
shortly afterwards and continued throughout most of the medieval
William the Conqueror
William the Conqueror acquired the support of the Church for the
England by promising ecclesiastical reform. William
promoted celibacy amongst the clergy and gave ecclesiastical courts
more power, but also reduced the Church's direct links to
made it more accountable to the king. Tensions arose between
these practices and the reforming movement of Pope Gregory VII, which
advocated greater autonomy from royal authority for the clergy,
condemned the practice of simony and promoted greater influence for
the papacy in church matters. Despite the bishops continuing to
play a major part in royal government, tensions emerged between the
England and key leaders within the English Church. Kings and
archbishops clashed over rights of appointment and religious policy,
and successive archbishops including Anselm, Theobald of Bec, Thomas
Stephen Langton were variously forced into exile, arrested
by royal knights or even killed. By the early 13th century,
however, the church had largely won its argument for independence,
answering almost entirely to Rome.
In the 1380s, several challenges emerged to the traditional teachings
of the Church, resulting from the teachings of John Wycliffe, a member
of Oxford University. Wycliffe argued that scripture was the best
guide to understanding God's intentions, and that the superficial
nature of the liturgy, combined with the abuses of wealth within the
Church and the role of senior churchmen in government, distracted from
that study. A loose movement that included many members of the
gentry pursued these ideas after Wycliffe's death in 1384 and
attempted to pass a Parliamentary bill in 1395: the movement was
rapidly condemned by the authorities and was termed "Lollardy".
The English bishops were charged to control and counter this trend,
disrupting Lollard preachers and to enforcing the teaching of suitable
sermons in local churches. By the early 15th century, combating
Lollard teachings had become a key political issue, championed by
Henry IV and his Lancastrian followers, who used the powers of both
the church and state to combat the heresy.
Pilgrimages and Crusades
A pilgrim's flask, carried as a protective talisman, containing holy
water from the shrine of
Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral
Pilgrimages were a popular religious practice throughout the Middle
Ages in England, with the tradition dating back to the Roman
period. Typically pilgrims would travel short distances to a
shrine or a particular church, either to do penance for a perceived
sin, or to seek relief from an illness or other condition. Some
pilgrims travelled further, either to more distant sites within
Britain or, in a few cases, onto the continent.
During the Anglo-
Saxon period, many shrines were built on former pagan
sites which became popular pilgrimage destinations, while other
pilgrims visited prominent monasteries and sites of learning.
Senior nobles or kings would travel to Rome, which was a popular
destination from the 7th century onwards; sometimes these trips were a
form of convenient political exile. Under the Normans, religious
institutions with important shrines, such as Glastonbury, Canterbury
and Winchester, promoted themselves as pilgrimage destinations,
maximising the value of the historic miracles associated with the
sites. Accumulating relics became an important task for ambitious
institutions, as these were believed to hold curative powers and lent
status to the site. Indeed, by the 12th century reports of
posthumous miracles by local saints were becoming increasing common in
England, adding to the attractiveness of pilgrimages to prominent
Participation in the
Crusades was also seen as a form of pilgrimage,
and indeed the same Latin word, peregrinatio, was sometimes applied to
both activities. While English participation in the First Crusade
between 1095 and 1099 was limited,
England played a prominent part in
the Second, Third and Fifth
Crusades over the next two centuries, with
many crusaders leaving for the Levant during the intervening
years. The idea of undertaking a pilgrimage to
Jerusalem was not
new in England, however, as the idea of religiously justified warfare
went back to Anglo-
Saxon times. Many of those who took up the
Cross to go on a Crusade never actually left, often because the
individual lacked sufficient funds to undertake the journey.
Raising funds to travel typically involved crusaders selling or
mortgaging their lands and possessions, which affected their families
and, at times, considerably affected the economy as a whole.
Economy and technology
Main article: Geography of England
15th-century depiction of an English hunting park
England had a diverse geography in the medieval period, from the
East Anglia or the heavily wooded Weald, through to the
upland moors of Yorkshire. Despite this, medieval
formed two zones, roughly divided by the rivers Exe and Tees: the
south and east of
England had lighter, richer soils, able to support
both arable and pastoral agriculture, while the poorer soils and
colder climate of the north and west produced a predominantly pastoral
economy. Slightly more land was covered by trees than in the 20th
century, and bears, beavers and wolves lived wild in England, bears
being hunted to extinction by the 11th century and beavers by the
12th. Of the 10,000 miles of roads that had been built by the
Romans, many remained in use and four were of particular strategic
importance—the Icknield Way, the Fosse Way,
Ermine Street and
Watling Street—which criss-crossed the entire country. The road
system was adequate for the needs of the period, although it was
significantly cheaper to transport goods by water. The major
river networks formed key transport routes, while many English towns
formed navigable inland ports.
For much of the Middle Ages, England's climate differed from that in
the 21st century. Between the 9th and 13th centuries
through the Medieval Warm Period, a prolonged period of warmer
temperatures; in the early 13th century, for example, summers were
around 1 °C warmer than today and the climate was slightly
drier. These warmer temperatures allowed poorer land to be
brought into cultivation and for grapevines to be cultivated
relatively far north. The Warm Period was followed by several
centuries of much cooler temperatures, termed the Little Ice Age; by
the 14th century spring temperatures had dropped considerably,
reaching their coldest in the 1340s and 1350s. This cold end to
Middle Ages significantly affected English agriculture and living
Even at the start of the
Middle Ages the English landscape had been
shaped by human occupation over many centuries. Much woodland was
new, the result of fields being reclaimed by brush after the collapse
of the Roman Empire. Human intervention had established wood
pastures, an ancient system for managing woods and animals, and
coppicing, a more intensive approach to managing woodlands. Other
agricultural lands included arable fields and pastorage, while in some
parts of the country, such as the South-West, waste moorland remained
testament to earlier over-farming in the Bronze Age. England's
environment continued to be shaped throughout the period, through the
building of dykes to drain marshes, tree clearance and the large-scale
extraction of peat. Managed parks for hunting game, including
deer and boars, were built as status symbols by the nobility from the
12th century onwards, but earlier versions of parks, such as hays, may
have originated as early as the 7th century.
Economy and demographics
Economy of England in the Middle Ages
Economy of England in the Middle Ages and Demography of
The central hall of a restored 13th-century house, originally built
with the profits from European trade
The English economy was fundamentally agricultural, depending on
growing crops such as wheat, barley and oats on an open field system,
and husbanding sheep, cattle and pigs. In the late Anglo-Saxon
period many peasants moved away from living in isolated hamlets and
instead came together to form larger villages engaged in arable
cultivation. Agricultural land became typically organised around
manors, and was divided between some fields that the landowner would
manage directly, called demesne land, and the majority of the fields
that would be cultivated by local peasants. These peasants would
pay rent to the landowner either through agricultural labour on the
lord's demesne fields or through rent in the form of cash and
produce. By the 11th century, a market economy was flourishing
across much of England, while the eastern and southern towns were
heavily involved in international trade. Around 6,000 watermills
were built to grind flour, freeing up labour for other more productive
Although the Norman invasion caused some damage as soldiers looted the
countryside and land was confiscated for castle building, the English
economy was not greatly affected. Taxes were increased, however,
Normans established extensive forests that were exploited for
their natural resources and protected by royal laws. The next two
centuries saw huge growth in the English economy, driven in part by
the increase in the population from around 1.5 million in 1086 to
between 4 and 5 million in 1300. More land, much of it
at the expense of the royal forests, was brought into production to
feed the growing population and to produce wool for export to
Europe. Many hundreds of new towns, some of them planned
communities, were built across England, supporting the creation of
guilds, charter fairs and other medieval institutions which governed
the growing trade. Jewish financiers played a significant role in
funding the growing economy, along with the new Cistercian and
Augustinian religious orders that emerged as major players in the wool
trade of the north. Mining increased in England, with a silver
boom in the 12th century helping to fuel the expansion of the money
Economic growth began to falter at the end of the 13th century, owing
to a combination of overpopulation, land shortages and depleted
soils. The Great Famine shook the English economy severely and
population growth ceased; the first outbreak of the
Black Death in
1348 then killed around half the English population. The
agricultural sector shrank rapidly, with higher wages, lower prices
and diminishing profits leading to the final demise of the old demesne
system and the advent of the modern farming system centring on the
charging of cash rents for lands. As returns on land fell, many
estates, and in some cases entire settlements, were simply abandoned,
and nearly 1,500 villages were deserted during this period. A new
class of gentry emerged who rented farms from the major nobility.
Unsuccessful government attempts were made to regulate wages and
consumption, but these largely collapsed in the decades following the
Peasants' Revolt of 1381.
The English cloth industry grew considerably at the start of the 15th
century, and a new class of international English merchant emerged,
typically based in London or the South-West, prospering at the expense
of the older, shrinking economies of the eastern towns. These new
trading systems brought about the end of many of the international
fairs and the rise of the chartered company. Fishing in the North
Sea expanded into deeper waters, backed by commercial investment from
major merchants. Between 1440 and 1480, however, Europe entered a
England suffered the Great Slump: trade collapsed,
driving down agricultural prices, rents and ultimately the acceptable
levels of royal taxation. The resulting tensions and discontent
played an important part in Jack Cade's popular uprising in 1450 and
the subsequent Wars of the Roses. By the end of
Middle Ages the
economy had begun to recover and considerable improvements were being
made in metalworking and shipbuilding that would shape the Early
Technology and science
Main articles: Science in the
Middle Ages and Medieval technology
A medieval carving from
Rievaulx Abbey showing one of the many new
windmills established during the 13th century
Technology and science in
England advanced considerably during the
Middle Ages, driven in part by the Greek and Islamic thinking that
England from the 12th century onwards. Many advances were
made in scientific ideas, including the introduction of Arabic
numerals and a sequence of improvements in the units used for
measuring time. Clocks were first built in
England in the late
13th century, and the first mechanical clocks were certainly being
installed in cathedrals and abbeys by the 1320s. Astrology, magic
and palm reading were also considered important forms of knowledge in
medieval England, although some doubted their reliability.
The period produced some influential English scholars. Roger Bacon, a
Franciscan friar, produced works on natural
philosophy, astronomy and alchemy; his work set out the theoretical
basis for future experimentation in the natural sciences. William
of Ockham helped to fuse Latin, Greek and Islamic writing into a
general theory of logic; "Ockham's Razor" was one of his oft-cited
conclusions. English scholars since the time of
Bede had believed
the world was probably round, but
Johannes de Sacrobosco
Johannes de Sacrobosco estimated the
circumference of the earth in the 13th century. Despite the
limitations of medieval medicine,
Gilbertus Anglicus published the
Compendium Medicinae, one of the longest medical works ever written in
Latin. Prominent historical and science texts began to be
translated into English for the first time in the second half of the
14th century, including the Polychronicon and The Travels of Sir John
Mandeville. The universities of Oxford and Cambridge were
established during the 11th and 12th centuries, drawing on the model
of the University of Paris.
Technological advances proceeded in a range of areas. Watermills to
grind grain had existed during most of the Anglo-
Saxon period, using
horizontal mill designs; from the 12th century on many more were
built, eliminating the use of hand mills, with the older horizontal
mills gradually supplanted by a new vertical mill design.
Windmills began to be built in the late 12th century and slowly became
more common. Water-powered fulling mills and powered hammers
first appeared in the 12th century; water power was harnessed to
assist in smelting by the 14th century, with the first blast furnace
opening in 1496. New mining methods were developed and
horse-powered pumps were installed in English mines by the end of the
Middle Ages. The introduction of hopped beer transformed the
brewing industry in the 14th century, and new techniques were invented
to better preserve fish. Glazed pottery became widespread in the
12th and 13th centuries, with stoneware pots largely replacing wooden
plates and bowls by the 15th century.
William Caxton and Wynkyn
de Worde began using the printing press during the late 15th
century. Transport links were also improved; many road bridges
were either erected or rebuilt in stone during the long economic boom
of the 12th and 13th centuries. England's maritime trade benefited
from the introduction of cog ships, and many docks were improved and
fitted with cranes for the first time.
Main article: Medieval warfare
The 15th-century Coventry Sallet
Warfare was endemic in early Anglo-
Saxon England, and major conflicts
still occurred approximately every generation in the later
period. Groups of well-armed noblemen and their households formed
the heart of these armies, supported by larger numbers of temporary
troops levied from across the kingdom, called the fyrd. By the
9th century, armies of 20,000 men could be called up for campaigns,
with another 28,000 men available to guard urban defences. The
most common weapon was the spear, with swords used by the wealthier
nobles; cavalry was probably less common than in wider Europe, but
Anglo-Saxons did fight from horseback. The
Viking attacks on
England in the 9th century led to developments in tactics, including
the use of shield walls in battle, and the Scandinavian seizure of
power in the 11th century introduced housecarls, a form of elite
household soldier who protected the king.
Anglo-Norman warfare was characterised by attritional military
campaigns, in which commanders tried to raid enemy lands and seize
castles in order to allow them to take control of their adversaries'
territory, ultimately winning slow but strategic victories.
Pitched battles were occasionally fought between armies but these were
considered risky engagements and usually avoided by prudent
commanders. The armies of the period comprised bodies of mounted,
armoured knights, supported by infantry. Crossbowmen become more
numerous in the 12th century, alongside the older shortbow. At
the heart of these armies was the familia regis, the permanent
military household of the king, which was supported in war by feudal
levies, drawn up by local nobles for a limited period of service
during a campaign. Mercenaries were increasingly employed,
driving up the cost of warfare considerably, and adequate supplies of
ready cash became essential for the success of campaigns.
In the late 13th century Edward I expanded the familia regis to become
a small standing army, forming the core of much larger armies up to
28,700 strong, largely comprising foot soldiers, for campaigns in
Scotland and France. By the time of Edward III, armies were
smaller in size, but the troops were typically better equipped and
uniformed, and the archers carried the longbow, a potentially
devastating weapon. Cannons were first used by English forces at
battles such as Crécy in 1346. Soldiers began to be contracted
for specific campaigns, a practice which may have hastened the
development of the armies of retainers that grew up under bastard
feudalism. By the late 15th century, however, English armies were
somewhat backward by wider European standards; the Wars of the Roses
were fought by inexperienced soldiers, often with outdated weapons,
allowing the European forces which intervened in the conflict to have
a decisive effect on the outcomes of battles.
Main article: Medieval naval warfare
A reconstruction of a medieval cog
The first references to an
English navy occur in 851, when chroniclers
Wessex ships defeating a
Viking fleet. These early
fleets were limited in size but grew in size in the 10th century,
allowing the power of
Wessex to be projected across the
Irish Sea and
the English Channel; Cnut's fleet had as many as 40 vessels, while
Edward the Confessor
Edward the Confessor could muster 80 ships. Some ships were
manned by sailors called lithesmen and bustsecarls, probably drawn
from the coastal towns, while other vessels were mobilised as part of
a national levy and manned by their regular crews. Naval forces
played an important role during the rest of the Middle Ages, enabling
the transportation of troops and supplies, raids into hostile
territory and attacks on enemy fleets. English naval power became
particularly important after the loss of Normandy in 1204, which
English Channel from a friendly transit route into a
contested and critical border region. English fleets in the 13th
and 14th centuries typically comprised specialist vessels, such as
galleys and large transport ships, and pressed merchant vessels
conscripted into action; the latter increasingly included cogs, a new
form of sailing ship. Battles might be fought when one fleet
found another at anchor, such as the English victory at Sluys in 1340,
or in more open waters, as off the coast of Winchelsea in 1350;
raiding campaigns, such as the French attacks on the south of England
between 1338 and 1339, could cause devastation from which some towns
never fully recovered.
English castles and List of town walls in
A reconstruction of the city of
York in the 15th century, showing the
city walls, the Old Baile (left) and
Many of the fortifications built by the Romans in
into the Middle Ages, including the walls surrounding their military
forts and cities. These defences were often reused during the
unstable post-Roman period. The Anglo-
Saxon kings undertook
significant planned urban expansion in the 8th and 9th centuries,
creating burhs, often protected with earth and wood ramparts.
Burh walls sometimes utilised older Roman fortifications, both for
practical reasons and to bolster their owners' reputations through the
symbolism of former Roman power.
Although a small number of castles had been built in
the 1050s, after the conquest the
Normans began to build timber motte
and bailey and ringwork castles in large numbers to control their
newly occupied territories. During the 12th century the Normans
began to build more castles in stone, with characteristic square keeps
that supported both military and political functions. Royal
castles were used to control key towns and forests, whilst baronial
castles were used by the Norman lords to control their widespread
estates; a feudal system called the castle-guard was sometimes used to
provide garrisons. Castles and sieges continued to grow in
military sophistication during the 12th century, and in the 13th
century new defensive town walls were constructed across England.
By the 14th century, castles were combining defences with luxurious,
sophisticated living arrangements and landscaped gardens and
parks. Early gunpowder weapons were used to defend castles by the
end of the 14th century and gunports became an essential feature for a
fashionable castle. The economics of maintaining castles meant
that many were left to decline or abandoned; in contrast, a small
number of castles were developed by the very wealthy into palaces that
hosted lavish feasts and celebrations amid elaborate
architecture. Smaller defensible structures called tower houses
emerged in the north of
England to protect against the Scottish
threat. By the late medieval period, town walls were increasingly
less military in character and more often expressions of civic pride
or part of urban governance: many grand gatehouses were built in the
14th and 15th centuries for these purposes.
Anglo-Saxon art and Medieval art
Saxon shoulder clasp, with geometric designs and zoomorphic
boars on the ends
England produced art in the form of paintings, carvings,
books, fabrics and many functional but beautiful objects. A wide
range of materials was used, including gold, glass and ivory, the art
usually drawing overt attention to the materials utilised in the
Saxon artists created carved ivories, illuminated
manuscripts, embroidered cloths, crosses and stone sculpture, although
relatively few of these have survived to the modern period. They
produced a wide range of metalwork, frequently using gold and garnets,
with brooches, buckles, sword hilts and drinking horns particularly
favoured designs. Early designs, such as those found at the
Sutton Hoo burial, used a zoomorphic style, heavily influenced by
German fashions, in which animal shapes were distorted into flowing
shapes and positioned alongside geometric patterns. From the 7th
century onwards more naturalistic designs became popular, showing a
plasticity of form and incorporating both animals and people into the
designs. In the 10th century, Carolingian styles, inspired by
Classical imagery, began to enter from the continent, becoming widely
used in the reformed Benedictine monasteries across the south and east
The Norman conquest introduced northern French artistic styles,
particular in illuminated manuscripts and murals, and reduced the
demand for carvings. In other artistic areas, including
embroidery, the Anglo-
Saxon influence remained evident into the 12th
century, and the famous
Bayeux Tapestry is an example of older styles
being reemployed under the new regime.
Stained glass became a
distinctive form of English art during this later medieval period,
although the coloured glass for these works was almost entirely
imported from Europe. Little early stained glass in
survived, but it typically had both an ornamental and educational
function, while later works also commemorated the sponsors of the
windows into the designs. English tapestry making and embroidery
in the early 14th century were of an especially high quality; works
produced by nuns and London professionals were exported across Europe,
becoming known as the opus anglicanum. English illuminated books,
such as the Queen Mary Psalter, were also famous in this period,
featuring rich decoration, a combination of grotesque and natural
figures and rich colours. The quality of illuminated art in
England declined significantly in the face of competition from
Flanders in the 14th century, and later English illuminated medieval
pieces generally imitated Flemish styles.
Literature, drama and music
Old English literature, Anglo-Norman literature, Middle
English literature, Music in Medieval England, and Medieval theatre
The Ellesmere illuminated manuscript of the
Canterbury Tales by
Geoffrey Chaucer, early 15th-century, showing the
Anglo-Saxons produced extensive poetry in Old English, some of
which was written down as early as the 9th century, although most
surviving poems were compiled in the 10th and early 11th century.
Beowulf, probably written between 650 and 750, is typical of these
poems, portraying a vivid, heroic tale, ending with the protagonist's
death at the hands of a dragon, but still showing signs of the new
Christian influences in England.
Old English was also used for
academic and courtly writing from the 9th century onwards, including
translations of popular foreign works, including The Pastoral
Poetry and stories written in French were popular after the Norman
conquest, and by the 12th century some works on English history began
to be produced in French verse. Romantic poems about tournaments
and courtly love became popular in Paris and this fashion spread into
England in the form of lays; stories about the court of King Arthur
were also fashionable, due in part to the interest of Henry II.
English continued to be used on a modest scale to write local
religious works and some poems in the north of England, but most major
works were produced in Latin or French. In the reign of Richard
II there was an upsurge in the use of
Middle English in poetry,
sometimes termed "Ricardian poetry", although the works still emulated
French fashions. The work of
Geoffrey Chaucer from the 1370s
onwards, however, culminating in the influential Canterbury Tales, was
uniquely English in style. Major pieces of courtly poetry
continued to be produced into the 15th century by Chaucher's
Thomas Malory compiled the older Arthurian tales to
produce Le Morte d'Arthur.
Music and singing were important in
England during the medieval
period, being used in religious ceremonies, court occasions and to
accompany theatrical works. Singing techniques called gymel were
England in the 13th century, accompanied by instruments
such as the guitar, harp, pipes and organ. Henry IV sponsored an
extensive range of music in England, while his son Henry V brought
back many influences from occupied France. Carols became an
important form of music in the 15th century; originally these had been
a song sung during a dance with a prominent refrain — the 15th
century form lost the dancing and introduced strong religious
overtones. Ballads were also popular from the late 14th century
onwards, including the
Ballad of Chevy Chase and others describing the
activities of Robin Hood.
Miracle plays were performed to
communicate the Bible in various locations. By the late 14th century,
these had been extended into vernacular mystery plays which performed
annually over several days, broken up into various cycles of plays; a
handful have survived into the 21st century. Guilds competed to
produce the best plays in each town and performances were often an
expression of civic identity.
Main articles: Anglo-
Saxon architecture and English Gothic
The Romanesque All Saints' Church, Brixworth, late 7th–8th century
In the century after the collapse of the Romano-British economy, very
few substantial buildings were constructed and many villas and towns
were abandoned. New long- and round-houses were constructed in
some settlements, while in others timber buildings were built
imitating the older Roman styles. The Germanic immigrants
constructed small rectangular buildings from wood, and occasionally
grander halls. However, the conversion to
Christianity in the 6th
and 7th centuries reintroduced Italian and French masons, and these
craftsmen built stone churches, low in height, following a narrow,
rectangular plan, plastered inside and fitted with glass and colourful
vestments. This Romanesque style developed throughout the period,
featuring characteristic circular arches. By the 10th and 11th
centuries, much larger churches and monastery buildings were being
built, featuring square and circular towers after the contemporary
European fashion. The palaces constructed for the nobility
centred on great timber halls, while manor houses began to appear in
Normans brought with them architectural styles from their own
duchy, where austere stone churches were preferred. Under the
early Norman kings this style was adapted to produce large, plain
cathedrals with ribbed vaulting. During the 12th century the
Anglo-Norman style became richer and more ornate, with pointed arches
derived from French architecture replacing the curved Romanesque
designs; this style is termed Early English Gothic and continued, with
variation, throughout the rest of the Middle Ages. In the early
14th century the Perpendicular Gothic style was created in England,
with an emphasis on verticality, immense windows and soaring
arcades. Fine timber roofs in a variety of styles, but in
particular the hammerbeam, were built in many English buildings.
In the 15th century the architectural focus turned away from
cathedrals and monasteries in favour of parish churches, often
decorated with richly carved woodwork; in turn, these churches
influenced the design of new chantry chapels for existing
Meanwhile, domestic architecture had continued to develop, with the
Normans, having first occupied the older Anglo-
rapidly beginning to build larger buildings in stone and timber.
The elite preferred houses with large, ground-floor halls but the less
wealthy constructed simpler houses with the halls on the first floor;
master and servants frequently lived in the same spaces.
Wealthier town-houses were also built using stone, and incorporated
business and domestic arrangements into a single functional
design. By the 14th century grander houses and castles were
sophisticated affairs: expensively tiled, often featuring murals and
glass windows, these buildings were often designed as a set of
apartments to allow greater privacy. Fashionable brick began to
be used in some parts of the country, copying French tastes.
Architecture that emulated the older defensive designs remained
popular. Less is known about the houses of peasants during this
period, although many peasants appear to have lived in relatively
substantial, timber-framed long-houses; the quality of these houses
improved in the prosperous years following the Black Death, often
being built by professional craftsmen.
A page of
Domesday Book for Warwickshire; a key source for historians
The first history of medieval
England was written by
Bede in the 8th
century; many more accounts of contemporary and ancient history
followed, usually termed chronicles. In the 16th century, the
first academic histories began to be written, typically drawing
primarily on the chroniclers and interpreting them in the light of
current political concerns. Edward Gibbon's 18th-century writings
were influential, presenting the medieval period as a dark age between
the glories of
Rome and the rebirth of civilisation in the Early
Modern period. Late Victorian historians continued to use the
chroniclers as sources, but also deployed documents such as Domesday
Book and Magna Carta, alongside newly discovered financial, legal and
commercial records. They produced a progressive account of political
and economic development in England. The growth of the British
Empire spurred interest in the various periods of English hegemony
during the Middle Ages, including the
Angevin Empire and the Hundred
By the 1930s, older historical analyses were challenged by a range of
Marxist and econometric approaches, supported by a
widening body of documentary, archaeological and scientific
Marxist and Neo-
Marxist analyses continued to be
popular in the post-war years, producing seminal works on economic
issues and social protests.
Post-modern analysis became
influential in the 1970s and 1980s, focusing on identity, gender,
interpretation and culture. Many studies focused on particular regions
or groups, drawing on new records and new scientific approaches,
including landscape and environmental archaeology. Fresh
archaeological finds, such as the Staffordshire Hoard, continue to
challenge previous interpretations, and historical studies of England
Middle Ages have never been so diverse as in the early 21st
Main article: Depiction of the
Middle Ages in popular culture
Re-enactments of English medieval events, such as the battle of
Tewkesbury shown here, form part of the modern heritage industry
The period has also been used in a wide range of popular culture.
William Shakespeare's plays on the lives of the medieval kings have
proved to have had long lasting appeal, heavily influencing both
popular interpretations and histories of figures such as King John and
Henry V. Other playwrights have since taken key medieval events,
such as the death of Thomas Becket, and used them to draw out
contemporary themes and issues. The medieval mystery plays
continue to be enacted in key English towns and cities. Film-makers
have drawn extensively on the medieval period, often taking themes
from Shakespeare or the
Robin Hood ballads for inspiration.
Historical fiction set in
England during the
Middle Ages remains
persistently popular, with the 1980s and 1990s seeing a particular
growth of historical detective fiction. The period has also
inspired fantasy writers, including J. R. R. Tolkien's stories of
Middle-earth. English medieval music was revived from the 1950s,
with choral and musical groups attempting to authentically reproduce
the original sounds. Medieval living history events were first
held during the 19th and early 20th centuries, and the period has
inspired a considerable community of historical re-enactors, part of
England's growing heritage industry.
^ At the time of the succession crisis, Matilda was married to Count
Geoffrey of Anjou, but she still used the title of Empress from her
first marriage to Henry V, the Holy Roman Emperor.
^ Academics have discussed the fate of Edward II at length. The
majority opinion is that Edward died in 1327 at Berkeley Castle,
possibly murdered; a minority opinion holds that Edward was either
released or escaped, and lived on elsewhere in Europe for many
^ The term feudalism is controversial in current academic debate on
the medieval period; depending on the definition used, feudalism may
have pre-dated the Conquest instead of being imported by the Normans,
and some academics consider the term unreliable altogether.
^ The utility of the term bastard feudalism has been extensively
discussed by historians, with many different conclusions being
^ Fleming, pp. 2–3.
^ Fleming, p. 24.
^ Fleming, pp. 30, 40.
^ Nicholas J. Higham and Martin J. Ryan, The Anglo-
Saxon World (New
Haven: Yale University Press, 2013), pp. 97–101.
^ Fleming, pp. 76–77, 106-107.
^ Fleming, p. 110.
^ a b Fleming, p. 205.
^ Fleming, pp. 205–207.
^ Fleming, p. 208.
^ Fleming, p. 271.
^ Fleming, pp. 219–221.
^ Fleming, p. 220; Williams, p. 327.
^ Fleming, p. 270; Yorke, pp. 114, 122.
^ Yorke, p. 122; Carpenter, p. 3.
^ Fleming, p. 270.
^ Fleming, p. 221
^ Fleming, p. 314.
^ a b Fleming, pp. 314–315.
^ a b c Fleming, p. 315.
^ Fleming, p. 311; Huscroft, pp. 11, 13, 22-24.
^ Carpenter, pp. 67, 72-73.
^ Carpenter, pp. 72–74.
^ Carpenter, pp. 74–77; Prior, pp. 225–228.
^ Carpenter, pp. 76.
^ Carpenter, pp. 110–112.
^ Carpenter, pp. 125–126.
^ Prestwich (1992b), pp. 70–71, 74.
^ Chibnall, p. 64.
^ Carpenter, pp. 131–133.
^ Carpenter, pp. 134–135.
^ Huscroft, pp. 65, 69–71; Carpenter, pp. 124, 138-140.
^ Chibnall, pp. 64–65, 75.
^ Carpenter, p. 161.
^ Davis, p. 78; King (2010), p. 281; Review of King Stephen, (review
no. 1038), David Crouch, Reviews in History, accessed 12 May 2011.
^ Carpenter, p. 191.
^ Carpenter, p. 191; Aurell (2003), p. 15.
^ White (2000), pp. 2–7; King (2007), p. 40.
^ Warren (2000), pp. 161, 561–562.
^ Warren (2000), pp. 131–136, 619-622.
^ Carpenter, pp. 245, 261-262, 265-268.
^ Turner (2009), p. 107.
^ Turner (2009), pp. 139, 173–174, 189.
^ Turner (2009), p. 195; Barlow (1999), p. 357.
^ Carpenter, pp. 369, 380.
^ Carpenter, pp. 380–381.
^ Carpener, pp. 468–469.
^ Carpenter, pp. 495, 505–512.
^ Carpenter, p. 477.
^ Carpenter, pp. 477, 524; Prestwich (1988), pp. 412–415;
^ Rubin, pp. 31–34.
^ Rubin, pp. 35–36, 52, 54.
^ Rubin, p. 54; Doherty, pp. 213–215; Mortimer (2004),
^ Mortimer (2008), pp. 80–83.
^ Mortimer (2008), pp. 84–90; Rubin, pp. 89, 92–93.
^ Rubin, pp. 63–67; Myers, pp. 23–24.
^ Rubin, pp. 74–75; Mortimer (2008), pp. 134–136.
^ Myers, p. 21.
^ Rubin, pp. 78–80, 83; Steane, p. 110.
^ Rubin, p. 96; 113–114.
^ Rubin, pp. 120–121; Jones, pp. 21–22.
^ Rubin, pp. 168–172; Myers, pp. 30–35.
^ Rubin, pp. 182–183, 186; Myers, p. 133.
^ Rubin, pp. 213–214, 220–223; Myers, pp. 120–121.
^ Rubin, pp. 224–227; Myers, pp. 122–125.
^ Hicks, pp. 3–8.
^ a b c Hicks, p. 5.
^ Hicks, pp. 8, 238–245.
^ Whitelock, pp. 29–21, 33.
^ Whitelock, pp. 50–51.
^ Whitelock, pp. 85, 90.
^ Whitelock, p. 35.
^ a b Whitelock, pp. 97–99.
^ Whitelock, p. 100.
^ Whitelock, pp. 108–109.
^ Whitelock, p. 54.
^ Whitelock, pp. 52–53.
^ Dyer (2009), pp. 27, 29.
^ Huscroft, p. 22.
^ Whitelock, pp. 54–55; Barlow (1999), pp. 27, 34–35.
^ Whitelock, pp. 56–5.
^ Whitelock, p. 57.
^ Lavelle, pp. 2–3; Whitelock, p. 80.
^ Dyer (2009), pp. 52, 55–56.
^ Whitelock, pp. 134–135.
^ Whitelock, p. 137.
^ Whitelock, p. 140.
^ Whitelock pp. 140–141.
^ Whitelock, pp. 140, 145.
^ Whitelock, pp. 41–45.
^ Carpenter, p. 4; Davies, p. 20; Huscroft, p. 81.
^ Burton, p. 21; Barlow (1999), p. 87.
^ Huscroft, pp. 78–79.
^ Barlow (1999), pp. 78–79.
^ Carpenter, pp. 84–85; Barlow (1999), pp. 88–89.
^ Carpenter, p. 84.
^ Carpenter, pp. 84–85, 94; Huscroft, p. 104.
^ Carpenter, p. 87.
^ Danziger and Gillingham, p. 40.
^ Carpenter, p. 52.
^ Douglas, p. 312.
^ Huscroft, p. 85.
^ Bartlett, pp. 395–402
^ Carpenter, pp. 290–292.
^ Carpenter, p. 291; Danziger and Gillingham, p. 41; Postan,
^ Huscroft, p. 104.
^ Huscroft, p. 95.
^ Barlow (1999), p. 320.
^ Carpenter, p. 87; Barlow (1999), p. 320; Dyer (2009),
^ Pounds (1994), pp. 146–147; Carpenter, pp. 399–401,
^ Barlow (1999), pp. 308–309.
^ Carpenter, pp. 369–370; Stenton, pp. 56–57.
^ Carpenter, pp. 477–479.
^ Rubin, pp. 34–36.
^ Carpenter, pp. 473–474.
^ Carpenter, p. 475.
^ Carpenter, p. 479.
^ Myers, p. 38; Rubin, p. 78.
^ Rubin, pp. 109–111.
^ Rubin, pp. 109–112; Barber (2007a), pp. 84–86,
95–96; Barber (2007b), pp. 151–152.
^ Dyer (2009), p. 228.
^ Dyer (2009), pp. 268–269.
^ Jones, p. 15.
^ Jones, p. 21.
^ Jones, pp. 41–43, 149–155, 199-201.
^ Myers, pp. 132–133; Hicks, p. 23.
^ Hicks, pp. 28–30.
^ Coss, p. 102.
^ Myers, p. 134–135.
^ Myers, pp. 48–49, 137–138.
^ Myers, pp. 140–141; Hicks, pp. 65–72.
^ Myers, pp. 142–143.
^ Hicks, p. 269.
^ Mate, pp. 6–7, 97-99.
^ Mate, pp. 2–3; Johns, p. 14.
^ Mate, pp. 98–99.
^ Mate, pp. 6–7.
^ Mate, pp. 78.
^ Mate, p. 11.
^ Mate, p. 12.
^ Mate, pp. 14–15.
^ Johns, pp. 25, 195-196; Mate, pp. 20–21.
^ Mate, pp. 21–23.
^ Johns, pp. 30, 69; Johns, pp. 22–25; Mate, p. 25.
^ Mate, p. 26.
^ Mate, pp. 32, 36.
^ Mate, p. 33.
^ Mate, pp. 46–47.
^ Mate, p. 47.
^ Mate, p. 41.
^ Mate, p. 57.
^ Mate, pp. 64–65.
^ Mate, pp. 81–82.
^ Carpenter, p. 1.
^ Fleming, p. 61.
^ Fleming, pp. 62, 65, 75.
^ a b Carpenter, p. 3.
^ Carpenter, pp. 6–7.
^ Carpenter, p. 6.
^ Carpenter, pp. 3–4, p. 8.
^ Davies, pp. 18–20; Carpenter, p. 9; Danziger and Gillingham,
^ Rubin, p. 8; Carpenter, p. 9.
^ Davies, pp. 20–22.
^ Rubin, p. 106.
^ a b Hicks, pp. 52–53.
^ Rubin, p. 8.
^ Hillaby, pp. 16–17; Douglas, p. 314.
^ Hillaby, pp. 16, 21-22.
^ Stenton, pp. 193–194, 197.
^ Stenton, p. 194.
^ Hillaby, p. 29; Stenton, p. 200.
^ Skinner, p. 9; Stenton, p. 199.
^ Stenton, p. 200; Hillaby, p. 35.
^ Stacey, p. 44.
^ Stenton, pp. 193–194.
^ a b Fleming, pp. 121, 126.
^ Whitelock, pp. 21–22; Fleming, p. 127.
^ Fleming, pp. 156–157.
^ a b Fleming, p. 152.
^ Fleming, pp. 152–153.
^ Fleming, p. 153.
^ Fleming, pp. 160–161.
^ Lavelle, pp. 8, 11-12.
^ Sawyer, p. 131.
^ Lavelle, pp. 319; Rahtz and Watts, pp. 303–305.
^ Sawyer, p. 140.
^ Nilson, p. 70.
^ Fleming, pp. 128–129, 170-173.
^ Gilchrist, p. 2.
^ a b Fleming, pp. 318–319, 321.
^ Fleming, pp. 322–323.
^ Fleming, p. 322; Burton, pp. 3–4.
^ Burton, pp. 23–24.
^ Burton, pp. 29–30.
^ Burton, p. 28.
^ Burton, pp. 28–29; Nilson, p. 70.
^ Huscroft, pp. 126–127; Bradbury, p. 36; Pounds (1994),
^ Burton, pp. 36–38.
^ Carpenter, pp. 444–445.
^ Carpenter, p. 446; Danziger and Gillingham, p. 208.
^ Carpenter, pp. 448–450; Danziger and Gillingham, p. 209.
^ Forey, pp. 98–99, 106-107.
^ Whitelock, pp. 54–55.
^ Fleming, pp. 246–247.
^ Whitelock, pp. 160–163.
^ Burton, p. 21; Barlow (1999), p. 75.
^ Barlow (1999), pp. 98, 103-104.
^ Barlow (1999), p. 104; Duggan (1965), p. 67, cited Alexander, p. 3.
^ Hollister, p. 168; Alexander, pp. 2–3, 10; Barlow (1986), pp.
^ Barlow (1999), p. 361.
^ Rubin, pp. 148–149.
^ Rubin, pp. 149–150.
^ Rubin, pp. 150–151; Aston and Richmond, pp. 1–4.
^ Rubin, p. 154.
^ Rubin, pp. 188–189; 198-199.
^ Webb, p. 1.
^ Webb, pp. xiii, xvi.
^ Webb, pp. xvi-xvii.
^ Webb, pp. 3–5.
^ Webb, pp. 5–6.
^ Webb, pp. 19–21.
^ Webb, pp. 24–27.
^ Webb, pp. 35–38.
^ Webb, p.xii.
^ Carpenter, p. 455.
^ Tyerman, pp. 11, 13.
^ Carpenter, p. 456.
^ Carpenter, p. 458; Tyerman, pp. 16–17.
^ Cantor, p. 22.
^ Cantor, pp. 22–23.
^ a b c Dyer (2009), p. 13.
^ Danziger and Gillingham, pp. 48–49.
^ Dyer (2000), pp. 261–263.
^ Prior, p. 83; Creighton, pp. 41–42.
^ Danziger and Gillingham, p. 33; Hughes and Diaz, p. 111.
^ Danziger and Gillingham, p. 33.
^ Hughes and Diaz, p. 131; Cowie, p. 194.
^ Cowie, p. 194.
^ Rotherham, p. 79.
^ Dyer (2009), pp. 25, 161, 236.
^ Rotherham, p. 80; Dyer (2009), p. 13.
^ Dyer (2009), p. 14.
^ Dyer (2009), pp. 19, 22.
^ a b Bartlett, p. 313.
^ Bartlett, p. 313; Dyer (2009), p. 14.
^ Dyer (2009), p. 26.
^ Douglas, p. 310; Dyer (2009), pp. 87–88.
^ Dyer (2009), p. 89; Barlow (1999), p. 98.
^ Cantor 1982, p. 18.
^ Bailey, p. 41; Bartlett, p. 321; Cantor 1982, p. 19.
^ Hodgett, p. 57; Bailey, p. 47; Pounds (2005), p. 15.
^ Hillaby, p. 16; Dyer (2009), p. 115.
^ Blanchard, p. 29.
^ a b Jordan, p. 12; Bailey, p. 46; Aberth, pp. 26–7; Cantor 1982,
^ Hodgett, p. 206; Bailey, p. 46.
^ Hodgett, p. 206.
^ a b Hodgett, p. 148; Ramsay, p.xxxi; Kowalesk, p. 248.
^ Dyers (2009), pp. 291–293.
^ Myers, pp. 161–4; Raban, p. 50; Barron, p. 78.
^ Bailey, p. 53.
^ Hicks, pp. 50–51, 65.
^ Geddes, p. 181
^ Gillingham and Danziger, p. 237.
^ Gillingham and Danziger, p. 237; Humphrey, pp. 106–107.
^ Hill, p. 245.
^ Gillingham and Danziger, pp. 239, 241.
^ Hackett, pp. 9, 16, 19, 20-21.
^ Normore, p. 31; Spade, p. 101.
^ Gillingham and Danziger, pp. 234–235.
^ Getz, p.liii; Danziger and Gillingham, p. 9.
^ Myers, p. 99.
^ Cobban, p. 101; Danziger and Gillingham, p. 9.
^ Dyer (2009), pp. 25–26.
^ Dyer (2009), p. 131.
^ Dyer (2009), pp. 212–213, 324-325.
^ Dyer (2009), pp. 326–327.
^ Dyer (2009), p. 323.
^ Dyer (2009), pp. 214, 324.
^ Myers, p. 250.
^ Dyer (2009) pp. 214–215.
^ Lavelle, pp. 8, 14-15.
^ a b Bachrach, p. 76.
^ Halsall, p. 185; Davidson, pp. 8–9.
^ Hooper (1992a), p. 1, 11; Halsall, p. 185.
^ a b Bradbury, p. 71.
^ a b Bradbury, p. 74.
^ Morillo, p. 52; Prestwich (1992a), pp. 97–99.
^ Stringer, pp. 24–25; Morillo, pp. 16–17, 52.
^ Prestwich (1992a), p. 93; Carpenter, p. 524.
^ Prestwich (2003), pp. 172, 176-177.
^ Prestwich (2003), p. 156.
^ Prestwich (2003), pp. 173–174; Coss, p. 91.
^ Hicks, pp. 9–10; 231-232, 234-235.
^ Hooper (1992b), p. 17.
^ Hooper (1992b), pp. 18–19, 22.
^ Hooper (1992b), pp. 20–24.
^ Rose, p. 57.
^ Warren (1991), p. 123.
^ Turner (2009), p. 106; Warren (1991), p. 123; Rose, p. 69.
^ Rose, pp. 64–66, 71; Coppack, pp. 19–20.
^ a b Turner (1971), pp. 20–21; Creighton and Higham,
^ Turner (1971), pp. 19–20.
^ Turner (1971), pp. 19–20: Lavelle, p. 10; Creighton and
Higham, pp. 56–58.
^ Liddiard, pp. 22, 24, 37; Brown, p. 24.
^ Hulme, p. 213.
^ Pounds (1994), pp. 44–45, 66, 75-77.
^ Pounds (1994), pp. 107–112; Turner (1971), pp. 23–25.
^ Liddiard, pp. 61–63, 98.
^ Pounds (1994), pp. 253–255.
^ Pounds (1994), pp. 250–251, 271; Johnson, p. 226.
^ Pounds (1994), p. 287; Reid, pp. 12, 46.
^ Creighton and Higham, p. 166–167.
^ a b Kessler, pp. 14, 19.
^ Whitelock, pp. 224–225.
^ Whitelock, p. 224.
^ Whitelock, p. 224; Webster, p. 11.
^ Webster, p. 11.
^ Webster, p. 20.
^ Thomas, pp. 368–369.
^ Thomas, pp. 372–373.
^ Marks (2001), pp. 265–266.
^ Baker, p. 2; Marks (1993), p. 3.
^ Myers, p. 107.
^ Myers, pp. 108–109.
^ Myers, p,255.
^ Whitelock, pp. 207, 213.
^ Whitelock, pp. 211–213.
^ Whitelock, pp. 214–217.
^ Stenton, pp. 274–275.
^ Myers, p. 275; Aurell (2007), p. 363.
^ Myers, pp. 96–98.
^ Rubin, p. 158; Myers, pp. 98–99.
^ Myers, pp. 100–101.
^ Mers, pp. 182–183, 250-251.
^ Happé, p. 335–336; Danziger and Gillingham,
^ Myers, pp. 112–113.
^ Myers, p. 197.
^ Myers, pp. 184–85.
^ Myers, p. 186.
^ Myers, p. 97.
^ Myers, pp. 187–188.
^ Fleming, pp. 32–33.
^ Fleming, pp. 34–35, 38.
^ McClendon, p. 59.
^ McClendon, pp. 60, 83-84; Whitelock, p. 225.
^ Whitelock, p. 239.
^ Whitelock, pp. 238–239.
^ Whitelock, pp. 88–89; Emery, pp. 21–22.
^ Stenton, pp. 268–269.
^ Stenton, p. 269.
^ Stenton, pp. 270–271.
^ Myers, pp. 102, 105.
^ a b Myers, p. 105.
^ Myers, pp. 190–192.
^ a b Emery, p. 24.
^ Pantin, pp. 205–206.
^ Liddiard, pp. 60–62.
^ Liddiard, pp. 64–66.
^ Dyer (2000), pp. 153–162.
^ Whitelock, p. 11.
^ Bevington, p. 432; Vincent, p. 3.
^ Sreedharan, pp. 122–123.
^ Dyer (2009), p. 4; Coss, p. 81.
^ Aurell (2003), p. 15; Vincent, p. 16.
^ Hinton, pp. vii–viii; Crouch, pp. 178–9.
^ Dyer (2009), pp. 4–6.
^ Rubin, p. 325.
^ Driver and Ray, pp. 7–14.
^ Tiwawi and Tiwawi, p. 90.
^ Airlie, pp. 163–164, 177-179; Driver and Ray,
^ Ortenberg, p. 175; D'haen, pp. 336–337.
^ Timmons, pp. 5–6.
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