Medieval History Term of the Week: Moot

Moot (gemot in old English)

A court or meeting, as in burhgemot, portmoot or portmanmoot – common names for town courts, or the London folkmoot and wardmotes. (Reynolds, Susan. An Introduction to the History of English Medieval Towns, 199)

*term definitions retrieved from Netserf’s Medieval Glossary (

From A Dispute Over the Exaction of Taxes at Bury St. Edmunds, 1198:

Afterwards, all the burgesses sought this privilege jointly, making an agreement with the lord abbot, and offering an annual tax in place of such an exaction; and the abbot, thinking of how the cellarer went shamefully through the town for the collection of rep-silver, and of how he caused pledges to be taken in the houses of the poor, sometimes stools, sometimes the doors, and sometimes other useful things, and how the old women drove him away with their distaffs, threatening and cursing the cellarer and his men, decreed that twenty solidi should be given annually to the cellarer at the next port-moot, by the hand of the reeve, before August, by those burgesses who undertook to pay a tax for this.

2 thoughts on “Medieval History Term of the Week: Moot”

  1. I love that image of an old women driving away the tax man by swinging their distaffs and cursing. Which things were so simple today. That sounds much more fun than filling out tax forms.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments Protected by WP-SpamShield Spam Blocker