Medieval Glossary: Danegeld

Danegeld

Tribute paid to the Danes (Dane Gold).

*term retrieved from Netserf Medieval Glossary 

From the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle:

AD 1050. The same year King Edward abolished the Danegeld which King Ethelred imposed.  That was in the thirty-ninth year after it had begun.  That tribute harassed all the people of England so long as is above written; and it was  always paid before other imposts, which were levied indiscriminately, and vexed men variously.

 

Medieval history term of the week: Mainmorte

Mainmorte

Mortmain. The lord’s right to a share of his men’s personal estate after death. (Duby, Georges. Rural Economy and Country Life in the Medieval West, 555)

*term retrieved from Netserf Medieval Glossary 

From the Statute of Quia Emptores, 1290, on the buying and selling of land

And if he shall have sold to anyone any part of those his lands or tenements, the infeudated person shall hold that (part) directly of the lord in chief, and shall straightway be charged with as much service as pertains or ought to pertain to that lord for that parcel, according to the quantity of the land or tenement sold; and so in this case there shall fall away from the lord in chief that part of the service which is to be performed by the hand of the infeudator, from the time when the infeudated person ought to be attendant and answerable to that same lord in chief, according to the quantity of the land or tenement sold, for that parcel of service thus due. And it must be known that by the said sales or purchases of lands or tenements, or any part of them, those lands or tenements in part or in whole, may not come into mortmain, by art or by wile, contrary to the statute recently issued on this point.

Medieval history term of the week: Burgess

Burgess

The holder of land or house within a borough.

*term definitions retrieved from orb.net

From The Golden Legend: St. Thomas Becket

S. Thomas the martyr was son to Gilbert Beckett, a burgess of the city of London, and was born in the place where as now standeth the church called S. Thomas of Acre. And this Gilbert was a good devout man, and took the cross upon him, and went on pilgrimage into the Holy Land, and had a servant with his knees.

Medieval History Term of the Week: Minster

Minster

In modern usage, a community of *secular clergy, with extensive parochial rights; these were being eroded from the 10c by the foundation of single-priest churches on individual manors, the latter forming the basis for the later system of parishes. Consequently, many minsters disappeared, though their former presence can be detected in place names ending in‘-minster’, e.g. Charminster and Beaminster. Before 1066, the word was used both of secular and monastic communities, but always with the sense of a superior church. [OE mynster < monasterium = monastery]

*Source: A Dictionary of Medieval Terms & Phrases by Christopher Coredon with Ann Williams

From the The Anglo-Saxon Dooms, 560-975:

Let the aldor of a minster clear himself with a priest’s canne…

If any one carry off a nun from a minster, without the king’s or the bishop’s leave, let him pay a hundred and twenty shillings, half to the king, half to the bishop and to the church-hlaford who owns the nun. If she live longer than he who carried her off, let her not have aught of his property. If she bear a child, let not that have of the property more than the mother. If any one slay her child, let him pay to the king the maternal kindred’s share; to the paternal kindred let their share be given. . . .

Medieval History Term of the Week: Croft

Croft

A smallholding or piece of land with a house. – Cf. Toft and croft

From Alwalton Manor, 1279 (Medieval Sourcebook):

Cottars. Henry, son of the miller, holds a cottage with a croft which contains 1 rood, paying thence yearly to the said abbot 2s. Likewise he works for 3 days in carrying hay and in other works at the will of the said abbot, each day with I man and in autumn I day in cutting grain with I man. 

*Source: A Dictionary of Medieval Terms & Phrases by Christopher Coredon with Ann Williams

Medieval History Term of the Week: Tabard

Tabard
Outer garment made of coarse material worn coat-like by peasantsand ordinary town dwellers; later, c. 1420–50, worn as an open garment by aknight over his armour and displaying his armorial bearings.

*Source: A Dictionary of Medieval Terms & Phrases by Christopher Coredon with Ann Williams

From the prologue of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales:

In a tabard he rood, upon a mere.
Ther was also a Reve and a Millere,
A Somnour and a Pardoner also,
A Maunciple, and myself, ther were namo.
The Millere was a stout carl for the nones,