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The role and identity of household knights in fourteenth-century England, c.1320-c.1370

Gaite, Pierre 2021. The role and identity of household knights in fourteenth-century England, c.1320-c.1370. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Research on fourteenth-century retinues has thrived in the last three decades, particularly in the context of Edward III’s wars with Scotland and France. A number of studies have also been produced on knights in the household of the English kings. However, while there have been some studies on the overall followings of magnates like John of Gaunt and the Black Prince, as yet there has been no substantial investigation of household knights in the midfourteenth century more broadly. This thesis achieves this by focusing on a set of case-study households, investigating knights in the service of Thomas Beauchamp (earl of Warwick, d. 1369), William Bohun (earl of Northampton, d. 1360) and Henry of Grosmont (earl of Derby, later earl then duke of Lancaster, d. 1361). It explores the evolution of the followings and the knights’ social background and recruitment; their varying levels of military engagement and the range of campaign experience they had; the different forms of non-military duties they could perform; what rewards and benefits they enjoyed; and what ties bound them together as a knightly brotherhood. By doing so, the thesis demonstrates that the knightly households of Beauchamp, Grosmont and Bohun were cohesive and closely connected groups that each had distinct characteristics and were shaped by the circumstances and requirements of these magnates. It also reveals the nuanced relationships that different knights had with their lord, as well as how the followings were entwined with the knights’ localities and with the nobility and gentry of the realm in general. The thesis addresses a range of ongoing questions about medieval warfare, crime and justice, and the nature of bastard feudalism in the fourteenth century. By doing so, it offers medieval scholarship a more nuanced understanding of the period’s social and military history.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 6 January 2022
Date of Acceptance: 21 December 2021
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 14:05

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