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Historical Research


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Front view of Guildhall, looking north and Guildhall Yard c1814

Treason, felony and Lollardy: a common petition in the hand of Richard Osbarn, clerk of the chamber of the Guildhall, 1400–c.143 by Helen Killick

This article examines a common petition presented in the English parliament of 1425 requesting that those imprisoned for long periods for the crimes of treason, felony and Lollardy might be brought to trial. On the basis of palaeographical and orthographical evidence, this petition is demonstrated to be written by Richard Osbarn, clerk of the chamber of the London Guildhall between 1400 and 1437. The implications of this discovery throw new light on the way petitions were formulated, suggesting that the scribes of petitions played a greater role than previously thought, and in some cases identified with the complaint itself.

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New Historical Research article

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Using newspapers, plans, London guides and parish records, this article describes the arguments concerning improvement of the street environment in Chancery Lane, from around 1760 to 1815. This area of London was marginal to the great centres of Westminster and the City and, therefore, analysing its development challenges the standard binary model of the metropolis, generally used by historians of the late eighteenth century. The importance of local political conditions to the success of street improvement is examined, including the fragmented jurisdictions of local parishes and the popular association of Chancery Lane with the legal profession.

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Latest issue of Historical Research published: vol. 88, no. 242 (November 2015)

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Anthony_van_Dyck_-_Charles_I_(1600-49)_with_M._de_St_Antoine_-_Google_Art_Project

Contents

Tenure and property in medieval England 

Susan Reynolds

The Bari charter of privileges of 1132: articulating the culture of a new Norman monarchy

Paul Oldfield

Donald Balloch, the ‘Treaty of Ardtornish-Westminster’ and the MacDonald raids of 1461–3

James Petre

Recovering Charles I’s art collection: some implications of the 1660 Act of Indemnity and Oblivion

Andrew Barclay

Obstinate juries, impudent barristers and scandalous verdicts? Compensating the victims of the Gordon Riots of 1780 and the Priestley Riots of 1791

Jonathan Atherton

The ‘blood of the martyrs’ and the growth of Catholicism in late Chosŏn Korea

Andrew Finch

Notable protests: respectable resistance in occupied northern France, 1914–18

James E. Connolly

 Sterilization and the British Conservative party: rethinking the failure of the Eugenics Society’s political strategy in the nineteen-thirties

Bradley W. Hart and Richard Carr

Beyond co-operation and competition: Anglo-French relations, connected histories of decolonization and Rhodesia’s Unilateral Declaration of Independence, 1965–80

Joanna Warson

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New Historical Research article

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British_Expeditionary_Force_in_Freetown,_1919

Sometimes somnolent, sometimes seething: British imperial Africa and its home fronts by Bill Nasson

This article considers the domestic impact of the First World War upon Africa, a continent pulled into the hostilities of 1914–18 because of its place in the world of European imperialism. Africa experienced some patchy fighting fronts in western parts, and endured the heavy costs of prolonged military campaigning across its eastern and some of its central regions. Equally, the experience of wartime for those at home was highly uneven, depending on locality. While the lives of some inhabitants were hit hard by the violence, brutality and other costs of the war, others were relatively insulated from the direct effects of the conflict by remoteness. Theirs became a war of the mind in which a distant European conflagration inhabited the imagination, stimulating hope, rumour and even millennial aspirations.

 

This article is a revised version of a plenary lecture delivered at the 83rd Anglo-American Conference of Historians on the theme of ‘The Great War at home’, Institute of Historical Research, University of London, 3–4 July 2014

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New Historical Research articles

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thebaid-2Neither Byzantine nor Islamic? The duke of the Thebaid and the formation of the Umayyad state by Marie Legendre

This article investigates how the early Islamic state developed out of pre-Islamic administrative structures. Taking the example of the Byzantine provincial structure in Egypt, the governor (duke) of the Thebaid clearly appears in papyri written in Greek, Coptic and Arabic as an agent of the Medinan and early Umayyad administration. The progressive redistribution of his responsibilities to new offices developed within the Islamic state shows how the Byzantine system contributed to the formation of Islamic administration, casting light on a pre-Islamic heritage which is often neglected in the narrative.

The Engagement controversy: a victory for the English republic by Amos Tubb

In the fall of 1649, the newly created English commonwealth required that all men over the age of eighteen take an Engagement to demonstrate loyalty to the regime that had executed King Charles I. Historians have long argued that the Engagement was a political disaster for the commonwealth, as it provided its opponents with an opportunity to reveal the illegal and hypocritical nature of the new government. However, this article argues that the Engagement was actually a political success. Not only did people throughout England take the Engagement, but the royalists themselves acknowledged its achievement during the winter and spring of 1650.

 

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New Historical Research articles

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Wenceslas_Hollar_-_Prynne_croppedLame Jack his haultings: J. H. Hexter, the ‘middle group’ and William Prynne by Warwick K. George

This article examines the historiography of J. H. Hexter’s ‘middle group’, arguing that current trends in historical scholarship have revived the need for a convincing scheme of faction in the Long Parliament. Hexter’s evidence is discussed, and his supporters and critics addressed, before the hypothesis of a moderate, secular, constitutionalist lobby is subjected to scrutiny through a tract by William Prynne, commissioned by the Commons at the height of middle group ‘ascendancy’. In light of this, it is argued that Prynne represents a body of opinion within the Commons that was radical, religious and essentially Anglo-Saxon, which has implications for neo-whig, bicameral and ‘Three Kingdoms’ interpretations alike.

The Guildhall Library, Robert Bale and the writing of London history by Mary C. Erler

The careers of four of London’s late medieval chroniclers – Robert Bale, Richard Arnold, Robert Fabyan and Edward Hall – show the entrée to City administration that facilitated the writing of the City’s narrative. More importantly, points of connection among these writers suggest the borrowings, physical and intellectual, that the presence of London’s administrative library at the Guildhall made possible. This article focuses in particular on Robert Bale (c.1410–73), correcting some errors in his biography, and on his personal compilation (now Trinity College Dublin, MS. 509), its movements and its possible influence on other London chronicles.

The early Irish hostage surety and inter-territorial alliances by Jaqueline Bemmer

This article examines the legal evidence on treaty law in early medieval Ireland, focusing on fragments from the lost law text Bretha Cairdi (Treaty Judgements) and the short text Slán n-aitire cairde (The Immunity of a Hostage-Surety in a Treaty). It aims to examine the ways in which jurists faced cross-border violence and to look at how law was used to forge a political alliance in extending legal allowances and duties beyond the frontier, and so permit designated enforcers from both sides to collaborate in the quest for legal satisfaction and social stability.

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New Historical Research articles published online

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 220px-MacDonald_of_the_Isles_(MacIan)

This article attempts a reassessment of Clan Donald’s activities and their relations with the Scottish and English crowns in 1461–3. There are two objectives: first, to review the nature and significance of the MacDonald alliance with Yorkist England and the identities and roles of its leading advocates; and second, to establish how far, if at all, the raids conducted by the MacDonalds in these years can be linked with the development of this entente. The exercise necessitates a review of background themes, at first seemingly distinct from each other, but which coalesce in 1460–1 to create a dynamic out of which the alliance was born and, arguably, MacDonald military activity encouraged.

Tenure and property in medieval England. Susan Reynolds

This article argues that the use of the word ‘tenure’ instead of ‘property’ in discussions of medieval English property law impedes the understanding of that law and makes it harder to compare it either with modern law or with the law of other parts of medieval Europe. Its use derives not from the vocabulary or content of medieval English law, but from the effort of seventeenth-century antiquaries to connect medieval English law with the academic law that French scholars had derived from the twelfth-century Italian Libri Feudorum.

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New Historical Research articles published online

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king_george_v1_funeral_70

The death, funerals and commemoration of George V and George VI have received relatively little attention. The elaborately staged funerals established new democratic spaces where people could affirm their loyalty and live broadcasts generated nationally shared experiences. New mass media were significant but the funerals also incorporated commemorative rituals established after the First World War including the two-minute silence and memorial appeals building on the war memorials movement. National philanthropic schemes or living memorials promoted young people’s welfare inspired by both kings’ belief in the physical, moral and social benefits of outdoor recreation. Drawing extensively on unexplored sources, this article argues that royal death affirmed a shared Britishness, which strengthened the monarchy and enhanced social and national cohesion in the era of total war.

This article analyses Anglo-French relations with regard to Rhodesia’s Unilateral Declaration of Independence (U.D.I.). It highlights how long-standing ideas about co-operation and competition shaped British and French views of each other in the Rhodesian context, as well as French policies towards U.D.I. The article then moves beyond the dichotomy between alliance and acrimony, identifying other themes that informed Anglo-French relations in this rebellious British colony. By exploring interaction between Britain, France and Rhodesia, it challenges the binaries that dominate the study of the end of European colonial rule in the twentieth century, offering instead a connected history of decolonization.

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New Historical Research articles published online

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korean martyrs 2The ‘blood of the martyrs’ and the growth of Catholicism in late Chosŏn Korea. Andrew Finch

The article examines the significance of martyrdom in a context beyond that of the Roman world. The sources employed are the published works of French missionaries active between 1836 and 1866 in Korea. The findings illuminate the mentalité of the missionaries who held that the association claimed for martyrdom and successful Christian evangelization was self-evidently true – the martyrs would ensure the mission’s ultimate success. They also demonstrate the means by which martyrdom may have assisted the spread of Christianity within a context of limited persecution and a well-organized and properly funded mission structure supported by a dedicated cadre of catechists.

 

The land market and Anglo-Saxon society. Rory Naismith

Over 500 references survive to payment in return for control over land in Anglo-Saxon England. This article considers these documents as a source for social developments. Issues which are explored include the identities of buyers and sellers, changes in the roles of these groups over the period, and the likely aims and concerns of different individuals and institutions who paid for land. A chronology is developed for the participation of various groups in land payments. Payments emerge as a significant component in definitions of status and strategies of land management, albeit closely interwoven with other forms of transaction.

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Latest issue of Historical Research, lxxxviii, no. 241 (August 2015)

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Hans_Holbein_der_Jüngere_-_Der_Kaufmann_Georg_Gisze_-_Google_Art_Project

Contents:

Royal and non-royal forests and chases in England and Wales. John Langton

The seditious murder of Thomas of Sibthorpe and the Great Statute of Treasons, 1351–2. David Crook

Mercantile conflict resolution and the role of the language of trust: a Danzig case in the middle of the sixteenth century. Justyna Wubs-Mrozewicz

‘Such nonsense that it cannot be true’: the Jacobite reaction to George Lockhart of Carnwath’s Memoirs Concerning the Affairs of Scotland. Daniel Szechi

Local initiative, central oversight, provincial perspective: governing police forces in nineteenth-century Leeds. David Churchill

Liberal Unionism and political representation in Wales, c.1886–1893. Naomi Lloyd-Jones

Courting public favour: the Boy Scout movement and the accident of internationalism, 1907−29. Scott Johnston

Ballot papers and the practice of elections: Britain, France and the United States of America, c.1500–2000. Malcolm Crook and Tom Crook

 

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