The Earls of Chester and Their Family in Normandy and England: From the Early Eleventh Century Until 1120

Nakamura, Atsuko (1997) The Earls of Chester and Their Family in Normandy and England: From the Early Eleventh Century Until 1120. MPhil(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

This study focuses on an individual family of the Anglo-Norman state, the family of the earls of Chester. This family, notable for their activities and involvement in politics, was one of the most important aristocratic families in this period. This study attempts to understand them as a concrete example of an aristocratic family in the historical context of their own environment and the transformation of the Anglo-Norman state. Firstly, the Introduction sets out the framework of the problems, describing the current theories of the aristocracy in the Anglo-Norman state, and pointing out the importance of individual studies. Chapter I examines the earliest stage of the family's history in Normandy, from their origin to the time of the Norman Conquest. Thurstan the vicomte was the oldest notable figure of this family. Unlike Thurstan, his son Richard vicomte of the Avranchin in the reign of the Duke William II retained a good relationship with William and firmly established the family's position within Norman aristocratic society. From this base, Hugh, Richard's famous son and heir, flourished even more in the decades after the Norman Conquest of England. The career and activities of Hugh d'Avranches, earl of Chester is the theme of Chapters II and III. The first part of Chapter II reconstructs his career chronologically, mainly by using the charter evidence, and demonstrating what was involved in practical terms in being a cross-Channel magnate. The second part of this chapter analyses two specific aspects of his career, namely, his involvement in Wales and with the Welsh and his relationship with the Conqueror's three sons after the Conqueror's death, and in particular analysing how Hugh was able to maintain his cross-Channel estates when the Anglo-Norman state was divided. Chapter III is a structural analysis of Earl Hugh's estates and tenants. After a general overview of the whole of his estates, the landholding of each of his tenants and their origins are investigated, with reference to their situation and the individuals' relationships with Earl Hugh and with other tenants. Finally, Chapter IV focuses on Earl Richard, Earl Hugh's successor, discussing mainly his relationship with King Henry I. Earl Richard's career in the aristocratic society in the Anglo-Norman state shows how King Henry tried to construct a solid cooperative aristocratic community around him. Finally, the conclusion summarizes the basic features discussed in this study and suggests some future areas of research.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Additional Information: Adviser: David Bates
Keywords: Medieval history
Date of Award: 1997
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1997-75931
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2019 09:15
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2019 09:15
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/75931

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