War, Politics and Finance in Late Medieval English Towns

August 2005
1 black and white illustrations
276 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Royal Historical Society Studies in History New Series
Royal Historical Society
Boydell Press
BISAC HIS015000, HIS037010

War, Politics and Finance in Late Medieval English Towns

Bristol, York and the Crown, 1350-1400

Christian D. Liddy

Relations between town and crown in late medieval England examined through two of its most important towns, Bristol and York.
The strengthening of ties between crown and locality in the fourteenth century is epitomised by the relationships between York and Bristol [then amongst the largest and wealthiest urban communities in England] and the crown. This book combines a detailed study of the individuals who ruled Bristol and York at the time with a close analysis of the texts which illustrate the relationship between the two cities and the king, thus offering a new perspective on relations between town and crown in late medieval England.
Beginning with an analysis of the various demands, financial, political and commercial, made upon the towns by the Hundred Years War, the author argues that such pressures facilitated the development of a partnership in government between the crown and the two towns, meaning that the elite inhabitants became increasingly important in national affairs. The book goes on to explore in detail the nature of urban aspirations within the kingdom, arguing that the royal charters granting the towns their coveted county status were crucial in binding their ruling elites into the apparatus of royal government, and giving them a powerful voice in national politics.

Dr Christian Liddy is Senior Lecturer in the Department of History, University of Durham.


This is a major contribution to the historiography not only of later medieval Bristol, or of towns in general, but also of the relationship between central and local politics, and as such deserves to be widely read. SOUTHERN HISTORY
Deserves a place in the historiography of English urban studies for its careful examination of local issues within the broader context of national political life. URBAN HISTORY
[This] provocative and thoroughly researched study.has many new and important things to say. [...] An impressive work with wide implications for late medieval towns. NORTHERN HISTORY
A very welcome addition to the small but growing literature on the politics of provincial towns in later medieval England. [...] Essential reading for anyone with a serious interest in later medieval Bristol, towns in general, or the relationship between central and local politics. TRANSACTIONS, Bristol & Gloucestershire Archaeological Society

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