Flashcards in 4 - English Society Deck (58)
What was the feudal system?
Medieval hierarchical structure of society, built upon bastard feudalism relationships in which land was held in return for service
Was the feudal system still present during reign of Henry VII?
- Still a hierarchy with monarch at top
- Hierarchy was becoming less restrictive (more social mobility)
What is social mobility?
Movement of individuals between levels of the societal hierarchy
Why was social mobility increasing under Henry VII?
- Triggered by economic issues caused by Black Death (English population almost halved - people had to increase social mobility to fill employment + save economy)
- After this point social mobility began + was growing under Henry VII
What class was particularly growing under Henry VII?
What was the opinion of the public regarding social mobility?
- Lower ranking public: liked, less trapped at bottom of hierarchy
- Higher ranking public: disliked, liked being at top
How did higher ranking individuals try to reduce social mobility?
Tried to implement (but failed to strictly enforce) SUMPTUARY LAWS (social status displayed via outfit to reduce social mobility)
What was bastard feudalism?
Reciprocal relationship between magnate + retainers
- Magnates gain: military service
- Retainers gain: land/payment/office
Who coined the term ‘bastard feudalism’? Why?
Victorians - thought it was an abusive system
Outline the social hierarchy under Henry VII
KING AT TOP
- Pope (not in England)
- Cardinals (not in England)
- Archbishops (Canterbury + York)
- Parish priests/lower clergy
REST OF SOCIETY
- Higher commoners (yeomen, rural, + merchants/craftsmen/professionals, urban)
- Lower commoners (labourers/shopkeepers that work for others)
- Lowest commoners (vagrants/beggars)
Who were the nobility?
Societal group made up of people who held one of the five ranks of aristocracy: Duke, Earl, Viscount, Baron, Marquis. They were highest on the social hierarchy, holding considerable land, power (in House of Lords) + influence (over actions of retainers)
How many nobles were there under Henry VII?
50-60 noble families
Who were the peerage?
Another term for the nobility
Was the nobility closed caste (were they stuck at that level)?
- Could change as favour of King was gained/lost
Did Henry VII create a lot of new nobles? Why?
No - mistrusting towards individuals with that much power
How did Henry curb the power of the nobility?
- Didn’t create many new nobles
- Carrot methods: Patronage (e.g. members of King’s Council + Privy Chamber), Prestige (e.g. Order of the Garter), Reversed Acts of Attainder (returning seized land)
- Stick methods: Bonds + recognisances (limiting finances), Acts of Retainer (limiting men), Acts of Attainder (limiting land)
Give an example of Henry VII’s reluctance to grant new noble titles
No. Of Earls Made:
- Ed IV: 9
- Henry VII: 1
Give some examples of nobles under Henry VII
- Earl of Northumberland (Yorkist - Loyal to Henry)
- Earl of Oxford (Lancastrian - Loyal to Henry)
- Sir William Stanley (Not loyal to Henry)
Who were the gentry?
Societal group just below nobles, who played different roles depending on prestige but were increasingly depended upon by Henry VII
What were the two general categories of gentry?
- ‘Greater gentry’
- Esquires + ‘mere gentry’
Who were the greater gentry?
- Part of the elite part of society, alongside nobles (big income + land)
- Often had coat of arms
- Often sought knighthoods to confirm high status
- Role was serving the King, often through administration (e.g. JPs) + fighting for King
Who authenticated a coat of arms?
College of Arms
Who were the esquires + mere gentry?
- Lower ranking gentry, more similar to the higher commoners (yeomen, merchants, craftsmen, professionals) than nobles, (live modestly)
What percentage of the population was made up of nobles + gentry?
Who were the commoners?
Lowest rung of society, varying in role (depending on status + where they are from- rural or urban)
What was the hierarchy of commoners in towns?
- Rich merchants, craftsmen, professionals (e.g. lawyers)
- Shopkeepers + tradesmen
- Vagrants + beggars
What was the hierarchy of commoners in rural areas?
- Yeomen (rich farmers owning land)
- Husbandmen (richer peasantry who had bought/rented land)
- Labouring peasants/vagrants/beggars (worked on land that wasn’t theirs, with insecure income)
What did historian Youings say about how the Black Death impacted society?
Caused the rise of the ‘peasant aristocracy’ as more country commoners were able to hold land + status
What did tradesmen often join together to form?
Guilds + lay confraternities
What was the term for town council?
Which figure in England had the greatest power over the Church?
(Had been declared by Pope Martin V that the monarch was the head of the church in England)
Who had the greatest power over the Church?
What was the most important quality of a clergyman under Henry VII?
Who were the two most important clergymen under Henry VII?
- John Morton
- Richard Fox
(Because they were great administrators - members of Privy Chamber)
Would England generally be classified as unified or divided under Henry VII? Give a quote from a historian to exemplify
“Stronger sense of single identity than ever before”-Keene
What types of regional differences were there?
- Differences between North + South
- Differences between rural + urban areas
- Some areas of different gov structure: e.g. Wales (Council of Wales + the Marshes) + palatinates Chester + Durham (counties under separate jurisdiction)
What was the regional division between the North + the South?
- Less money
- Seen as savages
- Mainly pastoral farming
- More money
- Seen as selfishly rich
- Mainly mixed farming (exceptions: the Fens + High Weald)
Where can a ‘line’ be drawn to split the ‘North’ and the ‘South’?
Teesmouth (in the NE) to Weymouth (in the SW)
(LINE ACTUALLY ALMOST VERTICAL)
Did most people live in urban or rural areas?
What was the most populated city?
What was the level of social discontent under Henry VII?
Generally fairly low
What were some positive social factors under Henry VII?
- Conditions for poor appeared to improve slightly
- Increase in real wages
- Avoided subsistence crises
What are real wages?
Value of income based on relation to prices of goods on the market, rather than actual money received
What are subsistence crises?
Harvest failure causes raise in food prices so high many starve
Where suffered subsistence crises during the Tudor period?
- Not England
- Many neighbouring countries
What were the two exceptions to the general level of social contentment?
- Yorkshire Uprising (1489)
- Cornish Rebellion (1497)
What caused the two exceptions to the generally high social contentment?
When was the Yorkshire Rising?
What was the main cause of the Yorkshire Rising?
£100,000 subsidy aimed to be raised through tax for Brittany
How much of the £100,000 subsidy for Brittany was raised?
Was the Yorkshire Rising or Cornish Rebellion more serious? Why?
Lots (15,000 men) + made it to Blackheath, with potential to be also exploited by Perkin Warbeck
Who shut down the Yorkshire Rising?
Earl of Surrey + his 8000 men
Who was killed by his own people in the Yorkshire Rising?
Earl of Northumberland (when he tried to collect the tax)
When was the Cornish Rebellion?
What was the main cause of the Cornish Rebellion?
Tax raised against Scotland (James IV + Perkin Warbeck)
Who shut down the Cornish Rebellion?
Lord Daubeney + his 8000 men (recalled from Scottish border)
Who led the Yorkshire rebels?
Sir John Egremont