Kinship and Status

T. M. Charles-Edwards

in Wales and the Britons, 350-1064

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780198217312
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744778 | DOI:

Series: History of Wales

Kinship and Status

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  • Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)


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The evidence for kinship and status is more fragmented than it is for relations between peasants and lords. There are hints in the charters, but for a broad picture one has to turn to the lawbooks of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries and, in particular, to those sections which are likely to be substantially ancient — sections which cover inheritance and claims to land. There was not just one pattern of kinship, but a kinship of inheritance and succession, a kinship of status, and a kinship of alliance. The kinship of inheritance was agnatic, the kinship of status bilateral, while the kinship of alliance worked through bilateral links between agnatic lineages. Fosterage was the most important way of creating bonds of artificial kinship.

Keywords: inheritance; kinship terms; agnatic kinship; bilateral kinship; the kinship of alliance; fosterage

Chapter.  11684 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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