Nobles other than founders' heirs

Susan Wood

in The Proprietary Church in the Medieval West

Published in print August 2006 | ISBN: 9780198206972
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191725029 | DOI:
Nobles other than founders' heirs

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  • Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)


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Alongside the lordship of rulers over many higher churches, and that beginning to emerge of other founders and their heirs, are two other important ways for nobles to tap the economic resources of monasteries, and often their social, cultural, and spiritual riches too, without any necessary basis in foundation. These are lay abbacy (initially an outcome of the ruler's lordship), and the more elusive advocacy. Advocacy in most of its manifestations — or senses — was either an aspect or an adjunct of lordship over churches, but not inseparable from it; and where it existed separately, whatever its origins, it is doubtful whether it alone could lead (or lead back) to formal, juridical lordship. Its importance by the 10th century, like that of lay abbacy earlier, reflects the fact that outside lords of monasteries could not normally walk in or send in their men to take whatever dues or produce they wanted or settle the succession to tenancies.

Keywords: nobles; monasteries; proprietary church; property; advocacy; lay abbacy; lordship; abbots

Chapter.  14994 words. 

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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