Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 17786
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Tarbin , Stephanie.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Moral Regulation and Civic Identity in London, 1400-1530
  • Source: Our Medieval Heritage: Essays in Honour of John Tillotson for His 60th Birthday.  Edited by Linda Rasmussen, Valerie Spear, and Dianne Tillotson.  Merton Priory Press, 2002.  Pages 126 - 136.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Essay
  • Subject (See Also): Cities and Towns Courts of Law Femininity Gender London Masculinity Morality Sexuality
  • Geographic Area: British Isles
  • Century: 14- 15
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  • Abstract: Allegations of sexual misconduct featured prominently among the business of medieval church courts, which were concerned to correct spiritual offences. But moral regulation was not solely the province of the church, as secular authorities also investigated sexual infractions and prosecuted delinquents. This article investigates the purpose of such activities by London's civic governors, considering their significance in terms of gender. Ordinances and records of prosecutions show that the city's rulers viewed their correctional activities as a necessary responsibility of moral Christian government, borrowing extensively from Christian teachings to elaborate a rhetoric of good rule and civic honesty. For London's leading citizens, the public regulation of sexuality guaranteed the honour of the city and asserted the virtuous government of the city's rulers. The essay will explore how understandings of masculinity and femininity were implicated in the construction of civic identity, arguing that male sexual discipline was the desired result of moral regulation. [Reproduced by permission of both the author and the publisher. The collection's Website is available at http://arts.anu.edu.au/medievalheritage/.]
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  • Year of Publication: 2002.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 1898937559
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