Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 5486
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): French , Katherine L.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Maidens' Lights and Wives' Stores: Women's Parish Guilds in Late Medieval England
  • Source URL: Sixteenth Century Journal: The Journal of Early Modern Studies (Full Text via JSTOR) 29, 2 (Summer 1998): 399-425. Link Info target = '_blank'>Sixteenth Century Journal: The Journal of Early Modern Studies (Full Text via JSTOR) 29, 2 (Summer 1998): 399-425. Link Info
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Community Life Fund Raising Gender Hagiography Lay Piety Parish Guilds Parishes Social Groups Women in Religion
  • Geographic Area: British Isles
  • Century: 15- 16
  • Related Resources:
  • Primary Evidence:
  • Illustrations:
  • Table: Four tables and six graphs. Table One Income levels of female and male wardens in the Surrey parish of Horley, 1518-1530. Table Two Income levels of female and male wardens in the Devon parish of Chagford, 1518-1530. Table Three Income levels of female and make wardens in the parish of Morebath in Devon. Table Four parishes with women's guilds, lights, or collections. Notes the membership (maidens of wives), the saint to which the group gives its devotions, and the documentary evidence. Graph One Income in pence from St. Mary's Guild, Chagford, Devon. Graph Two Income in pence from Town and Country Wives, Wimborne Minster, Dorset. Graph Three Income in pence from men's and women's guilds, Horley, Surrey. Graph Four Income in pence from men's guilds, Morebath, Devon. Graph Six Income in pence from virgins, St. Margaret's, Westminster.
  • Abstract: The dynamism of the late medieval English parish found some of its expression in new roles and opportunities for women. Churchwardens' accounts show a late fifteenth-century increase in the number and variety of parish activities carried out by women in all-women groups. Parish guilds for married women and single women became a part of communal religious practice, and a means of expressing religious concerns particular to women. Within these groups women organized, raised funds, socialized and worshiped. These new roles gave women visibility and leadership opportunities, but also paradoxically affirmed and reinforced what were deemed to be appropriate female behavior and interests. [Reproduced by permission of the Sixteenth Century Journal publishers.]
  • Author's Affiliation: State University of New York, New Paltz.
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 1998.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 03610160
  • Material/Technique :
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