Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 5690
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): McDonald , R. Andrew.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Matrimonial Politics and Core- Periphery Interactions in Twelfth- and Early Thirteenth- Century Scotland
  • Source: Journal of Medieval History 21, 3 (Sept. 1995): Pages 227 - 247.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Anglo- Normans Ethnic Relations Kings Marriage Nobility Politics Scotland Social History
  • Geographic Area: British Isles
  • Century: 12-13
  • Related Resources:
  • Primary Evidence:
  • Illustrations:
  • Table: Chart of matrimonial politics and core- periphery interactions in twelfth- and thirteenth- century Scotland.
  • Abstract: The medieval kingdom of Scotland was an amalgam of diverse ethnic elements which included Gaels, Britons, Anglo-Saxons, Scandinavians, and Normans. This paper explores one mechanism which is generally considered to have been of tremendous importance in fostering accommodation and understanding between cultures in medieval society: matrimony. An examination of the marriage alliances of prominent members of the native nobility of eastern Scotland demonstrates that matrimony played a crucial role in binding Scottish families to Anglo-Norman newcomers, to the Normanophile Scottish monarchs, and to one another. However, the marriage alliances of the powerful west-coast princes contrast sharply to those of the eastern nobility and demonstrate how matrimonial alliances also served another purpose: namely, building up and maintaining an alliance of princes in the upland margins of the kingdom who opposed Anglo-Norman ways and the extension of feudalism into these regions. This in turn suggests that there existed a fundamental dichotomy in Scottish society between the feudal kingdom of Scotland and those regions ringing the Irish Sea. Close examination of the matrimonial patterns of the twelfth-century Scottish nobility therefore reinforces some long-held convictions about the fabric of Scottish society, while calling others into question. [Reprinted from the Journal of Medieval History 21, McDonald, "Matrimonial politics and core-periphery interactions in twelfth- and early thirteenth-century Scotland," 227, 1995, with permission from Elsevier Science.]
  • Author's Affiliation: Trent University
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 1995.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 03044181
  • Material/Technique :
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