Land, laws and ladies: A study of women and property in late medieval Edinburgh, 1514-1528

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Morgenstern, Chaya
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University of Guelph

This thesis is an examination of women and property in late-medieval Edinburgh from 1514-1528 according to the protocol books of the notary John Foular. The protocol books are used in an attempt to reconstruct how women's interaction with property varied according to marital status and position within their birth families. The laws of the period are used in conjunction with the protocol books in order to compare social practise with prescribed laws. The protocol books show that due to the laws, women were able to inherit family lands. The protocols also show that marital status seemed to have effected women's decisions with regards to how they allocated their property. Widows appear to have more freedom than married women. Uncovering women in Scottish history is a growing field, which uses unconventional sources. This study follows the work by historians by using a plethora of sources, including poems, law books, maps, and the protocols. This thesis is one of a very few academic studies to examine Foular's protocols from 1514-1528 in their entirety.

Edinburgh, medieval, women, property, protocol books