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County and Community in Medieval England

Dodd, Gwilym



The following are two typical 'county community' petitions from the first half of the fourteenth century, presented in the parliaments of 1322 and 1344 respectively: 1. To our lord the king and to his council, the community of the county of Lincolnshire [la communalte du conte de Nicole] ask that he should have regard for the mischiefs and losses that have occurred and still occur as a result of animal murrain, flooding of low-lying land, failure of corn and because people have been taken and put to ransom by the king's enemies and rebels, and many have abandoned their lands and houses, through malice and for fear of these enemies, so that much of the land of the county is unsown. Notwithstanding this, Robert Darcy and Piers Breton are demanding 4,000 well-armed foot-soldiers from the community, with ten shillings per soldier for expenses, which amounts to 8,000 li, including their armour, which sum, with the aforesaid charge, the county cannot afford without being destroyed forever. Moreover your bailiffs and ministers have taken a great amount of corn and malt for the king's use, to the great harm of the county. For which things, for God, they request that he consider their misfortunes, protesting that they are ready to give him what help they can, if it is done with the counsel of men of good will who know the county.


Dodd, G. (2019). County and Community in Medieval England. English Historical Review, 134(569), 777–820.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 28, 2019
Online Publication Date Aug 12, 2019
Publication Date 2019-08
Deposit Date May 29, 2019
Publicly Available Date Aug 13, 2021
Journal The English Historical Review
Print ISSN 0013-8266
Electronic ISSN 1477-4534
Publisher Oxford University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 134
Issue 569
Pages 777–820
Keywords History
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in English Historical Review following peer review. The version of record Gwilym Dodd, County and Community in Medieval England, The English Historical Review, , cez187, is available online at: and


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