Noble founders and their heirs
The emergence of hereditary lordship over monasteries is actually quite obscure, more so than that of lordship arising from lay abbacy. It was no more than adumbrated in the eighth century, when the loose structure of aristocratic kin-groups did not favour it; and in the ninth century, it was rather by collecting lay abbacies (with other honores) that the great families moved towards territorial lordship and patrilinear succession. Some of them meanwhile had lost whatever shaky hold they had on their ancestors' foundations. This chapter argues that heirs still often claimed a direct possession more abbot-like than purely lordly, and that when new lay foundations picked up again in the later ninth century, they were seldom unambiguously intended for descendants' permanent outside lordship.
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