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The Proprietary Church in the Medieval West$
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Susan Wood

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780198206972

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206972.001.0001

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Noble founders and their heirs

Noble founders and their heirs

Chapter:
(p.339) 12 Noble founders and their heirs
Source:
The Proprietary Church in the Medieval West
Author(s):

Susan Wood

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206972.003.0013

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.

Keywords:   lordship, monasteries, heirs, Nobles, proprietary church, inheritance, property, Germany, France

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