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Lords and Lordship in the British Isles in the Late Middle Ages$
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Rees Davies and Brendan Smith

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199542918

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199542918.001.0001

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Display and Magnificence

Display and Magnificence

(p.58) 2 Display and Magnificence
Lords and Lordship in the British Isles in the Late Middle Ages

R. R. Davies

Oxford University Press

The centrality to lordship of conspicuous display and expenditure is emphasized. The role of the Crown in devising new titles such as ‘duke’, and the way it reinforced its own authority by conferring such titles with particular pomp is considered. Aristocratic expenditure on clothes and furnishings, and on the employment of heralds broadcast their power, as did their ability to clothe large numbers of supporters in their livery, and feed large numbers at their tables on a regular basis. It was on such displays of largesse that their reputation was built, and the occasions of baptism, knighting, marriage, and death provided opportunities for such displays. Particular attention is paid to funerals and the religious bequests which often accompanied them. The personal nature of the bond of lordship was strengthened by the ceremonies which accompanied the entry of a new lord into his lordship.

Keywords:   display, new titles, expenditure, reputation, baptism, knighting, marriage, funerals

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