A convent and its farmers – conflict and consensus (Abstract)

The impression that charters give us of the relations between feudal landlords and their tenant farmers is highly one-sided. Charters tend to reflect only the normative side of the relationship and the conflicts. In order to gain insights into the everyday relationship, we need to turn to other sources. In account registers, for example, we find information on the routine relations between feudal landlords and their subordinate farmers, as well as on the farmers’ economic situation. By means of charters and account registers, the everyday relations between the Dominican convent St. Katharinen in St. Gallen and the farmers cultivating one of its estates can be retraced in detail. The account registers contain records of the individual payments of dues together with information on the material, the amount and the person delivering these dues to the convent. Irregularities such as long time gaps or unusually large amounts of payment can be brought into connection with conflicts recorded in the charters, which opens new perspectives on the conflicts and their resolution. It can be shown that the feudal landlords did not insist on their rights in every case, they were, under certain circumstances, prepared to find a consensual solution.

 

Rural History 2013

University of Bern, 19-22 August 2013, http://www.ruralhistory2013.org/

 

Panel „Everyday Relations between Tenant Farmers and Landlords in the Middle Ages“:

http://www.ruralhistory2013.org/panels/RuralHistory2013_Panel_11.5.pdf


Claudia Sutter

Mitarbeiterin im Stadtarchiv der Ortsbürgergemeinde St. Gallen, Interessengebiete Wirtschafts- und Sozialgeschichte, Alltagsgeschichte des Spätmittelalters

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