Occasional Paper No. 48 Medieval Birmingham: the Borough Rentals of 1296 and 1344
Research into the history of medieval Birmingham has long been bedevilled by a lack of sources. Though scholars had come to accept that a town must have been in existence from an early date, its size, layout and economy has remained largely a mystery. But George Demidowicz's unexpected discovery of two borough rentals for Birmingham, for 1296 and 1344-5, in the estate archive at Longleat House, in Wiltshire, has transformed the situation. His detailed analysis of these has, for the first time, allowed new insight into the topography of what was clearly a thriving town, the place of origin of many of the inhabitants, the trades they practised, the distribution of wealth, the nature and extent of their holdings and the types of building most commonly found. By careful comparison he is also able to demonstrate changes in the settlement during the first half of the fourteenth century and these are summarised in plans, graphs and tables. In a substantial appendix, the author also provides a full text of the two rentals.
|ISBN-13:||978 0 85220 090 2|
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