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7/8 April 2022 Workshop 3: Affinities & Administration

With the third workshop, we turn to questions of administration and the affinities of queens' and royal women.

Detail of a presentation miniature with Christine de Pisan presenting her book to queen Isabeau of Bavaria. Illuminated miniature from The Book of the Queen (various works by Christine de Pizan), BL Harley 4431 © British Library

We have asked contributers to consider the following questions:

  1. What means were used to administer the queen’s or a royal woman's lands (council, officers, etc)? How did this vary in various realms and over time? What documentation survives that helps us to ascertain ther relationship with these officers and/or councils and her engagement with the management of her lands? To what extent did she demonstrate ‘good lordship’?

  2. To what extent are the officers/tenants of her land connected to her household? Can we view the officers/tenants of her land as a network or affinity? How can we map or trace these affinities using prosopographical techniques or social network theory? Can we see particular noble or gentry families as having deep connections or affiliations to queens through their lands and/or households?

  3. Reputation: To what extent did the queen/royal woman and/or her officials enhance or damage her reputation? Was she considered a good (land)lord or avaricious? Did her lands have a positive or negative connotation—did her subjects feel they benefitted from her rule or stewardship of the lands/cities/territory?

  4. Competition & cooperation: How extensive was the queen’s/the royal woman's authority in her own lands? Did she have jurisdiction over justice, the ability to grant privileges, remission of taxes etc? What happened when disputes in or over the princess's lands needed to be arbitrated by her husband/the ruler? How aggressive were particular these women in protecting their lands and rights?

There will be short presentations on eight case studies analysing how European empresses, queens, and royal women administred their wealth, their lands, and resources, and their networks of officials and other affinities (14th–18th c.).

Schedule Workshop 3 RRRW Affinities and Administration Draft
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