'And so, enquire the difference': Gender, land, and social change in twelfth and thirteenth century England, a study of maritagium and fee tail
Phillips, Ginger Jaye
Drew, Katherine Fischer
Master of Arts
The maritagium and the gift in tail were conditional gifts by which land from the patrimony might be provided to daughters and younger sons while ensuring that when such cadet branches failed the land would return to the central inheritance. The coalescence of the common law around coherent principles and the legislation of Edward I on land conveyance resulted in the demise of the maritagium as a land conveyance form and its replacement by the gift in tail. Also, attitudes about the place of women in the family and marriage and the economic changes of the thirteenth century, which encouraged the development of a flexible strategy between demesne and rented lands created a land sales market, caused the practice of granting marriage portions in land to daughters to be replaced by monetary and chattel gifts, while no such change was made in the provision for younger sons.
Medieval history; Law; Women's studies