By J. Goldberg
Did medieval girls have the ability to settle on? it is a query on the middle of this booklet which explores 3 proceedings from Yorkshire within the many years after the Black loss of life. Alice de Rouclif was once a baby heiress made to marry the illegitimate son of the neighborhood abbot after which kidnapped via her feudal more advantageous. Agnes Grantham used to be a profitable businesswoman ambushed and assaulted in a woodland when on her strategy to dine with the grasp of St Leonard’s clinic. Alice Brathwell was once a good widow who attracted the attentions of a supposedly aristocratic conman. those are their tales.
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Additional resources for Communal Discord, Child Abduction, and Rape in the Later Middle Ages
21 She was a child of her mother’s second marriage; Ellen de Rouclif may well have lost her first husband in the Black Death leaving her with a son, John Fische, then aged about nine. Ellen had married Alice’s father in the parish church of Alne, some ten miles northwest of York, around Michaelmas 1350 (or perhaps 1351). Two years later she gave birth to a son John, but he was not to survive infancy; Alice never knew her older brother. Alice herself was born on Saturday 29 March 1354 (or perhaps the day before) in a basement room in the family home in Rawcliffe.
Alice’s concern was not, as we would see it today, that her husband-to-be had effectively raped her, but rather that he had had sexual relations with her prior to the solemnization of their marriage. Her lament was that she was willing to be his wife, but not his mistress. She complained to Anabilla, urging that the marriage take place as soon as possible and made her case in person before John, who ordered her to be quiet and wait patiently. In the meantime John, who was in London at some point at least, continued to send her various gifts as he had done since even before their spousals.
For Alice the strangeness of being uprooted from her mother, her most immediate kin, her childhood home, her natal village and of being made to live among strangers would have been compensated for, at least to a degree, by having two girls near to her own age as companions. Alice de Rolleston and her younger sister Joan were Anabilla’s daughters. Like Alice, they were 26 DISCOR D, CH I L D A BDUCT ION, A N D R A PE almost certainly what contemporaries would have understood as orphans since it is probable that this was also Anabilla’s second marriage.