Recent read: S.K. Cohn, Popular protest in Late Medieval English Towns (Cambridge, 2013)



Highly recommended. I picked this up yesterday from the University Library, meaning to skim and pick out the bits relevant to my particular study of the moment, but ended up reading the whole thing,  taking copious notes of things to follow up in the rolls and deciding to look into some sort of commemoration of the Bristol revolts and siege of 1312-16 – very well treated here.

The book makes clear and interesting points of contrast between English and (certain) Continental European jurisdictions, and also between what is to be found in chronicles and what is to be found in ‘official’ sources (here, the Patent Rolls) on this subject. No doubt its contrasts and analysis will be the stuff of debates for some time to come. I can imagine that points could be made about the extent to which we can or should rely on reports of offences, and there are several places (usually acknowledged) in which further research in judicial records would be helpful, but this book amounts to several real steps forward in this area, and should serve to broaden debates on popular protest from the few well-known examples and accounts.

GCS 28/2/2014