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Lawyers in Society 1258 - 1558

1 August 2007 - 31 July 2009

PI/s in Exeter: Professor Anthony Musson

Funding awarded: £ 80,641

Sponsor(s): Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)

About the research

'Lawyers in Society' was a historical reconstruction of the social milieu and ethos of members of the legal profession in medieval and Tudor England. It complemented what we know of the legal world inhabited by lawyers by examining their private lives: how they conducted themselves, how they managed their estates and households, where they lived, what their houses were like, their cultural pursuits and the nature of their marriages and alliances.

The project assessed how men of law fitted into local society and, by tracing their social aspirations, achievements and disappointments, evaluated the permeability of class boundaries and the acceptability of new entrants to the county gentry and aristocracy. It revealed evidence of lawyers' views of themselves, and contextualised the perceptions engendered by activities carried out in a professional capacity.