This paper aims to reconstruct the yeomen users of the Westminster Statute Staple court in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. It relies upon the insights of the certificates of statute staple, as well as a range of other supplementary materials, such as subsidy records, extents for debt and wills, so as to analyse these individuals through a dual statistical and prosopographical methodology. The first section, focusing upon the traditional measures applied to members of the yeomanry, explores the wealth and land of such individuals to construct a basic archetype. Analysis of land holding patterns and subsidy assessments are examined, with particular reference to the forty-shilling criterion typically used to demarcate yeomen. The second section examines the movable property of these yeomen staple users, largely through analysis of inventories attached to extents for debt. Important emphasis is placed upon the agrarian associations of such property and the social status imparted by the kinds of animals they possessed. Finally, this paper explores internal notions of ‘yeomanliness’ and employs the selected, illustrative exemplars of William Aleyn and John Gravener to demonstrate the trends outlined in previous sections, through detailed prosopographical reconstruction of their lives and activities. Ultimately this paper will uncover the complexity surrounding the categorisation of this particular social grouping within the context of the Westminster staple court.
"‘In Pursuit of ‘‘Yeomanliness’’: Investigating the Yeomen Users of the Westminster Statute Staple Court, 1485-1532’.,"
Medieval Prosopography: Vol. 35
, Article 5.
Available at: https://scholarworks.wmich.edu/medpros/vol35/iss1/5