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Grant number like: FA-54458-09

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Barbara Ann Hanawalt
Ohio State University (Columbus, OH 43210-1132)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$33,600 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2010 – 8/31/2010

Civic Order and Dispute Resolution in 14th- and 15th-Century London

Maintaining order in medieval London was a major concern of city officials. The population was a volatile mix of elite citizens, nobles, new immigrants from the countryside, and foreigners. For London citizens the failure to keep order could mean the loss of the city charter and the assumption of government by the king rather than the elected officials. My hypothesis is that London consciously cultivated a well-regulated judicial system, but that the court system would not have worked had the authorities failed to establish respect for their office and define boundaries of correct behavior. The dignity of city officials was established through ceremonies surrounding their election and installation, progresses through the city, oaths required of new citizens, public reading of city laws,and punishments for those who infringed on officials' power. London also encouraged and engaged in dispute resolution through negotiation, mediation, and arbitration.