The British Church In The 14th Century

1476 words - 6 pages

The British Church in the 14th Century


In the summer of 1381 a large group of peasants led by Wat Tyler stormed London. These peasants, unwilling to pay another poll tax to pay for an unpopular war against France and discontent with unfair labor wages, freed prisoners from London prisons, killed merchants, and razed the home of John of Gaunt, considered the creator of the poll tax. Perhaps more important, however, was the rebels attack on the Temple, a symbol of the British Church’s wealth and power. The rebels burned the charters, legal records of the Church’s vast land-holdings, stored within the Temple. This act - a religious building being targeted of in rebellion against a mismanaged, abusive government - shows an acknowledgement by the peasantry of the British Church’s political power. The Church’s involvement in politics, though making it more central in a person’s life, also left it more vulnerable to corruption and subsequent criticism.
The Church in Britain was a medieval “cradle to grave” institution. People were born Christian, received Baptism shortly after, married under a Christian auspices, and were given their Christian last rites shortly before they died. This type of existence is talked of in literature of the time, such as in Langland’s Piers the Ploughman. During a chapter entitled “The Teaching of the Holy Church,” Langland asks for the name of a woman who has quoted “such wise words of Holy Scripture“ (Langland, p. 34):
“‘I am the Holy Church,’ She replied, ‘You should recognize me, for I received you when you were a child and first taught you the Faith. You came to me with godparents, who pledged you to love and obey me for all your life.’” (Langland, p. 34)
This kind of comment demonstrates the deep central role that the Church played in a British person’s life.
The Church’s importance on a smaller, community level reinforced the Church‘s centrality to a person‘s life. Churches served a multitude of functions to communities, such as time keeper, boundary marker, and record keeper. People knew where they were in the calendar year from the announcement of holidays. The border of their parish was established by the annual tradition of beating the bounds. A record of a parish’s members, both alive and dead, was kept in the Bede Roll. Local churches also served as poor relief and even served as a marker of social standing, with more prominent individuals having pews closer to the front of the church. These are a just a few examples of how the Church played a central role and had a political importance on a more local level.
Because of this importance, the role of a local pastor was especially important. Many Church officials were also wealthy landowners, especially bishops, who sat in Parliament and were among the King’s counselors (The Oxford History of Britain, p. 241). In practice, it made no difference if a local priest was good or bad, they still worked on authority of the Church. ...

Find Another Essay On The British Church in the 14th Century

An Illustration of Monastic Life in the 14th Century: Jean-Jacques Annaud's The Name of the Rose

1154 words - 5 pages Jean-Jacques Annaud, The Name of the Rose historical fiction murder mystery illustrates monastic life in the 14th century. This medieval film takes place in a remote Benedictine abbey in Northern Italy. Annaud is historically successful in recounting monastic life during the Middle Ages. The enriching backdrop of this film presents the culture of monastic life. The setting is beautifully examined and replicated to show the distinct and

The Relationship between the British Empire and the British Industrial Revolution in the 18th Century

786 words - 3 pages During the 18th century, a great change occurred in Britain. Britain became an industrialized country and an empire. The Industrial Revolution can be regarded as a technological change in Britain when manufacturing began to rely on steam power rather than on animal labour or wind power. The overall economic shift towards large scale industry rather than small scale individual operations. The British Empire was expanding rapidly during the 18th

Changes in the 19th Century British Press J de Salles

2185 words - 9 pages Changes in the 19th Century British PressDuring the nineteenth century the press changed because of changing attitudes in society, advances in technology and changes in law. The press changed gradually over this course with certain people playing an important role in this progression.The first thing to consider is the feelings towards the press from the turn of the eighteenth century into the nineteenth century. It was a time of popular

Henry the 14th

1314 words - 5 pages relations with the Catholic church were in stable. The protestant rebellion that was building in tension and ferocity over the past years was a looming threat to the king's power. By strengthening ties to the church, King Louis XIV was able to defend his absolutist power. Due to the fact that the church was an administrative hierarchy, there were several factions within this one institution that the king had to preside over. First, the immense

What impact did the Black Death have on 14th century Europe?

789 words - 4 pages The Black Death was the worst pandemic in human history and changed Europe forever. 14th century Europe was a structured feudal society, with people dedicated to their churches, little did they know that a plague would not only kill a third of the population but put the structure of their lives into a whirlwind. Towns and Cities that were bursting at the seams with their huge populations were turned into ghost towns and infrastructure collapsed

Christian and Muslim Views on the 14th Century Plague, Known as Black Death

767 words - 3 pages The infamous plague, known as the Black Death, was a deadly disease which managed to spread throughout Europe and the Middle East in the 14th century. Although both the Europeans and the Empires of Islam experienced the Black Death, each region had different responses and reasons for the causes of the disease. Empires of Islam viewed the plague as a blessing from God while Europeans believed it was a punishment from Him. As a result of the Black

British administration in Hong Kong in the first half of the 20th century

562 words - 2 pages Since Hong Kong was a British colony, under the British administration, the Letters Patent and the Royal Instructions issues by the Crown of England were the legal basis of the structure of the Hong Kong government.Under this system, the British had the monopoly of power. It was also an executive-led government. The governor appointed by the crown of England was the representative and top decision-maker in Hong Kong. He was very powerful.Firstly

Women in the church

1312 words - 6 pages The 21st century, is led by a women’s movement that is allowing women to hold powerful positions in corporations that were once only considered for men. However, the Roman Catholic Church is one of the last few standing organizations that is still male dominated. Women are not allowed to be ordained ministers but rather take vows to become nuns. Therefore, women do not have influence on policies that are being imposed onto everyday Catholics

Women in the Church

1839 words - 7 pages a visit. This idea has led some, including Karen Jo Torjessen, author of When Women Were Priest to argue that their domestic duties, in these small apartments as “head of household duties” led them to acquire power, wealth, and influence in the church, thus causing them to become leaders in the church. As the first century after Jesus’ disappearance, the women’s role began to increase in scope as these charismatic communities continued to grow

Literature in the Church

881 words - 4 pages the Renaissance period. Art, language and the church are one of those who had more changes. The change from the medieval period to the renaissance period, had an effect on the language and subjects, including individualism, in church literature. The language, variety of subjects, and individualism are some of the topics that changed between the medieval period and the renaissance period. The language changed took a turn very large between the

Leadership in the church

2002 words - 8 pages leadership situation. He has to manage keeping clear of the law and recognition while fulfilling his desire to start a new successful church. Sonny or now The Apostle E. F.'s leadership situation starts out in Bayou Boutte, Louisiana. The Apostle knows he needs to have a companion with connections to be a success in this community. Therefore he meets up with a local, an elder black pastor named C. Charles Blackwell who's health has deterred him

Similar Essays

England In The 14th Century: The Most Significant Social Changes

1206 words - 5 pages The fourteenth century in Europe was a time of great social change. Social opportunities were increasing for groups that had previously been excluded from much of society, especially peasants and women. Class barriers were also beginning to become less stringent that they had previously been, as well as urbanisation and commercialisation becoming more prominent. On the other side of the spectrum, increasing resistance to the established order

14th Century Outbreak Of The Black Plague

1293 words - 5 pages 14th Century Outbreak of the Black Plague In 1300, multiple out breaks of the Black Plague arised. For example, in the thirteenth century an outbreak in China killed one third of the population. Several dates before this time showed the disease was present years ago in Europe. Dying from the Plague was scary to most people and Jordan Mcmullin, an author stresses, “Whenever the Plague appeared the sadness of death was terrifying” (Mcmullin

Analogy Of Wynnere And Wastoure In The Middle Of The 14th Century

2359 words - 9 pages and wealthier. The friars and Pope (the church in general) was also extremely wealthy and had become so only in a short amount of time compared to the age of the nobility in England. The army of Waster can be seen as the nobles. Here we can see that this battle sets the stage for the rest of the book. A battle between Wynnere, the emerging wealthy class, and Wastoure, the old noble class of wealth which is becoming gradually less powerful

History Of Religion In Politics Spanning From The 14th Century Until Now

1469 words - 6 pages more accessible and more people learned how to read, this lead to people to interpret the bible in their own ways skewing the beliefs of the general public which brought the separation of Catholicism which weakened the church's power. Now today more and more people are turning from religion, becoming more skeptical, and the church now has no say in what is decided in today's politics.In the 14th and part of the 15th century the Roman Catholic