Assimilation in north-western England from the Norman conquest to the early thirteenth century: The Kirkby, Pennington and Copeland families
The University of Leeds
49 - 66
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By looking at three families, all of Anglo-Scandinavian descent in the male line and neighbours in the Furness peninsula, this article seeks to examine the particular ways in which they, and similar families in the region, adapted to the changes that occurred in the century and a half or so after the Norman Conquest. By the early thirteenth century, an assimilation had taken place whereby these families were beginning to play the role expected of knightly families in thirteenth-century England as a whole, taking their place within a single elite alongside families that traced their male descent back to Continental immigrants. The article examines this process of assimilation by looking at the families' participation in the local aristocratic network, their changing naming practices, their marriage and landholding relationships, and their mix of old and new tenures. It further looks at the introduction of castles, markets and boroughs, and the families' interaction with the growing penetration and sophistication of royal and ecclesiastical administration in the region. Finally, it examines the families' reaction to, and participation in, the transformation of the local Church, both secular and regular. © 2010 Maney Publishing.