SESSION II: Eleventh Century Landholdings and Landholders
Context and Cultivation: The Formation of a Monastic Property Network in Eleventh Century Brittany
Regan Eby (Boston College)
The Benedictine abbey of St. Florent obtained a significant number of properties and expansion. The abbey of St. Florent grew in the context of local situations and relationships. In the mid-1060’s, patronage was received through the local lords. 45 to 60 charters appear in a 12th century chartulary and cover the period of 1066 – 1087. Some are brief third person notices after 1078, others are donations made to the monastery. The donations were given at important markers of the local lord’s life.
The monastery became an intense point of engagement with local lords and knights. Notices record donations made by high status individuals. Other people took advantage of the moment of foundation by adding their name to recorded engagements. 18 donations were made during the first 10 years of the monastery’s existence. 35 people gave, took away or sold property to the monastery during this period. Local engagement coalesced around the properties donated to by the the lords John, Gilduin and William of Dol.
Local engagement was further channeled through ties of lordship. John was lord of Dol before he entered the monastery. The monastery’s property and social networks were built around the property John was tied to and he personally settled a number of claims to the monastery’s property. After he became a monk there, he continued to actively protect the monastery by dealing with the monastery’s detractors by settling their claims. Local experience and local meanings were bound up with the experiences of the lords who patronised St. Florent..