Evidence of Public Voice and Fame in the London Consistory Court, c. 1486-1494 Thesis uri icon



  • Thesis (M.A., History) -- University of Idaho, 2017 | Witness depositions from marriage litigation cases in the medieval London Consistory Court frequently reference public voice and fame, by which witnesses asserted that the facts to which they testified—usually the existence of a marriage—were public knowledge in their parish. Witnesses also referred to the ill fame of opposing witnesses, using their poor reputations to discredit their testimony. Fame has been discussed only briefly in previous studies, and scholars differ on whether it had legal value. I argue that it did. Although the London Consistory was an ecclesiastical court, marriage was a social as well as a religious event and the public knowledge of the community was legitimate evidence. Fame was also a recognized legal concept frequently used in other situations. Finally, fame was presented as evidence in a substantial majority of London Consistory cases, often carefully and in detail, which indicates that it had legal value.

subject area of

  • History  ProQuest T&D Subject Heading

publication date

  • June 1, 2017


output of