During the later Middle Ages, England was home to tens of thousands of people of foreign birth, urging the English royal government to consider issues of nationality and alien status. This study claims that the legal, administrative and fiscal framework for the rights and regulation of immigrants that was developed in response never created a straightforward binary between aliens (people born outside the kingdom) and denizens (those born in England). Drawing on the records of the alien subsidies and on chancery documents, it argues that the local agents of the English crown deployed national labels in very specific and purposeful ways, contingent on the vagaries of international politics and trade, rather than on a supposed generalised anti-alien sentiment.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMigrants in Medieval England, c. 500-1500
EditorsW. Mark Ormrod, Joanna Story, Elizabeth Tyler
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings of the British Academy
PublisherOxford University Press

ID: 51275934