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Reinterpreting Daughters’ Economic Power In Late Medieval London

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Chapter Summary

According to the Husting Wills, there were a significant number of women in late medieval London who were given opportunities by their parents to own and manage real estate as well as movable property, and to participate in investment activities to financially support themselves and others. The results of this study on daughters' inheritance, the research into women's property ownership, and a consideration of daughters' inheritance in other English towns, reveals that while the late Middle Ages was not a golden age in terms of equal economic opportunities with men, these were women who chose various locations in which to work and pursue a means of livelihood. Research into the investment strategies of medieval women is allowing a greater realization of the position of women in medieval society. Scholars' research has firmly established women's work as lower paid, less stable, relatively unskilled, and more diverse than men's.

Keywords: daughters' inheritance; economic power; English towns; Husting Wills; late Middle Ages; Medieval London



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