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The Field of Property Devolution in Norway During the Late Middle Ages: Inheritance Settlements, Marriage Contracts and Legal Disputes

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Chapter Summary

Spouses' control over property during marriage was conditioned and influenced by a series of factors pertaining both to legal regulations of different kinds and to various sets of interests based on the relationship between the conjugal couple and their relatives on both sides. This chapter throws light upon the various legal procedures and actions that were applied to property devolution in late medieval Norway. After an overview of the premises laid down by the legal framework and the available options defined by legislation, focus is directed on legal practice, as it can be reconstructed from charters, verdicts, and contractual agreements. The chapter pays attention to a set of documents which highlight the procedures followed and actions taken by actors with family roots in the lesser aristocracy of western Norway, who succeeded in consolidating property complexes in the southern part of the country.

Keywords: contractual agreements; family roots; inheritance settlements; legal procedures; marriage contracts; Norway; property devolution



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