中世イングランドにおける高齢者扶養と介護(上) [in Japanese] Supporting and Caring for the Old in Medieval England (1 [in Japanese]
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Aged people have been facing much difficulties even at present when the social security systems are prepared to a certain extent. Particularly, in spite of implementation of the long-term care insurance system, caring for the elderly people gives a great burden to family members who are looking after them. Then, how were the old supported and looked after in medieval England when such security systems were lacking? It was common that the elderly were supported by their offspring without any contracts. However, some of elderly tenants without ability to manage their holdings had to nagotiate the maintenance agreemens/contracts with those who would support them and take over their holdings, whether they were their offspring or not. The number of the contracts differs before or after the Black Death and from region to region. In East Anglia, according to Elaine Clark, while the contracts between non-kin occupied 24 of 45 contracts before the Black Death, thereafter the ratio increased to 82 of 114. In contrast, Christopher Dyer says that few maintenance agreements were recorded in the manorial court rolls of Worcester Cathedral Priory after the Black Death. Although it isn't easy to explain the cause of this difference between the regions, some explanations can be given. First, considering the known fact that there was a correlation between the economic status of peasant families and the number of their offspring, in East Anglia the dominance of small holdings among those encumbered with obligations to maintain the elderly explains that the contracts between non relatives outnumbered those between relatives. Second, the difference above mentioned might be formed from the difference of estate management policies or manorial management policies. While a lot of maintenance agreements can be found in the manor court records of Ramsey Abbey and somewhere in East Anglia,few can be in those of Merton College and Worcester Cathedral Priory. No matter what difference there was as stated above, nevertheless both the villagers and the manor lords made efforts together to keep the agreements. By the maintenance agreements, elderly peasants could secure the resources for their remaining life even if it was a subsistence level.
- Bulletin of the Yamagata University. Social science
Bulletin of the Yamagata University. Social science 34(2), 59-82, 2004-02