«The development of the family into a small unit in which descent was traced almost exclusively through the male line is regarded as a major turning ...»
Early Medieval Europe 2001 10 (3) # Blackwell Publishers Ltd 2001 Transformation of kinship and family prominent role (than St Albans) in the salvation of the souls of áthelgifu and her husband, while álfwold and álfnoth were not permitted to pass on these estates to heirs. There may also have been an implicit kinship coding. Leofsige donated food which needed no preparation after it had reached St Albans, such as honey, cheese and wine, but álfwold and álfnoth provided the monks of Hitchin, Welwyn and Braughing with food which had to be prepared and cooked, such as malt and meal. These differences may have re¯ected a differentiation in the intended relationship between Leofsige and the monks of St Albans, and that between other kinsmen and religious houses.
Although a series of gradations separated Leofsige, álfnoth and álfwold, they belonged to an inner circle of kinsfolk. Other kinsmen, such as áthelgifu's sister's son (Leofwine) and all of áthelgifu's kinswomen belonged to an outer circle. They received less substantial gifts, comprising one or two hides or chattels, and they were not required to donate annual food renders to religious houses.63 There may have been an expectation that they might attend the celebration of the mass which was to be offered for the souls of áthelgifu and her husband on her commemoration day, which may have been followed by a commemoration feast. Through such rituals, bonds of kinship and friendship between monks and kinsfolk may have been strengthened and given value, but they also had an exclusive dimension, with other kin being completely left out. Eadhelm, son of áthelgifu's sister-in-law, received neither lands nor chattels, and was not allotted a role in the rituals of food donations to the religious houses entrusted with the salvation of the souls of áthelgifu and her husband.64 Other kinsfolk belonging to her husband's natal family may have been similarly excluded.
áthelgifu's estates had passed to her as dower, and their ®nal descent to St Albans and other minsters may have been strongly in¯uenced by her deceased husband's wishes.65 She was entrusted with important responsibilities. Nevertheless, she was suf®ciently sure of her ground to delay the descent of these estates by one or two generations, and included clauses which speci®ed who the monks were to offer prayers for, in addition to her own and her husband's souls.66 This was far from being a passive process: the attention of monks and selected kinsfolk was focused upon the souls of her own parents rather than upon her husband's parents. This was in contrast to some examples from the early tenth century, when non-royal widows, who disposed of smaller bequests, were much more dutiful in attending to the spiritual needs áthelgifu, p. 11, ls. 42±5; p. 65.
Ibid., p. 15, ls. 61±3; 17, l. 64.
Crick,`Women and Benefaction', pp. 399±422.
A similar and contemporary process of women making subtle alterations to a kinsman's bequests is to be found in W., nos. 2, 14, 15, in this case involving a father and his daughters.
# Blackwell Publishers Ltd 2001 Early Medieval Europe 2001 10 (3) 394 Andrew Wareham of their husbands' ancestors.67 It is uncertain whether the exclusion of áthelgifu's husband's agnates led to the focus upon the souls of áthelgifu's parents at the expense of the souls of her parents-in-law, or whether the latter provided an excuse for the former. The end result was to strengthen the bonds between a particular set of cousins, while turning other relatives into strangers. Differentiations in the extent and type of food gifts were used to introduce genealogical inequalities within this kin-group. Through these means not only was an inner circle of kin distinguished from an outer circle, but attention was focused upon a line of descent from áthelgifu's parents to Leofsige's child. In áthelgifu's will a series of arrangements set the boundaries of kinship within an extended family, pinpointed its centre of gravity and served to maintain and to develop genealogical inequalities.
Will of Wulfric, Burton abbey archive, c.1002 x 1004 Wulfric, son of Wulfrun, founder of Burton abbey, was identi®ed through a metronymic by-name,68 perhaps because of memories of his mother's involvement in the Viking wars and the inheritance of estates from his maternal grandfather, Wulfsige. In 942 Wulfsige had been granted between ®fteen and nineteen estates in Staffordshire, some of which passed to his grandson.69 In 943, following the `great slaughter' at Tamworth, Olaf Sihtricson seized Wulfrun.70 Her capture and safe return from captivity were events of national importance, and perhaps formed part of her descendants' stock of family memories. Wulfric cared for the welfare of his mother's soul, but did not mention his father. He asked the monks of Burton, in return for receiving two estates, to pray for his mother's soul, his own soul and the soul of the kinsman who received life tenure.71 When Wulfric founded Burton abbey c.1002 x 4, he asked Archbishop Sigeric and his brother, álfhelm, to protect it after his death `against any man, not as their own possession, but as belonging to Saint Anglo-Saxon Charters, ed. A.J. Robertson (Cambridge, 1956), nos. 17, 26 (S 1513, S 1533).
Ibid., no. 63 (S 877); W., no. 16(2) (S 939), p. 44, l. 29; for by-name Spot in cartulary sources, Annales Monastici, ed. H.R. Luard, 5 vols. (London, 1864±9), I, 183; Chronicon Monasterii de Abingdon, ed. J. Stevenson, 2 vols. (London, 1858), I, 411.
Charters of Burton Abbey, ed. P. H. Sawyer, Anglo-Saxon Charters 2 (London, 1979), nos. 5±7.
The royal style rector Angulsñxna perhaps enhances the authenticity of no. 5, which has no obvious signs of forgery. As two estates appear in both nos. 6±7 (dealing with six estates each), one was probably forged. For Wulfsige's attendances at the royal court: S 461; S 463; S 464;
S 470; S 467; S 511; S 414; S 415.
The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: A Collaborative Edition, 6, MS D, ed. G.P. Cubbin (Woodbridge, 1996), p. 43; W. Page (ed.), Victoria County History of Warwickshire, 8 vols. (London, 1908±69), II, 62.
W., no. 17, p. 48, ls. 14±16.
Early Medieval Europe 2001 10 (3) # Blackwell Publishers Ltd 2001 Fig. 5 Family tree of Wulfric, son of Wulfrun # Blackwell Publishers Ltd 2001
Benedict's order'.72 This protection established a close bond between the monks and Wulfric's relatives, which was augmented by making the monks dependent upon his kinsfolk. Although the community and his kin received equal shares of his landed wealth, three quarters of the estates which passed to his immediate kin lay within 15 kilometres of the abbey,73 whereas three-quarters of the estates which the monks received were 30 to 120 kilometres from Burton.74 Wulfric's brother álfhelm and his son Wulfheah (Wulfric's nephew) received five estates close to Burton, as well as all of Wulfric's lands between the Ribble and the Mersey.75 From these littoral estates Ealdorman álfhelm and Wulfheah were to give the monks of Burton 6,000 herrings each year. Wulfric and his nephew, Wulfheah, were also bound to each other through ties of spiritual kinship and attendance at the royal court,76 but the relationship between Wulfric and his other nephew, Ufegeat, was less friendly, and he received only one estate.77 These developments emphasised the seniority of Wulfheah over his brother Ufegeat. Both brothers and their father, along with Wulfric's daughter, niece and great-niece, belonged to the inner circle of spiritual salvation, while other kin belonged to an outer circle.78 Wulfric's nephew-in-law, Morcar, and the kinsmen, áthelric and álfhelm, did not receive estates which lay within the immediate vicinity of the abbey; nor were they required to make food donations to the monks. Through rituals of gift-giving, an inner circle of spiritual salvation was created with attention being focused upon one male heir, Wulfric's nephew, Wulfheah. There was perhaps an awareness of a unilineal line of descent stretching back over several generations through Wulfrun to Wulfsige.
family's attitudes towards relatives and ancestors in the lay rituals associated with death and salvation. Such questions can be analyzed by turning to the corpus of late Anglo-Saxon wills: did changes in rituals, associated with death and salvation among the aristocracy in the second half of the tenth century, act as catalysts in re-ordering kinship values into a narrower and more male-dominated framework?79 At ®rst glance Wulfric's identity as Wulfrun's son and the emphasis given to mothers' souls in both his and álfgifu's wills, the general importance of female testators and the quite large numbers of kin mentioned in these testaments would seem to make the case that lay kinship rituals were extensive and inclusive of women. These kinship strategies should perhaps not be connected with the emergence of narrower, male-dominated kinship ideologies. When, however, these issues are looked at a little more closely, a slightly more complex and exclusive picture begins to emerge. In Anglo-Saxon England during the second half of the tenth century, new agnatic kinship strategies and values replaced ego-centred and bilateral ones in the rituals associated with death and salvation. This shift was partly in response to royal and monastic ideologies, as part of a wider series of developments across western Europe.
One obvious example of these developments, relating to the Benedictine reform movement, presents itself. In the Regularis Concordia, promulgated c.973, each of the monks' meals was to be immediately preceded or followed by mass or vespers, while towards the end of the tenth century monastic scholars tightened the correlation between lay women and concepts of impurity.80 Society may have become increasingly uncomfortable with the idea that the monks' food and drink, consumed just before or after intercession, should be provided by their conceptual opponents. As a result it became much more dif®cult for lay women to take part in the rituals of gift-giving associated with the salvation of souls. In the 950s Wyn¯ñd's daughter was allowed to donate stock to minsters, but in the 960s and 970s in álfheah's and álfgifu's testaments, women played a less prominent role in gift-giving, and by c.990±1006 this role was being monopolised by kinsmen in the wills of áthelgifu and Wulfric. The male-orientated ideologies of the Benedictine reform movement encouraged testators to rely increasingly upon kinsmen at the expense of kinswomen in creating extended circles of spiritual salvation. Cognatic kinship values were downgraded, and ties between male agnates were upgraded.
To consider whether this ®ltered down to the median and lower ranks, the eleventh-century East Anglian wills, from the Bury St Edmunds archive, could be consulted.
The Regularis Concordia, ed. T. Symons (London, 1953); C. Cubitt, `Virginity and Misogyny in Tenth- and Eleventh-Century England', Gender and History 12 (2000), pp. 1±32.
# Blackwell Publishers Ltd 2001 Early Medieval Europe 2001 10 (3) 398 Andrew Wareham In addition to these processes, a new interest in descent among members of the royal family in the 960s may have been one of the factors which contributed to the emergence of patrilineal descent as the preferred method of reckoning kinship over bilateral and ego-centred models. When Wulfric and álfgifu drew attention to their mothers' souls, they were perhaps seeking to emphasise their descent from a single male ancestor, while álfgifu's brother, Ealdorman áthelweard, constructed a simple genealogy in order to orientate his branch of an extended family in relation to other lines. Similar developments may have worked towards corresponding outcomes in the families of Ealdorman álfheah and áthelgifu. Ideologies of descent were invested with social value through hierarchies of gift-giving, which regulated the inter-relationships between inner and outer circles of kinsfolk. In each case there were variations in the composition of extended circles of spiritual salvation, but the overall consequence was to give seniority to the principal line of descent over sub-lines, which each traced their shared kinship from a common ancestor.
During the third and fourth quarters of the tenth century the popularity of the monastic reform movement with the laity encouraged the investment of aristocratic wealth in ways which simultaneously strengthened the authority of extended kin-networks and laid the foundations for their demise, by the emphasis upon male-orientated strategies.
Noblemen and women became more aware of and sensitive to agnatic and patrilineal ideologies of kinship, while matrilineal, cognatic and some `®ctive' ones gradually disappeared from the social and spiritual horizons. In short, although the structure of kinship was still organized within the framework of extended kinship, the points of orientation had altered to such an extent that it led naturally towards the intermediate stages in the transformation of kinship, as outlined at the beginning of this article. In this context Ealdorman áthelweard's family turned to other, complementary areas to supplement genealogies and family rituals, in order to express continued investment in male-orientated kinship values. In the next two generations, his family arranged a marriage within its local area and founded family monasteries at Cerne Abbas (Dorset), Eynsham (Oxfordshire) and Buckfast (Devon).81 In directing so much material wealth, as well as intellectual, spiritual and social energies, into a series of male-orientated kinship strategies, this family was wholly exceptional, but this is not to say that it was unique in seeking to articulate a new series of kinship values.
On relationships between agnatic kinship and endogamous and local marriages, L. Holy, Kinship, Honour and Solidarity (London, 1979); on monastic foundations by this family, S.D. Keynes, `Cnut's Earls', in A.R. Rumble (ed.), The Reign of Cnut: King of England, Denmark and Norway (Leicester, 1994), pp. 68±9.