Rape and Abduction in Ireland during the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries

5:30pm - 6:30pm / Tuesday 5th March 2019 / Venue: TBC Abercromby SQ (south)
Type: Seminar / Category: Department / Series: Liverpool Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies
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This paper will examine rape and abduction in Ireland during the reigns of the three Edwards (1272-1377) using the surviving records of the King’s court. The potential reasons for rape and abduction will be considered as they were not always an expression of power over another individual, but also a way to humiliate the victim’s larger kinship group. Complaints about rape and abduction were often made by male relatives of the victims, therefore even within the court system women had very little say over their own fate. The language used in the sources will be examined: Latin was the language of medieval court records and raptus, for example, could mean rape or abduction, and abduction was not always an act of violence, sometimes the women were willing participants. Finally, the paper will examine what punishment the alleged perpetrators of rape and abduction could expect.

Dr Áine Foley is a Busteed Fellow at the Institute of Irish Studies, University of Liverpool. Her first book The Royal Manors of Medieval Co. Dublin: Crown and Community was published by Four Courts Press in 2013.

This event is part of the Liverpool Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies Seminar Series.