|Budget Amount *help
¥2,900,000 (Direct Cost: ¥2,900,000)
Fiscal Year 2003: ¥900,000 (Direct Cost: ¥900,000)
Fiscal Year 2002: ¥900,000 (Direct Cost: ¥900,000)
Fiscal Year 2001: ¥1,100,000 (Direct Cost: ¥1,100,000)
John Gillingham designates the years from 990s to 1130s as ‘the long-eleventh century'. He finds out the birth of gentry in this period. Peter Coss criticizes the the eleventh-century origin of English gentry in his great book. In this project I have researched the realities of the community of the gentry, that is, ‘the society of the good men', from eleventh- to thirteenth century Kent from such points of view as family, community, vassalage, memory and written record, and the settlement of dispute.
Since George Duby, the long-eleventh century has been said to see the origin of the monogamic family. David Bates verifies the process of the transformation from the amorphous kin-group, referring to the diffusion of toponymics from 1040 to 1060. That is the birth of locality.
In England the usage of toponymics has been ‘vaguely felt' absent. To Sir James Holt, an Anglo-Saxon toponymic usually leads to a village', different from a Norman toponymic, which leads to 'a lordship or castle'. Howe
ver, ‘the toponymics applied, albeit sporadically and rarely, to English thegns, do not indicate mere. residence in a rural community, but the lords who owned the estates of which those communities were composed.'
The word gentry stems from ‘gentrice', good men in birth. The characteristics, which people attributed to this word, never lost to the last, are as follows : (1).It is a local landowner and a territorial elite. (2).It has a collective identity with its locality, specially with the county. (3).It relates to a public authority and has a chance to participate in local royal governance. In short, a gentry is a type of lesser nobility and this status group was formed by the king's local governance. Their realities varied from time to time and from place to place according to differences in kingship and local governmental structure. Therefore we must go upstream of the history of gentry as far as the source of the locality.
Sharing the memories, they were good men to the kings as well as to the country. It was the meetings that gave substance and contour to the county. It was good men who took part in the settlement of local disputes and preserved collective memories. We find the birth of the society of good men in the beginning of the long-eleventh century. Through the twelfth century, in the thirteenth century when the sense of community of realm appeared, they called themselves `the knights and gentry of the community of Kent' and in legal sense the community of the shire was formed. It was they that made England unique in the European History. Less