Isabella de Forz: a woman in the age of baronial reform and rebellion, 1237-1293

Kersey, H. (2014) Isabella de Forz: a woman in the age of baronial reform and rebellion, 1237-1293. M.A. thesis, Canterbury Christ Church University.


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Isabella de Forz (1237-1293), countess of Devon and Aumale and lady of the Isle of Wight, was the wealthiest noblewoman in thirteenth-century England. Isabella, who was of impressive lineage, became the heiress to the earldom of Devon following the death of her brother in 1262. Existing records provide a wealth of evidence regarding Isabella's life especially the years of her widowhood (1260-1293) and the extent of her power and influence within English politics. Isabella’s allegiance was of great importance and she was very much involved in the events surrounding the Barons’ War of 1263-1267. Much of the extant evidence relates to Isabella's defence of her lands and rights, a necessity for all noblewomen. In addition to this we find the countess engaged in numerous other activities, including intercession and religious patronage. A reconstruction of the countess' affinity not only offers insights into her position within society as well as her sense of self, but also informs us of the strength of the ties of lordship within thirteenth-century England. The chapters that form this thesis are designed to highlight the varying ways in which noblewomen were able to participate in politics and to discuss the activities, role and importance of one of the most influential women of this period. In doing so, this research will add to the existing scholarship on aristocratic women.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain > DA0020 England > DA0028 History > DA0129 By period > DA0130 Early and medieval to 1485
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Humanities
Depositing User: Mr Andrew Hudson
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2015 15:29
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2019 17:15

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00