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Author: Jakub Wysmułek

Abstract

The chapter is devoted to the history of the medieval will and its emergence in Polish lands and in their capital, Kraków. It analyses the transformation of the idea of the ‘testament’ from the so-called ‘canonical will’ which was subordinated to Catholic Church law and strongly supported by Church authorities, into the urban type of will (called here a ‘communal will’), which was supported by municipal authorities and treated as a part of local municipal law. The character, legal form and purpose of both types of wills are discussed.

Open Access
In: History of Wills, Testators and Their Families in Late Medieval Krakow
Author: Jakub Wysmułek

Abstract

The chapter is devoted to the issue of the urban religiosity as reflected in the wills of Krakow burghers. In this purpose adopted was the qualitative approach taking into consideration significant bequests of individual burghers. The religiosity was described in the frame of ‘circles of belonging’, starting from personal relationship with God, moving to family, corporate, parish and communal dimension of piety.

Open Access
In: History of Wills, Testators and Their Families in Late Medieval Krakow
Author: Jakub Wysmułek

Abstract

The chapter aims to discuss the social structure of late medieval Krakow and the analyse the place occupied by testators within it. To this end, Krakow testators were divided into number of groups related to their profession, city functions, wealth, gender and place of origin. On this basis, conclusions were drawn about the determinants of their social position and resources and constraints of their social mobility.

Open Access
In: History of Wills, Testators and Their Families in Late Medieval Krakow
In: History of Wills, Testators and Their Families in Late Medieval Krakow
Author: Jakub Wysmułek

Abstract

Wills of Krakow burghers provide a valuable information about the composition of the families and individual relationships among their members. In the chapter I discussed the structural position and dominant forms of care for wellbeing of spouses, children, siblings and other relatives. On this basis, I distinguished two different models of burgher family, ie. the ‘small’ family of artisans and other middle-class burghers and the ‘big’ family of popular among the members of urban elites.

Open Access
In: History of Wills, Testators and Their Families in Late Medieval Krakow
In: History of Wills, Testators and Their Families in Late Medieval Krakow
Author: Jakub Wysmułek
This volume offers the first comprehensive analysis of wills in late medieval Krakow. It presents the origins of testamentary acts in the Kingdom of Poland and its centre, Krakow, and their subsequent transformation from so called ‘canonical wills’ to ‘communal wills’. Wysmułek discusses the socio-cultural role of wills and sets them in their contemporary legal, social, and economic context. In doing so, he uncovers their influence on property ownership and family relations in the city, as well as on the religious practices of the burghers. Ultimately, this work seeks to change the perception of wills by treating the testamentary act itself as an important agent of historical social change – a ‘tool of power’.