Defining Death in Early Tudor England
Author: Tankard, Danae
Source: Cultural and Social History, 1 January 2006, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 1-20(20)
Abstract:This paper explores concepts of death and dying during the period c.1480 to 1560, drawing on vernacular medical and devotional literature and legal depositions taken in cases brought before the English court of chancery. It looks at contemporary explanations for the physiological processes that caused the body's death and at the way in which the proximity of death was assessed. For the most part identifying whether an individual was alive or dead was straightforward. However, evidence from legal depositions relating to the death of a mother and child in childbirth reveals that in certain circumstances determining the point of death was more problematic.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: School of History, Classics & Archaeology, Birkbeck College, University of London