The Early Medieval Seaman and the Church: Contacts Ashore

By Robert Miller , published May 2003

Abstract

This article highlights the interaction of the Church as an institution with its ‘Roving Parishioners’ and deals with the early years of the High Middle Ages (c.1000-1250.) The religious connection with trade is accepted and there are examples of the Royal Permissions given to religious houses in regard of the control of specific ports, collection of dues on imported goods, landing of passengers and the important connection to the fisheries. In secular matters, the Church supported the maritime economy by providing lights and landmarks, as well as a network of hostels and hospitals for travellers, some of which were dedicated to seamen. The provision of special churches was not a common occurrence with the limited voyages but they were included in special liturgies and were provided chaplains.

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Filed under: Late Middle Ages | Health at Sea | Other (location)
Subjects include: Miscellaneous

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