The Britannia Lexicon

ABACUS :
the uppermost member of a capital immediately under the architrave.

ABBEY :
monastic community of either monks or nuns. Ruled by an (m.) Abbot or (f.) Abbess Usually founded by a particular monastic order and bound by their rules. Abbeys many times owe some form of feudal obligation to a lord/lady or higher organization. Basically they are self contained with all basic functions performed by the residents and other needs supplied from the local area.

ABJURATION :
renunciation, under oath, of heresy to the Christian faith, made by a Christian wishing to be reconciled with the church.

ABUTMENT :
pier or buttress against which an arch abuts or from which it springs.

ADULTERINE CASTLE :
castle built without liege lord's approval.

AMBULATORY :
processional walk round apsidal or square east end, behind the high altar.

AMERCEMENT :
financial penalty inflicted at the MERCY of the king or his justices for various minor offences. The offender is said to be "IN MERCY" and the monies paid to the crown to settle the matter is called "amercement" (See also Fines).

ANATHEMA :
condemnation of heretics, similar in effect to major excommunication. It inflicts the penalty of complete exclusion from Christian society.

APOSTATE :
the term used to describe one who leaves religious orders after making solemn profession. It is considered a serious crime in the eyes of the church, being not only a breach of faith with God but also with the founders and benefactors of their religious house.

APSE (APSIDAL) :
circular or polygonal eastern end to a church or chapel.

ARCADING :
row of arches supported on columns.

ARCH-BRACE :
curved piece of timber extending from collar to wall-post. Any piece of timber used for supporting other timbers.

ARCUATED :
shaped like a bow; curved in that shape or form.

ARD-RIGH (Ir.):
High King in Gaelic. RIGH meaning King.

ARPENT :
measure of land roughly equal to a modern acre.

ARRIS :
the sharp edge of two angles of stone or wood where they meet.

ARROW-LOOP, SLIT :
long, usually narrow and vertical opening in a wall, or in a merlon, through which arrows were shot. Round or triangular ends were for crossbows, as were horizontal cross-slits, sometimes called crosslets. These gave greater side-to-side range.

ASHLAR :
blocks of smooth, squared stone of any kind.

ASHLAR-PIECE :
short upright post fixed between the rafter and the inner wall-plate.

ASSART :
to turn woodlands into pasture or cropland. To assart lands within a forest with out license is a grave offence.

ASSIZE :
the meeting of feudal vassals with the king it also refers to decrees issued by the king after such meetings.

ASYLUM (Right of/Also called Right of Sanctuary):
the right for a Bishop to protect an fugitive from justice or to intercede on his behalf. Once asylum is granted the fugitive cannot be removed, until after a months time. Fugitives who find Asylum must pledge an oath of adjuration never to return to the realm, after which they are free to find passage to the borders of the realm by the fastest way. If found within the borders after a months time they may be hunted down as before with no right of asylum to be granted ever again.

ATTAINDER :
the legal corruption of blood, following conviction for high treason. Frequently confirmed by Act of Parliament.

AUGUSTINIAN CANONS :
religious/monastic rules based on Love of God and Neighbor, respect for authority, care of the sick, and self-discipline.




B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M

N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

Corporate Hospitality Concert Tickets London Theatre Tickets Football Tickets