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The Definition and Classification of Medieval Irish Towns

B. J. Graham


The discussion attempts to elaborate a scheme within which the towns of medieval Ireland can be defined and categorised. Almost all the places identified were a product of Anglo-Norman initiative, characterised by the constitutional status of borough. But patently, many of these could not be regarded cither functionally or morphologically as towns. The scheme advanced here assesses the functional purpose of boroughs within the context of the feudal mode of production and distinguishes mercantile towns from small peasant towns from rural-boroughs and villae mercatoriae. The very few Gaelic towns identified arc also noted.

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