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Laager:
Circle of wagons forming a defence for a camp.
   (Wise, Terence. Medieval Warfare, 249)


Ladder:
In the Iron Age and Roman periods a number of rectangular ditched enclosures placed in line to form a pattern like a ladder.
   (Beresford, Maurice and Hurst, John. Wharram Percy: Deserted Medieval Village, 137)


Laity:
The unordained people of the church, as distinct from the clergy; derived from the Greek word laos, "the people".
   (Lynch, Joseph H. The Medieval Church: A Brief History, 363)

Related terms: Lay


Lames:
Narrow overlapping plates used to make the flexible parts of an armour.
   (Wise, Terence. Medieval Warfare, 249)


Lancet:
Long narrow window with pointed head, characteristic of the 13th century.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 412)


Lancet Arch:


Landgable:
A payment, normally made to the king or other lord at a standard figure, from each house in a town in the earlier Middle Ages.
   (Reynolds, Susan. An Introduction to the History of English Medieval Towns, 199)

Note: derived from Old English gafol
Related terms: Gavel


Landsknechts:
German mercenaries organised and equipped in imitation of the Swiss pikemen.
   (Wise, Terence. Medieval Warfare, 249)


Langets:
Narrow iron strips nailed to each side of the top of a staff weapon's haft to prevent the head of the weapon being chopped off.
   (Wise, Terence. Medieval Warfare, 249)


Lap:
A timber of diminished thickness which overlaps another.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 412)


Laver:
Stone washing-basin.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 413)

Note: from lavare (Latin) = to wash


Lavra:
By the later Middle Ages, a major monastery.
   (Fine, John V.A. Jr. The Late Medieval Balkans, 624)


Lay:
Any person not a clerk; that is, not in any orders, minor or holy, and any non-ecclesiastical office or property.
   (Heath, Peter. Church and Realm, 1272-1461, 363)

Related terms: Laity


Lay Fee:
Land or associated rights which fell within the competence of the king's courts.
   (Heath, Peter. Church and Realm, 1272-1461, 363)


Lease for Three Lives:
A term of lease of land, usually for the life of its holder, his son or wife, and a grandson.
   (MEDIEV-L. Medieval Terms)


Leasehold:
A tenure by a lease; an agreement that the tenant may enjoy possession for a specified period of time; sometimes called a term of years. The leaseholder may be designated as lessee, or termor.
   (Hogue, Arthur R. Origins of the Common Law, 256)


Leet:
1) The term used for a subdivision of land in Kent equivalent to a hundred.
   (MEDIEV-L. Medieval Terms)

2) In some towns, a ward or division of the town; also used in the later Middle Ages for courts with similar jurisdiction to frankpledge courts.
   (Reynolds, Susan. An Introduction to the History of English Medieval Towns, 199)


Legate: [legatus (Latin)]
1) A papal representative. There were two distinct categories: (I) legatus natus (literally "born legate"), a status accorded to the archbishops of Canterbury and York ex officio to reinforce their supremacy within their provinces; (II) legatus a latere ("legate from the side"), directly commissioned by the pope, always a cardinal, and with powers which gave him quasi-papal status within the area of his legation.
   (Swanson. , 367)

2) A representative or ambassador, usually a cardinal, sent by the pope to represent him in a particular territory or for a particular purpose.
   (Lynch, Joseph H. The Medieval Church: A Brief History, 363)

3) Normally refers to the legate a latere, who was a papal plenipotentiary sent to reform the local church and overriding archiepiscopal authority. The English archbishops had a courtesy title of legate natus.
   (Heath, Peter. Church and Realm, 1272-1461, 364)


Leibeigene:
Term used in Swabia for men of servile status.
   (Duby, Georges. Rural Economy and Country Life in the Medieval West, 555)


Leirwite:
Fine levied against an unmarried woman for sexual misconduct.
   (Gies, Joseph and Francis. Life in a Medieval Castle, 245)


Letters Close:
Sealed and "closed" letters, often enrolled on Close Rolls.
   (Sayles, George O. The King's Parliament of England, 145)

Related terms: Letters Patent


Letters Patent:
Sealed and "open" letters, often enrolled on Patent Rolls.
   (Sayles, George O. The King's Parliament of England, 145)

Related terms: Letters Close


Liberty:
A) Royal privilege granted to subject; B) area within which such privilege is enjoyed.
   (Sayles, George O. The King's Parliament of England, 145)

Related terms: Franchise


Licence to Crenellate:


Liege Lord:
The principal lord, or tenant-in-chief, to whom knights rendered their service in exchange for land.
   (Wise, Terence. Medieval Warfare, 249)


Lierne:
A short subsidiary rib connecting two main ones.
   (Martindale, Andrew. Gothic Art, 269)


Linchet:
Artificial terrace allowing ploughing on the slopes of the chalk Downs in Wessex.
   (Wood, Michael. Domesday: A Search for the Roots of England, 214)

Related terms: Lynchet


Linenfold Panelling:
Decoration with appearance of a fold of linen, derived from a moulded rib multiplied and stopped.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 413)

Note: from lignum undulatum (Latin) = wavy woodwork


Lintel:
A horizontal beam or stone over a doorway, window or fireplace.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 413)


Lit de Justice:
Plenary session of the parlement presided over by the king of France at which a royal edict was forcibly registered or a peer of France tried.
   (Seward, Desmond. Henry V: The Scourge of God, 223)


Literne Vault:


Liturgy:
The formal prayers and rituals in the church, including such things as the mass, the divine office and the anointing of kings.
   (Lynch, Joseph H. The Medieval Church: A Brief History, 363)


Livello:
Emphyteutic lease inherited from Roman antiquity.
   (Duby, Georges. Rural Economy and Country Life in the Medieval West, 555)

Location: Italy


Livery:
1) To be given land as a gift from the king. Also means to be given the right to wear a lord livery (modified form of his coat of arms).
   (MEDIEV-L. Medieval Terms)

2) The tunic worn by a servant or follower of a lord, being in the colours of the lord's arms and bearing his badge.
   (Wise, Terence. Medieval Warfare, 249)


Living:
The ecclesiastical benefice of a rector or vicar.
   (Beresford, Maurice and Hurst, John. Wharram Percy: Deserted Medieval Village, 137)


Livre:
The livre tournois was more or less the equivalent of a sovereign, the livre parisis worth about five shillings more.
   (Shaw, M.R.B. Joinville & Villehardouin: Chronicles of the Crusades, 362)


Logothete:
In the Middle and Late Byzantine period, a high Byzantine court secretary standing at the head of a bureaucratic department. The term spread to the Serbs and Bulgarians among whom logthetes tended to be secretaries responsible for drawing up documents.
   (Fine, John V.A. Jr. The Late Medieval Balkans, 624)


Lollard:
Term of abuse, literally meaning "mumbler", commonly applied to those who espoused Wyclif's heretical ideas or ideas similiar to his.
   (Heath, Peter. Church and Realm, 1272-1461, 364)


Long House:
1) Vernacular building of long rectangluar plan with living-room(s) and byre under one roof, with common entrance.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 413)

2) A building in which both humans and animal live under the same roof. It comprises a living room with a central hearth and an inner room for sleeping or dairying, sometimes with a storage loft above. There is a cross-passage with opposing doors separating the living part from the animals. Sometimes there is no evidence for animals and the third room is likely to have been for various types of farm storage.
   (Beresford, Maurice and Hurst, John. Wharram Percy: Deserted Medieval Village, 137)


Long Sword: [Sword of War]
A hand-and-a-half sword.
   (Wise, Terence. Medieval Warfare, 249)


Loop:
Small narrow window with its head rounded (12th century), pointed (13th century) or square (12th, 13th and 14th centuries).
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 413)

Related terms: Castle / Slit


Loop, Arrow:


Lot-Corvée:
See: Ansange


Louver: [Louvre, l'ouvert (French)]
Smoke turret; lantern-like structure placed on the roof over the central hearth, with side openings for the escape of smoke.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 413)


Love-Day: [Dies Amoris]
Opportunity given litigants to reconcile differences.
   (Gies, Frances and Joseph. Life in a Medieval Village, 245)


Lozenge:
Diamond figure.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 413)


Lynchet:
A bank formed by ploughing for a long period on a slope where a field has a fixed boundary, such as hedge or fence. On the upper side, soil moves down to form a positive lynchet against the boundary while below it the soil is cut away to form a negative lynchet.
   (Beresford, Maurice and Hurst, John. Wharram Percy: Deserted Medieval Village, 137)

Related terms: Linchet



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