School of Humanities



Jennifer Hole

Phone: (+61 8) 9457 8283


Start date

Aug 2010

Submission date

Apr 2015

Jennifer Hole


Economic Ethics in Late Medieval England, 1300 - 1500


This study is an investigation of economic ethics, their impacts and the perception of them, in late medieval England. As part of this investigation, there are four main aspects to consider: the particular concepts which could be defined as economic ethics, and by whom; the social groups for which these concepts were intended; how this body of knowledge was transmitted to society at large; and the extent to which it informed responses to economic injustice. To date, the study of economic ethics in late medieval England has been focused on deceitful trade, unfair pricing, and usury, especially in relation to the regulation of merchants and traders. Here, the aim is to show that economic relations outside the marketplace and urban and international trade were also subject to criticism from the ethical point of view. For this reason, this study gives more attention to economic relationships between landowners and tenants, and the king and his subjects, and less to ethical behaviour in the marketplace and its regulation.

Why my research is important

The thesis addresses aspects of economic ethics not previously considered by historians, that is, the fact they were meant to apply to the whole of society. The thesis also shows how individuals responded to economic ethics and which values were important to them.