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Emmamarie Haasl Considers Change in London Institutions

Between May 31 and August 3, Emmamarie Haasl (History) traveled from her lease in North London to the Metropolitan Archives, the National Archives in Kew, the British Library, the Institute for Historical Research, or the Senate House Library five to six days per week. Besides conducting research for her dissertation, she presented a paper at the Institute for Historical Research and attended weekly seminars there through June. She registered for a workshop at the archives in Kew to learn new techniques for using medieval legal records and participated in a planning symposium at the Museum of London for the 2020 commemoration of the martyrdom of Thomas Becket. While attending the International Medieval Symposium at Leeds, she reconnected with a number of fellow scholars, and she made several day trips to the Canterbury Cathedral Archives and the Bodleian Archives in Oxford.

Emmamarie’s dissertation “Belonging to London Bridge” analyzes changing relationship between religion and commerce in communities on and around London Bridge from the medieval into the early modern period. London Bridge House is an important focus, since by the fifteenth century its interests included the chapel on the bridge, a pilgrimage site, multiple storehouses and properties on the bridge and around London, a large permanent workforce for the maintenance of these properties and the bridge infrastructure, connections with local craft guilds, and property-based relationships with various religious houses in the region. Its administration, mostly based at a complex in Southwark on the south side of the Thames, linked all these together to maintain the bridge, fulfilling one of the seven acts of corporal mercy: caring for travelers.  She argues that the sixteenth century dissolution of the bridge chapel and the monasteries and fraternities in the bridge’s network were one step in a much longer transition undergone by non-parochial places of religious significance in the urban late medieval landscape.