ABSTRACT

The Manresan system at the turn of the fifteenth century, then, could boast of many individual successes: it had created many rich lives and careers, and many which were less rich in the material sense, but which nonetheless compared favourably on several fronts with the life of a rural tenant. Most Manresan individuals' lifestyles were greatly influenced by their level of inherited wealth, it is true; but many of them had worked hard to maintain and sometimes to build their patrimony over the course of a career, or over the course of several generations. The most significant investment strategies for Manresan elites around 1300 involved investing in rural real estate, and also in collecting commendas. Only the leather sector at Manresa seems to have grown, since it benefited from higher price levels for manufactured goods. Gradually, as the power of Manresa and its elites and officials declined, the castle lords became bolder.