16 Sep ‘ 08
History Lecture 3
The Rural world of medival business
- A rural society. Majority lived directly off land. Agriculture was most imp
sector of economy due to large volume and value 2. Due the very large
number of people engaged in agriculture.
- In the medival country side, the business of agriculture involved
- Manoriiaism: a series of economic and social relationships binding lords and
peasents to the land and to one another..( similar to Seigneurialism): 1 st
appeared in the late roman empire: to hold on to the land when everythin
was fallin apart. People in the middle ages wud continue the system and
expand it. Places in the west never came under this sytem, cuz it was a
What is a manor?
- A legal and administrative unit.
- Consisted of lands, building , peasants and a lord ( peasants = serfs / tenants
- Each manor cud be from 12- 16 families
- Divded in 3 different sections:
1. The lords demesne: 25% of arable land, the manor house, barns , staples
gardens and orchards. It was often fortified.
The lords responsibilities to peasants:
- Provided defense and administrated justice
- Allowed peasants to use a portion of manor’s lands
- Sometimes provided animals and ploughs
Manor Lords = aristocrats & institutions ( monestary or even a university)
They were source of income in terms of agricultural supplies and cash
2. The peasants Holding: - Included large open fields which were divided into strips.
- Each peasant household could own many strips of land. 1 hh upto a dozen
- Scattered strips: as everyhouse hold could have all sorts of land
- Each household worked on farms together. As could share resources
3. The common lands:
- Meadows, pastures and woodlands: lands that everyone could use. The lord
could supervise them and maintain special priveledges such as he cud hunt
The manor village:
Church and homes, a well, bakery, brewery. Owned by the lord, but the tenants
could use them for a fee.
Serfs were neither free nor were they slaves. Freedom was restricted: freedom to
move, free to marry, buy or sell.. but not a property of the master. Did have security
to the land that you cultivated.
Duties owed by peasants:
- Labour services to the lord: working on the lords fields, women weaving in
lords textile, women and children working as servants at lords home
- Various rents and fees to the lord: paid in money or paid in kind( in other
ways beside money). Some regions in eur