68 13 C Life – Peasants fighting back…and Towns

Being a Peasant was no doubt a pretty hard existence. But they were not without their methods of fighting back, and protecting their rights. This week also we look at the history of towns in the 13th century, as the economy continues to grow.

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By the way, I have a page with some basic data from medieval times – so click here if you want to look at population, prices and other economic data.

 Relative size of towns – evidence from taxation

The chart below gives a perspective on the relative volume of trade through each town. Although by this stage London would have been by far the largest town by population, it’s clear from this that other towns were much closer in terms of the colume of their trade. Obviously there are a lot of missing west coast ports and inland towns, but the total volume of trade in these ports suggested by these returns was £75,000. It’s also quite fun, of course to see how times have changed over the centuries – towns like Boston and Fowey had an importance in trade that these days it would be difficult to see.Piperoll town tax 1204

9 thoughts on “68 13 C Life – Peasants fighting back…and Towns

  1. I came across this article earlier today and thought of your podcast, as poor starving peasants in 1258 is close to your current subject matter.
    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80beats/2012/08/09/thousands-of-13th-century-londoners-may-have-been-killed-by-a-distant-volcano/#more-39018
    One wonders if unrest due to the famine might’ve added to the revolutionary mood of the country. Could a volcano in South America be responsible for the House of Commons today?
    In anycase, HoE remains my favourite history podcast. Keep up the good work.

  2. Hi Brendan
    Thanks for the link to the article; itsn’t it fascinating how everything is so connected? I am sure you are right – it’s very likely there’s a link between the chaos caused by poeple flooding into London and the air of radicalism. I’ll share the link on Facebook to boot…

  3. Hi David,
    I am happy to say that my epic journey from not long after 1066 to the present day (which for the purposes of this comment means “the thirteenth century”) has brought me up to date with the podcast. If I can admonish you for one thing it is putting the image in my mind of “all the fun and enjoyment that can be found in Ricky Ponting’s jockstrap”. Not the sort of image ANYONE likes walking into work with in the morning. That admonishment is every so slightly tempered by the restraint that you showed in not asking us to imagine “all the fun and enjoyment that can be found in Shane Warne’s jockstrap”. Had you done so, I may just have unsubscribed.
    Anyway, I am looking forward to continuing the journey in real time, so to speak.

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