67 13th Century Life – the Peasantry

Over the 13th century, economic growth continued. For the Peasantry, this gave some opportunities; more chance to sell their produce and get involved in a wider range of money making ventures. It meant that population growth continued, since cottagers and wage earners were able to make enough to get by on small plots of land; and so the density of landholding grew. During the 13th century all of this is fine – but there could be trouble ahead. 



67 13th C Peasants

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.



3 thoughts on “67 13th Century Life – the Peasantry

  1. Welcome back! Did not expect a podcast for a while, and I just stumbled upon it. Not in time for my ironing, but something to look forward to on the bus.
    I’ve been substituting with the podcast Europe From Its Origins, which you recommended. It’s rather the opposite to your good-humoured stroll through England’s past. But allowing for the fact that he relishes sticking it into the English and the Muslims, and that his favourite concept is ‘Christendom’, it’s worthwhile because there’s a lot to learn from it. Repeated listenings reward – like yours.

  2. Brings to mind the military side of things. Could you try giving a bit of details again, of the bigger shifts in warfare as they come to bear. By now it’s… armored cavalry and a whole bunch of spearmen, some bowmen plinking about? I think there was something like this early on… I really should listen these through again. Going to be bow/crossbow heavy soon and then gunpowder and other neat stuff, which really changes the way things work.

  3. Hello David,
    I’ve been following your podcasts avidly. You have a knack of bringing
    history alive. I only wish you’d been my history teacher at school
    50-odd years ago!
    My reason for this email is to ask if you can help. I listened with
    particular interest to podcast 67 in which you describe the
    sub-division of holdings among families etc. I’ve done some research in
    the records of the Manorial Court here in Sheffield, and found a couple
    of cases which puzzle me, and I wondered if you could help please?
    These were cases where tenants surrendered all or part of their holding
    to another for an annual payment. The puzzle is the payment required.
    An example is dated 21st June 1552, ” John Beighton and his wife and
    also Thomas son of the said John, surrendered a moiety of a messuage and
    of an oxgang in Fulwodd called Yarcliffe to the use of Nicholas Morton
    for a term of ten years; paying yearly to the said John and Thomas
    during the first four years of the term, a red rose in the time of
    roses, if claimed, and paying yearly during the last six years 14/6d of
    I’ve found a couple of other instances where the rent was set at a red
    rose. Is this another version of a peppercorn rent, or is there some
    other significance?
    Any help or thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

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