H3H03 MEDIEVAL ENGLAND 1066-1399 TUTORIAL TOPICS
03 RURAL SOCIETY FROM THE CONQUEST TO THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY.
a) Which historians have particularly specialised in the study of
medieval agrarian history ?
b) What kinds of contemporary sources are available for the study of
medieval rural society ? How reliable are these sources ?
c) What factors determined the character of English villages in the
middle ages ? How were the open fields organised ? How did
villages in pastoral areas differ from those in arable areas ?
d) What sort of obligations did the medieval peasant have towards
his lord ? How were these obligations determined ? How would you
distinguish between free and unfree peasants? What other
categories of people lived in medieval villages?
e) How did the obligations of the peasant change during the twelfth
and thirteenth centuries ? What is the significance of the
controversy over the 'chronology of labour services'?
f) How were medieval villages governed ? What was the role of the
manor and the manorial lord in the village ? Who were the
principal officials in village government, and what were their
g) What duties were expected of the knights in the eleventh and
twelfth centuries ? How did these duties change ? What
consequences followed from the 'ruralisation' of the knights ?
h) What duties were expected of the higher nobility in this period?
How did the higher nobility differ from the knights? How were
their lands and estates administered ?
i) What relationship did the countryside have with the towns in the
eleventh and twelfth centuries ? Is it possible to discern any
changes in this relationship during this period?
Using the relevant volume of ENGLISH HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS find, read
and annotate the following documents:
a) The Ranks and Rights of People 1042-66
b) Surveys of Peterborough Manors 1125-28 (no 17g
c) Will of Edwin the Thegn 1066
d) The Village Community 1290
e) Contracts for military service 1270-1
f) Langland on the peasant's life c1376