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Life in Medieval Britain

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In the Middle Ages, which cover approximately the period from the Norman invasion of Britain, in 1066, to the end of the Wars of the Roses in 1485, England moved from being an almost exclusively agricultural feudal society to a society on the threshold of creating an empire. Medieval society was based on the feudal system which can be said to have become an age of England under William the Conqueror. He introduced the idea that all land was the property of the Crown to dispose of as the king thought fit . Large tracts of countryside were granted to the king supporters who, in return, were bound to pay rent and offer their services when required. This usually meant supplying a certain number of armed knights in time of war. The lords would then rent their land to tenant famers under similar conditions. These farmers were known as serfs or "villains" and their lives were overshadowed by extreme hardship. A serf was effectively the property of the lord for whom he worked. He was not permitted to leave the land and go where he wished. If he tried to he would be brought back and punished. Neither could he marry without the permission of the lord which was also required should the serf wished to allow his son or daughter to marry. On the death of a serf an heir had to pay a tax to the lord before he could continue to farm besides what was known as a "heriot"often the best animal on the farm. On top of the burden of working his own land to feed his family, the serf had to spend about three days each week working on the land of his lord. A service rendered in lieu of rent plowing, sowing, harvesting, of course, but also repairing the manor house, building barns and running errands to the local villagers, a very time consuming and tiring business.

Video Details

Duration: 2 minutes and 24 seconds
Country: Spain
Language: English
Genre: None
Views: 385
Posted by: ang_ruiz on Dec 13, 2011

Life in Medieval Britain

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