The population of one
of these villages often did not often exceed one hundred people.
Village Life in the
Middle Ages: Self-Sufficiency
life during the Middle Ages was self-sufficing. Perhaps the most
striking feature of medieval village life was its self- sufficiency.
The inhabitants tried to produce at home everything they required,
in order to avoid the uncertainty and expense of trade. The land
gave them their food; the forest provided them with wood for houses
and furniture. They made their own clothes of flax, wool, and leather.
Their meal and flour were ground at the village mill, and at the
village smithy their farm implements were manufactured. The chief
articles which needed to be brought from some distant market were
salt, used to salt down farm animals killed in autumn, iron for
various tools, and millstones. Cattle, horses, and surplus grain
also formed common objects of exchange between manors.
Village Life in the
The Peasants and
Life in a
medieval village was rude and rough. The peasants labored from sunrise
to sunset, ate coarse fare, lived in huts, and suffered from frequent
pestilences. They were often the helpless prey of the feudal nobles.
If their lord happened to be a quarrelsome man, given to fighting
with his neighbors, they might see their lands ravaged, their cattle
driven off, their village burned, and might themselves be slain.
Even under peaceful conditions the narrow, shut-in life of the manor
could not be otherwise than degrading.
Under feudalism the
lords and nobles of the land had certain rights over Medieval Serfs
and Peasants which included the right of jurisdiction, which gave
judicial power to the nobles and lords and the right of hunting.
For more interesting information about rights in the Middle Ages
click the following link:
The Positive points
of Village Life in the Middle Ages
positive points of peasants and their village life in the Middle
Ages. If the peasants had a just and generous lord, they probably
led a fairly comfortable existence. Except when crops failed, they
had an abundance of food, and possibly a cider drink. They shared
a common life in the work of the fields, in the sports of the village
green, and in the services of the parish church. They enjoyed many
holidays; it has been estimated that, besides Sundays, about eight
weeks in every year were free from work. Festivities at Christmas,
Easter, and May Day, at the end of ploughing and the completion
of harvest, relieved the monotony of the daily round of labor.