1. Darkthought

    Darkthought Active Member

    Jan 10, 2008
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    Newport News, Virginia, United States

    Medieval European Peasentry

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Darkthought, May 18, 2008.

    I need to know some stuff about them i.e. clothing, family life, how they made a living, relationship to the local lord, ect.
  2. Gone Wishing

    Gone Wishing New Member

    May 1, 2008
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    I guess it really depends if you are talking about before or after the black plague, as that affected their status in terms of economic and political power a great deal, i.e. they had more of both post-plague.

    In general, though, peasants laboured for very little or no reward, mainly in agriculture. They were considered as belonging either to the land or to the manor. They worked from dawn to dusk, quite literally, and their children often either worked the fields also, or took care of younger siblings.

    Most peasants rented land, and the obligations they had to their landlord went beyond paying rent, as they were expected to go to war with their landlord if one occurred, and often were obliged to work a number of days for them and on top of the rent, they would owe say a bunch of chickens or an amount of other valued materials annually.

    The Catholic Church owned approximately a third of the land in Europe during this time, so some peasants rented from Bishops, a few entering the church as a monk or nun instead of remaining a peasant.

    Clothing was predominantly loose linen or woolen tunics, that came down to the knees for men and ankles for women (though monks and old men also wore them at ankle length, as would noblemen for parties).

    That answers a couple of your questions, at least. :)
  3. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    May 19, 2007
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    Massachusetts, USA
    Consider thyat the Medieval period runs from about the 5th century to the somewhere around the 16th century. That's a very long period of time to talk about one clothing style or culture, although it probably is one of the more stagnant periods in European history. It covers a pretty broad geography as well.

    You may want to narrow it down.
  4. lordofhats

    lordofhats New Member

    Nov 9, 2007
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    The Hat Cave
    I suggest a museum :D. They always have dislays waiting for you. If you can't go to one, alot offer virtual tours these days or have pictures online. There's also hoards of books on Medeviel culture in general so i'd say drop by a Barns & Noble or a Borders.
  5. Sayso

    Sayso New Member

    Jan 11, 2007
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    I don't know if this will be of any help but it's what I found after doing a quick google search:


    This gives you an idea of the clothes they wore.

    Here's a bit that gives you an idea of what the women did throughout the day at different social levels:


    The Doomsday Book will give you some sort of idea as to what people owned (or should I say "didn't"). Here's a link for the online copy:


    If you want to know anything more then give us something specific to work on and we'll see what we can come up with to help you. Best wishes with your searching :).

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