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Ryan A. Currier





Joined: 03 Jan 2011

Posts: 50

PostPosted: Sun 03 Jul, 2011 11:25 pm    Post subject: 13th century economics -- books?         Reply with quote

I'm looking for information on how things were run on a manorial estate in the 13th century.

Anything regarding yeomanry, husbandry, and the lowly laborer would be of much interest to me. The more micro the information, the better. Personal finances?

Could anyone recommend any books on the subject? I've done a bit of searching on the good ole interwebs, but I'm not coming back with any big fish, or haven't yet, at any rate...

I'm hobbyist writer, for the moment (hobby could up and die), and would like to find information that would help me with my build.

Thanks!!
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Peter Lyon
Industry Professional



Location: New Zealand
Joined: 20 Nov 2006
Reading list: 39 books

Posts: 225

PostPosted: Mon 04 Jul, 2011 2:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Rural economy and society in the duchy of Cornwall 1300-1500 by John Hatcher. After the period you are after but might be useful.
Medieval Trade and Finance by M M Postan.

Still hammering away
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Peter Lyon
Industry Professional



Location: New Zealand
Joined: 20 Nov 2006
Reading list: 39 books

Posts: 225

PostPosted: Mon 04 Jul, 2011 2:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Medieval English Economy 1150-1500 by J L Bolton.
Still hammering away
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Ryan A. Currier





Joined: 03 Jan 2011

Posts: 50

PostPosted: Mon 04 Jul, 2011 8:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you so very much! I'm really excited about those. I'll definitely check them out.
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Kel Rekuta




Location: Toronto, Canada
Joined: 10 Feb 2004
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 601

PostPosted: Mon 04 Jul, 2011 8:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

And for a less Anglo-centric resource:

Rural Economy and Country Life in the Medieval West
Georges Duby. Cynthia Postan, Translator

632 pages | 6 x 9
Paper 1998 | ISBN 978-0-8122-1674-5

Easy to find used, inexpensive, thorough.
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A. Elema





Joined: 09 Nov 2010

Posts: 38

PostPosted: Mon 04 Jul, 2011 11:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If late medieval economics floats your boat, also check out the bibliographies and lecture notes of Professor John Munro at the University of Toronto. He's an expert in that field.

http://www.economics.utoronto.ca/munro5/

This bibliography in particular may help you out (or maybe not: it's thorough enough to be overwhelming).
http://www.economics.utoronto.ca/munro5/2SERFDOM2.pdf

If you just want to see some primary source documents about peasant life and running a manor, check out the following sources.

Warren O. Ault, Open-Field Farming in Medieval England: A Study of Village By-laws http://books.google.ca/books?id=NAfO1CF7zogC&...mp;f=false

Walter of Henley, Husbandry (13th c.) http://www.penultimateharn.com/history/walter.html

Seneschaucie (late 13th c.) http://www.penultimateharn.com/history/seneschaucie.html

Anonymous, Husbandry, (late 13th c.) http://www.penultimateharn.com/history/husbandry.html
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Ryan A. Currier





Joined: 03 Jan 2011

Posts: 50

PostPosted: Tue 05 Jul, 2011 5:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is so cool. I'd hoped for a reply or two and possibly a title of a book. You people have really pulled through for me!

Thanks, Nathan, for keeping this place going and starting it all. It has been really great to lurk for years, but asking a question is even more fun!

Does anybody know if a bailiff would be used, or required, for a landed man of some 80 acres? I'm talking the top end of commoner here... Someone who can come and go as he pleases, but lacks gentle birth. Is it within the realm of possibility, or more probable, that such a man would manage his own affairs directly? Might possibly work in the field with the laborers?
It is my understanding that such men did exist, though I could be mistaken. I know there were men owing little to no service, though rent was paid, but I believe I read, some time ago mind you, that some men did exist who owned land (13th century, England), but lacked gentle birth.

I read the links you provided, and am soon to buy Open-Field Farming in Medieval England, but I do not have any idea as to whether or not that will contain that information, and so I ask....
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Scott Hrouda




Location: Minnesota, USA
Joined: 17 Nov 2006
Likes: 15 pages
Reading list: 87 books

Posts: 643

PostPosted: Tue 05 Jul, 2011 7:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I recommend PM'ing Randall Moffett on this forum. He completed his PhD Thesis titled 'The Military Organization of Southampton in the Late Medieval Period, 1300-1500' in January of 2010. I'm sure he has a boat load of resources for you!
...and that, my liege, is how we know the Earth to be banana shaped. - Sir Bedevere
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Paul Hansen




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 17 Mar 2005
Likes: 5 pages

Posts: 683

PostPosted: Tue 05 Jul, 2011 4:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ryan A. Currier wrote:
Does anybody know if a bailiff would be used, or required, for a landed man of some 80 acres? I'm talking the top end of commoner here... Someone who can come and go as he pleases, but lacks gentle birth. Is it within the realm of possibility, or more probable, that such a man would manage his own affairs directly? Might possibly work in the field with the laborers?
It is my understanding that such men did exist, though I could be mistaken. I know there were men owing little to no service, though rent was paid, but I believe I read, some time ago mind you, that some men did exist who owned land (13th century, England), but lacked gentle birth.


It would greatly depend on the place.

In some regions of the Netherlands, notably West-Friesland, Friesland, East-Friesland (in modern-day Germany), Groningen and Drenthe, there was hardly any centralised rule at all in large periods in the middle ages.

In Friesland, the result was that some farmers became wealthy enough to build stone houses and recruit small armies to use against their neighbors, thus becoming de facto nobility themselves, even though not originally of noble blood.

In Drenthe on the other hand, the land was not so fertile and the farmers had to work together to make a living. As a result they probably had no time for warfare. But the judicial system they had was quite interesting and possibly going back to Germanic times, or even earlier.

In Groningen, on the border between Drenthe and Friesland, most power was concentrated in the city of Groningen, which was/is by far the largest in the north-east of the Netherlands. Being an Free Imperial City, it was formally ruled by the emperor directly. But as the emperor was far away and powerless, the city could do whatever it wished...

So in all these regions, the individual farmer would be free and would own their own lands. Nevertheless, the differences were great.

As we know, the Netherlands is not a huge country, and the three regions I mentioned are only a third or fourth part of it... If the differences in economic and social structure would be so large in such a small area, then how big would the differences be in a Europe from Ireland to Russia?

This being an English language forum, I'd imagine that most reference material brought forward would concern England. But then again, I think that England is a bit of a strange case itself, since the yeomanry was never abolished in favor of a really thoroughly feudal society as was the case in France or large portions of Germany.

Sorry for the slightly off-topic post...

The articles by Prof. Munro are good reading btw! Thanks Ariella!
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