Medieval England


The lifestyle of peasants in Medieval England was extremely hard and harsh. Many worked as farmers in fields owned by the lords and their lives were controlled by the farming year. Certain jobs had to be done at certain times of the year. Their lives were harsh but there were few rebellions due to a harsh system of law and order.



I am a peasant. I am in the bottom of the Feudal System and I have to obey my local lord to whom I sworn an oath of obedience on the bible. Because I had sworn an oath to my lord, it was taken for granted that I had sworn a similar oath to the my lordís lord. I have to pay money in taxes and rent, and to pay a tax to the church called tithe. This tax was only 10% of the value I had farmed. This may not seem a lot but it could make or break a peasantís family, as it did with my neighbors. I could pay it with seeds, what I produce or in cash. I also had to work for free on church land. This was an inconvenient because , instead of working in the churchís land I could work in my land, but I donít want to break any rule because they taught me that God will see my sins and then punish me. I usually go to church on Sundays, and I tell all my problems and my miserable life, but they keep on giving me hope to keep on working as hard I am working and to donít break the rules because punishment could come to my life.


The taxes I have to pay, and that leave me little food for me and my family. Last time I paid the tithe, I payed it with seeds because I didnít have cash. But this , made me have little seeds so I ended up with not enough food for my family. We starved, and that made my children pass out when they were helping me in my lordís land. One of them is really sick, and I doní t know his disease because I donít have enough money for the doctor. I think he will die soon.


I live in a small house. It is called cruck house because it is made of a wooden frame onto which was plastered watlle and daub. This is a mixture of mud, straw and manure. The straw added insulation to the wall while the manure was considered good for binding the whole mixture together and giving it strength. We have little furniture, such as a table and three chairs and we use straw for lining on the floor. It is very unsafe sleeping in the floor over some straw, there a lot of dangerous animals and insects. Inside the house , in summer it is very hot and in winter we freeze inside. At night, I usually bring inside the house every animal I own, because of the wild animals in the countryside, like wolves and bears which will easily kill a pig or any kind of animal. The loss of any animal could be a disaster but the loss of a valuable animal such as an ox would be a calamity!!!


I hate my lord. He is a very mean person. He very often brings friends to my house and he usually obliges me to kill my fattest pig for his guests. He also make us sleep outside MY HOUSE so the guests can sleep in my house. And my lord always make my wife clean his house or sends her to buy him things to the market. Also to fetch water early in the morning and clean his bucket of waste, in few words, she is his maid. He really makes us feel as nothing. That really hurts me and I wish I could be free and have a little piece of land of my own and not to pay taxes or rent to no one,but I know that is not possible. I really think it would be better if I die so I donít suffer any longer.


To conclude ,in few