interesting information about Medieval Life,
specifically, Medieval Villein
A Medieval Villein was initially one of a class of feudal serfs who initially
held the legal status of freemen in their dealings with all people
except their lord.
A medieval village or manor usually contained several classes of laborers,
consisting of the Medieval Villein, the serf and peasant. There might be a number of freemen, who paid a fixed rent, either in money or produce, for the use of their land.
Gradually the distinction between the Medieval Villein and the serf disappeared.
Most of the peasants were serfs or villeins. The serf and the Medieval Villein
laboured in the lord's household or at work on his domain.
Under feudalism the lords and nobles of the
land had certain rights over Medieval Villeins 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 Medieval Times click the following link:
Definition of the
The Medieval Villein was a peasant who
worked his lord's land and paid him certain dues in return for the use of
land, the possession (not the ownership) of which was heritable. The
dues were usually in the form of labor on the lord's land. The Medieval Villein was expected
to work for approximately
3 days each week on the lord's land. A Medieval Villein was one bound to work on
a certain manor, and thus attached to the soil, and sold with it into
the service of whoever purchased the land.
Medieval Peasant Women
Daily Life of a
The daily life of a Medieval Villein was hard. The Medieval Villein had to labor on the lord's domain for two or three days each week, and at specially busy seasons, such as ploughing and harvesting
the Medieval Villein had to do extra work. The daily life of a Medieval Villein was dictated by
the requirements of the lord of the manor. A Medieval Villein also had to make certain payments, either in money or
more often in grain, honey, eggs, or other produce. When a
Medieval Villein ground the wheat
he was obliged to use the lord's mill, and pay the customary charge. In theory the lord could tax his
villeins as heavily and make them work as hard as he pleased, but the fear of losing his tenants prevented him from imposing too great burdens on
the daily life of the Medieval Villein.
Villeins and their Common Use of Non-arable Land
Besides the Medieval Villein holding farm land, which in England averaged about thirty acres, each
Medieval Villein had certain rights over the non-arable land of the manor. A
Medieval Villein could cut a limited amount of hay from the meadow. He could
turn so many farm animals such as cattle, geese and swine on the waste.
A Medieval Villein was also
given the privilege of taking wood from the forest for fuel and
building purposes. The holding of a Medieval Villein included a house in the
The clothes of a
The clothes of a Medieval Villein were basic and practical. The
clothing or dress of a Medieval Villein consisted of:
A blouse of cloth or
skin fastened by a leather belt round the waist, from his belt there hung
a sheath for a knife
An overcoat or mantle of
thick woollen material, which fell from his shoulders to half-way
down his legs
Short woollen trousers,
Gloves were only worn
for their practical clothing value and were padded for use in tasks
such as hedging
Shoes or large boots
were worn on his feet
Medieval Life: Medieval Villein
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