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The composition of famuli labour on English demesnes, c.1300

Claridge, Jordan and Langdon, John (2015) The composition of famuli labour on English demesnes, c.1300. Agricultural History Review, 63 (2). pp. 187-220. ISSN 0002-1490

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This article explores the nature of agricultural labour in England c.1300. Using a national sample of over 400 manorial accounts containing detailed data for over 4000 individuals, the piece looks closely at famuli labour, the nucleus of the workforce on seigneurial demesnes (the farms directly cultivated by manorial lords as opposed to the land of their tenants) at the beginning of the fourteenth century, a period considered to be the pinnacle of medieval population and intensive land exploitation. By examining the rates of remuneration as well as the availability of work for the range of famuli labourers, we argue that famuli labour was divided into a bipartite system of first- and second-tier workers where core, or first-tier (and mostly male), labourers such as ploughmen, carters, and shepherds were paid higher wages and presented with more opportunities to work as compared to a group of more subsidiary 'second-tier' labourers largely comprised of women, the young and the elderly.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2015 British Agricultural History Society
Divisions: Economic History
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Date Deposited: 07 Aug 2019 15:33
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2020 06:58

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