Peasants in the middle ages

Peasants In the Middle Ages, there was a definite structure in society. You were born into a class of people and generally stayed in that class for your entire life. Working hard did not change your status. Your clothing, food, marriage, homes, etc.

Peasants in the middle ages

Families and entire villages were exposed to disease, war and generally a life of poverty. There is very little known about the detailed life of peasants in Europe because the lords and the clergy did not keep records of the peasants. The only semblances of early records were concerning the duties that the peasants owed their masters.

Life In The Manor Peasants were divided between slaves and serfs. The slaves lacked most of the freedom enjoyed by the serfs such as having families. Those who were full time servants would work every day of the week and would get a break to attend Mass on Sundays. The condition of serfdom was hereditary and one would be tied to his master unless he saved enough to purchase some land or if he married a free person.

At the end of the twelfth century, the ties that bound peasants to their masters began to loosen. Peasant life in the Middle Ages was confined to the manors, which were vast stretches of land belonging to the lords and their families.

Peasants lived in the manors with their families.

Peasants in the middle ages

The manors ranged from as little as acres to manors that were over acres. Of course, the larger the manor, the more peasants who worked and lived there. The lords had great influence over the lives of the peasants; they would determine whether a peasant would earn a living or not.

Sometimes, during major festivals the lords would throw feasts and offer their peasant servants food, clothing, drinks and firewood.

Peasants in the middle ages

The manors were divided into two: The peasants and their families would live on the other section of the land. Vast strips in which a single peasant would be required to work on, characterized the land.

However, the serfs understood that peasant life was all about collaboration and survival. Other than toiling in the fields, peasant also tended to the horses and cattle in meadows. The meadows often stretched into forests where the peasants would fish and hunt for game to subsidize the simple diet they and their families were accustomed to.

Contrary to the modern day romanticized picture of peasant life in the Middle Ages, life was generally mundane and uncomplicated. Most peasants did not do much other than working, going to church and the occasional celebration.


They hardly travelled outside their villages but they did have a sense of community amongst themselves. They were also sure of the support they would receive from their lords in the event that they face hardship.

Peasant life was generally marked by having few possessions in the home. The houses were basic shacks with benches, stools, wooden cups, bowls and spoons. Most households had a chest of drawers where the family would keep their valuable items. Peasants hardly slept on beds; they slept on straw mattresses on the floor.

Given that they had few possessions even in terms of personal attires, they typically slept with their work apparels and covered themselves with animal skin.

The skilled ones would engage in leatherwork, pottery and ironwork and would sell some of their crafts to fellow villagers. Women spent most of their time weaving cloth through a laborious process; the clothes they wove were mostly for their own families.

Women would also engage in some of the crafts such as pottery, but if they were not doing this, they would be looking after the children and tending to the family croft, a small garden behind their house.

Peasant Life and Christianity Religion played an important role in the peasant life in the middle ages.

The Medieval Era

It was from the Church that peasants would seek console when times were hard. The Church offered help to the neediest peasants in the form of food and necessities.

The peasants looked to the priests for baptism, marriage, and performance of last rites for the dying. Christianity guided the moral decisions that peasant men and women made in their day-to-day life. Peasants were mostly illiterate and so were their children. It was not until the church and the state required that children be sent to school that the peasants sent theirs.

Most of the young ones and the youth obtained skills through apprenticeship or mere observation of those who were skilled at something. Education was meager and only available to a select group of boys.The Lifestyle of Medieval Peasants.

Citation: C N Trueman "The Lifestyle of Medieval Peasants" The History Learning Site, 5 Mar 12 Nov The lifestyle of a medieval peasant in Medieval England was extremely hard and harsh. Many worked as farmers in fields owned by the lords and their lives were controlled by.

Daily Life of a Peasant in the Middle Ages The daily life of a peasant in the Middle ages was hard. Medieval Serfs had to labor on the lord's land for two or three days each week, and at specially busy seasons, such as ploughing and harvesting.

Peasants in the middle ages were mainly agricultural farmers who worked in lands that were owned by a lord. The lord would rent out his land to the peasants in exchange for economic labor.

Daily Life of a Peasant in the Middle Ages The daily life of a peasant in the Middle ages was hard. Medieval Serfs had to labor on the lord's land for two or three days each week, and at specially busy seasons, such as ploughing and harvesting. A peasant is a pre-industrial agricultural laborer or farmer, especially one living in the Middle Ages under feudalism and paying rent, tax, fees, or services to a landlord.

[1] [2] In Europe, peasants were divided into three classes according to their personal status: slave, serf, and free tenant. Peasants, Serfs and Farmers. Peasants were the poorest people in the medieval era and lived primarily in the country or small villages.

Serfs were the poorest of the peasant class, and were a type of slave. Lords owned the serfs who lived on their lands. In exchange for a place to live, serfs worked the land to grow crops for themselves and their lord.

Peasant Life In The Middle Ages | Middle Ages