What was it like for a peasant in the middle ages?
Beer would be the only thing to drink as water was bad and carried diseases. This was also a good thing to make and sell if you needed money as it was cheap to make. You could not eat much, an average breakfast lunch and dinner for a peasant contained mainly barley, in things like porridge, flat bread, bread, pies and soup, (very boring). They grew vegetables and herbs, so things like onion, cabbage, celery and parsnip were, added along with herbs like thyme and rosemary. They also gathered things like mushrooms and made cheese to make soup fun, you could not buy meat as it was hard to get and it would cost lots.
To earn money the easy choice would be a farmer, this was a demanding job where you had to get up early and be very strong. You could rent a strip of land of the lord; this land would be shared with other people and be bad bumpy land. All that you harvest would have to be given to the lord, so you would have to own another plot just to get food for yourself. Farming was very hard as there were know machinery, as there is today. A plough back then would be done buy a ox pulling and you pushing this was time consuming as the plough would get stuck on things like stones and roots.
You could also be a miller this was good. Bread was hard to make as it was difficult to filter the bad chaff from the barley, making the bread hard and bitty. You could sell bread for lots of money to the lord if it was filtered properly and was not so hard. It was illegal in some places for anyone to grind barley apart from the miller.
Another job was being a servant for the lord, if you were not trained you would have to do the dirty jobs e.g. when the heap of human waste outside got high (made from a hole in a platform for people to go to the toilet on so it goes outside like a toilet) you had to clear it up. Or you could tend the lords horses in the stable (better than the last job!)
Work started early as there was no school, 1 out of 3 babies died from famine or illness and life expectancy would be less than 40. If you stole something you could have your hand cut of or do the swim test in which you would put in water with hands tied to feet and if you sink not guilty if you rise you are killed. This was a very social event that people from the village would attend if board, they believed that it was the will of god that saved you. Public humiliation was popular then as people joined in regular stoning on throwing things at people in stocks.
An average peasant's home would be a single room around 5m by 3m in which the whole family lived. In the room there would be; straw beds (small creatures would live in the straw) pots (for cooking and water), stools and a table, at night the animals would share your home as a stable as it was too much money to make one. Clothing was made of cores wool and fabric this also let bugs in and scratched the skin this also was not very warm and many people died in the winter.
The land lord owned everything even your clothes and he would log all of this in a book what you buy what you sell. This was called a domes day book and was brought over buy William after he conquered Brittan this recorded everybody in Brittan. The book is used by archaeologist because it shows how people used to live. As the lord owned everything you had to pay tax on everything and when you died you had to pay or if you did not have enough money your relatives would pay.
A weaver in the middle ages wove cloth. Just like weavers before and after the middle ages. Some expanded information: In the early middle ages weaving was a home craft. In the later middle ages with the growth of towns and cities weaving became a regular profession organized into guilds. This was in part due to the development of more complex looms that a typical peasant would not likely posses.
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In the Middle Ages there was no social diversity. People were born into a class of people and that is where they stayed. If they were a peasant they stayed a peasant, a serf stayed a serf, clergy stayed with the church, and the nobility stayed in their class. A noble didn't marry a peasant and a peasant didn't become educated since there were no schools. There was no upward mobility within the society.
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