47 votes
Accepted

How did medieval manors handle population growth? Was there room for more fields to be ploughed?

1. The surplus population could leave for underpopulated areas. It should be noted that villeins were not absolutely prohibited from leaving their manors. Rather, they were forbidden from leaving ...
  • 96.4k
44 votes
Accepted

Were there inns and hostels in medieval Europe?

SHORT ANSWER Yes, there were, but information on inns and hostels before around 1300 is patchy at best and the evidence suggests that, for the early middle ages especially, travellers were often given ...
36 votes
Accepted

How is serfdom related to slavery?

It seems like you are trying to treat "slavery" and "serfdom" as trans-historical categories, and that is where the confusion lies. To make meaningful definitions and comparisons, ...
  • 17.8k
24 votes

How is serfdom related to slavery?

Slavery and serfdom are legal terms; every legal framework (roughly every country) will have different definitions. So as you point out Roman slavery is different from French slavery, and both are ...
  • 31.2k
21 votes

Were there inns and hostels in medieval Europe?

Some of the early lines of Chaucer's prologue to The Canterbury Tales (circa 1386), tell of The Tabard inn in Southwark, just south of London Bridge. In Southwerk at the Tabard as I lay Redy to ...
  • 2,052
19 votes

When did England stop being a Papal fief?

tl; dr No, Edward III paid a token tribute of £1,000 in 1333 (in expectation of receiving papal favours in return). In 1365, the English parliament debated the latest papal demand for tribute. They ...
  • 76.8k
18 votes
Accepted

When did England stop being a Papal fief?

SHORT ANSWER From the point of view of the English king and parliament, England stopped being a Papal fief in 1365. In 1365 parliament debated the latest papal request and concluded that John’s ...
16 votes

How did medieval manors handle population growth? Was there room for more fields to be ploughed?

The main ways are through improved field management, clearing woodland, and adoption of dairy. Crop rotation involves the evolution from two-field to three-field crop rotation starting in Charlemagne'...
15 votes

How did medieval manors handle population growth? Was there room for more fields to be ploughed?

Just adding a little perspective: this question seems to originate along the lines of thinking in terms of the Malthusian catastrophe. But the "growing population" in the Middle Ages did not grow that ...
  • 79.8k
13 votes
Accepted

Jean III de Grailly, captal de Buch's strange title

This is really more like a whole list of questions... 1. Why was de Grailly granted this title, which was apparently used by only a few families, and not some other title? I think there's a bit of ...
  • 96.4k
12 votes
Accepted

What was the political consciousness of a 15th century English peasant?

There were popular uprisings by English peasants (and other common folk) against the monarchy in the years preceding the Wars of the Roses (1455-1487). These rebellions give an indication of the ...
11 votes

What happens if a vassal inherits not under the control of their sovereign?

Feudal lords have obligations to any liege from whom they hold fiefs in fealty. If a lord holds fiefs in two kingdoms, he is under feudal obligations to both sovereigns. This applies even if a vassal ...
  • 96.4k
11 votes

In what European countries did non-hereditary nobility exist? (XVII-XIX centuries)

It was in Italy that (initially) non hereditary titles of nobility were granted for military prowess. That's because these titles were not grounded in ownership of land.According to Wikipedia: "...
  • 103k
11 votes

How is serfdom related to slavery?

In English Law (post Norman-conquest) there are in general two classes of Villeins, with shared aspects: Villeins en regardant: A villein annexed to the manor of land; a serf. The consequence of ...
10 votes

Where can I find examples of fiefs that are not land?

One example might be thirlage, the right to force serfs to use a specific mill and to pay for the usage. Another was the right to mint coins. I believe both were commonly granted in addition to lands, ...
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9 votes

In what European countries did non-hereditary nobility exist? (XVII-XIX centuries)

In the United Kingdom, you could become a life peer. This title could not be inherited, it was limited to the life of the holder. In Germany, this concept was called Persönlicher Adel (personal ...
  • 4,421
9 votes

Why, apart from religious reasons, might someone in thirteenth century England give land to a Church?

I offer this only because no one has yet provided a more informed answer. A few centuries earlier, writing in the early Eighth century, St Bede complained in his 'History of the English Church and ...
  • 5,531
9 votes

Did every medieval village in Europe have a manor, castle, or other type of lord's residence?

SHORT ANSWER: No. LONG ANSWER: Every manor in Catholic and Latin medieval Europe had a manor house of some sort, except during intervals, possibly long intervals, between a manor house being ...
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9 votes
Accepted

Did every medieval village in Europe have a manor, castle, or other type of lord's residence?

Looking at late 11th century England, the Domesday Book commissioned in 1085-6 by William I records a division: of England into Counties; Counties were the primary structural element of Domesday ...
9 votes
Accepted

How were de jure lands determined during the Middle Ages in Western Europe?

I will try to explain the complexity of this question using the Duchy of Normandy as an example. Duchy of Normandy As reported by Wikipedia in the Duke of Normandy page the duchy arose out of a grant ...
  • 1,405
9 votes

What were the heir and children of monarchs with the titles "Grand Prince" or "Prince" called?

There is unlikely to be one answer which applies to the whole breadth of time and place that you've included; you'd have to focus on a particular state or tradition. Very few countries in the world ...
  • 578
8 votes
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How did the king give land to new barons without taking it from the old ones?

I cannot offer a complete answer but some relevant facts, many from my history degree or from having subsequently studied law. In theory, no one absolutely owned land but the king, everyone else if ...
  • 5,531
8 votes

What were the rights and responsibilities of (various classes of) 11th century English commonfolk?

First, I'll try to answer the question "Who were the common folk in the 11th century". We are fortunate in England to have William I's great survey, Domesday Book, completed in 1086. Coverage is not ...
  • 76.8k
7 votes

Under what circumstances did feudal rulers grant land to someone new?

Henry the Lion (a Guelf) was the most powerful duke in the Holy Roman Empire, only second to the emperor himself. His downfall lasted from 1077–1081, when he was convicted of high treason against the ...
  • 79.8k
7 votes

Has feudalism been a programmed event for nations in the past?

It would depend, first place, on a working definition of "feudalism". This is far from consensual, with several not very compatible "definitions" being used and abused without much intellectual effort ...
7 votes
Accepted

Are fiefdoms near the Capital assigned to trusted allies or the opposite, and why?

It would be incorrect to say, ' ... China and Japan used a completely opposite rationale in assigning the fiefdoms and were both well chosen for the country'. It did happen this way but for the ...
  • 6,275
7 votes

How is serfdom related to slavery?

Most of the answers focus on the similarities between serfdom and slavery, and it can often get subjective based on the one's political views (an anarchist or communist might claim that modern ...
  • 4,704
6 votes

What was the status of peasants who left to join the People's Crusade?

The crusade may have been incited by the testimonies of Peter the Hermit, but it was endorsed by Pope Urban the Second: ... Pope Urban the Second who presided at the assembly seconded the ...
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6 votes

What happens if a vassal inherits not under the control of their sovereign?

Consider also the case of Frederick I of Prussia. Inheriting the Margravate of Brandenburg (within the Holy Roman Empire) and the Duchy of Prussia (outside the Empire, actually only East Prussia) as ...
6 votes

In what European countries did non-hereditary nobility exist? (XVII-XIX centuries)

The President of France and the Bishop of Urgell are, ex officio, the co-princes of Andorra. These are non-hereditary and, as far as I can see, considered to be a part of the nobility.

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