We know that many people were unfree serfs in the Middle Ages, but what does serfdom actually mean? This week, Danièle speaks with Mark Bailey about medieval serfs, their place in society, and the true catalyst for the decline and fall of serfdom in England.
Mark Bailey is the Managing Director of Dukes Education and a visiting professor of Later Medieval History at the University of East Anglia. He is the author of several books, including Medieval Suffolk. An Economic and Social History 1200 to 1500, After the Black Death. Economy, society and the law in fourteenth-century England, and The Decline of Serfdom in Late Medieval England: From Bondage to Freedom. You can learn more about his research on Mark’s university webpage.
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Top Image: Medieval illustration of men harvesting wheat with reaping-hooks or sickles, on a calendar page for August. Queen Mary’s Psalter (Ms. Royal 2. B. VII), fol. 78v