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By David Stone

This attention-grabbing and significant e-book makes use of a wealth of up to date resources to reconstruct the psychological international of medieval farmers and, by means of doing so, argues that there was a stereotypical interpretation of the center a while. David Stone overturns the normal view of medieval countrymen as economically backward and in its place unearths that agricultural decision-making was once as rational within the fouteenth century as nowa days. Investigating agricultural mentalities first at a neighborhood point after which for England as an entire, Dr Stone argues that human motion formed the process the agricultural economic climate to a miles higher volume than has hitherto been preferred, and demanding situations the generally held view that the medieval interval was once ruled via ecological and financial crises. Focusing particularly on responses to advertisement forces and the adoption of agricultural expertise, this ebook has major implications for our knowing of agricultural improvement through the final thousand years.

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Decision-Making in Medieval Agriculture

This interesting and significant ebook makes use of a wealth of latest resources to reconstruct the psychological global of medieval farmers and, by way of doing so, argues that there was a stereotypical interpretation of the center a while. David Stone overturns the conventional view of medieval countrymen as economically backward and as a substitute finds that agricultural decision-making used to be as rational within the fouteenth century as nowa days.

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Poplar, pine planks, and hurdles for the sheepfold were bought at Lynn. Hurdles were also purchased at Ely, while considerable quantities of timber were bought from the Cambridge fairs: oak and poplar from Stourbridge Fair; oak from Reach Fair; and timber from Barnwell Fair. ), VCH Cambridge, iv. 240. 62 The paragraph detailing the building of the dairy in 1412–13 is transcribed and translated in Sherlock, ‘Wisbech Barton’s Farm Buildings’. Bishop of Ely and the Manor of Wisbech 35 was also transported by water: the timber bought at Barnwell Fair in 1411–12, for example, was carted to the river for 2s.

Moving bulky produce such as this around the estate was rendered comparatively cheap by the fenland waterways that stretched far inland: in 1352, for instance, 60 quarters of oats were taken from Wisbech to Fen Ditton by boat, a journey that took six days and involved four customary tenants using forty-eight half-day labour services, accompanied by a supervisor. Yearling sheep from Wisbech were also distributed around the estate in great number, chiefly to Beaudesert, Terrington, Doddington, Somersham, and Colne.

49 Stephenson, ‘Wool Yields’, 381–5. Introduction 18 this explanation is not difficult to appreciate. The sample is large and geographically widespread, yet the fall in fleece weights was remarkably consistent from manor to manor. 50 Ecological change is not the only proffered explanation for low yields in late medieval England. Standing like a colossus in the middle of the fourteenth century, of course, is the Black Death. For some of those writing about the agricultural problems of this period, there is simply no need to look beyond the loss of 40 or 50 per cent of the English population.

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