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7th Chapter 4

Life in Medieval Towns
by

joe davis

on 13 August 2013

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Transcript of 7th Chapter 4

Chapter 4
Life in Medieval Towns
4.1 Introduction
By the 12th C. towns were sprouting up around castles, monasteries, and trade routes, & became centers of trade and industry.
Most towns were surrounded by stone walls that protected houses and businesses.
How clean do you think medieval towns were?
Streets were filled with all of these types of things...
People
Horses
Geese
Chickens
Carts
Medieval knight kitties
Noble Dogs
And tons of trash everywhere
4.2 How did Medieval towns Grow?
In the early middle ages most people lived in scattered towns in the countryside, but by the high middle ages, towns were growing again.
What are the two main reasons for this?
Improvements in agriculture led to a surplus of crops to sell.
There was a revival in trade; seaport towns boomed because most goods traveled by water.
Many towns resented being part of a lord's domain and resorted to violent rebellions to become independent.
How could a town have done this peacefully?
By buying one of these...
Many towns were able to purchase a royal charter which gave them the right to govern themselves, make laws, and set taxes.
Who governed these free towns if not a lord?
Banking in London
Wool from Belgium and Netherlands
Italian glass from Venice
Also, specialization...
4.3 What Were guilds?
Trade and the production of goods were overseen by guilds.
All types of craftspeople had their own guilds.
They helped and protected their workers, as well as maintained high standards.
To become a member, one began as an apprentice, and after 7 years, had to produce a masterpiece.
If the guild approved, one could open shop or become a journeymen.
How do you become a member of a guild?
7 years later...
You could be the Bread Master
Instead of being the bread apprentice...
So...
Or...
If you can't afford to open your own shop, you could work for a master bread maker.
Metal workers
Shoe Makers
Carpenters
Bookbinders
Dyers
Houses were typically made of wood, could be up to 4 stories high.
4.5 What Were Homes and Households Like?
In poor neighborhoods, there could be several families in one house where each family would get 1 room to cook, eat, sleep, and sometimes work.
Wealthier families lived in fancy houses, but they were still cold, smoky, and dim.
Half of all children were expected to die before adulthood, and those that didn't began preparing for adulthood at age 7.
Most boys grew up to do the same work as fathers, while most girls married young to become housewives.
How do you think wealthy families lived?
How do you think the poor lived?
What do you think life was like for kids?
Do you see a correlation?
4.4 What Was Trade and Commerce Like?
Trade and commerce is what brought most people to towns.
Most towns had a market, and some had merchants fairs which attracted sellers from all over Europe.
As trade grew, so did commerce, and merchant guilds came to dominate most towns.
There was much prejudice towards Jews, but one opportunity available to them was to become bankers & moneylenders.
Where did people buy their stuff?
How do you think Jews were treated?
4.6 What Were the Diseases and Medical Treatment?
Why do you think people were always sick?
Towns were filthy and unhealthy living conditions led to the spread of many diseases.
What were the common diseases?
Leprosy and the Bubonic Plague were common diseases (also measles, cholera, scarlet fever) and no one knew how they spread.
Can you guess who got blamed for the diseases?
Who's this?
For treatment, doctors usually used herbs, astrology, and a technique called "blood letting."
What Was Crime and Punishment Like?
Medieval towns were often dangerous with only a night watchman with a candle lantern on patrol.
Criminals were thrown in jails and had to rely on family members to bring them food & money.
In early Middle Ages, a person's innocence was determined by trial by ordeal (such as being thrown into a well), or trial by combat where the accused would have to fight to prove innocence.
Punishments ranged from the stocks to being burned at the stake.
Eventually, court inquiries based on written and oral evidence replaced trial by ordeal and combat.
How do you think they kept medieval towns safe?
This was the guy that kept everyone safe
How do you think criminals were treated in jail?
How did they decide whether someone was guilty or innocent?
Trial by water
Trial by fire
Trial by boiling water
Trial by poison
What were the punishments for convicted criminals?
4.8 What Did They Do for Leisure and Entertainment?
Kids as well as adults engaged in many of the same activities we do today.
What do you think some of them are?
Townspeople celebrated religious feasts and would often participate in animal baiting on holidays and Sundays.
Guilds would put on mystery plays acting out scenes from the Bible, and miracle plays dramatizing the lives of saints.
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