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Medieval Reeve

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Georgette Wendt

on 22 October 2013

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Transcript of Medieval Reeve

Medieval Reeve
By: Georgette Wendt

What did they do:
Reeves were responsible for the general overall management of the village.
They made sure that the serfs completed their labor services.
History of the Reeve cont.
They did this for military reasons and had a chief which was called a gerefa, or later named reeve.
The reeve had local power as a community official and military leader.
History of the reeve cont.
The reeves carried swords, that are being collected today.
The swords had a broad flat blade of medium length with a fuller running the entire length and fading and inch from the point, with a narrow enough for thrusting, but made for cutting a sword through mail armor.
They are sold for approximately $840
How did they get their jobs cont.
The position rotated every year.
If a person was extraordinary at their job, they could hold the position for life, but this did not happen very often.
Chaucer's reeve v. the real reeve
Chaucer's character was a mean old man.
The real reeve might have been mean ,but was more likely nice in an attempt to keep the job for as long as possible.
How did they get their jobs?
The Reeve was a village official what was chosen by the bailiff and elected by peasants, and had a moderate social standing.
They served under the steward.
Were there different kinds of reeves?
There were many different kinds of reeves, with different responsibilities.
Manor reeves, Port reeves, town reeves and shire reeves
What kind of person got the job?
The reeve had to be a competent and respected person.
They had a lot of authority but was not a lord.
History of the Reeve
Before the Norman Invasion, around the year 700, the people lived in tuns (which lead to the word town.)
They built local self-governments based on groups of ten.
Each tun had ten families called tithings.
History of the reeve cont.
After the Conquest Life in England, England transitioned into High Middle ages.
This lead to the role of the reeve evolving into dealing with financial tasks, such as making sure produce was sold for good prices, taxes and fines were collected and all accounts for the manor were paid for.
History of the reeve cont.
The new position also included detecting and preventing crime and this was called a shire reeve, or later, a sheriff.
By this time, the role was usually taken by an important land owner, not a lowly serf.
The shire reeve was responsible for financial and governmental transactions, detecting and preventing crimes, and doling out justice when crimes were committed, which similar to the job today.
History of the reeve cont.

Because of the increased responsibility and influence, this job became coveted and soon was able to be bought.
The shire reeve was a cruciate part of shaping the law and government within their shire.
What does the need for this occupation tell us about the time period?
The need for a shire demonstrates the change in the town mentality, compared to what it is now.
They were at war then, and needed a leader for their tuns
What was their day to day life like?
Every day they would go to the fields to check on the peasants., then report to the lord and do whatever the lord asked of him that day.
Feared like the plague he was, by those beneath (p.129 line 623)

Yet out it came to pleasure his lord with subtle loans of gifts of goods, to ear his thanks and even coats and hoods (p. 129 line 627-630)
"The reeve was old and choleric and thin; his beard was shaven closely to the skin, his shorn hair came abruptly to a stop above his ears, and he was docked on top just like a priest in front; his legs were lean, like sticks they were, no calf was seen ( p.128-129 line 605-610)"
Work Cited

www.historylearningsite.co.uk/medieval_village_officials.htm, 2013
www.albion-swords.com/swords/albionnextgen/sword-medieval-reeve-x.htm. 2011
education.bllurit.com, 2013, Madelyn Webber

nerryfarmer,bet/21012/10/08 medievel-monday-theres-s-new-sherriff-in-town/ 2009
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