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Knights and fights
Transcript of Knights and fights
By Imogene Pearce
The development of trade and the merchant middle class led to the growth of towns. The merchants were the most exalted members of town. The merchants supported the king and a strong central government because they needed stability for trade. Merchant guilds regulated prices, quality, weights, measures and business practices. In order to become able to to own a shop and be fully accepted by a craft guild a boy went through the stages of apprentices, journeymen and masters. The term for the second stage comes from the French word 'journee', (day) and meant that the journeyman was paid by the day for his work. If a serf escaped to town he had to stay there for a year and a day in order to remain free. If a thief was caught with stolen goods they were hung. The buildings of cooks, barbers and brewers had to be whitewashed and plastered because of the risk their fires posed. In addition to ringing a bell to announce news, a town crier would also ring their bells to solicit prayers in memory of people who had paid for the privilege.
The lord of the manor's primary duty was to the king. He would provide arms to the royals when ether he was needed. The villages paid rent to the lord in the form of produce. Most of life's necessities were produced on the fief, although salt and iron for tools were examples of things that had to be brought to the fief. Hunting was the lords and ladies favourite past time. Hawks and packs of hounds helped the lords and ladies when hunting. If the lord could be compared to the U.S. president the steward would be the vice-president. The duties of the bailiff were to assign the jobs to the peasants as well as taking care of running repairs to buildings. The bailiffs assistant was the reeve. The bailiffs duties included checking that people were on time to work and that no one stole any produce from the lord. The manor hosted functions for feasts such as Christmas and after the harvest.
The church was the institution that taught women how to behave. Women were supposed to obey their fathers and husbands. Most women could not stay at home because of work. They had additional duties of feeding and clothing their families. An 'alewife' was a women who brewed ale. Other jobs that urban woman might have included shopkeepers, spinners and bakers. Single women would have their hair loose whilst married women kept their hair covered in a linen "wimple" as a sign of modesty. The traditional word for a single women is spinsters. This word came from the job of spinning cotton because single women had that occupation. Nunneries offered women the opportunity to lead a devout life and to achieve an education as well as to take on responsibilities denied to them in the outside world. Economically single women landowners were better off than married ones. An unmarried woman of property had an equal right to men whilst a married one had to forgeit all her rights to her husband.
Knights and fights
A boy was seven when he was sent away to start training as a knight. In his first stage of training he was called a page; this stage lasted for seven years. During this first stage of training the page was taught by the women of the house in comportment, courtesy, cleanliness and religion. In the second stage of training the boy was called a squire and he was generally between he ages of 18-21.During the second stage he learned from the knight the skills of war such as riding, hawking and other sports.
The definition of a criminal was someone who by doing something wrong had "disturbed the King's peace". Lords dealt with the minor crimes that occurred in their local courts. Justices appointed by the King dealt with the major crimes. The sheriff had the job of rounding up the criminals and keeping them in goal before they were brought to trial. In the Middle Ages a "gaol" was like a jail, a confinement for prisoners before they were brought to trial. Diseases often killed prisoners in gaol before they came to trial. A prisoner was likely to starve to death if he didn't have any friends or family to bring him food whilst in gaol. In order to stop highway robbers; a 14th century law required lords in England to clear all the trees and bushes ten metres on each side of the major roads. This made sure that robbers had nowhere to hide in wait of passing travellers. If someone committed a minor crime they were fined or put in the stocks. However someone who committed a major crime was executed in public and often watched by large crowds.
The earliest medieval merchants were pedlars who sold goods to towns and villages. By the beginning of the 14th century England was importing precious metals, silks and other luxuries from the Eastern Mediterranean. During this time England was exporting wool, coal and timber back o the Eastern Mediterranean. The double- entry ledge originated in 14th century Florence. much more paperwork was required as trading methods grew more complex so merchants had to pay clerks and scribes to assist them. Merchants marked their papers with wax seals. Most of the medieval coins were made of silver but the first gold coin since Roman times was minted in 1252 Florence. European banking was born in Italy, the banks made profit from the interest they charged for their services.
The Lord's words when he swore fealty to his King were "sire I have become your man". Most Kings did not keep standing armies because they did not have enough wealth and instead depended on their barons to provide knights and soldiers. The barons were the most likely to threaten the King's power as they grew very powerful and governed their fiefs as independent states. Bishops became wealthy by regularly collecting tithes and other taxes from their dioceses. If William received the maximum numbers of warriors from each baron his army would have 600000 men.
There were seven types of entertainment in which a serf could participate. These included church festivals, marriage or funeral processions, or watching and listening to travelling poets, musicians, acrobats and dancers. For Christmas villagers would dress up in groups as "mummers" and visit the Lord's home. There they would perform for him for the chance to receive special gifts in return. To celebrate May Day the children would get up early in the morning and play games before decorating their homes with green branches they gathered. At Midsummer the villagers would light bonfires and participate in a range of activities.