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A Day in the Life of a Medieval Peasant

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Holly Miller November 2, 2005

A Day in the Life of A Medieval Peasant Western Civilization

Daily life for us peasants is generally pretty hard. I get up each morning at dawn, eat a quick breakfast of homemade bread and ale and then I'm off to the fields for a full day of work. We have to plant, tend, and harvest at least one good crop a year or we will starve in the winter. We usually try to plant and harvest at least two crops each year. After working all day, I sometimes stop in the village tavern for a bit of socializing before heading home to have my dinner, and then off to bed.

Elizabeth gets up at the crack of dawn as well. She has my breakfast ready for me before I leave. After that, her day is full. There's the vegetable garden to tend, clothing to wash, bread to bake for tomorrow, cloth to weave, and a house to keep clean. Rebecca and Samuel help her by tending to the animals (we have some pigs, a cow, some chickens, and a couple sheep), and doing other chores. Mathew usually works in the fields with me. He's learning to be a farmer so he can support his own family some day. When Samuel is about 10, he'll come to the fields to work too. Until then, Samuel attends school at the village church to learn some prayers and songs, and how to do a bit of math.

I along with the other serf men work long hours every day, rain or shine, to ensure that our families have enough to eat. Most men have farms, although a few are millers, blacksmiths, and tavern owners. Farmers are the backbone of medieval society. I work land leased to me by wealthier land holders in the nobility. We produce all of the food, and pay most of the taxes. My life isn't all hard work though. On holidays we have feasts and invite our relatives to share with us. We also celebrate the births of our offspring and when someone gets married. We attend church and rest each Sabbath day.

My family and I live on a nearby farm on our lord's manor. The average serf has a two room cottage that is constructed of mud plastered branches and straw or of stone and wood with a roof of thatch. The rooms have dirt floors. Some items that we have in our cottage are a couple stools, a table, and a chest to hold clothes in the common room. In the other room, sacks of straw serve as

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