Book Series The Medieval Countryside, vol. 16

Peasants and Lords in the Medieval English Economy

Essays in Honour of Bruce M. S. Campbell

Maryanne Kowaleski, John Langdon, Phillipp R. Schofield (eds)

  • Pages: xxviii + 435 p.
  • Size:156 x 234 mm
  • Illustrations:15 b/w, 31 tables b/w.
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2015

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-55156-2
  • Hardback
  • Available
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-55204-0
  • E-book
  • Available

This volume, in honour of Bruce Campbell, offers new and vibrant perspectives on the study of the medieval rural economy and develops themes central to his highly important research.


"This collection of essays is a fitting tribute to his special place in the field, bringing together a stellar group of historians whose work has been deeply influenced by Campbell's groundbreaking studies of medieval society." (James Masschaele, in The Medieval Review, 2016.11.10)

“As the editors of this volume note, Campbell’s work is characterised by its intellectual rigour and attention to detail. It is not a surprise to find these qualities replicated in the essays presented in his honour by scholars old and new in the field. This is an engaging set of papers which will be of real interest to historians of late medieval England. A fitting tribute to Bruce Campbell’s lasting impact on the field.” (Alexandra Sapoznik, in Landscape History, 37/2, 2016, p. 113)

“This excellent collection of essays explores a much wider range of topics than the potentially dichotomous title of Peasants and Lords might suggest. As such, the volume will be of considerable interest to historians and students of the medieval economy, showing how the field has evolved over the past century and suggesting future directions to come.” (A.T. Brown, in the Journal of Historical Geography, 55, 2017, p. 118)


Professor Bruce Campbell’s career has been devoted to providing systematic and highly influential studies of the medieval economy and society of the British Isles, including his innovative work on the role of the elites in defining medieval agricultural practices. This volume draws together essays from a distinguished group of researchers who have been inspired by Campbell’s work and the spirit of collegiality and inclusiveness that he has always demonstrated, and who wish to celebrate his significant contributions to scholarship. Many of the essays collected here engage directly with critical issues raised in Professor Campbell’s own research: how medieval society fed itself with reputedly very low levels of technology, the productivity of medieval society as a whole, the impact of external forces (particularly climate), the relationship between lords and peasants, and the importance of non-seigniorial contributions to the medieval economy.


List of Illustrations



Part I. Lords, Peasants, and Agricultural Performance

Peasant Livestock Husbandry in Late Thirteenth-Century Suffolk: Economy, Environment, and Society – PHILIP SLAVIN

The Food Economy of Lords, Tenants, and Workers in a Medieval Village: Hunstanton, Norfolk, 1328–48 – JANE WHITTLE

Bare Ruined Farms? Extents for Debt as a Source for Landlord versus Non-Landlord Agricultural Performance in Fourteenth-Century England – JOHN LANGDON

Peasant Farming in Late Medieval England: Evidence from the Tithe Estimations by Worcester Cathedral Priory – CHRISTOPHER DYER

Part II. Lords and Villeins

Lordship and Villeinage before the Black Death: From Karl Marx to the Marxists and Back Again – JOHN HATCHER

The Myth of the ‘Seigniorial Reaction’ in England after the Black Death – MARK BAILEY

Justifying Inequality: Peasants in Medieval Ideology – STEPHEN H. RIGBY

Part III. Peasants, Lords, and Markets

Lordship and the Early History of Peasant Land Transfer on the Estates of the Abbey of Bury St Edmunds – PHILLIPP R. SCHOFIELD

Making or Buying? Maintaining Farm Equipment and Buildings, 1250–1350 – RICHARD BRITNELL

Peasants, Lords, and Commerce: Market Regulation at Balsham, Cambridgeshire, in the Early Fourteenth Century – CHRIS BRIGGS

A Reassessment of Village Markets in Late Medieval England – JAMES DAVIS

Part IV. Peasants, Poverty, and the Environment

Women and Poverty: Girls on Their Own in England before 1348 – JUDITH M. BENNETT

A Snapshot in Time: The Weather as Seen in the Record of the Nonae (1339–41) – MARILYN LIVINGSTONE

Peasants and the Sea in Medieval England – MARYANNE KOWALESKI

Dearth and Local Political Responses: 1280–1325 and 1580–1596/97 Compared – RICHARD M. SMITH

Bruce M. S. Campbell: Chronological List of Publications


Tabula Gratulatoria