medieval farmworkers


Women workers on the Templars’ estates

Posted on 19 January 2016 by Helen Nicholson

A quick glance through the accounts of the Templars’ estates while they were in King Edward II’s hands suggests that there were very few women employed. The cook who made the porridge for the farmworkers was described as a ‘garcio‘ or lad at Temple Bulstrode in Buckinghamshire (Easter to Michaelmas 1308: TNA E 358/18 rot. 7): at Horspath
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Salving the sheep at Cowley and Horspath in 1308

Posted on 13 January 2016 by Helen Nicholson

On Wattpad you can find the ingredients for the sheep’s salve used on the Templars’ sheep at Cowley and Horspath in Oxfordshire in spring 1308: white grease, quicksilver (the metal mercury) and verdigris. The mercury and verdigris would have acted as strong antibiotics, while the grease held the chemicals together and made them stick to
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No porridge for visitors

Posted on 16 November 2015 by Helen Nicholson

When the royal custodians of the Templars’ estates presented their annual accounts at the exchequer, the accounts were checked, summarised and copied into the rolls which formed a permanent record of the income and expenditure for each estate. Most of the original accounts do not survive, as after the official copy had been made they had
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Feeding the workers: potage and mixture

Posted on 6 October 2015 by Helen Nicholson

Let them eat porridge! In her study Temple Balsall, The Warwickshire preceptory of the Templars and their Fate (Chichester: Phillimore, 1995), Eileen Gooder discussed the payments to farm workers: cash for specified full-time roles such as bailiff, plough overseer, carter, cowherd, etc., and potage and a grain mixture (pp. 31–2). She did not differentiate between the
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