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Title: Thornbury Manor in the age of the Black Death : peasant society, land-holding and agriculture in Gloucestershire, 1328-1352
Author: Franklin, Peter
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 1982
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Thornbury manor was a large estate situated in the Vale of Berkeley in Gloucestershire and held for many years by the Earls of Gloucester. The survival of good series of estate documents has made it possible to study many aspects of the local society and economy in detail in the periods before, during, and immediately after the Black Death. In the long term the population of the manor had been limited in size, probably because of endemic disease and the loss of official control over the movements of villeins. The under-populated manor was distinguished by its very large villein holdings, and some features of Thornbury society reflect this local prosperity. Relations between the villeins and their absentee lords and lords' agents were fundamentally bad, apparently because the former refused to accept their servile status. Local agriculture had the strong bias towards cereal production typical of the lower Severn valley, but tenants were relatively well provided with draught animals. The population suffered severely in the plague of 1348-49, but the speed with which most vacant holdings were taken up shows the enormous resilience of this peasant society. By the early 1350s, however, local agriculture was experiencing many difficulties arising from shortage of labour.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available