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Medieval Miller

Medieval life and Times

Medieval Miller - Definition and Description
Definition and description of a Medieval Miller: A Miller is someone who works in a mill (especially a grain mill). Mills were an invention of the era and were built to pump water and grind grain. The village mill housed a machine to grind a cereal crop to make flour. The most basic early tool of a Medieval miller was the quern-stone which was used prior to the invention of water mills and windmills.

The quern-stone was a large, fixed stone as a base and another movable stone operated by hand. Watermills and Windmills were developed during the Middle Ages to do the grinding work.

Medieval Miller - The Feudal System and the Banalities
Medieval Serfs were expected to work for approximately 3 days each week on the land designated to the lord of the manor. Serfs also had to make certain payments, either in money or more often in grain, honey, eggs, or other produce. When Serfs ground the wheat he was obliged to use the lord's mill, which was operated by the Medieval Miller, and pay the customary charge. These fees were called 'Banalities'. A feudal lord imposed Banalities on his serfs for the use of his mill, oven, wine press, or similar facilities.

Role of the Medieval Miller
At first the trades of the Medieval miller and baker were carried out by the same person. The Medieval miller had a shop near the mill where he baked bread.

The Bread made by the Medieval Miller
The bread made by the Medieval Miller took a variety of different forms. Loaves of bread varied in form, quality and consequently in name, there were at least twenty sorts of bread made during the 12th and 13th  centuries with names such as the court loaf, the pope's loaf, the knight's loaf, the squire's loaf, the peer's loaf and the varlet's loaf. The "table loaves," which were served at the tables of the rich lords of the manor, were of such a convenient size that one of them was sufficient for a man of ordinary appetite, even after the crust was cut off, which it was considered polite to offer to the ladies, who soaked it in their soup. For the servants an inferior bread was baked, called "common bread.". In many counties they sprinkled the bread, before putting it into the oven, with powdered linseed.

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