Daily Life of a Medieval Villein
The daily life of a Medieval Villein was hard. The Medieval Villein had to labor on the lord's domain for two or three days each week, and at specially busy seasons, such as ploughing and harvesting the Medieval Villein had to do extra work. The daily life of a Medieval Villein was dictated by the requirements of the lord of the manor. A Medieval Villein also had to make certain payments, either in money or more often in grain, honey, eggs, or other produce. When a Medieval Villein ground the wheat he was obliged to use the lord's mill, and pay the customary charge. In theory the lord could tax his villeins as heavily and make them work as hard as he pleased, but the fear of losing his tenants prevented him from imposing too great burdens on the daily life of the Medieval Villein.
The Villeins and their Common Use of Non-arable Land
Besides the Medieval Villein holding farm land, which in England averaged about thirty acres, each Medieval Villein had certain rights over the non-arable land of the manor. A Medieval Villein could cut a limited amount of hay from the meadow. He could turn so many farm animals such as cattle, geese and swine on the waste. A Medieval Villein was also given the privilege of taking wood from the forest for fuel and building purposes. The holding of a Medieval Villein included a house in the village.
The clothes of a Medieval Villein
The clothes of a Medieval Villein were basic and practical. The clothing or dress of a Medieval Villein consisted of:
- A blouse of cloth or skin fastened by a leather belt round the waist, from his belt there hung a sheath for a knife
- An overcoat or mantle of thick woollen material, which fell from his shoulders to half-way down his legs
- Short woollen trousers,
- A woollen hat
- Gloves were only worn for their practical clothing value and were padded for use in tasks such as hedging
- Shoes or large boots were worn on his feet