Relationship between knights and serfs

Knights and Feudal Society | HowStuffWorks

relationship between knights and serfs

The hierarchies were formed up of 4 main parts: Monarchs, Lords/Ladies (Nobles ), Knights, and Peasants/Serfs. Each of the levels depended on each other on. Feudalism is a term describing the relationship between lords. (nobility and church), vassals, serfs, and freemen. • A lord was the lawful owner of land. • A vassal. *noble could give part of his manor to a knight in return for his service *serfs served the noble (their lord) for life; had to pay taxes; had to appear in court and fight when needed Describe the relationship between the nobles & peasants.

Villeins were tied to their lord's land and couldn't leave it without his permission. Villeins were somehow retained on their land and by unmentioned manners could not move away without their lord's consent and the acceptance of the lord to whose manor they proposed to migrate to. Villeins were generally able to hold their own property, unlike slaves.

relationship between knights and serfs

Villeinage, as opposed to other forms of serfdom, was most common in Continental European feudalism, where land ownership had developed from roots in Roman law. A variety of kinds of villeinage existed in Europe in the Middle Ages. Half-villeins received only half as many strips of land for their own use and owed a full complement of labour to the lord, often forcing them to rent out their services to other serfs to make up for this hardship.

Villeinage was not, however, a purely uni-directional exploitative relationship. In the Middle Ages, land within a lord's manor provided sustenance and survival, and being a villein guaranteed access to land, and crops secure from theft by marauding robbers.

Landlords, even where legally entitled to do so, rarely evicted villeins because of the value of their labour.

Comparing and contrasting the lives of Serfs, knights and lords by Ma'Dayza Miller on Prezi

Villeinage was much preferable to being a vagabond, a slave, or an unlanded labourer. In many medieval countries, a villein could gain freedom by escaping from a manor to a city or borough and living there for more than a year; but this action involved the loss of land rights and agricultural livelihood, a prohibitive price unless the landlord was especially tyrannical or conditions in the village were unusually difficult.

Bordars and cottagers In England the Domesday Bookofuses bordarii bordar and cottarii cottar as interchangeable terms, "cottar" deriving from the native Anglo-Saxon tongue whereas "bordar" derived from the French. Whipping was a common punishment for Russian serfs. In England, at the time of the Domesday Survey, this would have comprised between about 1 and 5 acres 0. They owned no tenancy in land, worked for the lord exclusively and survived on donations from the landlord.

It was always in the interest of the lord to prove that a servile arrangement existed, as this provided him with greater rights to fees and taxes. The status of a man was a primary issue in determining a person's rights and obligations in many of the manorial court -cases of the period.

Also, runaway slaves could be beaten if caught. The United States had approximately 4 million slaves by[21] and the British Empire hadslaves when it abolished slavery in Usually a portion of the week was devoted to ploughing his lord's fields held in demesneharvesting crops, digging ditches, repairing fences, and often working in the manor house.

The remainder of the serf's time he spent tending his own fields, crops and animals in order to provide for his family. Most manorial work was segregated by gender during the regular times of the year; however, during the harvestthe whole family was expected to work the fields. A major difficulty of a serf's life was that his work for his lord coincided with, and took precedence over, the work he had to perform on his own lands: On the other hand, the serf of a benign lord could look forward to being well fed during his service; it was a lord without foresight who did not provide a substantial meal for his serfs during the harvest and planting times.

In addition to service, a serf was required to pay certain taxes and fees. Taxes were based on the assessed value of his lands and holdings. Fees were usually paid in the form of agricultural produce rather than cash.

relationship between knights and serfs

The best ration of wheat from the serf's harvest often went to the landlord. Generally hunting and trapping of wild game by the serfs on the lord's property was prohibited. On Easter Sunday the peasant family perhaps might owe an extra dozen eggs, and at Christmas a goose was perhaps required too.

When a family member died, extra taxes were paid to the lord as a form of feudal relief to enable the heir to keep the right to till what land he had. Any young woman who wished to marry a serf outside of her manor was forced to pay a fee for the right to leave her lord, and in compensation for her lost labour.

Often there were arbitrary tests to judge the worthiness of their tax payments. A chicken, for example, might be required to be able to jump over a fence of a given height to be considered old enough or well enough to be valued for tax purposes. The restraints of serfdom on personal and economic choice were enforced through various forms of manorial customary law and the manorial administration and court baron.

It was also a matter of discussion whether serfs could be required by law in times of war or conflict to fight for their lord's land and property.

How Knights Work

In the case of their lord's defeat, their own fate might be uncertain, so the serf certainly had an interest in supporting his lord. Rights Within his constraints, a serf had some freedoms. Though the common wisdom is that a serf owned "only his belly"—even his clothes were the property, in law, of his lord—a serf might still accumulate personal property and wealth, and some serfs became wealthier than their free neighbours, although this happened rarely.

A serf could grow what crop he saw fit on his lands, although a serf's taxes often had to be paid in wheat. The surplus he would sell at market. The landlord could not dispossess his serfs without legal cause and was supposed to protect them from the depredations of robbers or other lords, and he was expected to support them by charity in times of famine. Many such rights were enforceable by the serf in the manorial court.

In some places serfdom was merged with or exchanged for various forms of taxation. The amount of labour required varied. In Poland, for example, it was commonly a few days per year per household in the 13th century. One day per week per household in the 14th century. Four days per week per household in the 17th century. Six days per week per household in the 18th century.

Serfs served on occasion as soldiers in the event of conflict and could earn freedom or even ennoblement for valour in combat.

Laws varied from country to country: Many knights were professional warriors who served in the lord's army. In return, the lord provided the knight with lodging, foodarmor, weapons, horses and money.

relationship between knights and serfs

Peasants, or serfs, farmed the land and provided the vassal or lord with wealth in the form of food and products. The peasants were bound to the land, so it was in the vassal's interest to protect them from invaders. Fiefs -- and the obligation to serve the king -- were inherited by the eldest son of the ruling nobleman. Feudalism allowed large territories to be governed in the absence of a central government. Each lord or vassal raised an army to defend his fief and to serve the king as needed.

In fact, nobles often warred amongst themselves over territories. Knights were members of the gentry in that they held a place in society above the peasants, but they weren't necessarily members of the noble ruling classes or royalty.

Knighthood was not an inherited position -- it had to be earned. So, it was an appealing means for a younger son of a lord to advance himself. A knight could make a fortune either by a grant of land from a king or by being a paid professional in service to a lord.