were bound to the land. They were almost like slaves.
could not be bought and sold, but they could not leave their land without
permission. Their land could be bought and sold. The land and
all the food they grew belonged to the manor (noble).
A serf's job was whatever the noble told them it
was, carpenter, blacksmith, baker, farmer, and tax collector,
it all. A serf could buy their own freedom if they could get the money,
but where could they get the money? They were uneducated and
were free sort of. Sometimes they owned their own
business or small plot of land, again most were uneducated and
unskilled. They were in the same boat as the serfs.
Everyone had to pay taxes. The peasants paid taxes to the
lord or noble; they paid taxes up to the local duke or count who paid
taxes to the king. Sometimes the taxes were paid in crops,
sometimes in money, plus they had to set aside a number of days every
year to work for the noble.
Festivals were a big deal. This was the only time a peasant
or serf could relax and socialize. All
Festivals were church festivals usually to honor a saint or holy
day. At a festival, a peasant could watch a play or take part in
contests like archery or wrestling, and maybe even see a juggler or
magician. The noble paid the local church to put on the
of the Church: During medieval times, the church
was all powerful. The only way to get to heaven was to follow the
Bible. However, since most people couldn't read. the local priest
had to read it to them. The local priest could tell people that
the Bible told them how to behave, who to obey, even who to
Since they knew nothing
else, most peasants were content. They had a
local noble to protect them from bandits and warfare. Plus
normally everyone in the local village all shared in whatever food there
was. Life was hard, but most people were content.
on the Manor
of a Medieval Peasant (thinkquest)
Presentations about the Middle Ages
Online Games for the Middle Ages
Middle Ages Clipart for Kids & Teachers
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to The Middle Ages for Kids