1257, Life as a Villein
My name is Katie Longhair. I am twenty-one years old and I am a villein, that's with an 'e' not an 'a', I'm no criminal you know. I live as a tenant on Lord Richard's land. That means that I have to pay him rent to live there. However, I can not pay him in pennies because I haven't got enough, instead I pay him with whatever I can spare off the farm.
I can see you're not from round these parts so let me tell you how life goes in this village. Villein is just another word for peasant, and peasant life really is tough. All we seem to do is work. Us peasants are an important part of feudalism. The King gave Lord Richard a share of his land and in return Lord Richard…show more content… Next year the crops will all move round one field. The Lord keeps most of the land for himself but all the villagers are allowed some strips of land in each field. They are spread around the field so that we get a share of the best and the poorest land.
There's John the priest, He's a kind, caring man if ever there were one. He helps the sick or needy if he can, not like some priests you hear of who drink too much and ignore their duties. We have to give the priest a tithe that's what the barn over there is for. It can be hard having to give the priest one tenth of all our crops each year, but I know he's not a selfish man so I don't mind.
That's my husband Alf, he hardly has the time to look after our own land and grow food for our family. William Reeve has just told him to plough half an acre of the Lord's fields this week. As well as that he has his week work, to hoe weeds every Monday, but I think we're going to get little Alfie doing that soon, he's nearly six now and it's about time he started pitching in. Alf's boon work was three days in June hay making, and three times a year he has to cart grain to another Manor and the Lord can make him do as much extra work as he wants at seed-sowing time and harvest time. All we get for all this work is our cottage and just 6 strips of land in the fields and if we annoy the Lord in any way we could loose it all and