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My family are not allowed into the main house unless invited by the Lord or his Lady to undertake chores for them, which are often completed when the noble family are asleep, so it…
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A Day in the Life of a Peasant in the Middle Ages The manor e on which I live is vast, with acres of land, sculpted gardens and the main house. My family are not allowed into the main house unless invited by the Lord or his Lady to undertake chores for them, which are often completed when the noble family are asleep, so it is hard to describe in any great detail, as most chores are done by faded candlelight. My mother often spends hours in the kitchen, scrubbing so hard her hands are raw and assisting the cook in preparing the meals for the day. Sometimes she manages to steal some of the meat and vegetables left from the previous night, especially if there has been a banquet. Those are good days. This morning, however, we all awoke and had to begin work without any food to prepare us for the long day ahead. My task for the day was to work on the land for the Lord of the manor, starting to plant some of the crops for the year ahead.
My father died at the age of 27, but before this he was a skilled craftsman, carving all the tools necessary for the horses of the manor. It was said that he was the best of his age and many other Lords had tried to buy his services, but he died before I was born so I could not learn his skill. I am therefore relegated to mere farm work. It is cold today, as it is early Spring and my hands are so sore from the weather that it is hard to work quickly. It may mean a beating from the Lord as time is precious when it comes to crops, as the fertilization needs to start next week or the manor risks losing profit. I am wearing my best woollen tunic and have managed to wrap the animal skin I use for a blanket around me, but still the weather is bitingly cold and it is a relief to finally see the sun rise.
After hours of work, which I can only estimate to be 8 from the pattern of the sun, it is time to head back to the stables to see what food I can find. The other serfs from the manor estate are there, and everyone seems pleased that the sun is shining and work seems to be going well. Even my work on the farm has sped up since my hands have thawed out with the arrival of some spring weather. There are even some scraps of meat to have with the bread for lunch, which makes this an unusual day but we all go back to work comparatively well-fed and work continues in much the same way as it had this morning.
The sky falls dark after a few more hours of work, and I know this is a sign that I need only work for a few hours more. Using the moon as a guide, work begins to slow down as accurate planting is impossible. My mother is ill, so after I’ve planted as much as possible here I go to the kitchen of the main house and scrub the kitchen floor ready for the next day, meaning I’ve had even less sleep than usual. I tend to my mother, stealing some broth from the kitchen to help her sweat out her fever, but I fear that it may be a turn for the worse as we have no access to medicine or healers.
After I have completed all these jobs, I can finally rest my head on the cold, hard stable floor. I have no straw to lay on as some of the others do, as I have given it to my mother to help her rest easier. I pull my animal skins over me and dream of living in the manor house itself, with its comfortable beds with woollen bedspreads, and eating banquets with a variety of meats. This is something I will never experience, so I get some rest for the next day of work. Read More
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