Feudal Services

Feudal Services

Feudal services and feudalism took over the life of a medieval peasant. Medieval England’s entire social structure was centred around feudalism, which gave a lot to the lords of the manor with almost nothing being given back to the peasants.

Feudal services and the whole idea of feudalism was responsible for keeping the peasants poor. One of the causes of the Peasants' Revolt of 1381 was the nobility’s desire to put feudalism back into English society in its original context. The most common types of feudal services were:

Labour Service The work expected of a peasant on his lord’s land.
Heriot Peasants would give their best animal to the lord of the manor as an exchange for the right to have land.
Merchet This was a fine paid by a peasant to his lord for a marriage.
Tallage This was a tax paid each year to the lord of the manor by the serfs.
Toll Tax The lord of the manor received a toll tax once an animal had been sold by its owner.
Boon-work Villagers had to work for the lord on extra days at an especially busy time of year such as harvests and ploughing.
Week-work Days during the week when peasants were required to work for their lord.

See also: Feudalism

MLA Citation/Reference

"Feudal Services". HistoryLearning.com. 2015. Web.