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Y7 History


About Lucy Mclerner • Hello my name is Lucy Mclerner my life is not very

interesting but I guess you want to know about it. Well I get up a half 4 in the morning to walk down to the lord of the manners gardens, it takes me about half an hour to get there that is why I wake up at half 4. And I work till 10 at night raking and harvesting. It is such hard work! He had 20 strips of land that we have to work on each day. We work as a family to do this except mother just had a baby so she can’t. We have a huge family 9 children under 1 roof. Sadly we have lost 4 children before they even got to the age of 1 well that is life now a days. When I have time I have to look after the baby’s some people would think it is outrages a 10 year old looking after 3 babies it is quite odd. Our food is always faire cooked veg and we have to drink ale we don’t have any life stock so dad has to go and hunt for food on the lords manner but we have to be really carful…… or our lives are at danger.

As told to Jamie

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About Joe Blacksmith • My name is Joe blacksmith I am 29 years old. My

wife died 3 years ago, and I’m the father of two sons- they are John, who is 13 and Simon is 10. They are walking in the woods getting the firewood. I wake up early in the morning during the day I make swords, horses shoes, metal bars and hinges, arrow heads and body armour. Everyone that has a horse brings it to me, because I am the only blacksmith in the village. And also sometimes, I visit my sister Elizabeth in another village. Many in her village bring to me their horses because I am very good at calming them when they need new shoes-I like talking to the horses.

As told to Joseph

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Marissa – a villein child • Hello my name is Marissa. I live with my parents and two sisters

in a cruck house. It is very cold in here and dark. We only have one room and we all sleep at one end together. We all sleep on the floor on hay which is very uncomfortable. Dad says that he will make a bed when he has time and not doing work for the Lord. We keep a cow or a pig at the end of the room when the weather is cold. I just can’t stop coughing all of the time, I think this is because of the smoke from the fire. We don’t have a chimney and we only have a small hole for a window. We block that up when it is cold. Only the churches and rich have glass in their windows. We have to have a fire though, otherwise we would freeze in the winter. I get up and look at what I am wearing today, it is just a grey tunic with an overcoat. The overcoat is very itchy and I have a few holes in it, but mother says that she will be able to mend them soon. 4


Marissa – a villein child (continued!)

• I need to have some breakfast as I am so hungry. We don’t have a lot of food to share, so I am always hungry really. Mother has got us some coarse black bread to eat today and milk from Milly our cow to drink. Mother and father have ale with their bread. I wonder what that tastes like, I think I will be able to have some soon. I look forward to food later though, when we come back from doing our work, we will have pottage. It is a thick vegetable soup. We grow our own vegetables just outside the house and we use these for the soup. Sometimes we have meat with it, if we have killed our pig or cow. As soon as I have finished my bread, Mother says that it is time to leave. 5


Marissa – a villein child (continued!) • Today, the Reeve said that Father has to go and plough the fields. My

job will be to help him. I can’t do all the heavy work like mother and father. So I have to clear stones off of the land, this is so that the farming tools don’t get damaged. Other days when the seeds are being sown, I have to spend the day chasing the birds away. • I am used to being cold, tired and wet, that is just the life of a child. But, what I hate the most is how sore my feet are. I don’t have shoes and so most of the time I have to walk barefoot. When it is really cold though, I use hay as socks and wrap cloth round the outside. • Although life is hard, at least I am alive. Lots of children die before they are even one year old. At least I am ten and still alive though. I know what my life has in store for me though. I will be like my mother and father, working for the Lord on his land.

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About Colin the Blacksmith • Hello my name is Colin and I am a blacksmith

and I am a freeman which means I can leave the village at anytime without the lord’s permission and my home and my shop is near the castle for the convenience to the knights. I make things out of metal which is hot and dirty work. I repair weapons and armour for the knight and they usual pay me in money and I make tools for the farmers and they pay me in food they grow on their farms and about 5 times a year I hire the Ox cart to go out and collect iron ingots.

As told to Sîoned

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About Colin the Blacksmith • I wake up at seven o’clock every •

morning and sit down to have my breakfast before a long, hard demanding day at work. By the end of the day I usually have bits of dirt and ashes over my clothes and once my work is done I have my dinner rest from my and I have a day off on Sundays where the whole town goes to church and it’s one day when I get a rest from my stressful work that I deal with six days a week I eat a stew of vegetables and some meat, but I don’t have meat every day. I have to pay the lord 10 shillings for the forge. My clothes are made out of cloth, but I wear an apron and shoes made of leather to protect me from the hot metal and sparks.

As told to Sîoned

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About Rob the Robber • Hello my name is Rob and I am 8, I once stole a green apple •

from the orchid and that is how I got the title of robber, but I think that’s serious enough to get me titled robber. I live in a small house with no windows and only a small hole in the straw roof with can get very cold in the winter. When there’s a fire under the skillet the room fills with heavy grey smoke and makes the house smell like a bonfire.

This is my mum Emma sweeping up after the fire.

As told to Sufyan

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About Rob the Robber • My clothes are never clean and are always

•

blackened with soot and mud because I work with a black smith. All I wear is a long rag that barely covers my knees and cow hide shoes which are too small for me. I normally eat bubble and squeak with stale bread which is ok because the bread becomes moist in the soup. In the morning I wake up at the crack of dawn and go down to the black smiths which is where my dad works. I assist him till sunset. When I come out I smell metallic and my hands are blistered and my face is black from soot.

As told to Sufyan

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About William the Miller • My name is William the Miller, this is because • • •

some people are known by their occupation. In my village the people mainly grow wheat, rye, barley, oats and peas and because bread is the staple food I have an important job as I grind the grain into flour to make bread. Only the rich farmers are able to grow wheat needed to make white bread, the poor farmers have to use a mixture of rye and barley. The serfs have to provide free labour but because I am a freeman I rent the use of the mill from the Lord who is the landowner. The serfs are not allowed to bake bread in their own homes so the People then have to pay to use the mill and these charges are called banalities.

As told to William 11


About Lucas the Villein • My name is Lucas and I am a villein. I live in a small cottage with

•

my wife, Jane, and my two sons, William and Jack. Our house is made of branches of wood woven together and covered in a mixture of clay, oxhair and dung. This is called wattle and daub. We only have one room inside with one window. We have some wooden stools which I made myself and a table which I also made. I have just made a wooden bed for us all to sleep in or we would be on a bed of straw like the other villeins. The floor is quite dusty and cold because it is just flattened earth and the roof is thatched straw. It gets cold inside so I have made shutters for our window. We have water from the stream, the children can collect it but they have to fill it up about 5 times a day. We eat pottage for our meals which is vegetable and herb soup and twice a week we have meat. We have eggs from our hens and milk and cheese that Jane makes from our cow. Our main drink is ale and the children drink milk or water.

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About Lucas the Villein • Everyone wears tunics and leggings and I have a sheepskin

•

that I wear in winter. I made myself some wooden shoes too. The wool of the tunic is very itchy. When it is really cold we wear a hood around our head and shoulders. I look after our land and grow our food, that is a mans job. I'm a good man and I look after my family. I am allowed my land and cottage but I have to do work for the lord if he wants me to, and sometimes it is very tiring. I have been harvesting today for the lord of the manor, I had to flail the corn to separate the seed from the chaff. This is called winnowing. It was really hard work and I don't get paid for it. I have another two days of harvesting to do for the lord as well as my own work. Life is hard being a villein man, there is so much work to do every day. 13

Living in a Norman Village  

Students' work

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