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The Great Bovine Pestilence and its economic and environmental consequences in England and Wales, 1318–501

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The Great Bovine Pestilence and its economic and environmental consequences in England and Wales, 1318–501

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Abstract

The present article seeks to identify the nature, extent, and impact of the Great Bovine Pestilence in England and Wales, between 1318 and 1350. The murrain, which killed around 62 per cent of the bovine animals in England and Wales in 1319–20, had a tremendous impact within both the seigniorial and peasant sectors of late medieval agriculture. In particular, the pestilence, which decreased the overall population of dairy cattle, depressed the overall levels of milk supply available for human consumption. Is it possible that the bovine crisis of 1319–20, and the subsequent protein shortage, were instrumental in weakening the immune system of humans and making them prone to the pestilence some 30 years later?

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... The difference between the two cemeteries might reflect the negative effects of the Great Bovine Pestilence (c. 1319–1320) and the resulting decreases in dairy availability that persisted until about 1340 (Slavin, 2012). The cause of the Great Bovine Pestilence is not yet known conclusively, and suspected causes include anthrax , foot-and-mouth disease, and rinderpest. ...
... Regardless of the cause, the bovine pestilence resulted in the deaths of over 60 percent of bovine animals in England and Wales alone, and thus a significant reduction in dairy resources; in some areas, milk output fell by over 80%. It took decades for herds of bovine animals to be restored to their pre-1319 levels, and milk output was depressed through the 1330s (Slavin, 2012). The Great Bovine Pestilence might have affected frequencies of periodontal disease in the East Smithfield cemetery by reducing the amount of protein in the diets of people who lived through the pestilence and the resulting protracted period of reduced dairy product availability. ...
... The Great Bovine Pestilence might have affected frequencies of periodontal disease in the East Smithfield cemetery by reducing the amount of protein in the diets of people who lived through the pestilence and the resulting protracted period of reduced dairy product availability. Dairy products were among the most important sources, if not the single most important source of protein for medieval peasants (Slavin, 2012 ), and pro-tein-malnutrition is associated with poor periodontal status in living populations (Russell et al., 2010). The Great Bovine Pestilence might also have affected frequencies of periodontal disease by dramatically reducing the availability of dietary calcium. ...
Article
Periodontal disease is one of the most common chronic diseases in living populations, and most studies that have examined sex differences in periodontal disease have found higher frequencies in men compared to women. This study examines sex differences in periodontal disease in two cemeteries from medieval London: the East Smithfield cemetery (c. 1349-1350), an exclusively Black Death cemetery that represents catastrophic mortality (n = 161), and the St. Mary Graces cemetery (c. 1350-1538), a post-Black Death attritional assemblage that represents normal medieval mortality (n = 100). The results reveal a significantly higher frequency of periodontal disease, independent of age, among males compared with females in St. Mary Graces, but no significant difference between the sexes in East Smithfield. The sex differences in the attritional assemblage might reflect heightened susceptibility to periodontal disease in the living population or sex differences in frailty. The differences in the sex patterns of periodontal disease between the two cemeteries might be the result of disproportionately negative effects of the Great Bovine Pestilence and consequent decreases in dairy availability on female oral health among victims of the Black Death. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
... Between 1319 and 1322, a panzootic in cattle (probably rinderpest) spread into Britain from mainland Europe. The scale of mortality was astonishing: drawing upon manorial accounts Slavin (2012) has calculated that, on average, 62 % of cattle died of pestilence in England and Wales between 1319 and 1320 and that it may have taken decades to restock, especially on manors where the losses were total. The "loss of 55 per cent of oxen meant massive losses of draught animals, both as 'tractors' and 'haulers'" (Slavin, 2012(Slavin, : 1255. ...
... The scale of mortality was astonishing: drawing upon manorial accounts Slavin (2012) has calculated that, on average, 62 % of cattle died of pestilence in England and Wales between 1319 and 1320 and that it may have taken decades to restock, especially on manors where the losses were total. The "loss of 55 per cent of oxen meant massive losses of draught animals, both as 'tractors' and 'haulers'" (Slavin, 2012(Slavin, : 1255. Furthermore, Slavin (2012) has estimated that by 1350 -some thirty years later -13.5 % of manors never recovered their oxen stocks to pre-pestilence levels. ...
... The "loss of 55 per cent of oxen meant massive losses of draught animals, both as 'tractors' and 'haulers'" (Slavin, 2012(Slavin, : 1255. Furthermore, Slavin (2012) has estimated that by 1350 -some thirty years later -13.5 % of manors never recovered their oxen stocks to pre-pestilence levels. Some of this work may have been taken up with the use of the horse; however, it seems likely that surviving cattle and their immediate descendants may have to work far more intensely than their predecessors, and this could partly explain the increased pathological index values. ...
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Objective This study--> provides a baseline of pathological and sub-pathological changes in the lower-limb bones of a semi-feral herd of domestic cattle. The purpose is to refine an existing method for identifying the use of cattle for traction using zooarchaeological evidence. Methods A published recording system for identifying draught cattle was applied to a sample of 15 individuals from Chillingham Park, Northumberland. Correlations were explored between individual pathological index values, the scores obtained for individual pathological/sub-pathological changes, and three biological variables: age, sex and body size. Results Pathological index values in the Chillingham cattle were low. Positive correlations between individual pathological index values and age, sex and body size were identified. Broadening of the distal metacarpal, proximal and distal exostoses in the metatarsal, distal exostoses of the proximal phalanx, and proximal lipping and exostoses of the distal phalanx, were strongly correlated with age. Conclusions Pathological index scores demonstrate that adaptive remodeling of the autopodia is low in a free-ranging population of cattle, supporting the view that more pronounced changes provide useful identifiers of traction use. Application of modified pathological index formulae to nine archaeological sites from England indicated that cattle were only intensively used for traction in the Roman and later medieval periods. Significance This study refines the methods used to identify traction in the archaeological record through the consideration of cows and a wider range of ages than has been considered previously. Limitations Only 15 individuals from the Chillingham herd were available for analysis. Suggestions for further research The refined formulae should be applied to additional archaeological datasets from different regions and time periods to explore the changing exploitation of cattle for traction.
... Profit levels could only be maintained by scale enlargement (Fig. 8;Postgate, 1960;Sheail, 1978;Williamson, 2007). Landscape stabilisation around 1300-1600 CE in Breckland coincided with the population reduction after 1348 CE caused by Black Death, harvest failures and sheep pestilence (Spufford, 1965;Slavin, 2012) which led to significant agricultural and societal changes. Peasant sheep ownership dwindled and the late Medieval crisis led to more moderate animal stocks which reduced the pressure on the landscape (Spufford, 1965;Bailey, 1989;Slavin, 2012;Campbell, 2016). ...
... Landscape stabilisation around 1300-1600 CE in Breckland coincided with the population reduction after 1348 CE caused by Black Death, harvest failures and sheep pestilence (Spufford, 1965;Slavin, 2012) which led to significant agricultural and societal changes. Peasant sheep ownership dwindled and the late Medieval crisis led to more moderate animal stocks which reduced the pressure on the landscape (Spufford, 1965;Bailey, 1989;Slavin, 2012;Campbell, 2016). Such major reorganisation periods have been pinpointed for other NW European drift sand events. ...
Article
This research investigates the landscape instability associated with the drift sands, which are widespread across north-western Europe. It focuses on Breckland, UK using new sites along with existing geomorphic, archaeological and historical data. This shows landscape instability of drift sands occurred at 5240 ± 1040 years BCE, 600 ± 100, 1150 ± 50, 1600 and ~1790 CE. Comparison of these phases to climate records show no clear patterns with drifting occurring during dry/wet as well as cold/warm periods. Additionally, similar climatic shifts lead to diverging reactions of landscapes in different regions throughout Europe. At the regional scale, land usage and population pressures also may not be the direct cause of sand drifting, suggesting that complex responses or different triggers at different times were responsible. Within this, society's unawareness of the inherent landscape instability and the threat posed by the sand hazard may have been important as it affected whether mitigation measures were or could be implemented. In Breckland, initial instability may have been due to the establishment of the open field system on virgin soil. Later changes in land ownership and associated power within the society, led to an inability of communities to implement mitigation measures and large land owners abstaining from tackling the sand hazard. Whilst the widespread coversands and climatic extremes provide the underlying susceptibility to sand drifting, it would appear that drift sands of the last 2000 years may provide less of a sedimentary archive of Late Holocene climatic changes and more a record of land management changes.
... On the same level, the spread of epidemic and epizootic diseases is influenced by weather conditions (cf. Newfield, 2009;Slavin, 2012;Hoffmann, 2015). Depending on the disease, e.g. ...
... Regarding human and animal epidemic diseases linked to climate, Campbell's (2016) pathbreaking work must be mentioned as well as recent findings focussing on cattle (Newfield, 2009;Slavin, 2012). ...
Article
This paper focusses on historical climate impact research, one of the branches of historical climatology related to the Little Ice Age. It provides examples of the theoretical concepts, models, and further structuring considerations that are used in historical climate impact research, which are especially fitting to the examined period. We distinguish between the impact of climate on society by time-scale in long-term, conjunctural or medium-term, and short-term impacts. Moreover, a simplified climate-society interaction model developed by Daniel Krämer is presented, as well as the concept of the Little Ice Age-type Impact (LIATIMP) by Christian Pfister and the vulnerability concept regarding climatic variability and extreme weather events. Furthermore, the paper includes a state-of-the-art application of the historical climate impact research and discussion of research gaps.
... Aberth, 2013;Campbell, 2016). Special attention has been paid to the Great Famine 1315-1322 CE (Lucas, 1930;Kershaw, 1973;Jordan, 1996Jordan, , 2010Campbell, 1991Campbell, , 2009Slavin, 2014Slavin, , 2018Geens, 2018) caused by harvest failures due to an excessive precipitation during the growing seasons of 1314-1316 CE in combination with a highly lethal and large-scale outbreak of cattle disease 1315-1325 CE (Newfield, 2009;Slavin, 2012). The Great Famine was the most mortal, largest and longest lasting recorded subsistence crisis in European history north of the Alps, not only during the fourteenth century but for the whole past millennium, with a population decline of around 10%. ...
... The scale of mortality was astonishing. In England and Wales, manorial accounts indicate that around 62% of cattle died of pestilence between 1319 and 1320 (Slavin, 2012), severely affecting the ability of farmers to undertake tasks requiring animal power (e.g., harvesting and transporting crops). Notably, a systematic and quantitative analysis of degenerative changes to the lower limb bones of cattle points to intensified use of the surviving cattle for traction (Thomas, 2008). ...
... Among these disasters was the Great Famine of 1315-1317, which killed an estimated 10-15% of the population of England (DeWitte & Slavin, 2013). This was followed by the Great Bovine Pestilence, which killed 62 percent of bovines in England and Wales between 1319 and 1320 and led to long term dairy depravations (DeWitte & Slavin, 2013;Jordan, 1996;Slavin, 2012). Population growth in the 13 th century continued as the limits of arable land were reached, and as a result grain prices and rents increased, and real wages fell (Rigby, 2006). ...
Article
Objectives: Previous research revealed declines in survivorship in London before the Black Death (c. 1346-1353), and improvements in survivorship following the epidemic. These trends indicate that there were declines in general levels of health before the Black Death and improvements thereof afterwards. This study expands on previous research by examining whether changes in survivorship were consistent between the sexes, and how patterns of developmental stress markers changed before and after the Black Death. Materials and methods: This study uses samples from London cemeteries dated to one of three periods: Early Pre-Black Death (1000-1200 AD, n = 255), Late Pre-Black Death (1200-1250 AD, n = 247), or Post-Black Death (1350-1540 AD n = 329). Temporal trends in survivorship are assessed via Kaplan-Meier survival analysis, and trends in tibial length (as a proxy for stature) and linear enamel hypoplasia (LEH) are assessed using t-tests and Chi-square tests, respectively. Results: Survivorship for both sexes decreased before the Black Death and increased afterwards. For males, LEH frequencies increased and stature decreased before the epidemic, and LEH declined and stature increased after the Black Death. For females, the only significant change with respect to developmental stress markers was a decrease in stature after the Black Death. Conclusions: These results might reflect variation between the sexes in sensitivity to stressors, the effects of nutrition on pubertal timing, disproportionate access to dietary resources for males in the aftermath of the Black Death, the disproportionate deaths of frail individuals during the epidemic, or some combination of these factors.
... It allows for an insight into an aspect of economic history that constituted an important part of life. Further, while economic historians have investigated the consequences of natural disasters (Bridbury 1973;Ó Gráda and O'Rourke 1997;Odell and Weidenmier 2004;Pereira 2009;Boustan et al. 2012;Slavin 2012;Bai and Kung 2014;Stone 2014), they are generally interested in the effect of a single event, whereas hurricanes are annual phenomena and are treated as such by this study. ...
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This paper investigates the impact of hurricanes in the Caribbean on sugar prices in Britain between 1815 and 1841. The authors expect the news of hurricanes arriving at British harbors to drive up sugar prices mainly because the market anticipated that the supply of sugar from the Caribbean colonies would drop dramatically in the near future. The econometric results suggest a significant rise in prices due to hurricanes. Moreover this study finds that the lag between the hurricane strike and its transmission into sugar prices on the London market decreased over the sample period. This latter result might be explained by the technological innovations marking this era, where technological progress in transport reduced the time required for information to cross the Atlantic, making markets more reactive to the news of supply shocks.
... As retrospective diagnostics are challenging, Newfield (2009) did not directly attribute prevailing (extreme) climate conditions to the outbreaks or severity of cattle panzootics. However, Slavin (2012) argued that cold temperatures and excessive precipitation for several years were weakening the bovine population due to malnutrition which decreased the animals' resistance to pathogens. White (2014) more generally referred to "Little Ice Age panzootics" and argue that changes in livestock have played a large and often overlooked role in climate history research. ...
Article
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This article evaluates 165 studies from various disciplines, published between 2000 and 2019, which in different ways link past climate variability and change to human history in medieval and early modern Europe (here, c. 700–1815 CE). Within this review, we focus on the identification and interpretation of causal links between changes in climate and in human societies. A revised climate–society impact order model of historical climate–society interactions is presented and applied to structure the findings of the past 20 years' scholarship. Despite considerable progress in research about past climate–society relations, partly expedited by new palaeoclimate data, we identify limitations to knowledge, including geographical biases, a disproportional attention to extremely cold periods, and a focus on crises. Furthermore, recent scholarship shows that the limitations with particular disciplinary approaches can be successfully overcome through interdisciplinary collaborations. We conclude the article by proposing recommendations for future directions of research in the climatic change–human history nexus. This article is categorized under: • Climate, History, Society, Culture > Ideas and Knowledge Abstract (A) Temporal coverage of the 165 studies examining associations between climatic variations and human history for different regions between 700 and 1815 CE which were reviewed considering (B) a revised schematic model of historical climate–society interactions.
... Moreover, damp conditions on many of the agricultural fields allowed plant diseases such as mould, mildew, and rust to flourish (Jordan 1996;Blockmans and Hoppenbrouwers 2009). Additionally, the poor weather laid the foundations for the outbreak of deadly animal diseases, affecting predominantly cattle and to a lesser degree sheep (Jordan 1996;Newfield 2009;Slavin 2012). The crop failures and animal mortality resulted in a catastrophic subsistence crisis affecting the entire continent of Europe, including Holland and Zeeland (Jordan 1996). ...
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This research investigates the impact of socioeconomic developments on the physical condition of medieval populations in Holland and Zeeland between AD 1000 and 1600 through the analysis of human skeletal remains from three archaeological sites. In a brief period of time, this region went from being scarcely populated to an area characterised by expanding urban centres and flourishing trade systems. These large scale developments had an impact on the daily lives of medieval people. Focusing on several skeletal indicators of disease, activity, and diet, this research has studied the physical consequences of medieval socioeconomic developments from a hitherto unexplored perspective. Although differences are observed between the skeletal collections, the key finding is the absence of a marked distinction between town and country. The noted variations in skeletal indicators of disease, activity, and diet are minor and do not support the traditional idea that towns and villages in medieval Holland and Zeeland had become worlds apart. While urban living is frequently associated with negative consequences, this is not supported by this research. Especially in terms of disease, a more nuanced view is necessary. While the risks appear to have been different, one living environment cannot be considered better than the other.
... e. changes in biomass in forested/formally forested areas). Subsequent inquiries cover socio-economic, (2008, 2012, 2013), Holling et al. 2002, Kasperson and Kasperson (1996, 2013 3) Is there evidence of deforestation, vegetative clearance, &/or erosion? ...
Chapter
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The Bedouin of the Mamluk Empire and the Irish Sea area Gaels are documented to have disproportionally survived the Black Death compared to their more sedentary neighbours, while at the same time expanding their territories during this period. The herding and more mobile way of life of both groups was profoundly influential to other groups leading up to and following the Black Death, which appear to have sparked ‘Bedouinisation’ and ‘Gaelicisation’ movements, respectively. The Bedouin and the Gaels traditionally needed to be accurate assessors of their natural environments to feed their herds and sustainably live off their lands. They needed to have economic adaptability and flexibility to deal with the changing landscape, especially as greater military powers and centralised economies transformed it through cash-crop agriculture to quickly generate wealth. Thus, both the Gaels and Bedouin made their living through a range of activities, from being agricultural settlers to semi-nomadic herders, raiders and warriors. Though a minority of both the Gaels and Bedouin were herders involved in raiding, this increased during the late 13th/14th century, which led to them possessing more territory after the events of the Black Death. The Gaels and Bedouin engaged in fluid alliances that were based upon short-term benefit, as well as relatively more reliable clan networks. Both groups were difficult to pin down when times became unstable, as many increased their mobility during such periods and were apt at establishing trade networks as well as gaining income through herding and employment as mercenaries. Additionally, both groups were part of relatively small clan/tribal networks that distributed wealth based on the needs of its members. These relatively small organisational systems were also able to adapt to observed changes of the environment, i. e. land capabilities for grazing, and social realities such as military threats quickly and efficiently, which stood in stark contrast to the Church, as well as the English and Mamluk monarchies.
... As a consequence there were shortages of grain, hay and other products resulting in famine, further human fatalities, and livestock loss (horses, pigs, cows, sheep and all kinds of game); he speaks of a thousand sheep lost to the Zbraslav monastery (Emler 1884, 232). However, according to Newfield (2009, 161, 174) and Slavin (2010Slavin ( , 2012, a livestock panzootic in Bohemia was already raging between 1314 and 1316 (possibly originating further east in Eurasia). It then spread to other European countries located to the north-west, right up to the British Isles, but also to Italy (Bauch 2017 Curschmann 1900, 211-215). ...
Chapter
This paper addresses the three most disastrous famine episodes in the Czech Lands before AD 1500—the 1280s, 1310s and 1430s—and analyses them in both meteorological and socio-political terms. Adverse weather anomalies with harmful hydro-meteorological extremes and difficult socio-economic conditions were prerequisites for famine episodes, just as in the rest of Europe. Although times of famine occurrence and the states of the societies vary from country to country, a cascade of key phenomena are generally common to all: (a) complicated socio-political situations (including wars); (b) accumulation of adverse weather patterns influencing agricultural production; (c) severe-to-catastrophic failures of key agricultural crops (particularly grain) for at least two successive years; (d) direct consequences (dramatic increases in the prices of key foodstuffs; famine; consumption of poor-quality substitute diets and thus increases in vulnerability to illness; spread of disease; sharp rises in human mortality; villages abandoned; severe increases in crime).
... It is also important to note that grey-brown podzols are woodland soils that need fertilizer to sustain cultivation. The major source of fertilizer would have been cattle, however, there was a major cattle epidemic that killed off many if not most of the cattle in Europe (Newfield 2009:155;Slavin 2012). This may have led to greater desperation in cultivation of land that was losing its fertility. ...
Article
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Studies over the last couple of decades of human zoonotic (animal reservoir initiated) epidemics reveal that vulnerability-factors for such epidemics include high population densities, human-induced changes in the biological makeup of ecological systems, and the distinct human interactions within these new ecosystems, intensive farming practices, malnutrition, and prior ill-health. The recent DNA evidence of Yersinia pestis, known to be responsible for the bubonic plague, forces a re-evaluation of basic assumptions of the Black Death that almost all historical narratives have made. A monomorphic pathogen, Y. pestis, has been remarkable in how little it has changed since the Black Death, and there is no evidence to show that the 14th-century plague was more virulent or contagious than modern outbreaks. Contemporary medieval documentation reveals a perception that the Gaelic-Irish were not suffering from the Black Death as much as the colonists. However, if the genetic disposition between the national groups was a significant factor, then why is there no noteworthy difference noted in subsequent epidemics? This paper uses vulnerability factors for a zoonotic epidemic to assess regional ecological risk in Gaelic and colonial Ireland. Since the ecological change of the period has been largely attributed to human activity, socio-economic and knowledge systems and institutions role in promoting certain activity that altered the landscape is an important part of this inquiry. Pollen evidence is used in conjunction with historic and archaeological data to note regional differences, and to document how they became especially apparent during the Bruce Invasion of 1315–1318. The evidence suggests that vulnerability to epidemic disease was greater in the south-east and midlands of Ireland than in northern parts of the island, and that this paved the way for contrasting responses to the Black Death.
... Aberth, 2013;Campbell, 2016). Special attention has been paid to the Great Famine 1315-1322 CE (Lucas, 1930;Kershaw, 1973;Jordan, 1996Jordan, , 2010Campbell, 1991Campbell, , 2009Slavin, 2014Slavin, , 2018Geens, 2018) caused by harvest failures due to an excessive precipitation during the growing seasons of 1314-1316 CE in combination with a highly lethal and large-scale outbreak of cattle disease 1315-1325 CE (Newfield, 2009;Slavin, 2012). The Great Famine was the most mortal, largest and longest lasting recorded subsistence crisis in European history north of the Alps, not only during the fourteenth century but for the whole past millennium, with a population decline of around 10%. ...
Article
Variations in building activity reflect demographic, economic and social change during history. Tens of thousands of wooden constructions in Europe have been dendrochronologically dated in recent decades. We use the annually precise evidence from a unique dataset of 49 640 tree felling dates of historical constructions to reconstruct temporal changes in building activity between 1250 and 1699 CE across a large part of western and central Europe largely corresponding to the former Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. Comparison with annual records of 9772 plague outbreaks shows that construction activity was significantly negatively correlated to the number of plague outbreaks, with the greatest decrease in construction following the larger outbreaks by three to four years after the start of the epidemics. Preceding the Black Death (1346–1353 CE) by five decades and the Great Famine (1315–1322 CE) by two decades, a significant decline in construction activity at c. 1300 CE is indicative of a societal crisis, associated with population stagnation or decline. Another dramatic decline in building activity coincides with the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648 CE) and confirms the devastating nature of this conflict. While construction activity was significantly lower during periods of high grain prices, no statistically robust relationship between the number of felling dates and past temperature or hydroclimate variations is found. This study demonstrates the value of dendrochronological felling dates as an indicator for times of crisis and prosperity during periods when documentary evidence is limited.
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This study, dealing with the question of the impact of climate and extreme weather events on famines, has two objectives. The first objective is to review recent literature on the topic, distinguishing between economic and political science papers aimed at addressing contemporary famine events in the Third World countries, and historical research dealing with famines of the past. The former category of literature is characterized by a tendency to take the connection between the two variables for granted. The latter category, however, tends to exercise more analytical caution, but it still exhibits a degree of environmental determinism. The second objective of the article is to reassess the role and impact of climate and short‐term weather anomalies on famines in pre‐Industrial societies, in both European and non‐European history. At first, it appears that famines went invariably hand‐in‐hand with climatic changes and anomalies. A closer analysis, however, reveals that those climatic events created environmental shocks (harvest failures and blights), which implied shortages, rather than famines. Whether those shortages were bound to transform into full‐fledged famines was determined by nonenvironmental factors: primarily, human institutions and demographic trends. Climate alone, it is argued, is incapable of creating famines. The often unquestioned connection between the two variables appears to be an imaginary cultural and political construct of our era, when the fear of global warming and the awareness of climate change dominate the public and scholarly discourse. WIREs Clim Change 2016, 7:433–447. doi: 10.1002/wcc.395 This article is categorized under: • Climate, History, Society, Culture > World Historical Perspectives
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This article contains the first systematic discussion of Edward II's response to the famine of 1315–17, the most severe of the middle ages. While there had been earlier famines, that of 1315–17 produced the earliest surviving evidence of official attempts at remedial actions. Those included the enforcement of traditional regulatory measures such as the assizes of ale and weights and measures, and efforts to regulate brewing by preventing the use of wheat and limiting the amount of barley used. In addition, the government acted to encourage the import of grain and imposed prohibitions on export that were explicitly justified by scarcity and high prices. English bishops were urged to encourage those who were hoarding grain to hold only enough for themselves and their families and sell the rest. While it is unclear whether government actions had much effect, it is difficult to imagine under fourteenth‐century conditions that any government had the means or measures to respond effectively to famine. Nonetheless, some of the measures taken by Edward II's government, especially export prohibition and attempts to persuade or compel those with supplies of grain to sell it, had a long future ahead of them.
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What factors caused the persecution of minorities in premodern Europe? Using panel data consisting of 1,366 persecutions of Jews from 936 European cities between 1100 and 1800, we test whether persecutions were more likely following colder growing seasons. A one standard deviation decrease in growing season temperature in the previous five-year period increased the probability of a persecution by between 1 and 1.5 percentage points (relative to a baseline of 2%). This effect was strongest in weak states and with poor quality soil. The long-run decline in persecutions was partly attributable to greater market integration and state capacity.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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The 14(th) -century Black Death was one of the most devastating epidemics in human history, killing tens of millions of people in a short period of time. It is not clear why mortality rates during the epidemic were so high. One possibility is that the affected human populations were particularly stressed in the 14(th) century, perhaps as a result of repeated famines in areas such as England. This project examines survival and mortality in two pre-Black Death time periods, 11-12(th) centuries vs 13(th) century CE, to determine if demographic conditions were deteriorating before the epidemic occurred. This study is done using a sample of individuals from several London cemeteries that have been dated, in whole or in part, either to the 11-12(th) centuries (n = 339) or 13(th) century (n = 258). Temporal trends in survivorship and mortality are assessed via Kaplan-Meier survival analysis and by modeling time period as a covariate affecting the Gompertz hazard of adult mortality. The age-at-death distributions from the two pre-Black Death time periods are significantly different, with fewer older adults in 13(th) century. The results of Kaplan-Meier survival analysis indicate reductions in survival before the Black Death, with significantly lower survival in the 13(th) century (Mantel Cox p < 0.001). Last, hazard analysis reveals increases in mortality rates before the Black Death. Together, these results suggest that health in general was declining in the 13(th) century, and this might have led to high mortality during the Black Death. This highlights the importance of considering human context to understand disease in past and living human populations. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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Climatic change is currently viewed as one of the main causes of the so-called crisis of the early fourteenth century. It is well established that England saw increased storminess and heavy rainfall in this period, but this article suggests that the impact of drought—which became a common feature of the English climate during the 1320s and early 1330s—has been overlooked. Based primarily on a detailed analysis of account rolls for over 60 of the best-documented manors in this period, the article establishes that drought brought devastating harvest failure and caused severe outbreaks of a number of diseases, plausibly including enteric infections, malaria, and winter and spring fevers. As a result, mortality surged and population levels fell in communities in affected regions, which were mainly confined to the southern and eastern counties of England. The article concludes that such regional variation significantly affects our understanding of demographic, agricultural, and even fiscal trends in this period. Although we should not disregard the human factors influencing the impact of environmental shocks, England was plainly struck with indubitable force by extreme weather in this pivotal phase of the medieval economy.
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Archaeological findings, in conjunction with contemporary quantitative data from manorial records, demonstrate that most of the English population before the onset of the Black Death (1348-1350) suffered from a chronic shortage of protein, calcium, and Vitamin B12 for at least one generation—much longer than the three years of bad harvests and grain famine typically attributed to the Great Famine (1315-1317). The skeletal evidence suggests that after the Great Famine had thinned the population of its frailest individuals, the Great Bovine Pestilence (1319-1320), which caused a prolonged dearth of dairy products, created a generation of people who were less healthy than those who had survived the famine and who therefore were particularly susceptible to the ravages associated with the Black Death.
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This paper challenges the growing consensus in the literature (Stone, 2005; Dodds, 2007) that medieval English peasants and manorial managers were price responsive in their production decisions. Using prices of and acreages planted with wheat, barley, and oats on 49 manors held by the bishop of Winchester from 1349-70, we estimate price elasticities of supply for each grain in aggregate and on each particular manor. Aggregate price elasticities of supply for wheat and oats were not significantly different than zero, and barley aggregate elasticities of supply were significant but very low. These elasticities are low compared with price elasticities of supply estimated for developing and developed countries in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Attempting to explain the variation in the estimated price elasticities for individual manors, market concentration had a significant, positive effect on price elasticities of wheat and oat supply. In the end, the low levels of price responsiveness in the post-Black Death period suggest that commercialisation was not as dominant in the medieval English economy as has been argued. Thus, the institutional and structural changes highlighted by Marxist and Neo-Malthusian historians may need to take a more prominent role in explanations of medieval economic change.
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Two independent molecular clock analyses (mcas) reveal that measles (mv) diverged from rinderpest (rpv) c. 1000 c.e. This evidence, when conjoined with written accounts of non-Justinianic plagues in 569-570 and 986-988 and zoo-archaeological discoveries regarding early medieval mass bovine mortalities, suggests that a now-extinct morbillivirus, ancestral to mv and rpv, broke out episodically in the early Middle Ages, causing large mortalities in both species. Tentative diagnoses of an mv-rpv ancestor help to untangle early medieval accounts of human-bovine disease and facilitate an assessment of the consequences of the 569-570 and 986-988 plagues.
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This article analyses long-term population dynamics—growth, decline, sex- and age-composition—in Chaghadaid-era Central Asia in the context of the ‘Late-medieval Crisis’. It is based on a unique dataset of 630 epitaphs from two East Syriac (‘Nestorian') graveyards in the Semirech'ye region (Northwest Tian Shan, North Kyrgyzstan), boosted by archaeological and osteological evidence from the same graveyards. This epigraphic corpus is truly unique in the sense that this is the only surviving data that allow the undertaking of such a quantitative reconstruction of pre-modern Central Asian demography. A close analysis of the corpus, based on the ‘excess mortality’ method, reveals rapid demographic growth between circa 1270 and 1330, despite frequent short-term mortality crises, caused, most likely, by a combination of environmental and political factors. The population growth came to a sudden halt because of a major plague outbreak in 1338–1339, killing about three-quarters of the local population, and initiating what was known as the Black Death of 1347–1353 in West Eurasia and North Africa. The analysis of sex and age ratios indicates that the local population regime was heavily male-dominated. The plague of 1338–1339 targeted primarily younger women, most likely due to pregnancy-related hazards; conversely, in other crisis years, adult males were more susceptible. The findings of the article are wrapped into the wider context of the ‘Late-medieval Crisis’.
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We consider the long-term relationship between human demography, food production, and Holocene climate via an archaeological radiocarbon date series of unprecedented sampling density and detail. There is striking consistency in the inferred human population dynamics across different regions of Britain and Ireland during the middle and later Holocene. Major cross-regional population downturns in population coincide with episodes of more abrupt change in North Atlantic climate and witness societal responses in food procurement as visible in directly dated plants and animals, often with moves toward hardier cereals, increased pastoralism, and/or gathered resources. For the Neolithic, this evidence questions existing models of wholly endogenous demographic boom–bust. For the wider Holocene, it demonstrates that climate-related disruptions have been quasi-periodic drivers of societal and subsistence change.
Article
Over the last few decades, two developments have brought fundamental changes to the study of the humanities. The digital revolution triggered the construction of huge databases, universally accessible and searchable on an unprecedented scale. As a consequence, new ways of thinking in wider contexts and organizing research on a larger scale came within reach of disciplines that had previously mostly been active on an individual level and focusing on particular phenomena. Moreover, applications of new scientific methods led to breakthroughs in fundamental humanities issues such as environmental and biological data that were essential for living conditions and for the formation of collective identities. The increased collaboration between disciplines led to major innovations.
Article
Objectives: The degree of sexual stature difference (SSD), the ratio of male to female height, is argued to be an indicator of living standards based on evidence that physical growth for males is more sensitive to environmental fluctuations. In a resource-poor environment, the degree of SSD is expected to be relatively low. The aim of this study is to comparatively assess SSD in medieval London in the context of repeated famine events and other environmental stressors before the Black Death (BD) and the improved living conditions that characterized the post-Black Death period. Methods: To test the hypothesis that a poor nutritional environment resulted in decreased SSD in medieval London, this study compares adult individuals from early pre-Black Death (c. 1000-1200), late pre-Black Death (c. 1200-1250) and post-Black Death (c. 1350-1540) cemetery contexts from London. Maximum tibial,femoral, and lower limb lengths were used as a proxy for stature, and SSD was calculated using the Chakraborty and Majumber index. Results: Compared to the late pre-BD period, we find a slighter higher degree of SSD in the post-BD period for all three stature proxies used. This increase is attributed to more exaggerated increases in stature for estimated males post-BD. Conclusions: This study demonstrates the importance of examining variables that are considered indicators of living standards in light of factors like selective mortality, catch-up growth, and urban migration patterns. Future research needs to further investigate how cultural and biological processes influence the mechanisms that produce adult stature.
Chapter
This chapter explores the nature of material goods which were inherited by underaged heirs, and which can sometimes be found listed in inventories alongside the houses, outbuildings, fields and woodland which were associated with individual holdings. The nature of the tenurial holding of heirs is explored, how much land they inherited, and what their belongings tell us about the nature of the local manorial economy. An important analysis of the relation between peasant wealth to the number of orphans and underaged heirs is conducted. A main part of this chapter focuses on aspects of peasant material culture; and considers the nature of living and working spaces children experienced. This includes a consideration of various aspects of material culture including toys. The nature of rights of inheritance is also considered, especially the vexed and difficult question of inheritance rights of stepchildren and half-brothers and sisters, which has hitherto received little attention in the context of the medieval English peasantry.
Article
Objectives Dental plaque is associated with a variety of systemic diseases and mortality risks in living populations. However, bioarchaeologists have not fully investigated the mortality risks associated with plaque (or its mineralized form, calculus) in the past. This study examines the relationship between survivorship and calculus in a medieval skeletal sample. Materials and methods Our sample (n = 1,098) from four medieval London cemeteries, c. 1000–1540 CE, includes people who died under attritional (normal) and catastrophic (famine and plague) conditions. The associations between age and the presence of dental calculus on the permanent left first mandibular molar are assessed using binary logistic regression and Kaplan–Meier survival analysis. Results The regression results indicate a significant negative relationship between age and calculus presence for individuals of all ages who died under normal mortality conditions and for adults who died under both normal and catastrophic conditions. Survival analysis reveals decreased survivorship for people of all ages with calculus under normal mortality conditions. Similarly, during conditions of catastrophic mortality, adult males with calculus suffered reduced survivorship compared to males without it, though there was no difference in survivorship between adult females with and without calculus. Conclusions These results suggest that, as in modern populations, calculus accumulation in the inhabitants of medieval London reflects a greater risk of premature death. The evaluation of calculus, a potential measure of underlying frailty, in the context of a demographic measure of general health suggests that it might provide insights into health in past populations.
Article
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On the basis of 7,871 manorial accounts from 601 sheep‐rearing demesnes and 187 tithe receipts from 15 parishes, this article addresses the origins, scale, and impact of the wool and textile production crisis in England, c. 1275–1350. The article argues that recurrent outbreaks of scab disease depressed sheep population and wool production levels until the early 1330s. The disease, coupled with warfare and taxation, also had a decisive role in depressing the volumes of wool exports. Despite this fact, wool merchants were still conducting business with major wool producers, who desperately needed access to the capital to replenish their flocks.
Article
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One of the most devastating environmental consequences of war is the disruption of peacetime human–microbe relationships, leading to outbreaks of infectious diseases. Indirectly, conflicts also have severe health consequences due to population displacements, with a heightened risk of disease transmission. While previous research suggests that conflicts may have accentuated historical epidemics, this relationship has never been quantified. Here, we use annually resolved data to probe the link between climate, human behavior (i.e. conflicts), and the spread of plague epidemics in pre-industrial Europe (AD 1347–1840). We find that AD 1450–1670 was a particularly violent period of Europe’s history, characterized by a mean twofold increase in conflicts. This period was concurrent with steep upsurges in plague outbreaks. Cooler climate conditions during the Little Ice Age further weakened afflicted groups, making European populations less resistant to pathogens, through malnutrition and deteriorating living/sanitary conditions. Our analysis demonstrates that warfare provided a backdrop for significant microbial opportunity in pre-industrial Europe.
Article
This contribution investigates the possibilities of identifying Covid-19-like, highly infectious epidemics with low mortality rates in the premodern era. In its discussion of the chances and limits of such an endeavour, the essay focuses on a case study from 1323, when an epidemic that caused high fevers but relatively few deaths affected large parts of Europe, including Italy. The indications available in the historical records are examined in light of criteria that have been developed from modern influenza pandemics research. Finally, the essay examines the possible zoonotic origins of the 1323 epidemic and proposes broader lessons that could be drawn from researching premodern pandemics.
Chapter
How environmental stress affected past societies is an area of increasing relevance for contemporary planning and policy concerns. The paper below examines a series of case studies that demonstrate that short-term strategies that sustain a state or a specific bundle of vested interests did not necessarily promote longer-term societal resilience and often increased structural pressures leading to systemic crisis. Some societies or states possessed sufficient structural flexibility to overcome very serious short-term challenges without further exacerbating existing inequalities. But even where efforts were made consciously to assist the entire community the outcome often generated unpredictable changes with negative longer-term impacts. Greater degrees of baseline socio-economic inequality at the outset of a crisis are associated with less resilience in the system as a whole, a more uneven distribution of the resilience burden, and an increased risk of post-solution breakdown of a given social order. The historical case studies therefore indicate that future policy planners must consider structural socio-economic imbalances when designing and implementing responses to environmental challenges.
Article
Historians of medicine and disease have yet to think through a syndemic lens. This commentary aims to point out why they should. Although there are several hurdles to overcome, our histories of disease and our understanding of current syndemics both stand to gain should historians begin to explore episodes of cooccurring diseases that share root causes.
Article
By the early eighteenth century, the economic primacy, cultural efflorescence, and geopolitical power of the Dutch Republic appeared to be waning. The end of this Golden Age was also an era of natural disasters. Between the late seventeenth and the mid-eighteenth century, Dutch communities weathered numerous calamities, including river and coastal floods, cattle plagues, and an outbreak of strange mollusks that threatened the literal foundations of the Republic. Adam Sundberg demonstrates that these disasters emerged out of longstanding changes in environment and society. They were also fundamental to the Dutch experience and understanding of eighteenth-century decline. Disasters provoked widespread suffering, but they also opened opportunities to retool management strategies, expand the scale of response, and to reconsider the ultimate meaning of catastrophe. This book reveals a dynamic and often resilient picture of a society coping with calamity at odds with historical assessments of eighteenth-century stagnation.
Thesis
The Lancashire Gentry in the Early Fourteenth Century, c. 1300 – 1360 The topic of this dissertation is the gentry of Lancashire in the years from 1298 to 1361. It is a prosopographical study involving a limited number of prominent families, selected on the basis of status, tenure and service. After introductory chapters on the historiography of the field and the special circumstances of the county, there are chapters describing how these families were ordered socially, how they served in official capacities, and how they interacted with each other, the nobility, and the crown. In the second part, the same issues are analysed chronologically, to explore how circumstances changed over time, and were affected by external factors. Though the scope of the thesis is defined by the tenure of the county’s dominant noble family – the earls, later duke, of Lancaster – the chronological chapters are divided according to events of local significance. The first gentry studies of late medieval England tended to focus on the fifteenth century. As a consequence, the assumptions made for this period have often been applied also to the fourteenth. This study does not find the structures of bastard feudalism so familiar from the fifteenth and late fourteenth centuries, where a lord relied on his affinity not only for military recruitment, but also for control of the localities through official work and influence on the judiciary. Yet the county differed in too many ways from the rest of the nation for these results to be taken as representative. At the same time, those same particularities allow an interesting study of how, as central government extended its reach, the situation at the centre affected local affairs. The county also provides multiple examples of measures taken, with varying degrees of success, by the gentry, nobility and crown to settle disputes and combat lawlessness. All in all, Lancashire highlights the great level of regional variety that characterised fourteenth-century England. Gunnar A. Welle
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The Black Death is the textbook villain when it comes to the study of historical diseases and to the general public it remains a thought-provoking subject. To illustrate, in 2017 over three million viewers accessed the English Wikipedia's Black Death page, compared to present-day Ebola which only had less than one million. Despite the wide drawing power of the Black Death, some of its most basic characteristics are still debated in academic circles. The focus of this paper will be on the severity of the Black Death and recurring plague outbreaks in the Southern Netherlands. More specifically it will reflect on the general assumption that plague evolved from a 'universal killer' to a more selective and less severe disease over time. Due to the scarcity of late medieval sources and a lack of quantifiable indicators, little is known about the causal mechanisms at work during the late Middle Ages. This paper offers a newly-compiled database of 25,610 individuals that died between 1349-1450 in the County of Hainaut to test a number of assumptions on the selectivity and severity of late medieval plague outbreaks.
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Whilst there has been an increasing recognition of the infl uence of natural agency on human society in Scotland in the medieval period, conventional historiography has generally presented the wholesale reconfi guration of structures of secular lordship in the Scottish central Highlands in the 14th century as an essentially political consequence of the sociopolitical dislocation associated with the Anglo-Scottish wars that occurred after 1296. The establishment within the region of militarised Gaelic kindreds from the West Highlands and Hebrides of Scotland has come to be regarded as either a symptom of efforts by externally based regional lords to bolster their authority, or an opportunistic territorial aggrandisement by newly dominant neighbouring lords. Feuding and predatory raiding associated with these kindreds is recognised as competition for resources but generally in a context of projection of superior lordship over weaker neighbours. Evidence for long-term changes in climate extrapolated from North Atlantic proxy data, however, suggests that the cattle-based economy of Atlantic Scotland was experiencing protracted environmentally induced stress in the period c.1300–c.1350. Using this evidence, we discuss whether exchange systems operating within traditional lordship structures could offset localised and short-term pressures on the livestock-based regime, but could not be sustained long-term on the reduced fodder and contracting herd sizes caused by climatic deterioration. Territorial expansion and development of a predatory culture, it is argued, were responses to an environment-triggered economic crisis.
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This paper presents a short review of the long-distance trade in slaughter oxen in Northwest Europe. The long-term development of the trade is described against the social-economic background of the production and consumption areas. In the 14th century, the Danes obtained the right to sell cattle in certain Dutch cities. From 1500 onwards, the export of oxen from Denmark and the adjacent duchy of Schleswig-Holstein increased considerably. The export reached its peak in the first quarter of the 17th century; registered export in 1612 amounted to more than 52.000 oxen over land and, in 1624, about 10.000 oxen over sea. Part of that export was destined for the Dutch market. Protectionist tax measures taken by the Dutch government and the outbreaks of rinderpest put an end to the regular ox trade in the first half of the 18th century. By decree, local authorities tried to prevent the spread of contagious animal diseases. The history of international cattle trade and hauling, however, indicates that economic motives largely outweighed animal welfare issues. Thus, in addition to addressing the logistics of the trade, this paper also addresses veterinary aspects and animal welfare issues related to the transport of cattle.
Article
The presentation and integration of the differing perspectives of historians, archaeologists and environmentalists should both deepen and expand knowledge of the medieval past. From these disparate points of view, a unified and specific objective may be pursued, namely the importance of human, animal and plant resources in the medieval countryside. -J.Sheail
Article
Cattle Plague: A History is divided into five sections, dealing with the nature of the virus, followed by a chronological history of its occurrence in Europe from the Roman Empire to the final 20th century outbreaks; then administrative control measures through legislation, the principal players from the 18th century, followed by an analysis of some effects, political, economic and social. Then follows attempts at cure from earliest times encompassing superstition and witchcraft, largely Roman methods persisting until the 19th century; the search for a cure through inoculation and the final breakthrough in Africa at the end of the 19th century. The last section covers the disease in Asia and Africa. Appendices cover regulations now in force to control the disease as well as historical instructions, decrees and statutes dating from 1745-1878.
Article
In order to determine whether changes in nutritional status or the social and economic deprivations invoked by severe subsistence crises were principally responsible for the epidemic mortality that coincided with the shortages of food, a cross-national case-by-case examination of the fluctuations in food prices and in the incidence of epidemic infections is carried down, when possible, to the regional level. A considerable body of clinical medical evidence, comparative price data, and demographic time series are available for those years in which mortality waves swept over extensive regions of eighteenth-century Europe. From the surviving clinical evidence, it becomes possible to identify the majority of acute infections that became widely epidemic during subsistence crises. Informed by the etiology and epidemiology of the identified disease entities, the relative influence of nutritional status on incidence level can be assessed. The issue under examination has been investigated previously in a full-length study of the European harvest shortfalls and mortality peaks of the years 1739-42. Here the issue will be reexamined in the light of the economic, demographic, and epidemiological evidence available for the European mortality crises of the early 1770s. -from Author
Article
Sheep husbandry played a vital role in late medieval English agriculture, but evidence from demesne farms reveals that it was blighted by falling fleece weights and rising mortality rates. These trends are currently thought to have been caused by a long term climatic shift towards colder winters. This essay, however, argues that these trends, together with rising fertility rates on some manors, can be explained by changes in the way in which demesne flocks were managed after the Black Death. Rather than being thwarted by their environment, demesne officials were, in essence, responding rationally to worsening economic conditions.
Article
In the early fourteenth century, annals, chronicles, correspondence, petitions, and poems all document severe mortalities of cattle in regions as distant as Mongolia and Iceland. Relevant passages from this literature are collected here and used with manorial accounts from England and Wales to illuminate a European cattle panzootic that spread west from central Europe c.1315, in the context of a widespread subsistence crisis (the Great European Famine), persisting in Ireland until c.1325. The origins, duration and extent of the pestilence are considered and a relatively detailed picture of its epizootiology is drawn. How the panzootic might be retrospectively diagnosed and why a diagnosis should be attempted is also discussed.
Article
Recent research into the impact of Anglo-Scottish conflict on northern England's economy has become increasingly sophisticated, using local estate accounts to enhance understanding of the role of war in the 'crisis' of the early fourteenth century. Yet taxation data also remains an important source on these issues, not least because of its wide geographical coverage. Using a rich series of lay subsidy documents for Cumberland, this article concludes that the direct impact of Scottish raids was only one of several determinants of economic fortunes. More significantly, reconstructing the process of taxation shows that non-violent resistance to state levies was as responsible as war damage for a decline in revenue from the county.
Article
Focussed on rural resources exploitation and management, the volume brings together the disparate strands of evidence for the ways in which the countryside was used, concentrating on the primary natural resources, the plants and animals. As well as consideration of the human population and the way it was organised, there are sections on the management of fields, woods and parks, and the tools used in agriculture. Each chapter is abstracted separately. -J.Sheail
Article
The custom of feeding workers during the autumn on various manors in eastern and southern England provides an opportunity to quantify changes in diet over two centuries. In the 13th century harvest workers were given much bread and some cheese, with relatively small quantities of ale, fish and meat. Two centuries later the importance of bread had much diminished, and a high proportion of the diet consisted of meat and ale. Barley and rye bread was replaced by wheat, bacon by beef, and cider by ale. These workers ate better than most wage-earners and peasants, but the trends in eating patterns were general. The chronology of the changes, which were spread over much of the 14th century, and the general relationship between diet, production, the market and demography, have implications for the interpretations of the late medieval period. -Author
Article
The present article discusses goose farming on late medieval English demesnes. The research is based on over 2,700 manorial (demesne) accounts from several eastern counties, including Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire and parts of the Peterborough hinterland. The paper discusses various strategies employed by lords and their reeves, chronological dynamics and geographic differences in rearing, disposal and consumption patterns. Finally, the place of the goose in the livestock trade is discussed. These aspects are linked to larger economic and ecological processes within the shifting environment of late medieval England.
Article
This article compares chronologies reconstructed from historical records of prices, wages, grain harvests, and population with corresponding chronologies of growing conditions and climatic variations derived from dendrochronology and Greenland ice-cores. It demonstrates that in pre-industrial, and especially late medieval, England, short-term environmental shocks and more enduring shifts in environmental conditions (sometimes acting in concert with biological agencies) exercised a powerful influence upon the balance struck between population and available resources via their effects upon the reproduction, health and life expectancy of humans, crops, and livestock. Prevailing socio-economic conditions and institutions, in turn, shaped society's susceptibility to these environmental shocks and shifts.
Book
This fascinating and important book uses a wealth of contemporary sources to reconstruct the mental world of medieval farmers and, by doing so, argues that these key figures in the Middle Ages have been unfairly stereotyped. David Stone overturns the traditional view of medieval countrymen as economically backward and instead reveals that agricultural decision-making was as rational in the fouteenth century as in modern times. Investigating agricultural mentalities first at a local level and then for England as a whole, Dr Stone argues that human action shaped the course of the rural economy to a much greater extent than has hitherto been appreciated, and challenges the commonly held view that the medieval period was dominated by ecological and economic crises. Focusing in particular on responses to commercial forces and the adoption of agricultural technology, this book has significant implications for our understanding of agricultural development throughout the last thousand years. Available in OSO: http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/oso/public/content/history/9780199247769/toc.html
Book
Available in OSO: http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/oso/public/content/economicsfinance/0198281935/toc.html
Book
Between 1200 and 1520 medieval English society went through a series of upheavals: this was an age of war, pestilence and rebellion. This book explores the realities of life of the people who lived through those stirring times. It looks in turn at aristocrats, peasants, townsmen, wage-earners and paupers, and examines how they obtained their incomes and how they spent them. This revised edition (1998) includes a substantial new concluding chapter and an updated bibliography.
Article
This paper was presented at a conference at the University of Reading on 20-21 September 2002 and published in: People, landscape and alternative agriculture : essays for Joan Thirsk / edited by R.W. Hoyle. It is available from http://www.bahs.org.uk/agsupplements.htm Metadata only entry The neglected and hidden medieval goat is here rescued from obscurity. Goat numbers declined from an early medieval peak, though this was not a simple and continuous process. They tended to persist in the uplands and woodlands, mainly in the west. Their significance for the aristocracy and peasantry is assessed, and it is argued that goats provide insights into the medieval economy and the concept of ‘alternative agriculture’.
Article
The relationship between war and epidemics is usually cast pathogenically. This article pursues a different perspective: that of the history of the idea of relating wars to epidemics. lt considers how this notion was formulated, deployed, and transformed overtime. The first section reviews prevailing approaches to the war and epidemics dyad, and outlines the reasons for its "denaturalization" within contemporary historical demography. The article then turns to a series of publications between the 1830s and 1940s that sought to make retrospective comparisons between combat deaths and deaths from epidemic diseases during military operations. This tight focus permits some boundary to be drawn around a subject that otherwise easily extends to the whole history of civilization and disease. It enables us to concentrate on the different socio-political and professionalizing contexts within which the "ideal partnership" between war and disease was fashioned, and eventually deposed, in epidemiology. By thus historicizing the relationship, the article contributes to a view of epidemiology and historical epidemiology as socially-constructed discourses. As such, it cautions against borrowing uncritically from the writings of the original framers of the retrospectively fashioned war-and-epidemics couplet - borrowings, arguably, that have served to constrain the imaginative capacities of historians ever since.
1B)/105. Oxfordshire: Adderbury 57/66; Cuxham 13/25; Launton 19/47
  • Northumberland
Northumberland: Pontelond 5/5. Nottinghamshire: Clipston 52(1B)/105. Oxfordshire: Adderbury 57/66; Cuxham 13/25; Launton 19/47; Witney 81/88.
Cattle plague: a history
  • C A Spinage
Spinage, C. A., Cattle plague: a history (New York, 2003).
Huntingdonshire: Broughton 48/54
  • Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire: Kingsbourne 7/10; Langley 1(1S)/9. Huntingdonshire: Broughton 48/54; Houghton 56/65; Ramsey 45/57; Upwood 45/55;
The Wars of the Bruces
  • C Mcnamee
McNamee, C., The Wars of the Bruces: Scotland, England and Ireland, 1306–1328 (East Linton, 1997).
The estates of Canterbury Cathedral Priory before the Black Death
  • M Mate
Mate, M., 'The estates of Canterbury Cathedral Priory before the Black Death, 1315–1348', Studies in Medieval and Renaissance History, 8 (1986), pp. 3–31.
Adisham 10/20; Barton Carucate 14/19; Chartham 16/26
  • Kent
Kent: Adisham 10/20; Barton Carucate 14/19; Chartham 16/26; East Farleigh 34(2S)/37;
Belasis 9/40; Billingham 25/33; Dalton 1/37
  • Dorset
Dorset: Steeple 0/59. Durham: Belasis 9/40; Billingham 25/33; Dalton 1/37; Houghall 12/12; Pittington 0/42;
The Bolton Priory compotus, 1286–1325: together with a priory account roll for 1377–1378 (Yorkshire Archaeological Soc. Rec. ser
  • I Kershaw
  • D M Smith
Kershaw, I. and Smith, D. M., eds., The Bolton Priory compotus, 1286–1325: together with a priory account roll for 1377–1378 (Yorkshire Archaeological Soc. Rec. ser., CLIV, 2000).
A great destruction of cattle: the impact and extent of epizootic disease in early fourteenth-century northwestern Europe
  • T P Newfield
Newfield, T. P., 'A great destruction of cattle: the impact and extent of epizootic disease in early fourteenth-century northwestern Europe' (unpub. M.A. thesis, Univ. of Toronto, 2005).
The Fifth Rider of the Apocalypse: the great cattle plague in England and Wales and its economic consequences
  • P Slavin
Slavin, P., 'The Fifth Rider of the Apocalypse: the great cattle plague in England and Wales and its economic consequences, 1319–1350', in S. Cavaciocchi, ed., Le interazioni fra economia e ambiente biologico nell'Europa preindustriale secc. XIII–XVIII. Proceedings of the 41st study-week of the Fondazione Istituto Internazionale di Storia Economica 'F. Datini' (Florence, 2010), pp. 165–79.
Berkshire: Billingbear 64/71; Bray 38/41
  • Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire: Millow 0/7. Berkshire: Billingbear 64/71; Bray 38/41; Brightwell 36/69; Culham 41/41; Harwell 1/17;
Revisions of the Phelps Brown and Hopkins “basket of consumables” commodity price series
  • J H Munro
Munro, J. H., 'Revisions of the Phelps Brown and Hopkins " basket of consumables " commodity price series, 1264–1700' (2006) http://www.economics.utoronto.ca/munro5/ResearchData.html (accessed on 10 Dec. 2010).
Shropshire: Adderley 37(17S)/72
  • Rutland
Rutland: Oakham 2/2. Shropshire: Adderley 37(17S)/72. Somerset: Holway 31/34; Hull 28/36; Nailsbourne 28/29; Poundisford Park 102/126;
Chaceley 5/16; Norton (King's or Juxta‐Kempsey) 7/19
  • Worcestershire
Worcestershire: Chaceley 5/16; Norton (King's or Juxta‐Kempsey) 7/19; Longdon 3/16; Pershore 27/38
Holway 31/34 Hull 28/36; Nailsbourne 28/29; Poundisford Park 102/126
  • Somerset
Somerset: Holway 31/34; Hull 28/36; Nailsbourne 28/29; Poundisford Park 102/126; Rimpton 52/84; Staplegrove 9/21