Famine in medieval England

Phillipp R. Schofield*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Historians of the Middle Ages have, with some notable exceptions, tended to address the issue of famine often only obliquely; this is in no small part a reflection of the changing approach to the study of the medieval past and the kinds of source types that encouraged and directed initial studies in this area. In addition to a range of narrative sources, historians of high and late medieval England are particularly advantaged in having at their disposal strong series of grain yield, price and wage data that allow a more quantitative mapping of famine chronologies and the likely pressure points when prices moved to unusually high levels; this is especially the case from the second half of the thirteenth century when there appears to have been a significant increase in the use of detailed written accounts for the manor and higher institutions. Both contemporaries and modern historians agree that the immediate cause of famine in the Middle Ages was weather.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Medieval Rural Life
EditorsMiriam Muller
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781000450705, 9781003194866
ISBN (Print)9781138849228
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2021

Publication series

NameRoutledge Handbooks
PublisherTaylor and Francis


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