Peasants and food security in England and Wales c.1300

Phillipp R. Schofield*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Food security is discussed with a particular focus on the decades either side of 1300, years characterised by poor weather and significant fluctuations in food availability, evident especially in the varied performance of grain harvests. Examining access to food and the vulnerability of the food supply in a period of particular pressure on food resources allows reflection on stresses on food availability in these decades as well as the range of approaches that individuals and institutions could employ in seeking to respond to them. The article discusses relative entitlement and contemporary perceptions of the same. While its focus is upon rural society and the experience of the peasantry, there will necessarily be some reference to the urban context, which cannot be separated from the experience of the countryside, and the attempts of institutions such as government to respond to issues relevant to food security in this period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)588-606
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Medieval History
Issue number5
Early online date29 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • diet
  • Famine
  • food security
  • government
  • grain
  • peasantry
  • population


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