Childhood, Orphans and Underage Heirs in Medieval Rural England

Growing up in the Village

  • Miriam Müller

Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of Childhood book series (PSHC)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Miriam Müller
    Pages 1-32
  3. Miriam Müller
    Pages 33-77
  4. Miriam Müller
    Pages 79-117
  5. Miriam Müller
    Pages 119-155
  6. Miriam Müller
    Pages 157-196
  7. Miriam Müller
    Pages 197-205
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 207-213

About this book


This book explores the experience of childhood and adolescence in later medieval English rural society from 1250 to 1450. Hit by major catastrophes – the Great Famine and then a few decades later the Black Death – this book examines how rural society coped with children left orphaned, and land inherited by children and adolescents considered too young to run their holdings. Using manorial court rolls, accounts and other documents, Miriam Müller looks at the guardians who looked after the children, and the chattels and lands the children brought with them. This book considers not just rural concepts of childhood, and the training and schooling young peasants received, but also the nature of supportive kinship networks, family structures and the roles of lordship, to offer insights into the experience of childhood and adolescence in medieval villages more broadly.   


adolescence peasantry rural childhood history of childhood manorial records Black Death Manor Court Villein Disability Famine Apprenticeship Age of Majority

Authors and affiliations

  • Miriam Müller
    • 1
  1. 1.University of BirminghamBirminghamUK

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG, part of Springer Nature 2019
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages History History (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-3-030-03601-0
  • Online ISBN 978-3-030-03602-7
  • Buy this book on publisher's site