Noble and serf relationship

What is the relationships between the nobles and serfs? | Yahoo Answers

noble and serf relationship

The king granted fiefs (portions of land) to nobles (lords or barons) in return for loyalty, protection and service. The king could also grant fiefs to vassals (knights) . such a political force--ranking medieval clerics were all nobles themselves, if a male serf chooses to marry a woman from another lord's dominion, and well -dressed could very well lead to many voluntary relationships. In the Middle Ages they had many social classes. The biggest class difference however was between the Nobles, the upper class, and serf.

So Islamic lords in al-Andalus are also not plucking random peasant wives for themselves. Muslims cannot be made slaves by other Muslims, legally, so that's not a loophole.

  • What is the relationships between the nobles and serfs?

Second, the question of marriage. No, a lord is not going to marry a random peasant.

How Knights Work

Marriage among the medieval nobility was a political institution first and foremost, however the Church tried to promote it and make no mistake, the Church's interest in marriage was because it was such a political force--ranking medieval clerics were all nobles themselves, and they wanted a say in who got married, reproduced, and had either money or children to donate to the Church.

Generally, parents either had potential spouses for their children picked out long in advance--the Church set a lower bound on betrothal age to 7, but it was basically ignored--or had to conduct extensive diplomatic campaigns to find a good political match The medieval lyric genre of pastourelles, popularized by the troubadour poets in 12th century France but with enduring popularity throughout western Europe, offered a counterpart to the ideally unconsummated courtly love tradition of noble lovers who ideally cannot physically demonstrate their love.

In pastourelles, a knight or other aristocratic character traveling across the countryside happens upon a country girl, prototypically a shepherdess. The remainder of the serf's time he spent tending his own fields, crops and animals in order to provide for his family.

noble and serf relationship

Most manorial work was segregated by gender during the regular times of the year; however, during the harvestthe whole family was expected to work the fields. A major difficulty of a serf's life was that his work for his lord coincided with, and took precedence over, the work he had to perform on his own lands: On the other hand, the serf of a benign lord could look forward to being well fed during his service; it was a lord without foresight who did not provide a substantial meal for his serfs during the harvest and planting times.

In addition to service, a serf was required to pay certain taxes and fees. Taxes were based on the assessed value of his lands and holdings. Fees were usually paid in the form of agricultural produce rather than cash.

The best ration of wheat from the serf's harvest often went to the landlord. Generally hunting and trapping of wild game by the serfs on the lord's property was prohibited. On Easter Sunday the peasant family perhaps might owe an extra dozen eggs, and at Christmas a goose was perhaps required too.

Peasant vs. Nobles by pietrina coe on Prezi

When a family member died, extra taxes were paid to the lord as a form of feudal relief to enable the heir to keep the right to till what land he had. Any young woman who wished to marry a serf outside of her manor was forced to pay a fee for the right to leave her lord, and in compensation for her lost labour.

Often there were arbitrary tests to judge the worthiness of their tax payments. A chicken, for example, might be required to be able to jump over a fence of a given height to be considered old enough or well enough to be valued for tax purposes.

The restraints of serfdom on personal and economic choice were enforced through various forms of manorial customary law and the manorial administration and court baron. It was also a matter of discussion whether serfs could be required by law in times of war or conflict to fight for their lord's land and property.


In the case of their lord's defeat, their own fate might be uncertain, so the serf certainly had an interest in supporting his lord. Rights Within his constraints, a serf had some freedoms. Though the common wisdom is that a serf owned "only his belly"—even his clothes were the property, in law, of his lord—a serf might still accumulate personal property and wealth, and some serfs became wealthier than their free neighbours, although this happened rarely.

A serf could grow what crop he saw fit on his lands, although a serf's taxes often had to be paid in wheat. The surplus he would sell at market. The landlord could not dispossess his serfs without legal cause and was supposed to protect them from the depredations of robbers or other lords, and he was expected to support them by charity in times of famine.

Many such rights were enforceable by the serf in the manorial court. In some places serfdom was merged with or exchanged for various forms of taxation.

The amount of labour required varied. In Poland, for example, it was commonly a few days per year per household in the 13th century. One day per week per household in the 14th century. Four days per week per household in the 17th century.

Life in the Middle Ages The Serf

Six days per week per household in the 18th century. Serfs served on occasion as soldiers in the event of conflict and could earn freedom or even ennoblement for valour in combat. Laws varied from country to country: History of serfdom Galician slaughter in was a revolt against serfdom, directed against manorial property and oppression.

noble and serf relationship

Social institutions similar to serfdom were known in ancient times. The status of the helots in the ancient Greek city-state of Sparta resembled that of the medieval serfs. In feudalism, the king owned all of the land. The king granted fiefs portions of land to nobles lords or barons in return for loyalty, protection and service. The king could also grant fiefs to vassals knights in exchange for military service.

Many knights were professional warriors who served in the lord's army. In return, the lord provided the knight with lodging, foodarmor, weapons, horses and money. Peasants, or serfs, farmed the land and provided the vassal or lord with wealth in the form of food and products. The peasants were bound to the land, so it was in the vassal's interest to protect them from invaders. Fiefs -- and the obligation to serve the king -- were inherited by the eldest son of the ruling nobleman.