Economic and Political Unrest

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Economic and Political Unrest

Neither villeins nor Dourers were minded to take this reversal of fortune lying wn.

A statute of 1377 records that villeins "gather emselves together in great routs and agree by such conleracy that everyone shall aid other to resist their lords the strong hand ".

We read of strikes, of wholesale flights from one manor to another with a more accommodating lord.

Lords found it difficult to get tenants when leases fell in, or villeins died or fled.

The whole rural economy was reduced to confusion.

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The Statutes of Labourers

The intention of these statutes was to restore the old rates of payment, and these rates, both for peasants and for town artisans, were to be fixed by law. Special Justices of Labourers were established to enforce the statutes, which also provided that prices of foodstuffs, etc., should be kept at the old levels. These officials were appointed not by the manorial or town authorities but by the Crown - a step forward towards central control of the country's economic affairs. Hitherto the alnagers had been the only national officials dealing with economic matters. This central control, however, was mostly... see: The Statutes of Labourers

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