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Towns in Norman times. .. The Doomsday Book named just over 100 towns and very few with more 10,000 population. However, as the country began to settle down and more people became richer and the population grew, more goods were made and bought – and most of this took place in towns.

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at the time of the norman conquest
.. The Doomsday Book named just over 100 towns and very few with more 10,000 population.

However, as the country began to settle down and more people became richer and the population grew, more goods were made and bought – and most of this took place in towns.

In Colchester in 1300, there were:

8 Butchers

15 Shoemakers

95 ale-brewers of which 70 were women

At the time of the Norman conquest …
how did towns form
How did Towns Form?
  • After the Normans came, towns began to occur, usually alongside castles.
  • As they grew in size and became prosperous they were able to buy a charter, a document which gave them their freedom from the lord of the manor on whose land the town had grown up.
  • By the 12th century, Lords of the manor were often short of money and were glad to sell the rights of the town to pay off their debts
  • The “Town Charter” allowed the townsfolk to have a Mayor, whom they elected, and a law court of their own.
what were medieval towns like
What were Medieval Towns Like?
  • Round each town were thick walls, for safety against enemies. The town gates were locked every night at sunset.
  • Bells and Criers. Bells were the main medium of telling time and making announcements. A Common Bell was rung to summon civic meetings, courts, and as an alarm in case of fire or attack. The town crier rang a hand bell when he walked throughout the town declaiming news and proclamations. The criers were the main source of news for town dwellers. They also had the task of ringing their bells to solicit prayers in memory of people who had paid for the privilege. .
  • The streets were dirty, narrow and cobbled. Down the middle of each street ran an open drain.
  • The front room of houses was often used as a shop. Shopkeepers nearly always sold things they made themselves.
  • Water had to be drawn from wells or fetched from the river. You could also buy it from water-carriers, who took it round the streets in buckets.
who worked in these streets
Who worked in these streets?
  • Men of the same craft or trade lived in the same street, and often gave their name to the street.

Main gate

Silver Street

Pie Lane

Pie Lane

Weavers Row

Water gate

slide6

Shops in front room

Pigs eating rubbish in the street

Buildings are timber framed

Upper storey overhangs to maximise space

Buildings are closely packed - fire risk

Sewage in the middle of the street

Rubbish thrown into the street

What were the towns like?

how clean were the towns
How clean were the towns?
  • Open drain channels ran along the sides or down the centre of streets. Many stables opened out onto the streets and muck heaps encroached on passage. People often threw dirty water out of windows in the general direction of the drains. Dyers vats were particularly noxious when they were emptied into the street. Again the onus was on the individual householder to keep the space in front of his house relatively clean. In practice the only real incentive to do so was an outbreak of the plague or a visit of the King.
livestock in the streets
Livestock in the Streets.
  • Pigs were another nuisance in the streets. Most people kept pigs.
  • They were cheap, and a good source of food. However, houses were small and gardens even smaller, so pigs were often let out into the streets to forage.
  • Stray pigs were such a nuisance that they were liable to be killed and the owner charged for the return of the dead animal.
fire and wooden buildings
Fire and wooden buildings
  • Fire was the constant fear of town dwellers. Due to closely packed wooden houses and inadequate water supply, fires were difficult to control and could produce widespread damage. There were other factors that increased the risks of fire; Beds were of straw and were commonly kept close to open hearths for warmth. Roofs of reeds, rushes and straw were common. It was only after 1213 that these materials were forbidden in London in favour of tile and shingles. Other places were slow to follow London's lead.
  • However, although stone building was encouraged, expense meant that most houses were built of wood up until Tudor times.
  • Cooks, barbers, and brewers were heavily regulated because of the risk their fires posed. Their premises had to be whitewashed and plastered inside and out.
  • Each householder was required to keep a full vessel of water outside his door in summer, due to fire risk. When fires did occur it was every citizen's duty to come running with whatever equipment they had.
the town day
The Town Day.
  • The day officially began with the ringing of the Angelus bell at 4 or 5 o’clock. It announced the first mass of the day and the end of the night watchman's duty. Most shops opened at 6 AM, providing plenty of early morning shopping before the first meal of the day at 9 or 10 AM.
  • Market Hours. Morning was the active time for markets. Things quieted down after noon, and most shops closed at 3 o'clock. Some kept open until light faded, and others, such as the barbers and blacksmiths, were open until the curfew bell sounded.
  • Markets were noisy, raucous affairs. Merchants had to "cry the wares" as their only means of advertising, and some had to be fined for forcibly grabbing hold of passers-by in their enthusiasm to make a sale.
the town day1
The Town Day.
  • Saturday was early closing day for shops. Usually noon was the close of business. Sunday, however, the "Lord's day of rest", was not kept as restful as we might think. Some trades were allowed to work after Mass, and some field work was allowed to be done before it. A few places even had the privilege of Sunday markets.
  • The Curfew Bell. Curfews were imposed in towns to keep the peace. Originally the "curfew bell" was rung at 8 or 9 o'clock in the evening to indicate that it was time for smiths, brewers, and taverners to cease their working day. It became the custom that anyone abroad after that had to carry a light and have a good excuse for being out. The carrying of weapons was carefully regulated, especially where foreigners were concerned. Nobility, as usual, were exempt from these regulations. There were also laws prohibiting the wearing of masks in the street; this after an attempt on the life of Henry IV by some nobles disguised as Christmas mummers.
slide12
In the Middle Ages, few people could read, so shops used pictures instead of names. What do you think these signs mean?
the guilds
The Guilds
  • To ensure quality of products and comparability of prices, craftsmen joined together in Guilds. These were like trade unions today as they helped widows and orphans, and it is known that the Carpenters’ Guild gave 14 pence a week to a member who was ill.
  • Members of the Guilds promised to do their work well, to use good materials and charge an honest price for their work. The Guilds punished dishonest craftsmen.
  • The Guilds also helped look after the town church and paid money for candles on the altar.
  • The Guilds met in the Guildhall. Some of these buildings can still be found in towns, like those over the page in York.
apprenticeship
Apprenticeship
  • When a boy was about 14, he might become an apprentice, which meant he would learn a trade. He went to live with the master craftsman and would be trained for 7 years. His parents or guardian would sign an agreement with a master craf
  • He would sleep on the shop floor at night and was expected to help sell goods to passers-by.
  • He would be paid no wages except for a small amount of pocket money.
  • When an apprentice had learned his trade he was called a journeyman, and was paid a proper wage. He would then try to make a masterpiece by which he would be judged to become good enough to be fully trained, by the others in the guild. [PS journey man is NOT about travelling – it means being paid by the day]
  • Only then, if he could save enough money he might later be able to buy a workshop and become a master craftsman himself.
slide18

Surnames

The English started using surnames sometime after 1200. The names were used to tell people the craft or trade of their owners.

Here are the names of some Medieval people:

Tanner Miller Smith Taylor

Weaver Fisher Butcher Carpenter

Baker Mason Cook Wright

Wright is probably the hardest and is more frequently seen at the end of a name e.g. Cartwright. It basically means a handicraftsmen, especially someone who works with wood; so Cartwright is someone who makes wooden carts.

1 what was the importance of the town charter
1. What was the importance of the town charter?
  • A) it gave the town an official name
  • B) it allowed the Lord of the Manor to keep laws in place as the towns grew
  • C) it gave the people who lived in the town freedom from the Lord of the Manor
  • D) it kept a record of the people who lived in the town
2 who were represented by the guilds
2. Whowere represented by the guilds?
  • A) farmers
  • B) shopkeepers
  • C) businessmen
  • D) tradesmen
3 which of the following was not a feature of a typical town street
3. Which of the following was not a feature of a typical town street?
  • A) drains running down the middle of the street
  • B) single storey buildings
  • C) timber frames
  • D) animals living in the street
4 what was the name given to a young person at the end of their training
4. What was the name given to a young person at the end of their training?
  • A) master craftsman
  • B) apprentice
  • C) tradesman
  • D) journeyman
5 which of the following is not a valid reason why towns grew up in the 1200s
5. Which of the following is not a valid reason why towns grew up in the 1200s?
  • A) the King granted charters for towns to set up
  • B) it was safer to be near a castle
  • C) people started to specialize in trades and crafts
  • D) the Lords of the Manor had less power over people
town watch
Town Watch
  • This is a short play that illustrates some of the things we have talked about:
  • Parts:
    • Presenter 1
    • Presenter 2
    • Guard
    • Market seller 1
    • Market seller 2
    • Water seller
    • Passer by
    • Snobby man
    • Town Crier
slide25
Presenter 1 – Hello. I am __________.
  • Presenter 2 – And I am ___________ and we are going to take you on a tour of Chichester.
  • Presenter 1: You cannot mistake the town. Even from here we can see the walls and the great spire of the church. Why walls?
  • Presenter 2: Well there was plenty of fighting in the Middle Ages and they needed protection.
  • Presenter I : Also they could also control who came in and went out by controlling the gate. Let’s go in through the gate.
  • Market seller 1.: Come and buy your silken hose only 2 pence.
  • Market seller 2:Capons plump capons only 3 pence each.
  • Market seller 3:Cherry pie lovely cherry pie only 4 pence, come and buy your cherry pie.
  • Market seller 4:Come and get your goose grease, get your goose grease here now only 5 pence, help ease those sores!!
slide26
Presenter 2 – What a noise, and we’re not in the town yet.
  • Presenter 1: These traders are getting to the customers first and not paying rent for the stalls. Clever eh?
  • Guard – Good Morning young Madam / Sir. Welcome to the town of Chichester. Don’t forget that the gates to the town close at sun down.
  • Presenter2 – No, we won’t. It’s dark here – the houses almost touch each other at the top and block out the sunlight
  • Presenter 1 - Watch it woman!! She has just thrown the contents of the Chamber pots all over me!
  • Presenter 2: No wonder there is a terrible smell in this town.
  • Presenter 1: Watch where you are walking everybody. There are even pigs sniffing around.
  • Presenter 2: People seem to be hurrying towards somewhere. Let’s to find out what is going on - follow me!
slide27
Presenter1 – What is happening?
  • Passer By: Why young Sirs it is the Town Crier. If you and your group don’t hurry you will miss the announcements! All the important messages for the people of this town will be read out by the town crier.
  • Presenter 2 – There is quite a crowd straight ahead by the cross. Oh look there is the town crier mounting the steps now!
  • Town Crier – Oyez, Oyez, Oyez, Hear Ye , Hear Ye. Good people of Chichester. The news on this day is that there are pickpockets in this town of Chichester. Look after your belongings, and keep all valuables safely with you at all times. If we catch these pickpockets their punishment will be the chopping off of one hand. So if pickpockets are listening now you have been warned! I notice a large group in the crowd, be very careful!
  • Presenter 1 – Right we had better be careful everyone. Lets move on around the town.
  • Market Seller – Water, pure water. Clean water, fresh from a spring. Water, water come and buy your water.
  • Presenter 2– Hello can I have 19 bottles of your finest spring water please, here 19 groats should cover the cost, thank you.
  • Presenter 1 Right drink up we need to think about leaving the town now, if we don’t leave before sunset we get locked in the town for the night, and I don’t know about you but I don’t fancy staying out all night, there will be beggars and thieves around no doubt about that!
  • Snobby man – Out of my way fellow, out of my way can’t you see I am busy, clear the way.
slide28
Presenter 2 – Hey look out. You nearly knocked me over then. He was a posh looking fellow wasn’t he?
  • Presenter 1 Very full of his own importance though, very rude. Right we have to find a way out of here now.
  • Presenter 2 Oh look there is a Punch and Judy show down there, at least it is better than bear baiting, come on we will try down here.
  • Presenter 1– I will ask this person how we get can get out of the town. Excuse me can you tell me in which direction we have to go to leave this town? Can you direct me to the Eastgate please?
  • Helpful person – Why good sirs / madams it just behind you. But if you want to leave Chichester tonight you will have to hurry. The keepers close the gate promptly at 6 of the clock and it is nigh that now. So quickly go just behind you.
  • Guard – You have just made it Sirs/madams. I have already got my keys out, you were all close to spending the night in the town, and unless you had somewhere to stay it could have been a very nasty night for you.
  • Presenter 2 – Why is there a hand nailed to the gate Guard?
  • Guard – Oh well, we caught one of the pickpockets earlier on today, lets hope that it acts as a deterrent for any other would be pickpockets, Chichester does not want them! Now God Speed, come again!
  • Presenter 1 – Well I hope you enjoyed our brief tour of the town of Chichester. It is certainly very different from today! As for me I prefer 2001 to 1397. At least you don’t get a chamber pot tipped all over you!