|Life as a Peasant
My life is extremely hard. I work long hours just to make sure that my family has enough food for the day and a home. My parents are peasants, that’s why I am a peasant as well. I am a tavern worker but the majority of people are farmers. Some of my friends are also millers and tradesmen. The farmers are required to stay with their land and to work hard several days a week for the Lord of the manor.
I came home today and found something special on my bed, (which isn’t really a bed) it was some new clothes! I couldn’t believe it! We are very poor as peasants, we normally wear rough wool or linen. We only have one set of clothing and these hardly ever get washed and I mean never. Men wear tunics and long stockings. Women wear long dresses and stockings made of wool. Some peasants wear underwear made of linen, but they are washed regularly which is a relief. Our clothing is mostly coloured are brown, red and grey. When it’s cold us peasants normally wear cloaks made out of sheepskin or wool. The most valuable clothing for us is a jacket.
I woke this morning with a delicious smell coming from the kitchen (which is also my living room and my bedroom). It smelt like potato soup, yummy! Potato soup. We generally live off the land. Our diet basically consists of bread, porridge, vegetables and some meat. The main crops are corn, wheat and beans. Near our homes, we have little gardens that contain lettuce, carrots, radishes, tomatoes, beets and other vegetables. Some families have fruit and nut trees. If our crops don’t grow, we don’t have food to eat. If we were wealthy enough to have cows or goats, my family would have cheese and milk. Some of my friends have died when the weather was too wet or too dry.
Today is Sunday. Religion is very important to us. We believe that faith can take us to a world that is certainly easier than the one in which we live. We generally observe the Sabbath and celebrate church holidays.
Today is one of my children’s birthdays. We named our children after a close relative or saint. Everyone is needed to help in some way whether its farming or cooking. Around here, often children as young as two are left alone at home. Because of this, many accidents happen. Peasant children are poor and don’t have many toys. Our children don’t go to school and only a few of their friends know how to read and write.
We live in a town on the Lord’s manor. Our house is constructed of stone and branches covered with mud and straw. There are two rooms in our home. The rooms have dirt floors and a few furnishings in the common room, such as stools, tables, chairs and chests. The second room contains the beds for the whole family. Often in the winter, the animals also live in the common room. An open fireplace is in the common room. There are small windows without glass and candles are used to light the inside of our house.
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Darlington, R 2012, History Alive, Jacaranda, Queensland. Darlington, R 2012, History Alive, Jacaranda, Queensland
Medieval Maidens, 2012 Medieval Maidens, Creative Child Magazine, accessed 18 February 2014, http://www.medievalmaidens.net/peasants.html