Medieval Economic and Life Differences between Nobles and Peasants

Topics: Nobility, Middle Ages, Feudalism Pages: 3 (939 words) Published: November 24, 2013
Medieval Economic and Life differences between Nobles and Peasants

Childhood in Medieval England was determined by both social and biological factors. According to common law, childhood ranged from the birth of a child until he or she reached the age of 12. At this point, the child was seen as capable and competent to understand his or her actions, thus rendering them responsible for them. According to canon law, girls could marry at the age of 12 and boys at the age of 14. For most children growing up in Medieval Times the first year of life was one of the most dangerous, with as many as 50 percent of children yielding to fatal illnesses. During this year the child was cared for and nursed, either by parents, If the family belonged to the peasant class or by a nurse if the child belong to a noble class. At age seven play was still an important part of a child's life, however, as the child's ability to learn and fulfill family duties grew, so did their responsibility to contribute. If circumstances allowed, seven was the age of entrance into formal education. Peasant and urban children took up responsibilities around the house. By age 12, the child began to take on a more serious role in family duties. Although according to canon law at the age of twelve girls could marry, this was relatively uncommon unless the child was an heiress or belonged to a family of noble birth.

Peasant families had to try more economic wise rather than the noble families that had the economic benefit due to their status in the society. The wealthiest children of all, those of the nobility and more important upper class were often received into the great households of other nobility or leading churchmen, where they acted as pages or retainers, learnt aristocratic manners, and in some cases underwent training in military skills. The peasant children on the other hand, began to do serious work once they reached puberty, at around 12-14. Sometimes this was done at home,...
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