English Life and Manners in the Later Middle Ages

By A. Abram | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XVII
TRAVELLING

IN the Middle Ages, as M. Jusserand has shown in his delightful book on English Wayfaring Life, many men were going to and fro on the highways and byways of this country. They did not travel merely for the sake of sightseeing--travelling was far too serious a matter to be a holiday pastime--but because circumstances impelled them to take journeys. Merchants and traders travelled in pursuit of their business; they could not carry it on by telephone and telegraph, as we do now, and it was not always easy to find reliable messengers. One of Sir William Stonor's correspondents told him that he had two letters for him, but he could not find any one to bring them except a woman of Henley, and as soon as she was on horseback in the street she was arrested. Great landowners (or their agents) were often obliged to go from one end of the land to the other, to look after their property, which was scattered over two or three or more counties. The numerous lawsuits in which people engaged in those litigious days entailed visits to the courts in London, and the belief that pilgrimages benefited both the body and the soul led many sufferers or penitents far from home.

Travelling at that time was very different from what it is now, and we who have only to sit in a railway train

-248-

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English Life and Manners in the Later Middle Ages
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Preface ix
  • Contents xi
  • List of Illustrations xiii
  • Abbreviations Used in the References xv
  • Chapter I- Social Classes 1
  • Chapter II- Life Amongst the Aristocracy 9
  • Chapter III- Characteristics of Town Life 18
  • Chapter IV- The Position of Women 31
  • Chapter V- The Church and the Nation 46
  • Chapter VI- Some Aspects of Monastic Life 62
  • Chapter VII- Business Life 80
  • Chapter VIII- The Unemployed 95
  • Chapter IX- Aliens in England 103
  • Chapter X- Family Life 113
  • Chapter XI- "Mete and Drinke" 134
  • Chapter XII- The Mirror of Fashion 152
  • Chapter XIII- Houses 173
  • Chapter XIV- Public Health 190
  • Chapter XV- Education 204
  • Chapter XVI- Amusements 230
  • Chapter XVII- Travelling 248
  • Chapter XVIII- National Character 260
  • Appendix Authorities 284
  • Index 337
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