The Life of the Medieval ‘Middle Class’ in England
What was life really like for the merchants, craftsmen and traders in London in the middle ages?
Whilst the majority of people who worked in the Medieval Period were peasants, a significant community of merchants and tradesmen existed, the majority of whom belonged to one of the most powerful and influential groups in medieval Europe - the Guilds.
Guilds were associations of artisans and merchants who oversaw the practice of their craft or trade in a particular area. They were able to command prestige and power over medieval populations and membership of these organisations was extremely desirable. The Grocers' Guild for example, which oversaw the trade in spices (one of the most expensive and important commodities in the Middle Ages) was an incredibly rich and powerful association as is very apparent by the opulence and grandeur of Grocers' Hall in London.
In this video, Dr Eleanor Janega visits the banqueting hall to explore the lives of those who earned in medieval London.
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