villein


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villein

(vĭl`ən) [O.Fr.,=village dweller], peasant under the manorial systemmanorial system
or seignorial system
, economic and social system of medieval Europe under which peasants' land tenure and production were regulated, and local justice and taxation were administered.
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 of medieval Western Europe. The term applies especially to serfsserf,
under feudalism, peasant laborer who can be generally characterized as hereditarily attached to the manor in a state of semibondage, performing the servile duties of the lord (see also manorial system).
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 in England, where by the 13th cent. the entire unfree peasant population came to be called villein. The localism of medieval economy has made a general definition of villein status exceedingly difficult. The villein was a person who was attached to the manor and who performed the servile work of the lord and in some respects was considered the property of the lord. Various distinctions of villeinage, or serfdom, were sometimes made. In privileged villeinage the services to be rendered to the lord were certain and determined; in pure villeinage the services were unspecified, and the villein was, in effect, subject to the whim of the lord. The villein was theoretically distinguished from the freeholder by the services and duties he owed to the lord; these included week-work (a specified number of days' work on the lord's demesne each week throughout the year) and boon days (work required at busy periods during the seasonal year, as at plowing or harvesting time), payment on the marriage of the villein's daughter, payment of tallage on demand, and the like. In practice, however, distinctions blurred, and all land tenure on the manor tended to approach a common level. The villein in England was protected by law against all except his lord, and some guarantee against the lord's power was gradually extended by the royal courts. In the 14th cent. English villeinage began to disappear. A contributing factor in its decline was the increasing substitution of money payments for manual services; rents replaced labor dues. The Black Death of 1349 (see plagueplague,
any contagious, malignant, epidemic disease, in particular the bubonic plague and the black plague (or Black Death), both forms of the same infection. These acute febrile diseases are caused by Yersinia pestis (Pasteurella pestis
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), by greatly reducing the population and thus making labor scarce, made the demands of villeins more difficult to refuse and thus hastened the decline. The growth of towns also influenced the breakdown of the older class distinctions and the building up of new.

Bibliography

For bibliography, see manorial systemmanorial system
or seignorial system
, economic and social system of medieval Europe under which peasants' land tenure and production were regulated, and local justice and taxation were administered.
..... Click the link for more information.
; feudalismfeudalism
, form of political and social organization typical of Western Europe from the dissolution of Charlemagne's empire to the rise of the absolute monarchies. The term feudalism is derived from the Latin feodum,
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.

villein

, villain
(in medieval Europe) a peasant personally bound to his lord, to whom he paid dues and services, sometimes commuted to rents, in return for his land
References in periodicals archive ?
We do not know if Maricoli paid for the work that those women did; they may have been her or her husband's villeins. Even if we can be sure of little else, we can be confident that those village women producing thread for Maricoli were Greek.(33) But the idea of there having been textile production organized in so specialized a manner is intriguing.
Firstly, some members in 1614 argued that the king's claims to be able to levy extra-parliamentary impositions effectively reduced free subjects to the status of villeins or bondsmen (Commons Journal, 1:472, 493), but no one seems to have drawn on Cicero, Livy, or Sallust on liberty (or on anything much).
The absolute powerless nature of the Jewish position may be summarized: "There was no custom, no tradition to which they could refer, as could the villeins or tenants, in the care of an autocratic master.
Later, in first year high school (now, I believe, the equivalent, third year junior high) I learned the rubric "sEIze the weird foreign shEIk." These two immortal principles take care of many of the apparent inconsistencies of the article: for example: eight, heinous, feign, reign, villein, inveigled, surveillance, beige, veins, deign, et al.
The government's efforts became the main focus of the Nunan Judgement of 1903 that castigated "the growing tendency to treat the native, whether he is old or new settler, and whether any rights were secured to him under the 'certificates of claim' or not, as a tenant at will or even as an unfree villein or scriptus glebae."
If Saturn represents the villein in the world of misfortune and mishap that governs the lives of peasants in late fourteenth-century England (as he does here) or, more historically, the violent disorder occasioned by the Pea sants' Revolt of 1381, then Jupiter and his advocate Theseus can only represent the privileged aristocrat, the self-indulgent greedy tyrant who exploited the commons in order to pay for the war with France and against whom the commons rebelled.
A long string of binary opposites--black and white, inside and outside, citizen and villein, cortese and villano--define the absolute conceptual differences between the exile's past and present identity.
The rare survival of villein wills in court rolls does not suggest this permission was frequently given.(44) Additionally, although on the surface it appears the obligations of tenure lay with the named tenant or tenants, the nature of serfdom meant that in fact the obligations extended to the tenant's whole family.
Though bound to the soil, the villein had a claim to his land and could not be separated from it...
In it, they bound themselves to take up Christ's cross, to defend the Catholic Church, to preserve the King's person and his issue, to strive for the suppression of "these heretics" and their heresies, to expel "villein" blood and "evil councillors" and to replace them with men of decent birth: they named Cromwell, Audley, and Rich, "that dicer and false swearer."
Aughterson in particular has neglected to gloss a handful of words (like tunicle (65), villein (154), and fadge (256)) which might cause some confusion.