Plotting Out a Living

  • Miriam MüllerEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of Childhood book series (PSHC)


This chapter explores aspects of the experiences of growing up within village communities, from schooling and other training up to marriage. As much of previous research on schooling has tended to focus on urban experiences, an in-depth and much-needed analysis of the incidence and local effects of schooling in rural communities is offered. It is suggested that depending on locality children having attained some basic schooling at grammar schools run by monastic institutions may well have been higher than previously thought. The chapter discusses the role of service in the experiences of young people and informal apprenticeships. The theme of growing economic independence in accordance to age and social maturity is picked up on from Chapter  1 (Vulnerable Members of the Community) and developed further. Using the manorial data on orphans and underaged heirs, an important analysis is offered of the way social networks developed in villages. Of particular significance is the way in which groups of affected families and individuals formed networks of support, which could even extend to the formation of new family units through marriage. The question of the role of the sale of marriages and the roles of guardians and lords in match making of underaged heirs is explored. Müller also discusses the nature of the conflict and strife which could occasionally arise out of generational clashes as well as due to heirs feeling hard done by on the hands of their guardians.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of BirminghamBirminghamUK

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