The James Ford Lectures : Reaction and regulation

AFTER THE BLACK DEATH: Society, economy and the law in fourteenth-century England

Speaker: Professor Mark Bailey (University of East Anglia)


Escalating prices and the sudden shortage of labour in the immediate aftermath of the Black Death posed an urgent threat to the ordained social order, spurring both seigniorial attempts to tighten control over serfdom and a raft of ambitious new government legislation.  By the 1360s, however, compromise and competition were more prominent than coercion, and irreversible institutional changes had been set in motion.