Session1240
TitleManaging the Medieval Workforce: Three Examples from England
Date/TimeWednesday 6 July 2022: 14.15-15.45
 
OrganiserChris Lewis, Institute of Historical Research, University of London
 
Moderator/ChairHerbert Eiden, International Capital Market Association (ICMA) Centre, University of Reading
 
Paper 1240-a Building the Great Brick Donjon at Tattershall Castle, Lincolnshire: Construction Management in the 15th Century
(Language: English)
David H. Kennett, Independent Scholar, Stratford-upon-Avon
Index Terms: Architecture - Secular; Economics - General; Social History
Paper 1240-b Manorial Administration: The Role of Officials as Organisers and Managers
(Language: English)
Grace Owen, Independent Scholar, Ledbury
Index Terms: Administration; Daily Life; Economics - Rural; Social History
Paper 1240-c Winchester, 1086: Managing the Work of the Domesday Scribes
(Language: English)
Chris Lewis, Institute of Historical Research, University of London
Index Terms: Administration; Archives and Sources; Literacy and Orality; Manuscripts and Palaeography
 
AbstractThe practicalities of managing a workforce were a commonplace across the Middle Ages but have usually been addressed rather narrowly, sector by sector. Workforce management was multi-faceted. As in all periods, completing work successfully required planning ahead and close attention throughout. It might involve the avoidance or resolution of problems across a range of aspects: the selection, housing, feeding, and remuneration of workers; the supply of materials and tools; the succession and pace of different tasks; and in some cases the onward logistics of what was produced. This session takes cases from three different sectors of the economy (building, agriculture, and government) and brings insights from other disciplines and methodologies as various as modern construction management, mapping, and palaeography. It attempts to define what was ubiquitous when managing workers in the Middle Ages, and what was unique to particular types of work.