IMC 2008: Sessions

Session 1202: The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, III: Famine

Wednesday 9 July 2008, 14.15-15.45

Sponsor:English Heritage
Organiser:Barney Sloane, English Heritage, London
Moderator/Chair:Barney Sloane, English Heritage, London
Paper 1202-aFamines in the Medieval London Literature
(Language: English)
Derek Keene, Centre for Metropolitan History, Institute of Historical Research, University of London
Paper 1202-bA Probable Famine Cemetery in London: St Mary Spital
(Language: English)
Chris Thomas, Museum of London Archaeology Service
Paper 1202-cThe Victims of Famine in 13th-Century London
(Language: English)
Donald William Walker, Museum of London Archaeology Service
Abstract

_And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see.
And I beheld, and saw a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine._

Failure of harvests and scarcity of food was a constant worry to an agrarian society, and notable shortages are identified in English historical sources from the 13th century. Now some surprising archaeological evidence allows us to understand for the first time the real impact of such events in 13th-century London