IMC 2008: Sessions

Session 1212: Forests in England and Wales, II: Life in the Forests

Wednesday 9 July 2008, 14.15-15.45

Sponsor:St John's College, University of Oxford
Organiser:John Langton, St John's College, University of Oxford
Moderator/Chair:Robin Alan Butlin, School of Geography, University of Leeds
Paper 1212-aHunting, Family, and Sociability in Medieval England
(Language: English)
Jean Birrell, University of Birmingham
Index terms: Economics - Rural, Social History
Paper 1212-bWoodland and Woodland Management in Lowland Medieval Forests: An Illustration from Bernwood
(Language: English)
Rachel Catherine Thomas, Natural England, Peterborough
Index terms: Economics - Rural, Local History
Paper 1212-cWho was Assarting, Where and When?: Evidence from Wychwood
(Language: English)
Beryl Schumer, Independent Scholar, London
Index terms: Economics - Rural, Local History

Conventional historical has emphasised the forests as timber stores – their increasing role at the end of the Middle Ages and beyond in response to expanding cities and burgeoning navies. Other economic and social issues have been largely ignored. What was life like for families in medieval forest communities, for example? How did forests function as arenas for social interaction among the powerful? Who was attempting to exploit the forests beyond their (ancient?) capacities and for what purposes? How was the complex woodland ecology managed by and for local communities as well as for the lord, often the king?