Show Summary Details

Quick Reference

A free peasant farmer of Anglo-Saxon England. In status ceorls were above the serfs but below the thanes (noblemen), with a Wergild of usually 200 shillings. They were liable to military service in the fyrd and to taxation. Although they could own land, they were often forced by economic pressures and by reasons of security to place themselves in the control of the richer landowners. After the Norman Conquest their status diminished rapidly and the term ‘churl’ came to mean an ill-bred serf.

Subjects: British History — World History.

Reference entries

See all related reference entries in Oxford Index »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.