William de la Dene, Historia Roffensis


This manuscript extract provides a first-hand account of the Black Death, a devastating plague that reduced the population of Europe by a third. The account tells how relatives of the dead had to carry the corpses themselves to open mass graves. The Black Death killed so many that there was a severe shortage of people to work in the fields and this became a major catalyst in the rise of the peasant revolt. Knowing how much the land owners needed workers, the labourers used this as leverage in demanding higher wages and better living conditions.

Full title:
William de la Dene, Historia Roffensis
1314 - 50
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Public Domain in most countries other than the UK.

Held by
British Library
Cotton MS Faustina B V

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