Marketing animals and animal products in London's hinterland circa 1300

Margaret MURPHY & James A. GALLOWAY

en Anthropozoologica 16 - Pages 93-100

Published on 01 October 1992

This article is a part of the thematic issue Animals and their products in trade and exchange. Proceedings of the 3rd international meeting of HASRI, Oxford, 8-11 November 1990

This paper presents some provisional results from the "Feeding The City" project at the Centre for Metropolitan History, London. It is based on an analysis of a database comprising information from 421 demesne accounts concerning 189 manors in 10 counties surrounding London in the period 1290-1315. In order to assess the different factors governing the marketing of animals from seigneurial estates, the numbers of manors selling different animals and animal products have been plotted on six histograms, animals being sub-categorised by age and sex. This goes some way to establishing whether the animals are being sold for food or for other reasons. The average price per head of a range of animals is also presented in tabular form allowing study of their relative economic importance. The pig emerges as a highly valued animal, the mean sale price being twice that for an adult sheep and 2.5 times that for a calf. The spatial dimension of marketing in the metropolitan hinterland is discussed using the examples of calves, pigs and dairy produce. The evidence suggests that estate management policies, manorial working practices and transport considerations are among the most important influencing factors.


London, Medevial, Agriculture, Trade, Animals.

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