Life on land

Wealthy landowners were at the forefront of a class-based society. Poor farmers rented from the rich, but at the bottom of the pecking order sat laborers.

In the Middle Ages, legal inequality created privileged classes. Women had little rights, for example, they could not sue without the help of a man. Girls were homeless when they got married but had limited control over their property. Widows, however, were financially independent.

Most of the less well-off had their own storage, but what was stored under the pillow was as secure as in a locked chest. Some people gathered so much under their heads that they sat halfway upright and then it was said that they "had a lot under them".