The Ford Lectures - After the Black Death: The end of serfdom and the Rise of the West

How far had English society shed ‘feudal’ institutions—such as serfdom—and replaced them with discernibly ‘modern’ institutions—such as contractual tenures and the European Marriage Pattern—by the end of the fourteenth century? An assessment of the nature and scale of institutional change offers insights into the role of the Black Death in bringing about the change and the distinctiveness of the English experience.