Feeding the city (II): London's impact on the agrarian economy of southern England, c.1290-1400

Farming image

The second stage of this project switches attention from the years around 1300 when London achieved its peak medieval population (see Feeding the city (I)), to the very different world of the later fourteenth century. Plagues and other events drastically reduced the population, both in the city and in the country at large, and inaugurated new patterns of rural production and of consumption. The study throws light on the growth of commercialised agriculture, on the dynamics of the late medieval economy, and on the capacity of early societies to maintain great cities.


James A. Galloway and Margaret Murphy, 'Metropolitan impact on the rural economy: London and its hinterland before and after the Black Death', Medieval Settlement Research Group Annual Report, 8 (1993), 12-13; James A. Galloway, 'London's grain supply: changes in production, distribution and consumption during the fourteenth century', Franco-British Studies, 20 (1996), 23-34; James A. Galloway, Derek Keene, and Margaret Murphy, 'Fuelling the city: production and distribution of firewood and fuel in London's region, 1290-1400', Economic History Review, 49 (1996), 447-472 (an edited version also appeared in C. Chant (ed.), The Pre-Industrial Cities and Technology Reader (London and New York, 1999), 104-19); Margaret Murphy, 'The fuel supply of medieval London, 1300-1400', Franco-British Studies, 20 (1996), 85-96; James A. Galloway, 'Driven by Drink? Ale consumption and the agrarian economy of the London Region, c.1300-1400', in M. Carlin and J. Rosenthal (eds.) Food and Eating in medieval Europe (Hambledon, 1998), pp. 87-100; Margaret Murphy, 'Feeding medieval cities: some historical Approaches', in M. Carlin and J. Rosenthal (eds.), Food and Eating in Medieval Europe (Hambledon, 1998), pp. 117-131; James A. Galloway, 'Metropolitan market networks: London's economic hinterland in the later Middle Ages' (paper given at the CBA Mid-Anglia Group Conference, Museum of London, 14 February 1998), London and Middlesex Archaeological Society Transactions, 50 (1999), 91-97. James A. Galloway, 'Metropolitan food and fuel supply in medieval England: regional and international contexts', in P. van Cruyningen and E. Thoen (eds.), Food Supply, Demand and Trade: Aspects of the Economic Relationship between Town and Countryside (Middle Ages - 19th Century) (Brepols: CORN publication series no. 14, Turnhout, 2013), 7-18.

The dataset 'Feeding the City II: Demesne Agriculture in the London Region 1375-1400' has been deposited with the UK Data Service Study No. 3318.


CMH Annual Reports 1991-2, 1992-3, 1993-4; End of Award Report; Tenth Anniversary Conference paper

Project details

Associate Supervisor: Bruce M.S. Campbell B.A. Ph.D. (The Queen's University, Belfast)
Researchers: James Galloway M.A., Ph.D., Margaret Murphy, B.A., Ph.D.
Funded by: ESRC (Ref: R000233157) (1 October 1991-31 July 1994)
Amount Awarded: £147,140