This book presents a detailed account of the co-operative practice of agriculture in medieval England, shedding much light on how medieval villagers governed their own affairs. During this period co-operation was essential in ploughing, sowing and reaping, with communal control of the pasturing of the fallow and stubble. These practices were set out in customary by-laws which were agreed to by common consent and villages themselves were greatly involved with their enactment and enforcement.
In the course of time, many of the by-laws were put into writing. Professor Ault has travelled extensively throughout England collecting and researching these agrarian ordinances and translating them into modern English. Since it was first published in 1972 this analysis has provided new insight into the organizational structure and governance of medieval villages in England and is essential reading for all those interested in the history of the Middle Ages.