Skip to main content

Labourers, statute of

Labourers, statute of, 1351. The statute was an early attempt at a wage freeze, rarely a popular policy. The scourge of the Black Death led to an acute shortage of labour and in June 1349 the council issued an emergency ordinance (23 Edw. III s. 1) imposing restraint. When Parliament met in 1351 there were complaints that ‘out of singular covetise’ wages had risen, and the statute (25 Edw. III s. 1) was passed. Men were to work at pre-1349 wage levels, which were laid down, and masters were forbidden to offer more. Persons below the age of 60 not in employment were not to refuse offers of work. Prices were merely to be ‘reasonable’. Despite determined efforts to impose the policy and the appointment of special justices of labourers, it proved difficult to enforce. Even the carpenter at Knightsbridge who made the stocks to hold offenders had to be paid over the odds. But resentment played a part in the grievances leading to the Peasants' Revolt in 1381.

J. A. Cannon

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Labourers, statute of." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Labourers, statute of." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/labourers-statute

"Labourers, statute of." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/labourers-statute

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.