- John Gillingham
- and Ralph A. Griffiths
The main source of wealth in the Middle Ages in England was the land. From this wealth sprang the prosperity of individuals, institutions, and the Crown. The greatest landowners were the lay magnates, bishops, monasteries, and other religious institutions. ‘Wealth, Population, and Social Change in the Later Middle Ages’ looks at social change during the medieval period and how economic and population changes affected the social makeup of the country. Landed wealth was the foundation of the political, administrative, and social influence of the aristocracy. The population of England reached a peak towards the end of the thirteenth century. A high population with low living standards meant poverty, famine, dissent, and disease.