Late-Medieval English Prices

Prices are expressed in English pounds (L), shillings (s), and pence (d).  There are twelve pence in a shilling, and twenty shillings in a pound.  As in the modern era, monetary values underwent inflation and deflation over time, and commodities often commanded differing prices depending on location (e.g., see "Pig in Somerset" vs. "Pig in London").  Nevertheless, rough comparisons can be made which can help one estimate relative cost.  [Note: this price list was adapted freely from the wonderfully useful web page written by Kenneth Hodges (formerly but currently returning a "404" file not found code as of 9/9/99).]


Item                                Price         Date         Source          Page

2 yokes (for oxen)                       4s                 c1350             Dyer                 170

Coulter or foot iron of  plough     5d                     "                     "                     "

3 mason’s tools                            9d                    "                     "                     " 


Knight’s 2 horses                         L10                 1374                 Dyer             76

(Horse prices are notorious for being dependent on local market conditions and the bargaining skill of buyer and seller. Prices for draft animals also rise and fall as harvests succeed or fail, and prices for war horses rise in time of war and fall somewhat in peace.) 

Food and Livestock


Best Gascon in London             4d/gallon             1331                 Myers           194

Best Rhenish in London             8d/gallon             1331                 "                     "


Good                                         1.5d/gallon         14thC                 Myers         201

Medium                                     1d/gallon             "                         "                 "

Poor                                            .75d/gallon         "                         "                 "

First-rate                                     1.5d/gallon         1320-1420         Dyer         58

Second-rate                                 .75-1d/gallon     "                         "                 "

Best in Somerset                           .75d/gallon       1338                   Dyer         210

Best in London                             1d/gallon           "                          "               "

Dried fruit and nuts: raisins,

dates, figs, prunes, almonds,          1-4d/lb to 6d . 14thC?                 Dyer         62-3

Spices: cinnamon, cloves,

mace, pepper, sugar, etc.             1-3s/lb             14thC?                 "                 "

Saffron                                         12-15s/lb         14thC?                 Dyer          "

Cow                                             9s 5d               mid-14thC           Jusserand    99

Ox                                               13s 1.25d         "                         "                 "

Sheep                                         1s 5d                 "                         "                 "

Pig in Somerset                            2s                     1338                 Dyer             210

Pig in London                              3s                     "                         "                 "

Fowl                                            1d                     "                         "                 "

2 chickens                                 1d                     14thC                 Norman     78

2 dozen eggs 1d " " "

Goose in London                       6d (legal price) 1375                    Myers         198

                                                  7d-8d (asked)   "                          "                 "

80 lb cheese                             3s 4d                 1382                 Myers           198



Board                                         104s/yr.             1394                 Myers         186

Clothing                                     40s/yr.                 "                       "                 "

Instruction                                  26s 8d/yr.            "                       "                 "


Rent for cottage                     5s/yr.                     14th C             Dyer         208

Rent craftsman’s house         20s/yr.                     "                     "               "

Rent merchant’s house         L2-3/yr.                     "                     "             "

Cost to build a goldsmith’s hall, London, with hall, kitchen, buttery, and two chambers

                                                L136                     1365                 Myers     114

Cost to build a tower in castle’s curtain wall

                                                L333-L395             late 14th C      Dyer       79-80



Fashionable gown                 L10 to L50             late 14th             C Myers     53

Reeve’s robe                       6s 4d                       1349-1352         Dyer           176

Wealthy peasants’ clothes:

Linen chemise                         8d                             1313                 Dyer          175

shoes                                      6d                             "                         "                 "

Woolen garment                     3s                               "                         "                 "

fur-lined garments                    6s8d                         early 14th C        "                 176

Landless serfs’ tunics          1d-6d                        mid 14th C         Dyer           176

Best Wool                             5s/yard                     1380                   Dyer            78

Silk                                         10s-12s/yd.             15th C                 "                 "

Furs added to garment           +L2-L3/gar.         15th C                     "                 79


2 gold rings with diamonds     L15                     1382                     Myers             24

Gold ring with ruby                 26s 8d                 "                             "                     "

3 strings of pearls                   70s                     "                              "                      "

6 gold necklaces                     100s                   "                             "                         "


Total armor owned by knight L16 6s 8d         1374                     Dyer                     76

Armor in house of Thomas of Woodstock, duke of  Gloucester

                                                L103                 1397                     Dyer                     77

Fee for cleaning rust from corselets

                                                5d each `            1567                     ffoulkes                 80

Cheap peasant’s sword         6d                       1340s                    Dyer                     174


Sample peasant doweries 13s 4d, 35s 4d, 57s, 63s 4d   14th C    Dyer             179

Esquire’s daughter’s dowery to L66 13s 4d     15th C                 Dyer               84

Bride and Groom’s parents’ wedding gift, London

                                            L100 each                 1385                 Myers             154


Jusserand (126-9) found that travelers at an inn in 1331spent the following amounts: in one day, 3 men with 4 servants spent: bread, 4d; beer, 2d; wine, 1.25d; meat, 5.5d; potage, .25d; candles, .25d; fuel, 2d; beds, 2d; fodder for horses, 10d. Their four servants stayed in other quarters for 2 nights for 1d. In London, the fee for a bed is 1d per night per head, since more than one person might share a bed when traveling.


N.B., labor for money is more rare in C14 than it is in modern capitalist economies.  Many members of the court were sustained more substantially by gifts, including clothing, room and board at a noble's table, though guildsmen, millers, and professionals like the doctor and man of law routinely received money payments in addition to the occasional fee (gift) from a noble or barter payment from farmers. There was some stigma attached to accepting money for doing things, sometimes associated with the 30 pieces of silver used to bribe Judas Iscariot.

Profession                             Wage                         Date                     Source          Page

Mercenary Soldiers

Knight banneret                     4s/day                         1316                     Norman         78

Knight                                     2s/day                         "                             "                     "

Man-at-arms or esquire         1s/day                         "                             "                     "

Archers                                     3d/day                     1346                         "                     79

Crown’s Income                     L30,000                     c.1300                     Dyer                29

Baron’s avg. revenue             L200-500/yr.                 "                             "                     "

Earl’s avg. revenue                 L400-L11,000             "                             "                      "

Sergeant at Law (highest)     L300/year                     1455                     Dyer                 47

Master mason                         4d/day                         1351                     Myers               24

Master carpenter                     3d/day                         "                             "                     "

Chantry priest                         L4 13s 4d                     1379                     Myers               24

(prays for the dead)

Squire                                     13s 4d to L1/yr                 14th C                 Jusserand         116-7

Kitchen servant                     2s-4s/year                         14th C                 "                         "

Boys and Pages                     1s-6s/year                          "                         "                         "


Dyer, Christopher. Standards of Living in the Later Middle Ages. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1989.

ffoulkes, Charles. The Armourer and His Craft from the XIth to the XVIth Century. 1912.Rpt. N.Y.: Dover, 1988.

Jusserand, J.J. English Wafaring Life in the XIVth Century. Trans. Lucy Smith. 1889. Rpt. N.Y.: Putnam’s, 1931.

                    Myers, A.R. London in the Age of Chaucer. Norman, OK: U Oklahoma P, 1972.

Norman, A.V.B. and Don Pottinger. English Weapons and Warfare, 449-1660. 1966. Rpt. N.Y.: Barnes & Noble, 1992