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BACKGROUND TO HISTORY
Monty Python


PROF. JONES: Good evening. One of the main elements in any assessment of the medieval open-field farming system is the availability of plough teams for the winter plowing. Professor Tofts of the University of Manchester puts it like this:

(A rocking beat starts and a 60s-style folk rock song with some heavy caribbean influence begins.)


To plough once in the winter Sowing, and again in Lent,

Sowing with as many oxen

Sowing with as many oxen

As he shall have yoked in the plough

Oh yes

Oh yes

As he shall have yoked in the plough.

Oh yes

Oh yes


PROF. JONES: But of course there is considerable evidence of open-field villages as far back as the tenth century. Professor Moorhead: (Dramatic metal chords, reminiscent of British punk or perhaps groups like Black Sabbath.)


Theeeeeere's ev-i-de-ence

Theeeeeere's ev-i-de-ence

There's evidence (evidence)

Evidence (evidence)

Evidence (evidence?)

There's evidence (evidence!)


Evidence of settlements with one long village street,

Farmsteads, hamlets, little towns - the framework was complete

By the tiiiiime ... (OF THE NORMAN CONQUEST!) The rural framework was complete

Rur-al

frame-work

wa-as

com-plete.


PROF. JONES: This is not to say, of course, that the system was as sophisticated as it later came to be. I asked the Professor of Medieval studies at Cambridge why this was.


PROF. HEGERMAN: (stuttering) Well, i-it may not have been a - a statutory obligation, but, uh, I mean, uh, a guy who was a freeman whuh - was obliged in the medieval system to...


PROF. JONES: To do boonwork?


PROF. HEGERMANN: That's right. There's an example, ah, from the village rolls, ah, in 1313.


PROF. JONES: And I believe you're going to do it for us.


PROF. HEGERMAN: That's right, yeah...


(Pop beat sets in, reminiscent of the Beatles in their later period but with some of the spastic quality of a Joe Cocker.)


Oh it's written in the village rolls

That i


MONTY PYTHON

Monty Python is a comedy troupe of 4 Englishmen (John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Michael Palin, Eric Idle), 1 Welshman (Terry Jones) and 1 American (Terry Gilliam), best known for their legendary and influential sketch comedy show "Monty Python's Flying Circus" (which ran for four seasons from 1969 to 1974). The troupe also wrote and starred in the films "And Now for Something Completely Different" (1971), "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" (1975), "Monty Python's Life of Brian" (1979) ... Read More