Agricultural History 87 (2013): 429-451.
Swine as agricultural products were extremely common in the medieval townscape, but pigs are also notoriously damaging if allowed to run amuck. This article explores how local governments tried to regulate pig rearing as an integrated element in the urban space, arguing that the authorities attempted to control the movement, feeding, and slaughter of swine as much as possible to circumvent damage to goods, crops, and even people. Urban government and court records from the most populous English urban centers as well as smaller towns from the end of the thirteenth century through sixteenth century show that swine were not free roamers in towns of the Middle Ages. Because swine were a daily part of urban life, and an integral part of local agricultural production, they required cradle-to-grave controls.
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