R03e_The Black Plague & Labor (14th C., Scotland & England)
Note: This document should be read and analyzed in conjunction with R03e_Jean Venette and The Black Death. Mr.V has edited the document for clarity and brevity.
 ‘In the same year there was a great plague of sheep everywhere in the realm, so that in one place there died in one pasturage more than 5,000 sheep and so rotted that neither beast nor bird would touch them. And there were small prices for everything on account of the fear of death, for there were very few who cared about riches or anything else. A man could have a horse which before was worth 40s. for 6s. … .. Sheep and cattle went wandering over fields and through crops, and there was no one to go and drive or gather them, so that the number cannot be reckoned which perished in the ditches of every district for lack of herdsmen; for there was such a lack of servants that no one knew what he ought to do…. Many crops perished in the fields for want of someone to gather them. . .
 The Scots, hearing of the cruel pestilence of the English, believed it had come to them from the avenging hand of God, and – as it was commonly reported in England – took for their oath when they wanted to swear, “By the foul death of England.” But when the Scots, believing the English were under the shadow of the dread vengeance of God, came together in the forest of Selkirk with purpose to invade the whole realm of Englandthe plague () came upon them and the sudden and awful cruelty of death winnowed them, so that about 5,000 died in a short time. Then the rest, some feeble, some strong, determined to return home, but the English followed and overtook them and killed many of them….
 At the same time priests were in such poverty everywhere that many churches were. . . lacking the divine offices, masses, matins, vespers, sacraments, and other rites. . . Within a short time a very great multitude of those whose wives had died in the pestilence flocked into orders, of whom many were illiterate and little more than laymen except so far as they knew how to read, although they could not understand.
 Meanwhile the King sent proclamation into all the counties that reapers and other laborers should not take more than they had been accustomed to take, under the penalty appointed by the statute. But the laborers were so … obstinate that they would not listen to the King’s command, but if anyone wished to have them he had to give them what they wanted and either lose his fruit and crops, or satisfy the … wishes of the workmen..
 Afterward, the King had many laborers arrested and sent to prison; many withdrew themselves and went into the forests and woods; and those who were taken were heavily fined. Their ring-leaders were made to swear that they would not take daily wages beyond the ancient custom then they were freed …….
 After the aforesaid pestilence many buildings, great and small, fell into ruins in every city, borough, and village for lack of inhabitants; likewise many villages and hamlets became desolate, not a house being left in them, all having died who dwelt there; and it was probable that many such villages would never be inhabited again.’