The Lady of the Manor
The life of a lady of the manor is often misunderstood. The law gave a husband full rights over his wife, whether she was a noble woman or a commoner. She effectively became his property. Her role is most often perceived as undertaking subservient and 'housewifely' duties. Although this was all true the lady of the manor had to become much more. The lady of the manor had to take over the running of the manor when her husband was absent. She was a figure of authority. And her word was literally law when her husband was absent. And the lord of the manor could disappear for significant amounts of time during the violent times of unrest in the Middle Ages. His absences were frequent because he was expected to pay for his land by giving allegiance to the King and his immediate superior and providing the services of himself and his vassals as fully trained and equipped soldiers. In these instances the lady of the manor would be expected to look after the finances of the manor including the collection of rents, supervising the farming and settling all disputes.