What Was A Franklin In The Middle Ages?


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Robin Burden Profile
Robin Burden answered
'Franklin' was the term used to describe a social class that was relevant to Europe in the Middle Ages.

It was applied to anyone who was 'free' - or not obliged to work and live on a piece of land he did not own.

This term was not used to describe the nobility, but rather a growing middle class - that began emerging between the 12th-15th century.

What is a Franklin?
Although the word 'Franklin' has been used to describe social groups over the course of time, its origins were based on a group of people who were neither serfs nor noblemen.

If you're wondering what serfs are, they are simply the peasants who were afforded somewhere to live and food to eat by a noble land-owner.

In return for food and shelter, serfs were essentially 'owned' by the land-owner, much like slaves.

Franklins were a social class above that. Although they didn't necessarily own land of their own, they were also not tied down to a piece of land like serfs.

By the 14th century, most Franklins owned land of their own - and the definition of the term changed to reflect this: Meaning someone who owned a title to real property.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
A franklin was a "freeman," neither a noble, nor a peasant.

They represented the beginnings of a land-owning middle class.

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