The rabbit was a rare beast in medieval England, and much sought after for both its meatand its fur. This investigation plots the early history of commercial rabbiting in East Anglia,and its transition from a low output concern to a growth industry in the later Middle Ages.The development of the rabbit-warren into a highly lucrative source of income is explained interms of the changing economic and social conditions after ~he Black Death, and the moreintensive management of warrens by landlords. The occupational spin-offs from rabbiting,and the social implications of poaching in a region where resistance to the feudal order wasendemic, are also explored. Final consideration is given to the economic impact of the rabbiton areas of poor soil, and its ability to compensate for their inherent disadvantages in grainproduction.

Professor Mark Bailey