Journal:Acta Historica Universitatis Klaipedensis
Volume 41 (2020): Aspects of Southeast Baltic Social History: The 14th to the 18th Centuries = Baltijos pietrytinės pakrantės socialinės istorijos aspektai XIV–XVIII amžiais, pp. 145–163
Historical research on trade and transport shows the rapid development of the road network and travel in 16th and 17th-century Europe. This article contributes to research on the development of transport by focusing on the peasants’ duty, which was developed rapidly in Žemaitija during the 17th century, to provide vehicles and to transport the products and belongings of the manor, for the needs of their lords and their officials. In the process of fulfilling this duty, which was called podwoda in Polish, peasants were sent with orders on short and long-distance trips. Based on visitation data from the Diocese of Žemaitija from the 1670s, the article analyses how this duty was applied in the diocese in different parishes. The author tries to outline the types of transport duty, and to answer questions such as who fulfilled them and how, and what distance and for what purposes these peasants travelled. Thus, the article shows the variety of podwodas characteristic of parishes in the Žemaitijan Bishopric, who fulfilled them, how the duty was organised, and the area it covered.