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A corrody was a lifetime allowance of food and clothing, and often shelter and care, granted by an abbey, monastery, or other religious house. While rarely granted in the modern era, corrodies were common in the Middle Ages. They were routinely awarded to the servants and staff of royalty, but could also be purchased with donations of money or land. The corrody is one of the earliest forms of insurance, as it provided security in sustenance and lodging in a time when social welfare was scarce.
The prices paid for corrodies are unknown. Academic estimates of the annual value of the food allowance (alone), are around £3 per year. This assumes an allowance of one loaf of bread and a gallon of ale, but excludes the cost of accommodation and living expenses. When multiplied by the life expectancy of the era (bearing in mind that corrodies would be granted to the old and infirm) it can be assumed that a lifelong corrody for an average person would cost approximately £100.
- Lewin, C G (2003). Pensions and Insurance before 1800 - a social history. Tuckwell Press. pp. 37–49. ISBN 1-86232-211-2.
A. Bell and C. Sutcliffe, Valuing medieval annuities: were corrodies underpriced?, Explorations in Economic History, 47 (2010), 142-57.
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