A brief history of how people communicated in the Middle Ages
"Communication of legislation was important for medieval rulers, but, as today, people were also able to spread rumours and gossip. It is not always clear where medieval, or indeed modern, rumours began, but there is no doubt that they could spread quickly."
"In the second half of the 14th century, England saw great upheaval and challenges: the war with France was going badly, and at home the Black Death, beginning in 1348–9, had killed at least a third of the population. Survivors might have hoped for better conditions, as a smaller work force tried to demand higher wages, but this was stopped by the Ordinance and Statute of Labourers setting wages at the pre-plague level."
"In 1381 this famously erupted into the violence of the Peasants’ Revolt, but in 1377 there were already signs of discontent, manifested in the ‘Great Rumour’. This social movement, spread by word of mouth across southern England, saw rural labourers refusing to work, arguing that the Domesday Book granted them exemptions form their feudal services."