Page images

they carried burdens on their backs to any place within twelve leagues of Redgrave: these duties might be commuted, or could be done for them. The chaplains held another tenement in the manor of Redgrave-seventeen acres-at a quit-rent of sixpence per annum.

Villenage and operative tenancy were almost extinct at the time of the Reformation. The few villeins, or operative tenants, then remaining, were in the occupation of small plots of land, and were in fact agricultural labourers working for wages, rather than tenants paying their rent in labour. They were scarcely to be found excepting upon church-lands, or upon lands which had lately belonged to the Church. Sir Thomas Smith has made this fact a reproach to the Church, saying that holy fathers, monks and friars, although constant in urging laymen to manumit their bondmen, were not so ready to do the like by their own bondmen. But if bondage became extinct in lay fees sooner than in church property, it was because lay lords were always in want of money, and were for ever unsettling, mortgaging, alienating, and forfeiting their estates. The feudal bond between a lay lord and his tenants in time grew slack; indeed, after the expedient of the conveyance of land to secret uses became general, the tenants of a lay lord could scarcely be sure that they knew the very name of their landlord; the person receiving their rents might be no more than a mere trustee. Villenage, then, endured longer in church lands than in lay fees because churchmen allowed their tenants to remain under ancient customs, not because churchmen were the worst landlords: on the contrary, English tenants were ready to say with German tenants—“ It is good to live under the crosier!" t

An operative tenant of five acres usually worked once a week for the lord. We learn from Domesday that bordars were tenants of five acres, and that the bordars under the Castle of Ewias

* The Commonwealth of England, 261, 262.

† Unter dem Krumstabe ist gut wohnen. (1 Anton, 81.)

worked once a week:* the Saxon cottar held at least five acres, and was accustomed to work for the lord every Monday.† This custom prevailed in later times. If a tenant worked for the lord once a week the working day was commonly Monday. Hence we meet with a class called Mondaymen-lundmarii— whose tenements were called Monday-crofts, Monday-lands, or Monedayles. The Mondaymen at East Brent, in Somerset, had the following customs in the year 1517-each of them, by ancient usage, should annually, in forty days selected by the lord's steward, do forty works of summer and winter husbandry, called Monday-works, working and labouring well each day for six whole hours; each of them receiving, while at work, a halfpenny, the sum of which is twenty pence per annum : and each of them who should do eight autumnal works, working well six hours a day as before said, should receive one penny a day. At the same time there were Mondaymen at Limpesham in the same county; and they are noticed in earlier rentals at Castle Combe in Wiltshire, at Leighton in Huntingdonshire, in East Kent, and at Bocking and Hadleigh in the eastern counties. ‡

At Bury St. Edmunds, in Brakelond's time, there were humble servitors called Lancetts, bound by their tenure to clean the chambers of the monastery. A tenant of the abbey at Cokefield, whose tenure is not called lancettage, was obliged to thatch, to wattle and daub, to do carpenter's xii bordarii operantes una die ebdomad'. (Great Domesday, f. 186.) tenet unum bordellum et operatur die Lunæ in ebdomada. (Tindal's Evesham.)

the sceal ælce Mon-dæge ofer geares fyrst his laforde vyrcan. Landright.)

(Laws of

Item dominus habet Monendayesmen scilicet Rob' Kouper qui tenet unum Monendayescroft et redd' iiiid et operabitur omni die Lune per annum exceptis tribus diebus Natal' Pasch' et Pentecost'. (2 Hundred Rolls, 617.) Item sunt ibi viii monedayles et debent a festo S. Michaelis usque ad pentecostem qualibet septimana quelibet terra unum opus scilicet die lune nisi aliqua festivitas eodem die evenerit. . . . Item vi monedaylond' debent arrare. (Add. 6159, f. 183, also 53, 189, and 6160, f. 67, b.)


Opera lundmariorum in generali expressa. Opera custumariorum tenencium Domini ibidem, vocata Moundy-warkes, facta per diversos tenentes, vocatos Mondeymen, videlicet quod quilibet eorum, ex antiqua consuetudine (Hearne's John of Glaston., 323, 331, App.)

[ocr errors]

work, to collect compost, to clean houses, etc.-but was not required to clear out the lord's latrines.* According to Spelman, lancetts occur very frequently in an old custumal of Lewes Priory. . . . in the soke of Hecham are twenty-four lancetts; the custom of them is that each ought to labour from Michaelmas until autumn in every week for one day with the prong, or spade, or flail, at the lord's will; they are to have a meal at three in the afternoon, and a loaf in the evening: they are to pay sixpence if not required to work in this manner: in addition to this labour and these days, each of them shall work in autumn for three pence every week on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, with a ration from the lord at three o'clock.... This is not unlike the tenure of the Mondaymen just now noticed. Blomfield observes lancetts at Hendringham in Norfolk, and thinks that a lancettage consisted of eight acres.‡

An operative tenant of ten or twelve acres worked two days in the week, with some additional tasks in harvest time; and a tenant of fifteen acres or more, worked three days; the tenant of an entire tenement worked three days.§ This arrangement was not peculiar to England, for it appears in Charlemagne's Ordinances, and it was generally understood in Russia fifty or sixty years ago that a peasant was bound to work for the lord three days in the week, and that the three days remaining were his own.

* Jocelin de Brakelond, 74, 150. Et debet cooperare domus vel Watlare, vel daubare vel carpentare vel fimos unare vel domus mundare vel curtilagia fodere vel muros facere vel alia pertinencia in curia a mane usque ad ix pro opere preter quod non debet mundare latrinas domini abbatis. (Harl. 3977, f. 98, b.)


Spelman, Lanceta.

9 Blomfield, 227.

Boldon Book passim. unusquisque tenet xv acras de Lancet' et facit iii operaciones in ebdomada operaciones in ebdomada

[ocr errors]

unusquisque tenet x acras et faciet ii unusquisque tenet v acras et faciet unam

operacionem in ebdomada. (Harl 3977, f. 53.)

unusquisque annis singulis friskingam i pullos v ova x nutrit purcellos dominicos iv arat dimidiam araturam operatur in ebdomada iii dies.

Magni Cap. 3 Pertz. 177.)


ii mancipia, quæ sibimet ipsis iii dies in ebdomata proficiant, iii dies sancto

Nazario serviunt. (1 Anton, 339, 338.)

Small services, such as threshing, thatching, delving, building, and enclosing, were called minute operations, manual operations, handenes or handaynes. A tenant bound to do three handaynes in a week, had to thresh a quarter of wheat; another had to thresh three daynes, which if of wheat would consist of six bushels, if of beans or barley of three bushels, if of oats of eighteen bushels.*


A tenant worked off one handene by making two perches, or eleven yards, of dike. A tenant at Darent, near Rochester, in the thirteenth century, did two perches of enclosure around the court, and seven perches of Racheie around the lord's The service of enclosing the hall-garth or court-yard was called "burghard," or "burgyard." The tenants are still obliged to keep up a stone wall round the site of the manor house at Brotherton, in Norfolk; the mansion itself disappeared long ago. The fencing of a park was in some places distributed among a number of townships, each undertaking to maintain so many rods of paling; this was the custom at Pilton, in Somerset, where there was a deer-park belonging to the Abbot of Glastonbury. The churchyard at Bradley, in Staffordshire, is said to be still enclosed by the parishioners associated in this manner, that is, each person is bound to finish a certain portion of paling.

The tenants also made or maintained the lord's sheep-fold. Each hyde at Thorpe in Essex had to make four cleys of rods for the fold out of the lord's wood. The twenty-five yokes of land at Southfleet had to make twenty-five cleys, the lord

* facere qualibet ebdomada iii handenas scilicet triturare, fossare, claudere, domos cooperire, et muros erigere. (Add. 17450, f. 70, b.) Notandum est quod die quando summagiat vel arat vel bladum metet quietus erit de handaynis. (f. 34, b.) pro iii handaynes debet triturare i summam frumenti (f. 23, b.) debet triturare tres daynes que si fuerunt de frumento continent

[blocks in formation]

† sciendum quod quando fossat pro handena debet fossare i percat'. (ff. 68, 68 b.) Et claudent circa curiam duas parcatas. Et claudent circa bladum domini vii parcatas de Racheie. (Custumale Roffense.) Item debent claudere xlvii virg' de burgyard vel dare iiis xid ob' videlicet de quolibet jugo iid De burghard quam tenentes debent facere

6159, ff. 159, 165, b.)

Blount, 324. Add. 17450, f. 153, b.


finding the materials; the tenants were to carry the cleys entire to the sheepfold, and to keep them up for a year, coming at Hocktide to see whether they were in good order. In a survey of Beauchamp-not printed in the Domesday of St. Paul's, but cited by Archdeacon Hale-each cley is said to be made of nine stacks; one foot should be between the stakes; there should be one large stake and a writh or waver. some places the tenants had to shift the fold at certain timesonce a year, or twice a year, as at Martinmas and Hockday, and were not required to make the cleys.*


At times the tenants had to spread compost in the lord's field. To spread one row or rank of compost, or three rows of the length of a furlong, was a day's duty. They also collected stubble out of the corn-fields, and reeds out of the marsh; reeds and straw were strewn in apartments, and used for thatch or fuel. In many places they were required to gather nuts in the woods for the lord: the nuts were for making oil; a quarter of nuts answered to a gallon of oil.†

quelibet hida debet facere de bosco domini iiii cleras ad faldam de virgis. (Dom. S. P. 43.) De xxv jugis facient xxv cleies, et dominus illis materiem inveniet, et portabunt integras ad ovile, et illas per annum servabunt ne decidant, et venient ad terminum de Hockedei ad videndum utrum integre sint an non; et si non venient erunt in misericordia domini. (Cust. Roff) quilibet cotarius faciet iiii crates et eas cooperiet. (Add. 6159, f. 32.) debent invenire ad predictum ovile xl clays annuatim. (f. 50.)

Cladus-a hurdle for sheep is still in some counties called a cley. (Kennet's Glossary.)

Cleys are mentioned by Fitzherbert. (F. N. B. 208.)

[ocr errors]

debet removere iiii cleyas de caula domini semel per annum (Add. 17450, f. 50.) debet portare bis in anno faldam domini et valet ob' scilicet ad festum sancti Martini i cleyam et ad Hockeday i cleyam. (f. 183.)

Et debet spargere tres rogos fimorum longitudinis unius quarentene pro una opera.-Customs of Hatfield. (2 Clutterbuck's Herts, App.) si debet dispergere compostum in campo disperget rengum de composto. (Add. 17450, f. 32.) debent falcare xii carectas de glui et ligare et ducere ad Curiam. (Add. 6159, f. 61.) colliget per unum diem glui in campis domini. (f. 166 b.) colligere ros in curleme. (Add. 17450, f. 22.) metet arundinem cum necesse fuerit. (f. 122.) Falcabunt juncum et portabunt in curiam. (Cust. Roff.) Headington] uno die colligent nuces nomine Vocatur Stowode. (Kennet 320. 2 H. R. 710.) dies festos de singulis domibus singulos homines. quarter de noyz deit respoundre de iii galons de oille. (Hosebonderie.)

domini in bosco qui nuces colligere per tres (Dom. S. P. 38.) un

« PreviousContinue »