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was used upon inert husbandmen, as well as upon

inert oxen. The reeve took care that each team did its full work absque fictione, without pretence; that the ploughmen worked as well for the lord as they would work for themselves; and that the teams were not unyoked until the work had been fairly done. The day's work was supposed to be complete at the ninth hour, three in the afternoon according to our reckoning. This hour was called nones, or high noon, and a meal then taken was called a noonshun or nuncheon. Some of the ploughmen engaged in an arable precation had a meal from the lord, but there was no regular feast; a tenant employed in the lord's service was not usually ad cibum domini, that is, entitled to a meal, unless the service kept him occupied an entire day. A boon-harrowing, with horses, succeeded the benerth ; each horse that harrowed was allowed two or three handfuls of oats. In due time there followed a bedweding, or weeding boon.*

A bedrip, reaping boon, or autumnal precation, was even a more pompous festival than an arable precation. In old times, as at the present day, the harvest was made a season of merriment, if not of thanksgiving

In tyme of hervest mery it is ynough ; The hayward bloweth mery his horne, In eueryche felde ripe is corne.- -(Romance of King Alisander.) In the illustrations of an old Saxon Calendar, in the Cotton Library, the hayward is shown standing on a hillock, cheering

reapers with his horn. Slumbering reapers were roused by the sound of a horn in Tusser's time; and the custom of blowing horns at harvest endured until the end of the last



* Dominus Johannes Terell miles. . . mittet duos homines ad magnam precariam ad cibum domini et unum overman. (Add. 14850, f. 63 b.)

cum omni familia domus excepta Husewiva. (Boldon-Book, passim.) cum omni familia præter hospitissam. (3 Monasticon, 318.) preter uxorem suam que custodiet domum suam. (2 Hundred Rolls, 636.)

debent invenire omnes servientes suos locatos per annum excepta uxora sua et nutrice et pastore ad ii precarias. (2 H. R. 748.)

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century, for it is noticed by John Scott, of Amwell. In the thirteenth century, when the rentals were mostly compiled, the lord was aided in harvest, as in seed time, by tenants of all ranks. A superior tenant rarely sent more than two men to the bedrip, or two men and an overman, that is a foreman. A customary tenant in some places was bound to appear on the grandest day with his whole family, excepting the housewife, who stayed at home and span; sometimes, excepting the shepherd and the nurse as well as their mistress.* At Elsefield, near Oxford, in the year 1279, all the men who held yardlands, and all who held half-yardlands, came to two autumnal precations, each of them with one man; and to the third precation each of them came with his whole family, excepting his wife and shepherd, and was regaled by the lord on this third day,—not on the two former days; and all the customary tenants were obliged to ride beyond the lords crops, to see that they were reaped safe and well. They rode in saddles, with bridles and spurs; if they failed in any part of this equipment, they were fined. These mounted overseers were called reap-reeves. In the time of Edward the Third, the tenant of an estate called Fawkner Field was bound to ride among the reapers in the lord's demesnes, at Isleworth, on the bederepe day, in autumn, with a sparrow-hawk upon his wrist.f The officers of the court were entitled to a share of the crop. In some places, the sicklemen received a worksheaf each; each man was expected to reap half an acre, called a deywine (day-win) or day's labour.f In the accounts

* Et omnes custumarii equitabunt ultra blada domine salvo et bene metenda. Et equitabunt in sellis cum frenis et calcaribus. Si quid eis deffecerit de atillo amerciabuntur. (2 H. R. 720.)

debet esse ripereve per iiii dies ad mensam domíni. (693.) Repe, other be a repe-reyve and arise erliche. (2 Wright's Plowman, 513.)

faciet iii precarias dicto Priori et i lovebon' et veniet ipse cum virga (2 H. R. 626.)

Blount. Frag. Ant. 323.

† habebunt quolibet die i garbam inter se omnes separand' que appellatur workcef. (2 Hundred Rolls, 85.)

peas, which

of the tenures at Bocking, in Essex, there is a curious estimate of the cost of these autumnal precations. The expense of the food provided for the reapers is weighed against the value of their work, and the balance in the lord's favour is found to be five pence and three farthings. The said tenants ought to find at the two bedrippes in autumn 146 men, and these works will be worth twenty-seven shillings and eight pence, at two pence each man. Towards the doing of these works, the said tenants will have five seams and three bushels of wheat and rye, worth at the average price of corn seventeen shillings and eleven pence; moreover, they will have at the first bedrip, a carcase of beef, worth five shillings; and they will have at the second bedrip, two hundred herrings, worth twelve pence; then they will have at the first and second bedrip twenty-one cheeses and a half, worth 2s. 9ļd., the price of each cheese being a penny halfpenny; they will have two bushels of


be estimated at 5d., salt and garlic at a penny. And, therefore, the lord clears out of the two bedrips, five pence, one halfpenny, and one farthing. In this case the treatment of the reapers was rather poor ; it was no more than a dry bedrip. It would have been a wet bedrip, or an ale bedrip, if the lord had allowed good liquor.* A yardlander at Chalgrave, in Oxfordshire, reaped at the two pre-cations in autumn with all his household but his wife and shepherd; if he brought three labourers, he walked with his

vi dies videlicet qualibet die dimidiam acram quod serviciunr vocatur Deywine. (779 and see 602.)

Item debent dicti tenentes invenire ad duos bedrippes in autumno cxl et sex homines et valent dicta opera xxviio viiio pr' hominis ii ad quæ opera facienda habebunt dicti tenentes quinque summas et tres busellos de frumento et siligine et valet dictum bladum per communem æstimacionem xvii' xio. Item habebunt ad primum bedripp unum Carcoys bovis precii v habebunt eciam ad secundum Bedrip ce allec' precii xii. Item habebunt ad primum et ad secundum bedripp viginti et unum caseos et dimidium et valent ii' ix. qū prec' casei ia ob' habebunt et ad primum et ad secundum bedripp duos busellos pisarum et valent per estimacionem v'. Item habebunt sal et all pr’io et sic remanent domino de claro de duobus bedripp' v o.'q.' (Add. 6159,

Ad omnes precarias veniet tam siccas quam madidas. . . (Dom. S. P. 66.)

metet per

f. 189.)


rod, or rode, in front of the reapers ; if he brought no labourers, he worked in person; for two repasts, at nones, a wheaten loaf, pottage, meat, and salt; at supper, bread and cheese and beer, and enough of it, with a candle while the guests were inclined to sit.* The last day of the bedrips was always the grand day. At Piddington, the tenants and their wives came on that day with napkins, dishes, platters, cups, and other necessary things.t

Tenants in old times were required to cut and clear the lord's hay-field. A tenant at Badbury was bound to mow the lord's meadow for one day, receiving a meal of bread and cheese twice in the course of the day; and was afterwards to carry the same meadow, receiving a rickle, or bundle of hay, for his pains. The mowers, also, received among them either twelve pence, or a sheep, which they were to choose out of the lord's fold by sight, and not by touch. In other places, a mower was allowed haveroc', that is, as much grass as he could raise upon his scythe, without breaking its handle; and a haymaker received a perch of hay, called in English soylon, or a portion of hay called in English a yelm, which was as much as he could grasp with both arms.

. At Sturminster, a tenant, after Langmead had been mown and carried, received haveroc' and medknicc', that is, a knitch of hay, as much hay as the hayward could raise with one finger to the height of his knee.

In the year 1308, it was the rule at Borley that the mowers and haymakers should have two bushels of wheat for bread, a wether worth eighteen pence, a gallon of butter, the second best cheese out of the lord's dairy, salt and oatmeal for their


metet ad ii precarias in autumpno cum tota familia operant' preter uxorem et bercarium et si habeat iii homines operantes ibit cum virga sua vel equitabit ultra metentes et si neminem habeat operantem personaliter operabit ad duo repasta scilicet ad nonam panem de frumento potagium arnem et sal et ad cenam panem caseum et cervisiam et sufficienciam et nadel' dum sedere voluerint. (2 Hundred Rolls, 768.) † ad prandium secunda die venient ipsi et uxores eorum cum mappis

, discis, paropsidibus, cyphis, et aliis necessariis. (Kennet, 495.)

pottage, and the morning's milk of all the cows; a mower received for every day's math as much grass as he could lift upon the point of his scythe. In 1222, each mower at Wickham, in Essex, had a loaf and a half to himself; and they had, in common, a cheese and a good ram.* A sheep was very commonly the reward of work in the hay-field. Old English husbandmen were very fond of mutton, and the hay-harvest falls about St. John's day, when mutton was considered in season.t

Sheep-shearing was another service imposed upon the tenantry. Although it must be hard and heavy work to wash

habebunt de consuetudine quod vocatur medssipe ii multones secundos meliores in ovile domini, vel ii loco prædictorum ii multonum. (2 Hund. Rolls, 756.)

unum diem ad pratum Domini falcandum ad cibum Domini, vel Dominus dabit quadraginta denarios pro metteshep. (Kennet, 495.)

falcare per unum diem pratum et habere coredium suam de curia bis in die scilicet panem et caseum et levare idem pratum et habebit inde unum richel et debet dicta Alicia et alii qui sunt de eadem tenura de qua ipsa est habere xi4 illo die


falcant domino vel unam ovem de falda domini quamcunque elegerint sed per visum et non per tactum. (Add. 17450, f. 27 b.)

Rickle-heap of stones or peats, etc.-(Waverley Glossary.) ... a rickle of houses. . : (Monastery, c. xiii.)

quando falcat pratum domini debet habere haueroc' scilicet tantum de herba quantum poterit cum manco falcis sue levare et quando levat pratum domini debet habere unam perticam feni quod anglice dicitur soylon. (Add. 17450, f. 28.)

quando levat pratum domini habebit unam particulam feni quod anglice dicitur zulm. (f. 183 b.)

Iffley) debent spargere fena domini et levare et quilibet eorum habebit die quo operabitur unam quantitatem feni cum rastell' factam que Anglice dicitur Yelm. (2 Hund. Rolls, 712.)

Yelm, as much corn in the straw as can be embraced with both arms. (Leicestershire Glossary, by the Rev. Dr. Evans.)

cariabit fenum domini per unum diem cum i carecta et habebit per stipendia in vesperis quantum poterit imbraciare de feno. (2 H. R. 775.)

medkniche, scilicet tantum de feno quantum hayward poterit levare cum medio digito suo usque ad genua sua. (Add. 17450, f. 39 b, 40 b, 41 b.)

Et sciendum quod quandoque ipse cum aliis custumariis ville falcaverint pratum . . . habebunt ex consuetudine iii bussellos frumenti ad panem et unum hurtard precii xviii' et i lagenam butyri et unum caseum ex daeria domini post meliorem et sal et farinam auene pro potagio suo et totum lac matutinale de omnibus vaccis totius daerie ad ipsum tempus . . . Et habebit pro quolibet opere falcationis tantum de herbagio viridi cum falcaverit quantum poterit levare super punctum falce sue . . (Add. 6159, f. 20 b.)

† entur la seynt Johan les vendet kar dunk est char de moton en seyson. (Walter de Henlee, Add, 6159.)

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