England in the Fifteenth Century

By W. Denton | Go to book overview

NOTE C.
ALLOWANCE OF FOOD FOR FARM SERVANTS.

(At page 221.)

The payments to farm servants consisted chiefly of corn and beans, of cheese, and sometimes of salt meat. In the accounts of the manor of Launton, in Oxfordshire, which belonged to the abbey of Westminster, the allowance, in addition to the money payment, was thus apportioned towards the end of the thirteenth century:--

The servants regularly employed were seven; these were exclusive of the reeve. The same number of seven were in addition employed at stated seasons of the year as extra hands. The reeve, who was generally a monk from Westminster, superintended the whole of the work on the manor1 the upper servant, called usually the serving-man or sergeant; under whom were one carter, two ploughmen, one cowherd or oxherd, one shepherd, one dairywoman and an occasional assistant, two sowers in spring and autumn, one swineherd, and sometimes one assistant shepherd in spring and autumn, one carter, one extra labourer for pitching and loading in harvest time, one dairy assistant in summer.

The reeve had one virgate of land rent free, one and a half quarters of wheat, one and a half quarters of rye, three bushels of beans for porridge, three quarters of oats for oatmeal, three pigs, and six cheeses. In addition, at harvest-time he received two bushels of wheat, beer to the value of ten pence, a ham and a cheese at Christmas and Easter.

The upper servant received, in addition to a small money payment, five and a half quarters of wheat. The carter, two ploughmen, and one shepherd each had one and a half quarters and one bushel of wheat, three quarters of rye, one quarter and one bushel of beans. The shepherd also received one lamb at lambing time; the cow- or oxherd, one quarter and one bushel of wheat, two quarters and two bushels of rye, and five bushels of beans; the dairywoman, seven bushels of wheat, one and a half quarters of rye, five bushels of beans, and one cheese value fourpence; the swineherd, a half quarter of wheat, one quarter of rye, two bushels of beans; the summer shepherd, a half quarter of wheat, half a quarter of rye, two bushels of beans; the second carter, two bushels of wheat, three bushels of rye, two bushels of beans. The occasional help required--the second dairywoman, the sowers, and the labourers employed in pitching and loading--seem to have received a money payment only.-- Blomfield History of Launton, MS.

____________________
1
Morgan England under the Normans, pp. 92-96; Rogers' History of Agriculture and Prices, vol. i., pp. 286-289.

-317-

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England in the Fifteenth Century
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter I 127
  • Chapter II 197
  • Chapter III 257
  • Note A. Weight of Cattle, Etc 309
  • Note B. the Statute of Labourers 311
  • Note C. Allowance of Food for Farm Servants 317
  • Note D 318
  • Index 321
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