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PEASANT DUES (1050) AND FEUDAL CONTRACT (c. 1000)

Survey of Peasant Dues

Here are recorded the dues which the peasants must render at Hurstbourne. First from every hide [about 120 acres] they must render 40 pence at the autumnal equinox, and 6 church ‘mittan’ of ale and 3 sesters of wheat for bread, and they must plough 3 acres in their own time, and sow them with their own seed, and bring it to the barn in their own time, and give 3 pounds of barley as rent, and mow half an acre of meadow as rent in their own time, and make it into a rick, and supply 4 fothers of split wood as rent, made into a stack in their own time, and supply 16 poles of fencing as rent likewise in their own time, and at Easter they shall give 2 ewes with 2 lambs -- and we reckon 2 young sheep to a full-grown sheep -- and they must wash the sheep and shear them in their own time, and work as they are bidden every week except three -- one at midwinter, the second at Easter, the third at the Rogation Days.

Feudal Contract

Form of a Feudal Contract Concerning Land and Services

To my great lord, (lord's name), I, (vassal's name):

Since, as was well-known, I had not wherewith to feed and clothe myself, I came unto you and told you my wish, to commend myself to you and to put myself under your protection. I have now done so, on the condition that you shall supply me with food and clothing as far as I shall merit by my services, and that as long as I live I shall perform such services for you as are becoming to a freeman, and never have the right to withdraw from your power and protection, but shall remain under them all the days of my life. It is agreed that if either of us shall try to break this contract he shall pay (a specified amount), and the compact shall still hold. It is also agreed that two copies of this letter shall be made and signed by us, which also has been done.