Definition of a Beast

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marco247
Posts: 1
Joined: 10 Oct 2017, 15:34

Definition of a Beast

Post by marco247 » 10 Oct 2017, 15:44

Hi,
We live on a common where a few commoners and we have grazing rights.
Typically these rights are quite specific on what can be grazed.
An example is:
1 Horse,4 Cows,6 Beast,3 Followers and 6 Geese.
The grazing rights go back and where given out in Medieval Times but the definition today of a "Beast" I believe is not the same as back in the 1200's or so when these rights were issued.
So my question is : Does anyone know what the definition of a "beast" was at that time circa 500ad-1500ad?

Alan Wadsworth
Posts: 21
Joined: 26 Jun 2017, 11:04

Re: Definition of a Beast

Post by Alan Wadsworth » 11 Oct 2017, 10:59

Hi,

Which county are you in?

rwhoyle
Posts: 11
Joined: 25 Jun 2017, 13:45

Re: Definition of a Beast

Post by rwhoyle » 11 Oct 2017, 12:03

There are rule of thumb equivalents which can be used in stints. In the context here, I would have thought that a beast is a male animal and the followers are calves.

Plowman53
Posts: 4
Joined: 14 Jul 2017, 10:49

Re: Definition of a Beast

Post by Plowman53 » 11 Oct 2017, 15:13

Although the term 'Beast' is often applied to farm livestock, it is more usually applied across the board to cattle. However, I would agree that in this instance a "Beast" refers to a male animal and quite likely to refer animals to be sold on /and or kept for fattening purposes. The latter to include working oxen until sent for slaughter. This would differentiate them from the females kept for breeding and dairying purposes.

Alan Wadsworth
Posts: 21
Joined: 26 Jun 2017, 11:04

Re: Definition of a Beast

Post by Alan Wadsworth » 03 Dec 2017, 21:34

Well ... I believe that the key lies in “4 cows and 6 beast”. Even today, farmers in Wiltshire and Worcestershire distinguish between cows (which are used to produce milk) and cattle (not used for milk - either male or female). On this basis, beasts are cattle - male and female. As a previous contributor has noted, followers are young stock, normally for the dairy herd.

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