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Definition of a Beast

Posted: 10 Oct 2017, 15:44
by marco247
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?

Re: Definition of a Beast

Posted: 11 Oct 2017, 10:59
by Alan Wadsworth
Hi,

Which county are you in?

Re: Definition of a Beast

Posted: 11 Oct 2017, 12:03
by rwhoyle
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.

Re: Definition of a Beast

Posted: 11 Oct 2017, 15:13
by Plowman53
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.

Re: Definition of a Beast

Posted: 03 Dec 2017, 21:34
by Alan Wadsworth
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.

Re: Definition of a Beast

Posted: 30 Dec 2017, 10:18
by janifar802
i think so right.

Re: Definition of a Beast

Posted: 04 Jan 2018, 10:17
by jeni70
Thanks for your posting.

Re: Definition of a Beast

Posted: 05 Jan 2018, 09:12
by jeni606
Nice post.