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mensuration of this American square mile, the influence of the common field-furrow, and the gad, or rod, or pole, by which the common field acres were marked out can be traced in every corner of the plot. According to Canon Taylor,90 a furlong is the length of the longest furrow that could be conveniently ploughed before the oxen had to stop and rest; whilst the breadth of the acre depended on the number of furrows which formed the daily task of the villan and his oxen. Mr. Pell, in his learned but difficult paper on the Domesday Assessment, disputes this, 91 and states that the furlong means not a furrow long, but rather a line 40 rods long, that this line 4 rods broad makes the acre, and that both the acre and the rod are merely convenient fractions of some larger area. However this may be, 8 of these furlongs lie on each side of the square mile shown on this plan.
plan. Quarter the and
you get the normal farm of 160 acres, quarter the farm and you get the 40 acres which we have seen to be the usual extent of the part cultivated or enclosed for corn and meadow hay; quarter that cultivated portion and you get the square furlong, or ferdell, 92 which contained 10 normal acre strips, each acre strip being 40 rods long and 4 rods broad, in other words, a furlong in length and 4 rods in breadth, the area which, according to the ordinance of Edward I., constituted a legal acre. In fact this American square mile, divided into four farms of 160 acres each, is exactly similar in extent, dimensions, and divisions to the four carucates of arable land, containing in length 8 furlongs, and in breadth 8 furlongs, the gift of Algar, the knight, to the abbey of Croyland, which was confirmed to that abbey by that description by the charter of Wiglaf, king of the Mercians, in the
There are two great differences between this modern Kansas farm and the ancient Northumbrian farms which we have been considering. Its homestead is isolated from those of its neighbours and its lands are cultivated in severalty. If, instead of being connected by the power of steam with other parts of the earth, from which it can obtain the supplies of those necessaries which are produced by different industries, its proprietor had had to depend for these on mutual exchange with
* Domesday Studies, vol. i. p. 60. 91 Ibid. p. 371.
92 Decem acræ terræ faciunt secundum antiquam consuetudinem unam ferdellam. Spelman's Gloss. Title Virguta terra.
93 Kemble's Anglo-Saxon Charters, vol. I., page 306. See also Ingulph. Bohn's edition, page 15.
BYWELL SURVEY OF 1569.
his immediate neighbours, he would probably for convenience have placed his dwelling closer to theirs. If, instead of being protected by the far reaching arm of a strong central government, he and his neighbours had been subject to maraudings similar to those spoken of in the Bywell survey of 156994 as the continual robberies and incursions of the thieves of Tynedale to assault them in the night' he and his neighbours would probably have arranged their dwellings in a single street which could be closed and defended at each end.
In that case the land which could be most conveniently cultivated would have been that which lay nearest to the aggregated homesteads, and there must have been, for the sake of peace, some equitable method of arranging that each neighbour had his fair share of good land and bad land, of land which lay conveniently at hand and land which lay awkwardly at a distance. Some have thought that it was such considerations as these which induced the early settlers in our townships to cultivate their land on the common field system ;95 others have thought that its origin was the ancient pastoral right of the community to turn their cattle upon every part of the township, including even the arable fields after the crop was carried ;96 others have thought that the obligations of a co-operative system of ploughing and of contributing oxen for that purpose are responsible for these dispersed and scattered holdings ;97 whilst some believe that no such consideration would be strong enough to form so elaborate a communal arrangement as that which we have surveyed and that only the dominion of a master over his serfs could bring about the uniformity of the organization.98
An examination of historical documents shows many traces of free institutions, so far as the civic life of these village communities is concerned, but the details of their agricultural organization seem connected in almost every case with incidents of serfdom. It may be that they began to cultivate on a common field system after they lost their freedom, just as that method has been discontinued since they have regained it. But all these views and theories probably contain only some disconnected part of the whole history and truth as to the ancient village community in England.
94 Hall and Humberstone's Survey of the Barony of Bywell, 1569. 95 Vinogradoff, 254.
96 Systems of Land Tenure in various countries. Morier on German Tenures, 244, note.
97 Seebohm, 117. 98 Ibid. 178.
APPENDIX A. Epitomising in a tabular form the evidence collected by Mr. Woodman of the existence down to recent times in the parishes and townships of Northumberland of ancient farms, each forming one ascertained aliquot part of the township in which it was situated :
Assessments and Pay-
Evidence in Support of
the Facts Stated.
Earsdon, Newsham 6 4/6 farms Vicar of Earsdon cus- Affidavit of John 7 town- Seaton Dela
tomary payment 6/8 Moor of Brenkley, ships, 663 val
per farm (up to made 14th July, farms. Hartley 9 6/10
1847). Church rates 1847. Affidavit of Backworth 10
(up to 1841); system Henry Warkman of Earsdon 8
departed from at Earsdon, made 22nd Seghill 10
this date because July, 1847. Parish Burradon
collieries books of Earsdon Holywell 6 4/6
had opened out parish. Deponent which did not con- John Moor stated "I tribute under the was informed by my old arrangement. father, who died in
1844, at the age of 84, that the greatest part, if not all, the said county
was divided into a number of ancient farms
farm meaning land of a definite value and not as at present, & portion uncertain both as to extent and value.'
Kirkwhelp-West Whelp- 19 farms
Church rates. Modus Affidavit of Thos. of 3d. per farm for Lawson of Long. tithe hay (1844). hirst Grange, made
14th July, 1847.
ington, ington. (No
ber of the
Longhirst. 12 12/36th Church rates of
(No evi. farms. 6 Bothal. Modus for
APPENDIX A-THE ANCIENT FARMS OF NORTHUMBERLAND. 153
No. of Assessments and Pay. Townships in Ancient ments Calculated and Evidence in Support of Parish, each Parish, Farms in each made per Farm and
the Facts Stated. Township.
up to what Date. Wood- North Seaton 16 farms. Church rate (1746). Affidavit of JohnSwan horn. (inter alias)
Poor rate (1831). made in 1847. De
ponent states that the words per farm and per plough were
used synonymously. Hartburn. Netherwit. | 19 1/2 Parish clerk 8d. per Affidavits ofThos.For. ton. farms. ancient farm. ster of Longwitton,
and Thomas Ramsey of Backworth, both
made in 1847. Coatyards. 21/2 farms Parish clerk 8d. per
farm. North 14 farms. Enclosed and parti- Affidavits of Robert Middleton
tioned in 1805 in the Coxon of Morpeth ratio of the number and of William Daviof farms. Poor rates son of Middleton, and Church rates both made in 1847.
paid per farm. High and 16 farms. Each farm in 1662 Terrier in the register Low An
paid 2d to the Vicar of the Consistory gerton.
Court of Durham. Rothbury, Snitter. 21 farms. Church rates.
Affidavit of James 24 town. Bickerton. 7
Storey of Rothbury, ships. Flotterton. 8
made in 1847. Farnelaw, 4
Tithe paid per farm Terrier in the registry Whitton,
of the Consistory
Court of Durham. Alwinton Burradon. 18 farms. Poor rates (1817), Affidavit of Wm.Fors(inter alias)
Highway rates ter of Burradon, (1827), Church made in 1847. De rates (1830).
ponent exhibited a deed evidencing that Burradon Southside' had been divided amongst the owners thereof in proportion to the number of ancient
farms each held. Affidavit of Thos. Wal. bey of Lark hall, made in 1847. This deponent speaks to the division of Burradon Southside in 1723 and Burradon Northside in 1773 in proportion to the number of ancient farms owned by each participant on the assumption that the whole township consisted of 18 ancient farms.
Assessments and Pay-
up to what Date.
Evidence in Support of
the Facts Stated.
Elsdon, Sharperton. | 118 farms. Parish clerk 4d. per Affidavits of Thomas 7 town- Rochester. 27
Arkle of Elsdon and ships. Troughend. 24
Henry Dodds of Otterburn. 27
Peels, both made in Woodside. 17
1847. Monkridge. 15
Elsdon. 38 Whalton, Newham. 12
Church rates (1846). Affidavit ofJames Rob4 town. Ogie. 141
Poor rates(last cen- son of Whalton, made ships. Replington. 3
tury). Parish clerk in 1847. Terrier in Whalton. 181
3d. per farm (1846). the registry of Con
sistory Court of Durham, in which the farms
ploughgates. Wark- Amble. 14
Church rates (1835). Affidavit of Middleton worth, Morwick. 6
Parish clerk. Sex- Henry Dand of Wark. Togstone. 12
ton. Landtax. Mo- worth, made in 1847. Acklington. | 10
duses. Fee farm Parish books. Hauxley. 10
rents. Hall corn Walkmill.
rent in barley (1837)
Church wall re-
paired in 1826 at 2
yards per farm.
Church rates (1674 | Affidavit of Robt. ton, 615
to 1782), land tax Swan of Bedlington, farms.
(1836) poor rates made in 1847.