Introduction and notes © Andy Staples 2001

Seneschaucie is an anonymous document of the later 13th century, thought to date from the early 1270s and to pre-date Walter of Henley’s Husbandry by a few years. Like Walter’s Husbandry it was written primarily for lawyers and estate auditors; unlike Walter’s Husbandry it did not spread from this limited readership to a wider audience. However, large sections of it were incorporated into the late medieval legal treatise Fleta, an authoritative textbook on the common laws of England.

Seneschaucie described the role of all officers and manorial servants on an idealised estate. It is not a guide to agricultural practice, but to organisation and man-management. The treatise devotes much attention to the duties of the seneschal (or steward), who acted as a kind of CEO on estates with multiple manors. The treatise lists legal knowledge as an important quality for the seneschal, as he would often represent his lord outside the estate, and was an acceptable substitute for the lord at regular county court sessions, which all powerful landowners were required to attend.

Nearly as much space is devoted to the bailiff, the ‘farm manager’ of individual manors. The responsibilities of the reeve, the foreman of manors, also get substantial treatment. After the discussion of the qualities of the estate’s lord and the annual auditors, the treatise moved to the responsibilities of ‘supervisors’ or junior management – the chief cowherd, shepherd, dairymaid and so on.

It is worth remembering when reading it that roles and responsibilities varied from manor to manor, from estate to estate, and from region to region. On some estates a seneschal might also be responsible for running his lord’s private household, as well as his estate; sometimes a single reeve might have responsibility for several nearby manors.

Like Walter of Henley, the author of Senschaucie is extremely keen to stamp out dishonesty among servants. Everything a servant does must be checked and double-checked. Not even the seneschal himself is above suspicion, for the estate auditors are instructed to question his staff about their master, in a fashion not dissimilar to a 360o appraisal.

This translation, like those of Walter and the Anonymous Husbandman, was by Elizabeth Lamond, who died in 1891. The manuscripts she worked from were corrupt copies, and serious students should refer to Dorothea Oschinsky’s Walter of Henley and Other Treatises on Estate Management and Accounting (Oxford, 1971) for better copies and editorial notes.

Here Begins the Book of the Office of Seneschal

Translated by Elizabeth Lamond, FRHS, 1890

The seneschal of lands ought to be prudent and faithful and profitable, and he ought to know the law of the realm, to protect his lord’s business and to instruct and give assurance to the bailiffs who are beneath him in their difficulties. He ought two or three times a year to make his rounds and visit the manors of his stewardship, and then he ought to inquire about the rents, services and customs, hidden or withdrawn, and about the franchises of courts, lands, woods, meadows, pastures, waters, mills, and other things which belong to the manor and are done away with without warrant, by whom, and how: and if he be able let him amend these things in the right way without doing wrong to any, and if he be not, let him show it to his lord, that he may deal with it if he wish to maintain his right.

The seneschal ought, at his first coming to the manors, to cause all the demesne lands of each to be measured by true men, and he ought to know by the perch of the country how many acres there are in each fields, and thereby he can know how much wheat, rye, barley, oats, peas, beans and dredge one ought to sow in each acre, and thereby can one see if the provost or the hayward account for more seed than is right, and thereby can he see how many ploughs are required on the manor, for each ought to plough nine score acres, that is to say: sixty for winter seed, sixty for spring seed and sixty in fallow. Also he can see how many acres ought to be ploughed yearly by boon or custom, and how many acres remain to be tilled by ploughs of the manor. And further he can see how many acres ought to be reaped by boon and custom, and how many for money. And if there be any cheating in the sowing, or ploughing, or reaping, he shall easily see it. And he must cause all the meadows and several pastures to be measured by acers, and thereby know the cost, and how much hay is necessary every year for the sustenance of the manor, and how stock can be kept on the several pasture, and how much on the common.

The seneschal has no power to remove a bailiff or servant who is with the lord, and clothed and kept by him, without the special order of the lord, for so he would make head of the tail; but if the bailiff be less capable or less profitable than he ought to be, or if he have committed trespass or offence in his office, let it be shown to the lord and to his council, and he shall do as he shall think good.

The seneschal should not have power to sell wardship, or marriage, or escheat, nor to dower any lady or woman, nor to take homage or suit, nor to sell or make free a villein without special warrant from his lord. And the seneschal ought not to be the chief accountant for the things of his office for he ought on the account of each manor to answer for his doings and commands and improvements, and for fines and amercements of the courts where he has held pleas as another, because no man can or ought to be judge and justice of his own doings.

The seneschal ought, on his coming to each manor, to see and inquire how they are tilled, and in what crops they are, and how the cart-horses and avers [working horses], oxen, cows, sheep and swine are kept and improved. And if there be loss or damage from want of guard he ought to take fines from those who are to blame, so that the lord may not lose. The seneschal ought to see that each manor is properly stocked and if there be overcharge on any manor more than the pasture can bear, let the overcharge be moved to another manor where there is less stock. And if the lord be in want of money to pay debts due, or to make a purchase at a particular term, the seneschal ought before the term, and before the time that need arises, to look to the manors from which he can have money at the greatest advantage and smallest loss, for if he will not provide, he will often lose.

The seneschal ought, on his coming to the manors, to inquire how the bailiff bears himself within and without, what care he takes, what improvement he makes, and what increase and profit there is in the manor in his office, because of his being there. And also of the reeve, and hayward, and keeper of the cattle, and of all other offices, how each bears himself towards him, and thereby can he be more sure who makes profit and who harm. Also he ought to provide that there should be no waste or destruction on any manor, or overchargne of anything belonging to the manor. He ought to remove all those that are not necessary for the lord, and all the servants who do nothing, and all overcharge in the dairy, and other profitless and unreasonable offices which are called wrong outlays, without profit.

The seneschal ought, on his coming to the manor, to inquire about wrong-doings and trespasses done in parks, ponds, warrens, coneygarths and dove-houses, and of all other things which are done to the loss of the lord in his office.

The Office of Bailiff

The bailiff ought to be faithful and profitable, and a good husbandman, and also prudent, that he need not send to his lord or superior seneschal to have advice and instruction about everything connected with his baillie, unless it be an extraordinary matter, or of great danger; for a bailiff is worth little in time of need who knows nothing, and has nothing in himself without the instruction of another. The bailiff ought to rise every morning and survey the woods, corn, meadows and pastures, and see what damage may have been done. And he ought to see that the ploughs are yoked in the morning and unyoked at the right time, so that they may do their proper ploughing every day, as much as they can and ought to do by the measured perch. And he must cause the land to be marled, folded, manured, improved and amended as his knowledge may approve, for the good and bettering of the manor. He ought to see how many measured acres the boon-tenants and customary-tenants ought to plough yearly, and how many the ploughs of the manor ought to till, and so he may lessen the surplus of the cost. And he ought to see and know how many acres of meadow the customary-tenants ought to mow and make, and how many acres of corn the boon-tenants and customary-tenants ought to reap and carry, and thereby he can see how many acres of meadow remain to be mowed, and how many acres of corn remain to be reaped for money, so that nothing shall be wrongfully paid for. And he ought to forbid and reeve for beadle or hayward or any other servant of the manor to ride on, or lend, or ill-treat the cart-horses or others. And he ought to see that the horses and oxen and all the stock are well kept, and that no other animals graze in or eat their pasture.

The bailiff ought ot be just in all points and in all his doings, and he ought not, without warrant, to take fines or relief from the land, nor enfranchise a woman without the seneschal, nor hold pleas touching fees or freehold or franchise which turn to the loss of the lord. And he must not remove or make a reeve without the seneschal; but if he have trespassed or done wrong, let him be put in good surety, he and his goods, to answer for his doings before the seneschal. He must not in any wise bake or brew without the lord’s warrant. And no one who comes to the manor, for the lord or without the lord, may be at the expense of the manor, unless the bailiff wish to pay it from his own purse. And let the bailiff be appointed money wages for his needs, so that he may take nothing from the manor but straw, hay and firewood.

The bailiff must see that there be good watch at the granges over the threshers, and that the corn be well and cleanly threshed, and that the straw be well saved in good stakcs or cocks well covered, and that no forage be sold from the manor, but let the forage and fern, if there be any, be thrown in marshy ground or in roads to make manure. And no stubble should be sold from the manor, but let as much as shall be wanted for thatching be gathered together, and the rest remain on the ground and be ploughed with the ploughs.

And the bailiff ought to oversee the ploughs and the tillage, and see that the lands are well-ploughed with small furrows, and properly cropped, and well sown with good and pure seed, and cleanly harrowed; and all the winter seed may be bought by warrant of the writ of the lord or seneschal, for this is a point that must have a warrant; and all the spring seed may be sown from his own store, if cheapness does not prevent him by issue of a writ.

Let nothing on the manors which ought to be sold be taken by the people, but let it be sent to fairs and markets at several places, and be inspected and bargained for, and whoever will give the most shall have it; for it is not chattel of death, or of war, or sold from the king’s pinfold.

No seneschal or bailiff, or servant, or reeve, or beadle, or hayward, should take for money, or through any sale, anything from the manors of which he is keeper; for they ought not, by right, to buy the things or take for price what they themselves ought to make profitable and sell. No bailiff shall allow any horse or aver, ox or cow, young beast, wether or ewe, or hog in his charge to be flayn before it be seen for what default it died. For, from want of a guard, a horse or aver may perish in many ways – by running into the mares, or be drowned by falling into ditches or water, or be hurt in some other way; or the loaded cart may overturn and hurt the horse, or the driver may put out its eye or break its leg or thigh, whereby the horse or aver is lost. And so with oxen, and cows and all other beasts.

The wethers and ewes and hogs, by want of guard, may be killed or hurt by dogs or stolen and the wethers and ewes may struggle and be strangled, and then the keepers shall say that they died by violence, or they may be sold and killed, for although it is a chance of this it is good to have an inspection, for one can quickly know a fresh carcass and a fresh skin. And if the shepherd can acquit himself, before one who knows little, of ten carcasses or twenty oxen stolen or taken in the way mentions, by returning the skins, he has a good bargain.

And the bailiff ought, after shearing, to cause all of the skins of all the sheep killed in the larder or dead of murrain to be brought before him, and then he can see how many are fresh and which are flayn without leave and inspection; and then he must see that all the skins of the sheep are of one mark and that the wool and the skins match, and that the skins be not changed or bought, and then sell the skins with the wool. And the wool ought to be sold by the sack or the fleece, according as he shall see there is the greatest profit and advantage. And if he sell by the sack, each sack shall weigh 30 stone of wool by touch, or 28 stone by stone and balance, well weighed by the right stone of 12 pounds. And the bailiff, or someone in whom he trusts, should be every year at the selling and tithing of the lambs and at the tithing of the wool and skins, because of fraud.

The bailiff ought, in August, to see and command throughout the manors that the corn be well gathered and reaped evenly, and that the cocks and sheaves be small, so will the corn dry the quicker; and one can load, stack and thresh the small sheaf best, for there is greater loss in the large sheaf than the small.

The bailiff ought, after St John’s Day, to cause all the old and feebly oxen with bad teeth to be drafted out, and all the old cows and the weak and the barren, and the young avers that will not grow to good, and put them in good pasture to fatten, so the worst shall then be worth better. And he ought, three times a year, to cause all the sheep in his charge to be inspected by men who know their business – that is, after Easter, because of the disease of May, and later, for then sheep die and perish by the disease; and all that are found so, by the sure proof of killing two or three of the best, and as many of the middling, and as many of the worst, or by proof of the eye or of the wool, which separates from the skin, let them be sold with all the wool. And again, let all the old and weak be drafted out before Lammas, and let them be put in good pasture to fatten, and when the best have presently mended and are fat, let them be sold to the butchers; so can one do well, for mutton flesh is more sought after and sold then than after August; and let all the rest of the draft beasts which cannot be sold then be sold before Martinmas. And the third time, at Michaelmas, let all the sheep be drafted out; for although sheep are sound at Easter and in May and before Lammas, afterwards, they can, between the two feasts of Our Lady, by bad keeping, eat the web of the rime and the little white snails, from which they will sicken and die; and for this it is good to provide beforehand to make profit of such, for if not all will be lost.

The Office of Reeve

The reeve ought to be elected and presented by the common consent of the township, as the best husbandman and the best approver among them. And he must see that all the servants of the court rise in the morning to do their work, and that the ploughs be yoked in time, and the lands well ploughed and cropped, and turned over, and sown with good and clean seed, as much as they can stand. And he ought to see that there be a good fold of wooden hurdles on the demesne, strewed within every night to improve the land.

And he ought to see that he have a good fold for the wethers, and another for ewes, and a third for hogs, according as there are sheep. And the keeper of the wethers ought to have in his keeping four hundred wethers if the pasture be large, or more, if it is narrow, fewer; the keeper of the ewes ought to have three hundred in large pasture; the keeper of the hogs two hundred. And the reeve ought to see that they be well kept, in the pasture, in the fold and in houses. The reeve ought to see that the corn is well and cleanly threshed, so that nothing is left in the straw to grow in thatches, nor in manure to sprout. The husks, and the trampled corn, and the refuse of the winnowing, may be put together and threshed, and then winnowed, and then put wit the other. And the reeve must take care that no thresher or winnower shall take corn to carry away in his bosom, or in tunic, or boots, or pockets, or sacks or sacklets hidden near the grange. And no comble must be allowed from the grange into the garner to make increase, but for eight quarters let a ninth be taken from the stacks by right measure for increase. Also no bushel, or half-bushel, or cantle shall remain with the reeve for the good threshers beyond the said measure; for the comble, and the bushels, and the half-bushels and the cantles and others they use in the garners without tally or number bring little profit to the lord. And the seed which is left to sow the fields with, which is carried to the garner, ought not to be measured or tallied again; and the reeve ought to take care of this, that by the seed returned, and the comble of the measure, nor by half-bushels or cantles carried into the garner there be harm to the lord by the reeve or any other, for this they do as a general rule. And no bailiff or reeve shall sell corn or beast without warrant by writ, except the draft beasts and sheep, which ought to be drafted out as is aforesaid.

No forage or litter of the manor may be sold by the reeve, or by another, but the forage must be well kept until it is necessary to take it for the sustenance of the beasts, that no corn may be threshed for want of forage; and let litter and ferns be gathered together and thrown in roads and paths to make manure. And the reeve ought often to see that all the beasts are well provided with forage and kept as they ought to be, and that they have enough pasture without overcharge of the other beasts, and he ought to see that the keepers of all kinds of beasts do not go to fairs, or markets, or wrestling-matches, or taverns, by which the beasts aforesaid may go astray without guard, or do harm to the lord or another, but they must ask leave, and put keepers in their places that no harm may happen; and if harm or loss do come about, let the amend by taken from the keepers and the damage made good. Let no reeve have power to hold pleas involving penalty or amercement, but he or the beadle may receive the plaints and make the attachments and deliver them tot he bailiff. And no reeve ought to permit or suffer any man to have his allowance if he is not deserving, nor ought he to allow any overcharge of under-dairywomen in the dairy, nor shall they carry from the dairy cheese, butter, milk or curds, to the impoverishment of the dairy, and the decrease of the cheese. Let no reeve remain over a year as reeve, if he be not proved most profitable and faithful in his doings, and a good husbandman. Each reeve ought every year to account with his bailiff, and tally the works and customs commuted in the manor, whereby he can surely answer in money for the surplus in the account, for the money for customs is worth as much as rent.

The bailiff and reeve must often see all the disrepairs of the houses in their charge, also of walls, ditches, hedges, carts, waggons, ploughs, harrows, folds, and all other costs, so that their foresight may do so much that it be not necessary through their fault to lose a mark for a matter of 12 pence; for each thing is valuable according as it is looked after. And no reeve on a manor may keep table to receive goers or comers at the lord’s cost, without special commandment by writ, for if those of the lord’s house come to the manors on their own business, the lord need not pay them for their profit, but if they come there, let them take their expenses from the lord’s wardrobe before they go anywhere, because there is no need to do two wrongs to one business. And no knight, or servant, or groom, or any other may be received on any manor by any bailiff or any provost to sojourn at the lord’s expense without writ, for at the account nothing shall be allowed them for the expenses of these.

The Office of Hayward

The hayward ought to be an active and sharp man, for he must, early and late, look after and and go round and keep the woods, corn and meadows and other things belonging to his office, and he ought to make attachments and approvements faithfully, and make the delivery by pledge before the reeve, and deliver them to the bailiff to be heard. And he ought to sow the lands, and be over the ploughers and harrowers at the time of each sowing. And he ought to make all the boon-tenants and customary-tenants who are bound and accustomed to come, do so, to do the work they ought to do. And in haytime he ought to ne over the mowers, the making, the carrying, and in August assemble the reapers and the boon-tenants and the labourers and see that the corn be properly and cleanly gathered; and early and late watch so that nothing be stolen or eaten by beasts or spoilt. And he ought to tally with the provost all the seed, and boon-work, and customs and labour, which ought to be done in the manor throughout the year, and what it amounts to the bailiff tallies and accounts for, and they ought to answer on the account for the rest.

The Office of the Lord

The lord ought to love God and justice, and be faithful and true in his sayings and doings and he ought to hate sin and injustice, and evil-doing. The lord ought not to take counsel with young men full of young blood, and ready courage, who know nothing of business, nor of any juggler, flatterer, or idle talker, nor of such as bear witness by present, but he ought to take counsel with worthy and faithful men, ripe in years, who have seen much, and know much, and who are known to be of good fame, and who were never caught or convicted for treachery or any wrong-doing; nor for love, nor for hate, nor for fear, nor for menace, nor for gain, nor for loss, will turn aside from truth, and knowingly counsel their lord to do him harm.

The lord ought to command and ordain that the accounts be heard every year, but not in one place but on all the manors, for so can one quickly know everything, and understand the profit and loss. And he ought to command and ordain that no bailiff have his food in the manors except at a fixed price in money, so that he take nothing from the manors but hay, firewood, and straw; and that no friend, stranger, nor anyone from the lord’s hostel or elsewhere be received at the manors at the lord’s expense, nor shall anything be given or delivered to them without warrant of writ, unless the bailiff or reeve wish to acquit it from their own purses for the great expense one is unnecessarily put to, as can be seen above in another chapter.

The lord ought to inquire by his own men and others on his manors as many as there are, about his seneschal and his doings, and the approvements he has made since his coming; in the same way he ought to inquire about profits and losses from the bailiff and reeve, and how muich he will have to seek from both. He ought to ask for his auditors and rolls of account, then he ought to see who has done well and who not, and who has made improvement and who not, and who has made profit and who not, but loss, and those he has then found good and faithful and profitable, let him keep on this account. And if anyone be found who has done harm and is by no means profitable let him answer for hsi doing and take farewell. And if the lord observe these said forms then will each lord live a good man and honestly, and be as he will rich and powerful without sin, and will do injustice to no one.

The lord ought to command the auditors on the manors to hear the plaints and wrongs of everybody who complains of the seneschal, or reeve, or hayward, or any other who is of the manor, and that full justice be done to franks and villeins, customary-tenants, and other plaintiffs, such as by inquest can be had; and that the auditors do right by their peril.

The Office of the Auditors

The auditors ought to be faithful and prudent, knowing their business and all the points and articles of the account in rents, in outlays, in returns of the grange and stock, and other things belonging thereto. And the accounts ought to be heard at each manor and then one can know the profit and loss, the doings and improvements of the seneschal, bailiff, reeve and others, for as much as they have done of profit or loss can be seen by the account in a day or two, and then can soon be seen the sense or the folly of these said seneschals, bailiffs, and provosts; and than can the auditors take inquest of the doings which are doubtful and hear the plaints of each plaintiff and make the fines.

The seneschal ought to be joined with the auditors, not as head or companion but as subordinate, for he must answer to the auditors on the account for his doings and for his commandments and approvements done by him on the manors and for necessary expenses, just as another. Let the bailiff and the reeve be united to render their account of each manor fully, for all things relating to the manors in rents, outlays, and all other returns, for it is not right that the reeve, who is the lord’s chattel, and who reasonably must know much less than the bailiff, should be punished or answer for the doings of the bailiff, as the bailiff is in the pay of the lord and in commandments and advantages and presents is his head and superior, and ought by his sense and instruction to direct and keep the manor and the reeve and all who belong to the manor.

The auditors ought on their account to the bailiff to forbid that any comble of corn be received from the grange into the garner, but that one takes nine quarters for eight by sure measure striked from the stackers, and that the bushels and half-bushels and the cantles and the rest which were wont to be hidden and forgotten, and are to the advantage of the reeve if not tallied, be al tallied with and all accounted for with the other, for it is much better to have a little waste of the garner than lose so much a year, which will amount to much yearly as may be clearly seen. And he must forbid through the bailiffs and reeves that any horse, or aver, cow, young aver, wether, ewe, or hog be in any wise flayn without inspection and knowledge of the fault by which it died, for the peril mentioned above. It is not necessary so to speak to the auditors about making audit because of their office, for they ought to be so prudent, and so faithful, and so knowing in their business, that they have no need of other teaching about things connected with the account.

The Office of Ploughmen

The ploughmen ought to be men of intelligence, and ought to know how to sow, and how to repair and mend broken ploughs and harrows, and to till the land well, and crop it rightly; and they ought to know also how to yoke and drive the oxen, without beating or hurting them, and they ought to forage them well, and look well after the forage that it be not stolen nor carried off; and they ought to keep them safely in meadows and several pastures, and other beasts which are found therein they ought to impound. And they and the keepers must make ditches and build and remove the earth, and ditch it so that the ground may dry and the water be drained. And they must not flay any beast until someone has inspected it, and inquired by what default it died. And they must not carry fire into the byres for light, or to warm themselves, and have no candle there, or light unless it be in a lantern, and for great need and peril.

The Office of Waggoners

The waggoner ought to know his trade, to keep the horses and curry them, and to load and carry without danger to his horses, that they may not be overloaded or overworked, or overdriven, or hurt, and he must know how to mend his harness and the gear of the waggon. And the bailiff and reeve ought to see and know how many times the waggoners can go in a day to carry marl or manure, or hay or corn, or timber or firewood, without great stress; and as many times as they can go in a day, the waggoners must answer for each day at the end of the week. No waggoner or other shall cause a cart-horse or aver to be flayn without inspection and the command of his superior, until it be known why and for what default it died, as is said above. And no waggoner shall carry fire or candle into the stables, unless the candle be in a lantern, and this for great need, and then it must be carried and watched by another than himself. Each waggoner shall sleep every night with his horses, and keep such guard as he shall wish to answer for without damage; and so shall the oxherds sleep in the same way with their oxen.

The Office of Cowherd

The cowherd ought to be skillful, knowing his business and keeping his cows well, and foster the calves well from the time of weaning. And he must see that he has fine bulls and large and of good breed pastured with the cows, to mate when they will. And that no cow be milked or suckle her calf after Michaelmas, to make cheese of rewain [the season’s second crop of grass]; for this milking and this rewain make the cows lose flesh and become weak, and will make them mate later another year, and the milk is better and the cow poorer. And he ought to see that the avers be well supplied with forage, and well kept in winter and summer, as he shall wish to answer, and that no cow or aver be flayn before his superior has seen it and known by what default it died. And no fire or candle shall be carried into the cowhouse, except in the manner aforesaid. And every year, from each vaccary [cattle farm], cause the old cows with bad teeth, and the barren, and the draft of young avers that do not grow well to be sorted out that they may be sold in the way aforesaid. And every night the cowherd shall put the cows and other beasts in the fold during the season, and let the fold be well strewn with litter or fern, as is said above, and he himself shall lie each night with his cows.

The Office of Swineherd

The swineherd ought to be on those manors where swine can be sustained and kept in the forest, or in woods, or waste, or in marshes, without sustenance from the grange; and if the swine can be kept with little sustenance from the grange during hard frost, then must a pigsty be made in a marsh or wood, where the swine may be night and day. And then when the sows have farrowed, let them be driven with the feeble swine to the manors and kept with leavings as long as the hard frost and the bad weather last, and then driven back to the others. And if there is no wood or marsh or waste where the swine may be sustained without being altogether kept on the grange, no swineherd or swine shall be on the manor, except only such as can be kept in August on the stubble and leavings of the grange, and when the corn is threshed for sale, and as soon as they are in good condition and well, let them be sold. For whoever will keep swine for a year from the cost of the grange alone, and count the cost and the allowance for the swine and swineherd, together with the damage they do yearly to the corn, he shall lose twice as much as he shall gain, and this will soon be seen by whoever keeps account.

The Office of Shepherd

Each shepherd ought to find good pledges to answer for his doings and for good and faithful service, although he be companion to the miller. And he must cover his fold and enclose it with hurdles and mend it within and without, and repair the hurdles and make them. And he ought to sleep in the fold, he and his dog; and he ought to pasture his sheep well, and keep them in forage, and watch them well, so that they be not killed or destroyed by dogs or stolen or lost or changed, nor let them pasture in moors or dry places or bogs, to get sickness and disease for lack of guard. No shepherd ought to leave his sheep to go to fairs or markets, or wrestling matches, or wakes, or to the tavern, without taking leave or asking it, or without putting a good keeper in his place to keep the sheep, that no harm may arise from his fault.

Let all the lord’s sheep be marked with one mark, and let no ewes be milked after the feast of Our Lady, for they will mate more tardily another year, and the lambs shall be worth less; and let no sheep be flayn before it be seen and known for what fault it died, for if the ewe die before shearing then must the skin be worth a fleece, and if it die after shearing then the shepherd must answer for the lamb and the fleece and the fresh carcass with the skin. And if a wether die before shearing he must answer for a good skin and for the carcass, if it be fresh; and if it be after shearing he must answer for the fleece and for the fresh carcass and the skin and the hog. Let no lamb be given or marked, nor any wool or skin be given, unless before the bailiff. Let good gelded sheep with good wool be with the ewes at the time of mating. Let the ewes and the wethers and the hogs be inspected three times a year by men who know their business, and the draft picked out and sold in the way aforesaid.

The Office of Dairymaid

The dairymaid ought to be faithful and of good repute, and keep herself clean, and ought to know her business and all that belongs to it, She ought not to allow any under-dairymaid or another to take or carry away milk, or butter, or cream, by which the cheese shall be less and the dairy impoverished. And she ought to know well how to make cheese and salt cheese, and she ought to save and keep the vessels of the dairy, that it need not be necessary to buy new ones every year. And she ought to know the day when she begins to make cheese and of what weight, and when she begins to make two cheeses a day, of how much and of what weight, and then the bailiff and the reeve ought to inspect the dairy often and the cheeses, when they increase and decrease in weight, and that no harm be done in the dairy, nor any robbery by which the weight shall be lessened. And they ought to know and prove and see when the cows make a stone of cheese and butter, and when the ewes make a stone of the same, that they may be able the more surely to answer in the account. No cow shall be milked or suckled after Michaelmas, and no ewe after the feast of Our Lady, for the reason aforesaid.

The dairymaid ought to help to winnow the corn when she can be present, and she ought to take care of the geese and hens and answer for the returns and keep and cover the fire, that no harm arise from lack of guard.

Here ends the Book of the Office of Seneschal