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Bordars

BORDARS.  Blount in his NOMO-AEZIKON says, this class of men so often mentioned in Domesday Book are “by some esteemed to be boors, husbandmen, or cottagers.”  They are invariably, or nearly so, therein mentioned immediately after the villeins.  Lord Coke says they were “boors holding a little house with some land of husbandry, bigger than a cottage.”  Other writers offer other conjectures.  Some have considered them as cottagers, taking their name from living on the borders of a village or Manor;  but this is a mistake on their part, for Domesday itself generally mentions them among the agricultural occupiers of land, and in one instance - not in Lincolnshire, however - as “circa aulam manenantes,” dwellings about the Manor-house.  Bishop Kennett in his Gloss. Par. Antiq. says the servi and villani mentioned in Domesday were distinct classes, and seem to have been men of a less servile condition, who had a bord or a cottage with  a small parcel of land allowed to them, on condition they should supply the Lord with poultry and eggs, and other small provisions for his board and entertainment.  Bloomfield in his Hist. Norf. is of the same opinion, while the learned Brady says “they were drudges, and performed vile services which were reserved by tge Lord upon a poor little house and a small parcel of land, and might perhaps be domestic labour, such as grinding, threshing, drawing water, cutting wood,” &c.  The name is derived from the Saxon word bord, a cottage.  The condition of the bordars was in all probability different on different Manors, just as the customs of such Manors varied.

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