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Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 73 - 1959  pages 122
Late-Continued Demesne Farming at Otford. By F. R. H. Du Boulay, M.A., F.R.Hist.S. Continued

   Demesne income is clearly set out in the serjeant’s accounts. It consisted first and foremost of the proceeds from selling corn (indifferently to the archbishop’s household or on the local market), livestock and the wool and woolfells of the lord’s flock of 200 to 300 sheep. After these things in order of value came the miscellaneous group which the account-rolls call "Issues of the manor ", and which include rents from hiring out the archbishop’s pastures and his carts, and selling pannage, brushwood from his copses, pigeons from his dovecote, and so on. Up to c. 1428 the sale of corn and stock accounts for about two-thirds of demesne proceeds, but thereafter only for a half or less, because in 1428 the annual fee-farm of Sundridge, worth £22 12s. and for long leased to the Isley family, was brought on to the serjeant’s account. The general truth about demesne proceeds is that they fluctuated considerably from year to year, according to the abundance and price of corn, but that no clear trend upward or downward is discernible.
   Demesne costs in the fifteenth century likewise fluctuated. For instance, nearly £14 were spent in 1382-3 in repairing the manorial buildings used for the archbishop’s registrar, clerks and esquires. In 1402 a further £20 were spent on building repairs, and about £20 on buying sheep. On this side of the account, however, a marked trend ne farming can be observed in the rising cost of labour. Up to c. 1428

the annual labour bill was rarely near £10. From then until 1444 it was always well over £10, and in the last year of demesne farming amounted to nearly £23. That year the lord’s surveyor had to make new agreements with the famuli for their wages.
   When the buildings were repaired, the workers paid, and the fields tilled, the lord should have something to show for it, and this something consisted in the money and provisions supplied to the household, at Lambeth or elsewhere. While reeve and serjeant each to some extent paid over both cash and kind, the vast bulk of the reeves’ liveries were in money, the serjeants’ in wheat, oats, meat, ale, hay and wood. Such deliveries, whether victualia or pecunia numerata, are always entered on the "discharge" side of the account, but must, of course, be distinguished from expenses. When the archbishop’s household took supplies, it normally purchased at, or allowed the serjeant, current market prices. In some ways the year-by-year delivery to the lord is a good index of the estate’s profitability, especially if the arrears are inconsiderable and the capital investment reckoned in, for such payments represent a physical flow of wealth more certain and calculable than the "charge" side of accounts, which were simply statements of what was in theory owing. The Otford serjeants certainly supplied their lord steadily right up to the end of demes

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