Monastic Administration


Full farms or Fortnightly Farms

These were required to supply the following items per Manor:-

1. Bread for the monks plus 2000 loaves for the servants 7. 14 lambs
2. 50 Units of barley malt 8. 125 hens
3. 25 units of barley 9. 14 geese
4. 25 units of fodder 10. 1000 herrings
5. 10 lbs of cheese 11. 5 carts of hay
6. 10 lbs of lard 12. 5 in money

Elton, Thursfield, Elsworth, Warboys, slepe, Houghton, Weston, Brington and Bythorn combined as one manor, all these had to supply the above goods on a rota throughout the year to ensure a continuous supply, and this amounted to thirteen times in a year.

In addition to this manor, there were nine other manors who had to supply the same amount of goods plus 11 and 12 above.

Half Farms or 1 Week Farms included:-

Burwell Ripton
Upwood Wistow
Cranfield Knapwell
Raveley Hemingford
Broughton Ellington

All these manors only supplied the above goods ten times a year, in addition each manor was obliged to supply labour for the Abbot on Fridays.

Stukeley Wistow
Barton Elton

All had to supply workmen on Mondays and Wednesdays in addition to Fridays

Warboys Upton

Supplied a workforce on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays as well as Fridays.

Cranfield did the same on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays in addition to Fridays.  Burwell supplied one other day plus Fridays

Slepes workforce was done on a fortnightly basis, the first week they did four days work in addition to Fridays and on the second week two days plus Fridays.

Michaelmas to Christmas - Threshing grain.                                                                   

Autumn to Winter - Ploughing and sowing winter wheat.

Christmas - Malt and brewing.

Winter - Cutting wood and rushes and spreading manure.

Early Lent - 2nd sowing of oats and ploughing.

Easter - In the service of the Abbot at St Ives fair (Broughton and Ripton supplied     workmen for eight days)

Early Summer - Wash and shear sheep.

Christmas - Prior to, during and after, a total of 45 days duty was required folding sheep.  The men who did the labouring were given a loaf of bread and a bundle of straw each day.  Anyone delivering goods to the Abbey would be fed as well as the horse.

Extra services called 'Boon Services' were done voluntarily during ploughing and harvesting, this was a good will gesture by the manor.

Slowly the goods and labour supplied by the manors to the Abbot disappeared and cash was substituted in its place.

Taxes - on people living on the Abbots land:-

Heusire Tax - House and Garden hire.

Merchart Tax - Gifts to Abbot.

Leywright Tax - Incontinent tax.

Fishsilver Tax - Goods in place of Money  (To pay Tithes and Debts)

Brewingsilver Tax - "    "     "      "      "      ( "     "         "      "       "   )

(ref 25)