1) The fruit of the oak tree.
The demand for charcoal increased from the sixteenth century and that brought pressure to bear on the woods. The situation was made worse by neglect during the Civil War and as a result some landowners had to make strenuous efforts to preserve and increase the spring woods on their estates. Oak was the principal tree in demand, and estate records show that new woods were being created. In 1647-54, for example, Sir Henry Cholmeley ploughed up pasture next to a wood called Starrat Spring and was sowing Ackornes & Sycamore chatts: in 1741 Mr Beaumont of Whitley Hall paid 10s 6d To Thomas Lodge for plowing two acres of Land in Gregory Spring to sow with Acrons and in 1746 Land [was] taken off the Lodge Farm and laid to Gregory Spring. This was arable or meadow set aside for the expansion of the established spring wood. Acorns were also collected for animal fodder but it was a practice controlled by by-laws: 1472 Item we say that thar sall no man geder non akcornes in the comone wod in pane of xvjd, Selby
1545 ‘enjoined that no one fell le aikcorn with roddes 12d’, Methley
1552 None shall dinge down ackornes of the trees under penalty of 3s 4d
none shall gather aickhornes in another’s tenement – 12d, Middleton. The acorn was a motif much used as decoration in jewellery and household items, especially a type of silver spoon: 1490 vj cocliaria arg. cum lez acornez deaur., York
1570 Item sex silver spownes with the acorns heade, South Cave.