1) The right to allow cattle or other livestock into an area for the purpose of grazing, especially into woodland or forest, subject to an agreement and fixed payment.

It is on record in Latin documents from the thirteenth century: 1269 concedunt quod servientes predicte priorisse … habeant viij averia tantum absque aliqua pacacione agistamenti in predict foresta, Sawley

1321-2 Pro averiis de Bradsagh agistatis in foresta de Berden per annum iiijs, Bolton Priory. It was a frequent source of disputes: in 1499, for example, the tenants of Fountains Abbey who lived in Bordley were ordered not to take unto pasture or agiste eny maner catall … upon the commons of Heton and Rilleston. If they did so the animals might be lawfully impounded by John Norton. In 1520, John Buke of Darnbrook was granted a lease by the abbey on condition that he did not taik to agesteament no foryn cattel to surcharge the common pastor, Malham.

spellings agistment
dates 1269 1321-1322 1499 1520

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