1) To make void or empty, to remove.

We are familiar now with this word in the sense of ‘to keep away from’ a person or place, and not in the sense of ‘to make void or empty, to remove’. Formerly, however, the latter meanings were very common and there are sixteenth-century texts in which the word was used specifically in connection with the removal of water. In 1523, for example, it was recommended that 'a great dyche be dug in order that the water may auoyde'. In coal-mining the word frequently occurs with this sense where there were drainage problems. In Cortworth, in 1486, the miners were required to dig channels so that the water may lyghtly avoid, and in North Bierley, in 1659, such channels were described as watergates for avoydinge of water. In a deed dated 1549 Anthony Hamond of Scarthingwell sold 100 acres of spring woods in Bradley, near Huddersfield, to Thomas Beaumont and his partners. They were to avoyde the seyd woodes offe the grownde and out of the lordeshyppe within … thre yeres. In the first year they were allowed to have their charcoal pits in the woods and access to them for felling but must then wayve and avoyde them in other ij of the next yeres . Similar instructions are found in nineteenth-century mining leases.

dates 1486 1549 1659

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