1) The ‘foul marten’ or polecat.

It was formerly widespread in England but had declined almost to extinction by the middle of the nineteenth century, but Rackham comments on its subsequent revival in The History of the Countryside. It was not a well-loved creature and the following by-name was probably pejorative: 1301 De Henrico Fulmard vijd q., Scruton. Nevertheless the skin was used by tanners: 1540 to my brother Bartilmewe Thwenge one jerkyne of leder with thre fomerde skynnes, Rotsea

1567 Item fyve tewed foxe Skynnes and two otter Skynnes and fowre fowmared Skynnes Ł2 0 0, Fixby. It was considered to be vermin and, after a bounty was placed on its head, it featured frequently in churchwardens’ accounts: 1684 for 2 folmards heads, Methley

1728 for two foomard heads, Elland

1763 a foomard head, Almondbury. Fowmard Rayne was a minor place-name in Knaresborough in 1623-4.

dates 1301 1540 1567 1623-1624 1684 1728 1763

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