Online Encyclopedia

COTTER, COTTAR, or COTTIER

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V07, Page 253 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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COTTER, COTTAR, or COTTIER, a word derived from the Latin cola, a cot or cottage, and used to describe a man who occupies a cottage and cultivates a small plot of land. This word is often employed to translate the cotarius of Domesday Book, a class whose exact status has been the subject of some discussion, and is still a matter of doubt. According to Domesday the cotarii were comparatively few, numbering less than seven thousand, and were scattered unevenly throughout England, being principally in the southern counties; they were occupied either in cultivating a small plot of land, or in working on the holdings of the villani. Like the villani, among whom they were frequently classed, their economic condition may be described as " free in relation to every one except their lord." See F. W. Maitland, Domesday Book and Beyond (Cambridge, [897) ; and P. Vinogradoff, Villainage in England (Oxford, 1892):
End of Article: COTTER, COTTAR, or COTTIER
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