Friday, September 04, 2015

Medieval Hunting Seasons

Hart (red deer stag)
June 24 (Midsummer Day)-September 14 (Holy Rood Day) Forest LawsBSA
May 3-September 14 Modus
Best around July 22 (Feast of the Magdalene) Modus, Phoebus

Hind (red deer doe)
September 14 (Holy Rood Day)-February 2 (Candlemas) Forest Laws
September 14 (Holy Rood Day)-Lent Phoebus

Fallow deer buck
June 24 (Midsummer Day)-September 14 (Holy Rood Day) Modus, Forest Laws

Fallow deer doe
September 14 (Holy Rood Day)-February 2 (Candlemas) Forest Laws

Roebuck (roe deer buck)
Easter-September 29 (Michaelmas) BSA
All year Phoebus, MG

Roe (roe deer doe)
September 29 (Michaelmas)-February 2 (Candlemas) BSA

September 29 (Michaelmas)-June 24 (Midsummer Day) Forest LawsBSA
All year: Twiti, Phoebus

September 8 (Nativity of Our Lady)-February 2 (Candlemas) BSA

September 8 (Nativity of Our Lady)-March 25 (Annunciation) BSA
Christmas-March 25 (Lady Day) Forest Laws

September 8 (Nativity of Our Lady)-March 25 (Annunciation) BSA
Christmas-March 25 (Lady Day) Forest Laws

February 22-June 24 (Midsummer Day) MG

Martin, badger and rabbit
All Year MG

Outside of the royal forests these were customary rather than statutory. There seem to have been two primary motives. A closed season let does fawn undisturbed, and the Boke of St. Albans had a similar closed season for hares. Other seasons seem to have defined optimal hunting, such as when harts were fat and well nourished.

BSA: Berners, Juliana, and William Blades. 1899. The Boke of Saint Albans. London: E. Stock.

Forest Laws: Manwood, John, and William Nelson. 1717. Manwood's treatise of the forest laws: shewing not only the laws now in force, but the original of forests, what they are, and how they differ from chases, parks, and warrens with all such things as are incident to either. In the Savoy [London]: Printed by E. Nutt for B. Lintott.

MG: Edward, William A. Baillie-Grohman, Florence Nickalls Baillie-Grohman, and Gaston. 1909. The master of game: the oldest English book on hunting. New York: Duffield.

Modus: Henri, and Elzéar Blaze. 1839. Le Livre du roy Modus et de la royne Racio: Conforme aux manuscrits de la bibliothèque royale, ornée de gravures faites d'après les vignettes de ces manuscrits fidèlement reproduites.

Twiti: Dryden, Alice, Henry Edward Leigh Dryden, and William Twiti. 1908. The art of hunting, or, Three hunting mss. Northampton: W. Mark.

Almond, Richard. 2011. Medieval Hunting. New York: The History Press

Cummins, John. 2001. The hound and the hawk: the art of medieval hunting. London: Phoenix.