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For other uses, see Estover (disambiguation).
"bote" redirects here. For the engineering concept, see Back-of-the-envelope calculation.

In English law, estovers is wood that a tenant is allowed to take, for life or a period of years, from the land he holds for the repair of his house, the implements of husbandry, hedges and fences, and for firewood.

The word derives from the French estover, estovoir, a verb used as a substantive meaning "that which is necessary". This word is of disputed origin; it has been referred to the Latin stare, to stand, or studere, to desire.

The Old English word for estover was bote or boot, also spelled bot or bót, (literally meaning 'good' or 'profit' and cognate with the word better). The various kinds of estovers were known as house-bote, cart or plough-bote, hedge or hay-bote, and fire-bote. Anglo-Saxon law also imposed "bot" fines in the modern sense of compensation.[1] These rights might be restricted by express covenants. Copyholders had similar rights over the land they occupied and over the waste of the manor, in which case the rights are known as Commons of estovers.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The legal phrase & n. scillingas to bote, "and n. shillings as compensation" often followed after other fines imposed for the same offense, and is the origin of the modern English phrase, "to boot". Anglo-Saxon dooms from 560-975

Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.