Hayward (profession)

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Hayward, or "hedge warden", was an officer of an English parish dating from the Middle Ages in charge of fences and enclosures; also, a herdsman in charge of cattle and other animals grazing on common land. Their main job was to protect the crops of the village from livestock[1]

In Sussex and Surrey the form Haybittle occurs (from Old French, haia, enclosure and Anglo-Saxon bydel, bailiff). This has survived as a locally common surname, especially in and around Reigate.[2]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Susa Young Gates (1918). Surname book and racial history. Pg. 435. "Hay, or hedged enclosure-keeper; O. E., haeg, haga, hedged enclosure and w(e)ard, keeper. The duties of the hayward were of a varied nature. His chief task seems to have been to guard the cattle at pasture ; also to protect the crops, trim the hedges, etc.."
  2. ^ "Haybittle Surname Meaning & Statistics".