Page:Horse shoes and horse shoeing.djvu/427

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399
COUNTING THE HORSE-SHOES AND HOB-NAILS.

Walter le Bruin or Brun, a farrier or maréchal, had a piece of land granted him in the Strand, in the parish of St Clement's Danes, London, whereon to erect a forge, on condition that he should render at the Exchequer, annually, for the same, a quit-rent of six horse-shoes, with the nails (62) thereunto belonging. This strange payment was made twice during the reign of Edward I., and, curiously enough, was continued so late as 1827 (and may be even now), at the swearing-in of the annually elected Sheriff of London and Middlesex, on the 30th September, to the representative of the Sovereign, for the said piece of ground, though it has long been city property. This was the origin of the odd custom of counting the horse-shoes and hob-nails.'[1]

From the daily expense book of the 28th year of Edward I.[2] (1299—1300), we learn that the pay of the smith was fourpence a day, and that horse-shoes were charged at ten shillings per hundred, and nails twentypence a thousand. Iron sold at fivepence per stone. In it also notice that the functions of the armourer and smith were divided, special workmen representing each of these crafts. In the same record we find an entry for divers instruments of farriery to shoe horses, which appear to have been sent to that monarch in the Holy Land: 'Diversa utensilia ferrator equorum qui missa fuerunt Regi in terra Sancta ut dicebatur.'

The draught-horse (equus ad tractandum or carrectarum) was as yet a somewhat rare animal, the state of

  1. Madox. Hist. Exchequer. Allen. History of London, vol. i.p. 76.
  2. Liber Quotidianus Contrarotulatoris Garderobe. London, 1787.