Author Topic: It's a Shepherds life  (Read 636 times)

Offline Johnsonsyard

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It's a Shepherds life
« on: Friday 05 June 20 08:53 BST (UK) »
Hope someone can help. My 4 x Grt Grandfather was Shepherd in 1770's North Yorkshire . What would his life been like ?  Would he have been employed by a farmer ? Did Shepherds move from village to village ? Did they do other work ? Trying to get a feel of his life crack then . Thanx .

Offline Maiden Stone

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Re: It's a Shepherds life
« Reply #1 on: Friday 05 June 20 19:43 BST (UK) »
Employed by a farmer. Plenty of sheep in Yorkshire.
He may have been settled or he may have moved for work. There were hiring fairs.
Busiest times were lambing in Spring, shearing summer, gathering of flock from common land & separation of animals for sale or meat in autumn. Winter - taking hay to sheep when they couldn't graze, digging them out of snowdrifts, perhaps doing jobs on farm such as maintaining walls, sheepfolds, ditches.
Routine jobs for lambs - tail-docking and castration; also checking for & treating foot-rot in sheep; dagging (removing dirty wool from tail-end).
He may have lived in a tied cottage, so if he lost his job he also lost his home.   

Cowban

Offline Maiden Stone

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Re: It's a Shepherds life
« Reply #2 on: Friday 05 June 20 20:17 BST (UK) »
The sheep would likely have spent parts of each year on common land.
Ewes would lamb in fields on the farm. The shepherd would walk around all fields containing in-lamb ewes several times a day to look out for a ewe needing help giving birth or a lamb which wasn't being cared for by the mother, for weak or dead lambs. He would be alert for foxes and other predators.
The flock was turned out on common land in early summer when lambs were sturdy.
Where in North Yorkshire did your ancestor live?
Your shepherd would have been cold & wet a lot of the time. He would have worked long hours, day & night during lambing. His back would have been aching at shearing. If his wife was pregnant during lambing, she was at risk of catching a bug which causes miscarriage if he took a lamb to the cottage to be cared for.   
 
Cowban


Offline Gadget

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Re: It's a Shepherds life
« Reply #3 on: Friday 05 June 20 20:26 BST (UK) »
My 2 x great grandfather was a shepherd in Kirkcudbrightshire (the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright  to be correct). He was employed to shepherd on one of the large estates in the parish of Balmaclellan. He later moved to North Wales and was employed on the Williams Wynne estate in Ruabon.

Most large estates employed shepherds so it might be worth investigating the ownership of the  lands where he worked.


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Offline Maiden Stone

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Re: It's a Shepherds life
« Reply #4 on: Friday 05 June 20 20:39 BST (UK) »
There may be newspapers which reported news from the area. Front page was usually adverts. May be adverts for hiring fairs.
Enclosing common land to add to farms and estates was ongoing. There may be documents or news about local enclosures.
Cowban

Offline Johnsonsyard

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Re: It's a Shepherds life
« Reply #5 on: Friday 05 June 20 21:18 BST (UK) »
The sheep would likely have spent parts of each year on common land.
Ewes would lamb in fields on the farm. The shepherd would walk around all fields containing in-lamb ewes several times a day to look out for a ewe needing help giving birth or a lamb which wasn't being cared for by the mother, for weak or dead lambs. He would be alert for foxes and other predators.
The flock was turned out on common land in early summer when lambs were sturdy.
Where in North Yorkshire did your ancestor live?
Your shepherd would have been cold & wet a lot of the time. He would have worked long hours, day & night during lambing. His back would have been aching at shearing. If his wife was pregnant during lambing, she was at risk of catching a bug which causes miscarriage if he took a lamb to the cottage to be cared for.

Thanks for reply . He worked in Allerston and died in 1782 in the poor house . He originated in Bainton and his father before him was also  a shepherd . 🙏

Offline Johnsonsyard

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Re: It's a Shepherds life
« Reply #6 on: Friday 05 June 20 21:22 BST (UK) »
Employed by a farmer. Plenty of sheep in Yorkshire.
He may have been settled or he may have moved for work. There were hiring fairs.
Busiest times were lambing in Spring, shearing summer, gathering of flock from common land & separation of animals for sale or meat in autumn. Winter - taking hay to sheep when they couldn't graze, digging them out of snowdrifts, perhaps doing jobs on farm such as maintaining walls, sheepfolds, ditches.
Routine jobs for lambs - tail-docking and castration; also checking for & treating foot-rot in sheep; dagging (removing dirty wool from tail-end).
He may have lived in a tied cottage, so if he lost his job he also lost his home.
Great information . Thanx 🙏

Online Viktoria

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Re: It's a Shepherds life
« Reply #7 on: Saturday 06 June 20 12:50 BST (UK) »
At certain times if the year he would have lived in the fields, sleeping and making basic meals in a Shepherd’sHut.
A small wooden caravan type dwelling on wheels.
Much sought after now as holiday homes although only really meant for one person.Very few authentic ones left but there are some reproductions.
It meant he was with  the flock night and day at special times .
Look them up on Google ,lovely pictures of original ones.
The huts could be moved about .
Viktoria,

Offline Maiden Stone

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Re: It's a Shepherds life
« Reply #8 on: Saturday 06 June 20 16:22 BST (UK) »
Reply #7 Or perhaps a stone bothy?
Cowban