Cotter

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(Redirected from Cottar)

A cotter, or cottar, is a peasant farmer formerly in the Scottish Highlands. Cotters occupied cottages and cultivated small plots of land. The word cotter is often employed to translate the cotarius of Domesday Book, a class whose exact status has been the subject of some discussion, and is still a matter of doubt. According to Domesday, the cotarii were comparatively few, numbering less than seven thousand, and were scattered unevenly throughout England, being principally in the southern counties; they were occupied either in cultivating a small plot of land, or in working on the holdings of the villani. Like the villani, among whom they were frequently classed, their economic condition may be described as free in relation to every one except their lord.


A cotter could also be a medieval villein, someone who occupied a shack distinct from a permanent house and economically inferior to freeman and serfs but one step up from slavery. They might own a small piece of land, but lived by day labour and unpredictable work doing odd-jobs including herding cows, crop harvesting and planting, ditch digging, message carrying, any kind of seasonal or day-labour type job.


Cotter is also

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