plough, or plough team

Latin, caruca.

The standard Domesday plough team was drawn by eight oxen. This standard team was the theoretical basis for the units of assessment in Domesday Book. The ploughland, for instance, was in theory an area which could be ploughed by an eight-oxen team during the agricultural year. So, too, was the carucate, employed in most of the Danelawcounties to assess public obligations. The carucate, like the plough team, derived from caruca, the Latin word for a plough. The hide - the equivalent unit in Wessex and Mercia- was indirectly related.

For further information, see J.H. Round, Feudal England (1895); Reginald Lennard, 'The Domesday ploughteam: the south-western evidence', English Historical Review, vol. 60 (1945), pages 217-33; H.P.R. Finberg, 'The Domesday plough team', English Historical Review, vol. 55 (1951), pages 67-71; and Reginald Lennard, 'The composition of the Domesday caruca', English Historical Review, vol. 81 (1966), pages 770-75.

See also ploughs.