Letter from a tenant farmer

The following letter which was transcribed from the original by the late Derek Billington was written by a 16th century tenant to the landowner and shows the contrast between the language of today) and four or five hundred years ago.

All spelling, punctuation etc. is as the original.

Honnard Maddam my love and sarvis as a tenant remembered unto you desireng youre everlasting well fare: the occasion of my writting at this time is consarneing a barne which I rented which is lately falne down which Edward david hath all redye made you aquainted with but becose he hath no answer againe from you as yett consarning it: Therefore I make bowld to present it againe to you myselfe humbly intreting and desireing you to considder of it for I am at a very great streat for want of it for harvist time draweth neare and I have a greate harvist to gett: it is likely I may have neare upon 40 loade of carne of one sorte of other and I doe not know what coarse as yett: to tak aboute it nor wheare I must lay it therefore humbly intreate you to consider of my condission and if you will be pleased to builde it up againe I shall be willing to pay you rent for it: and if not: I desire that you would be pleased to let me have the wood of it: and I will indevor to builde it myself at my one charge so bige as the wood will sarve not desireing any new wood: save: onely lats: and a few spares if there neede: although it will put me very hard to it to builde it.

So I humbly desire and intreate you to consider of my condission: and to let me have youre answeare as soone as you conveniently can by reason harvist is soe neare.

So with my desires to you for a blessing upon all your whole fammilye

I rest youre oblyged Tenantt

James Slacke.