|U DDLG/52/81, inventory of John Taylor|
Inventories were taken after someone died, listing all their goods and property in order to value their estate. Inventories included things like money and personal possessions, but also household goods and animals.
This inventory records the goods and chattels of John Taylor of Towthorpe, a hamlet in the East Riding of Yorkshire a few miles from Driffield. It was taken on 20 March 1688 and records the few valuable possessions John left: money, a chest and a coffer, and some livestock.
This entry records “54 unicorn, wintered abroad [i.e. fed and sheltered on someone else’s land]”. This small herd of unicorns was worth £10 “over and above about £4 paid for their wintering.” It is not recorded where they spent the winter, or what they ate.
This is the first mythical creature I’ve located amongst our documents, but there may be more. If you’ve found any, please let us know!