At this period many small peasant farmers and copyholders were able to keep a few cows on the still unenclosed common and waste lands. Probate inventories of such small proprietors whose estates were valued at £5-£15 reveal that in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries 87 per cent owned cows in the North of England, 68 per cent in the Midlands, 78 per cent in the East and 55 per cent in the West.3 Access to some land and possession of a few animals were the peasant’s ‘commonwealth’, and the resultant dairy products a mainstay of his family’s diet: Professor J.C. Drummond estimated that his daily ration of 1 pint of milk, 1 pint of whey, 2 ounces of cheese, 2 pounds of maslin bread (mixture of wheat and rye), 2 ounces of pease and 1 ounce of bacon met all present-day nutritional requirements except for some deficiency of vitamin A.4