Entry from British & World English dictionary
- In July 1203, at the height of the crisis in Normandy, King John instructed his chief forester, Hugh de Neville, to sell forest privileges ‘to make our profit by selling woods and demising assarts.’
- Clearance of woodland and heath (assarting) continued, especially in the Weald of Kent and Sussex, in the Chiltern hills, and in the Arden district of Warwickshire.
- In this system land around the village was gradually colonized from the waste (assarted), and cultivated for crops.
- This land comprised dismembered lands of the old manses or lands won from the former or by assarting from the waste.
Late Middle English (as a noun): from Old French essarter, from medieval Latin ex(s)artare, based on ex 'out' + sar(r)ire 'to weed'. The verb dates from the early 16th century.
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