the Fourth Week of Lent
1911 Encyclopedia Britannica
POUND." (I) An enclosure in which cattle or other animals are retained until redeemed by the owners, or when taken in distraint until replevised, such retention being in the nature of a pledge or security to compel satisfaction for debt or damage done. Animals may be seized and impounded when (I) distrained for rent; (2) damage feasant, i.e. doing harm on the land of the person seizing; (3) straying; (4) taken under legal process. A pound belongs to the township or village or manor where it is situated. The pound-keeper is obliged to receive everything offered to his custody and is not answerable if the thing offered be illegally impounded.
By a statute of 1554, no distress of cattle can be driven out of the hundred where taken unless to a pound in the same county, within three miles of the place of seizure. This statute also fixes 4d. as the fee for impounding a distress. Where cattle are impounded the impounder is bound to supply them with sufficient food and water (Cruelty to Animals Acts 1849 and 1854) any person, moreover, is authorized to enter a place where animals are impounded without food and water more than twelve hours and supply them; and the cost of such food is to be paid by the owner of the animal before it is removed. A statute of 1690 gives treble damages and costs against persons guilty of pound breach; and by statute of 1843 (Pound Breach) persons releasing or attempting to release cattle impounded or damaging any pound are liable to a fine not exceeding £5, awardable to the person on whose behalf the cattle were distrained, with imprisonment with hard labour in default. In the old law books 1 Pound, in sense (I), is represented late in O.E. by the compounds pund fold and pund-breche and by the derivative pyndan, to dam up, enclose, and for-pyndan, to shut out. The origin is unknown; " pen," an enclosure, is from a different root; " pond " a small pool of water, is a Middle English variant of " pound." In sense (2) the O.E. and M.E. pund, Du. pond, Ger. Pfund, are derivatives of the Lat. indeclinable substantive pondo - really an ablative singular as if from pondus (2nd declension) - a variant of pondus, ponderis, weight. The Lat. pondo is used as a shortened form of libra pondo, pound by weight. Finally is the verb " to pound," to crush by beating, to strike or beat; this in O.E. is punian, the d being excrescent as in " sound," noise. The word is rare outside English; cf. Mod. Du. puin, rubbish, broken stone.
varieties of pounds - as a common pound, an open pound and a close pound - are enumerated. By the Distress for Rent Act 1 737 any person distraining for rent may turn any part of the premises into a pound pro hac vice for securing the distress. Pounds are not now much used. (F. WA.)
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Chisholm, Hugh, General Editor. Entry for 'Pound (Enclosure)'. 1911 Encyclopedia Britanica. https://www.studylight.org/​encyclopedias/​eng/​bri/​p/pound-enclosure.html. 1910.