forman (OSw) forman (ODan) noun

Generally, a leader or supervisor of a group of people, such as household servants. Particularly, the supervisor of a parish priest to whom he was referred if he failed in his duty in some way or committed a crime against a layman. The same person is referred to as the arbiter in the context of the breaking of a betrothal, the validity of oaths, the inheritance rights of a child conceived at home but born abroad following the mother being captured. This person would presumably have been the rural dean or the bishop himself. The same word is used of the person appointed by the king to act in his stead in respect of the provision of moorings for the levy. The relationship between the person referred to by this title and the person(s) referred to as lænsmaþer is unclear. It is possible that the former was a cleric (in the case of Church matters) or a member of the nobility (in the case of the levy), whilst the latter were laymen (such as the biskops lænsman a bishop's official) or simply government appointees respectively.

foreman ODan JyL 2
guardian OSw MESt Gb Dob
leader OSw ÖgL Db
overseer OSw HL Blb
supervisor OSw HL Kkb
OSw SdmL Kkb, Kgb
OSw UL Kkb, Kgb, Äb
OSw VmL Kkb

Schlyter 1877, s.v. forman; SL UL, 40 note 56

  • ‘forman’. A Lexicon of Medieval Nordic Law.