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copyhold or customary tenure has become established, and the notice of it may therefore be deferred

Thus the great features of the period extending from the Conquest to the beginning of the reign of Henry II are the establishment of the notion of tenure and the development of the manorial system. Every free tenant (and none other is regarded as having a legal interest in the land at all) holds of and in relation to a lord. The lord who is not in actual possession has a seignory, which he in his turn holds of a superior, till the head of the system—the king—is reached.

The gradual definition of the respective interests of lord and tenant, the development of the various kinds of interests in lands, their distinction in point of duration, joint ownership, and so forth, belongs to the period when the constitution was so far organised as to admit of the action of regular tribunals having regard to precedent and authority. The reign of Henry II is the period to which the origin of the English law of land in its I modern form must be referred. It will be seen in the next chapter how great an advance had been made before the end of that reign in the direction of the separation of law and custom, and of establishing fundamental legal principles on a firm basis.

Original Documents.

§ i. Anglo-Saxon Grants of Bookland.

The following three charters are taken from Kemble's Codex Diplomaticus jEvi Saxonici, as specimens illustrating the main characteristics of Anglo-Saxon customary law above referred to.

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Gift Of Lands To A Church by Uuihte^ed Of Kent.
Q / /- A. D. 700 or 715.

In nomine Domini Dei nostri Jesu Christi \ Ego Uuihtredus * r• rex Cantuariorum prouidens mihi2 in futuro, decreui dare3aliquid' omnia mihi donanti, et, consilio accepto, bonum uisum est conferre basilicae beatae Mariae genetricis Dei, quae sita est in loco qui dicitur Limingae, terram 1111 aratorum quae dicitur Pleghel-" mestun, cum omnibus ad eandem terram pertinentibus, juxta

notissimos terminos etc terrulae quoque partem ejusdem

Dei genetrici beatae Mariae similiter in perpetuum possidendum perdono, cujus uocabulum est Ruminingseta, ad pastum uidelicet ouium trecentorum, ad australem quippe fluminis quae appellatur Liminaea, terminos uero huius terrulae ideo non ponimus quoniam ab accolis undique certi sunt. Quam donationem meam uolo firmam esse in perpetuum, ut nec ego seu haeredes mei aliquid imminuere praesumant. Quod si aliter temptatum fuerit a qualibet persona sub anathematis interdictione sciat se praeuaricari * ad cuius confirmationem pro ignorantia litte

1 'A Saxon charter properly so called, and distinguished from a will or the record of a synodal decree, consists of all or some of the following portions: i. the invocation, ii. the proem, iii. the grant, iv. the sanction, v. the date, vi. the teste.' Kemhle's Int. to Cod. Dipl. p. ix. Charters frequently begin with ' In nomine Domini,' ' In nomine Domini nostri Jhesu Christi,' etc.

1 The charter then usually goes on to state some religious ground for the gift. 'As a general rule it may be observed that before the tenth century the proem is comparatively simple, that about that time the influence of the Byzantine court began to be felt, and that from the latter half of that century pedantry and absurdity struggle for the mastery.'—Kemble, ubi sup. p. x.

3 No formal words of grant appear to have been required; the usual expressions are, dono, trado, dabo et concede 'The granting words are numerous and manifold, and, though part of the formulary, do not appear to be introduced according to any settled and invariable rule. It may be observed of them in general that they are much simpler than the corresponding forms of the Continent, and especially that they show no such strict and formal combinations as those met with in Roman documents. Do, dono, concedo, trado, are the most in use, sometimes singly, sometimes combined; and one noticeable peculiarity is that in place of the present tense do, we usually have the future dabo.'—Kemble, ib. p. xxviii.

* A clause threatening terrible consequences, generally excommunication and eternal punishment, to any who do not respect the grant, is the rarum signum sanctae crucis expressi, et testes idoneos ut subscriberent rogavi, id est Berhtuualdum archiepiscopum uirum uenerabilem.

<J* Ego Berhtuualdus episcopus rogatus consensi et subscripsi. >J« Signum1 manus Uuihtredi regis. >i« Signum manus ^thilburgae reginae. (Other signatures follow in the same form.—Codex Diplomatics, i. p. 54, no. xlvii.)

Qift By, Oswald, Bishop Of Wobcesteb. A. D. 963.

Ego Oswold ergo Christi crismate praesul iudicatus, dominicae incarnationis anno Dcccclxiii, annuente regi Anglorum Eadgaro ^Elfereque Merciorum comite s, necnon et familiae Wiogornensis aecclesiae, quandam ruris particulam uuam uidelicet mansam3, in loco qui celebri a soliculis nuncupatur set Heortford uocabulo, cuidam ministro meo nomine ./Ebelno^ perpetua largitus haereditate, et post vitae suae terminum duobus tantum haeredibus4 immunem derelinquat, quibus defunctis ecclesiae Dei in Weogorna ceastre restituatur.

fourth characteristic feature in Anglo-Saxon charters. Kemble observes (Cod. Dipl. i. lxv) that 'the exclusively clerical nature of the sanction in Anglo-Saxon charters (even where these are grants by private individuals) is evidence of our being indebted for the forms of these instruments to Roman clergymen.' In the later charters this clause often presents the extreme of extravagance and pedantry in its language.

1 The charters of the Anglo-Saxons were signed, not sealed. The use of the seal was introduced by the Normans. See Kemble, Cod. Dipl. i. ci.

a This grant is made with the assent of the king and of the earl. This seems to have been usual in the grants of bookland by great men. See above, p. 20, and compare the grant by Wulfric, A.D. 947, Cod. Dipl. vol. ii. p. 373.

* According to Kemble (Saxons in England, i. p. 92) mansa=familia as applied to land, an expression for the hide which was enough for the Bupport of a single family, and which varied in different localities: and see Spelman, sub voc, and above, p. 7, note 2.

* Kemble has collected (Cod. Dipl. i. xxx seq.) various other instances of grants of interests in lands short of absolute and unqualified inheritances. Two of the most remarkable are the following:—' In jus possessionemque sempiternam sibimet ad habendum quamdiu vivat, suoque relinquendum fratre germano diutius superstes si fuerit .... et sic semper in illa (Then follow the boundaries.)

Scripta est haec cartula his testibus consentientibus quorum inferius notantur nomina.

(Then follow the names. — Codex Diplomaticus, ii. p. 399, No. dix.)

Charter Of Cnut. A. D. 1033. -f-''

P Regnante imperpetuum Deo et Domino nostro Jhesu Christo, cum cujus imperio hie labentis saeculi prosperitas in adversis successibus sedulo permixta et conturbata cernitur, et / omnia uisibilia et desiderabilia ornamenta hujus mundi ab ipsis / amatoribus cotidie transeunt, ideo beati quique ac sapientes cum his fugitivis saeculi divitiis aeterna et jugiter permansura gaudia caelestis patriae magnopere adipisci properant, iccirco ego Cnut rex Anglorum caeterarumque gentium in circuitu persistentium . gubernator et rector, quandam mei proprii juris portionem *,"ViiS~ terrae mansas, illo in loco ubi jamdudum solicolae illius regionis nomen imposuerunt Hortun, meo fideli ministro quem noti atque affines Boui appellare solent confirmo haereditatem2, quatinus ille bene perfruatur ac perpetualiter possideat, quamdiu Deus per suam mirabilem misericordiam uitam illi et uitalem spiritum conce,dere uoluerit, deinde namque sibi succedenti cuicumque libuerit clei-omoni jure haereditario derelinquat, ceu supradiximus, in aeternam haereditatem. Maneat igitur hoc nostrum

consanguinitate paternae generationis, sexuque virili, perpetualiter consistat | adscript*.' 'Rus etiam hoe modo donatum est, ut suum (? semen) masculum possideat et non femininum: et post obitum prosapiae illius, data sit tam villa quam universa terra, quae in sua potestate est, ad religiosam I ecelesiam, quae nuneupatur Eofesham.' The case in the text of a grant for life with a further interest to one or two other persons for life, with ultimate reversion to the grantor, is by no means uncommon, especially in leases of church lands. 'An early Anglo-Saxon council had indeed prohibited such grants of a longer term than the life of the grantee, but this, which had probably never been well observed, had fallen into utter desuetude in the tenth century.'—Kemble, Cod. Dipl. i. p. xxxiv. The absence of technical language which prevailed to so great an extent after the Conquest is very remarkable in these grants of limited interests. 1 See above, p. 19.

* It should be observed that even in this more elaborate form of charter there is no technical form of words used to express the nature of the estate which the grantee is to take or the manner in which it is to be held.

immobile donum aeterna libertate jocundum cum universis quae rite ad eundem locum pertinere dinoscuntur, tam in magnis quam in modicis rebus, in campis, pascuis, pratis, siluis, riuulis, aquarumque cursibus, excepto quod communi labore quod omnibus liquide patet, uidelicet expeditione, pontis constructione, arcisve munitione \ Si autem tempore contigerit aliquo quempiam hominum aliquem antiquiorem librum contra istius libri libertatem producere pro nichilo computetur. Si quis autem tetri daemonis instinctu hoc nostrum decretum infringere uoluerit, sit ipse a sanotae Dei aecclesiae consortio separatus, et infernalibus aeternaliter flammis cum Juda Christi proditore cruciandus, nisi bic prius digna satisfactione poenituerit quod contra nostrum deliquit decretum. Acta vero est praesens pargameni scedula anno dominicae incarnationis millesimo xxxiii, indictione uero prima 2. Istis terminis supradicta terra circumgirata est.

(The boundaries follow in Anglo-Saxon.)

Ista cartula illorum testium testimonio est corroborata quorum hie uocabula litteris uidentur caraxata. >!« Ego Cnut gubernator sceptri huius insulae hanc nostri decreti breuiunculam almae crucis notamine muniens roboraui. >J« Ego iESelnoS Dorouernensis archiepiscopus consensi et subscripsi. >{« Ego iElfric archiepiscopus corroboraui. »J« Ego Brihtwold episcopus confirmaui. Ego iElfwine episcopus, etc.—(Codex Diplomaticus, vi. p. 180. No. mccexviii.)

§ 2. A Feoffment in Fee of the time of Henry II.

A comparison of the following document with the AngloSaxon grants above given will illustrate the main features of the change which took place in the law of land after the Conquest. It should be especially observed that the charter purports only to be evidence of a grant which had already taken place. The grant of the freehold is effected by actual delivery of the possession, the words written or spoken point 1 out the nature and extent of the interest taken. Then follow

1 See above, p. 13.

2 As to the inductions or cycles of fifteen years, see Kemble, Cod. Dipl. i. lxxvii.

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