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Old January 6th, 2018, 01:01 AM   #51
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Under English law you can get the freehold by Adverse possession/squatters rights, normally 12 years, 25 years for crown lands.
Yes it often happens when an area is given building permission and freeholds or leaseholds are sold as 'parcels'. Sometimes there are gaps between the parcels which still belong to the original owner, but the owners of the new parcels simply extend their boundaries and enclose them.

Many of my neighbours have extended their boundaries by a few feet, especially to facilitate vehicular access. These encroachments onto the neighbouring land of the Dartmouth Estate go unnoticed as the practice of employing baliffs to oversee land has almost disappeared.
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Old January 6th, 2018, 01:48 AM   #52
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"Strikingly, by 1450 the share of "Smiths" at Oxford University, the entry for those wishing to rise to the highest positions in the church and therefore a key indicator of social achievement, was equal to their proportion across the general population.
The Black Death in the 1300s ushered in many opportunities to break free of the feudal system and is termed as the rise of the middle class by some. The feudal families would sell parcels of freehold or leasehold to raise cash. A case in point is the Batte family of Oakwell Hall.

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This Elizabethan Manor is not a feudal manor. The Batte family first appear in the 1300s in Northowram near Halifax as 'constables'. They were one of a number of rent collectors to the Savile family. They increased their wealth and influence after the black death and were richly rewarded for backing the right people during the Wars of the Roses. They went on to extend their influence with appointments in the church and Cambridge University by backing the right people during the English Reformation and by the time of Elizabeth had enough wealth to build the hall. However, in the Civil War they backed the royalists and the resultant fines for being on the wrong side ruined the family. They left for the Americas.

The area where I live has many of these halls. One of the first norman feudal families were the de Laci family and the tale of the Elland Quarmby feud serves as an illustrative example of changing fortunes. Most of the families mentioned in the link below had Elizabethan Manor Houses but mostly their possessions have been lost. The Kaye's in Almondbury is a golf club. The Saviles in Elland is a pub. Quarmby Manor is in private hands in the middle of a 1970s housing estate, no land with it. Beaumonts is demolished and Batte's above belongs, I think, to the local authority. The Saviles of Thornton had their hall demolished and a residential care home has been build on the land. The Dartmouth Estate is still dominant landowner although much has been also been transferred to the various local authorities by one legal route or another.

The Elland Feud

Longley Hall is for sale. The parcel of land dates back to the time of the de Lacis but the new hall was built in 1576 by the Ramsdens. John Ramsden was made a Baronet for his services during the Glorious revolution. But, fortunes gained are also often fortunes lost and the land an properties bequeathed by the Ramsdens to the Huddersfield Borough Council were then sold by the more recently formed Kirklees Council often to offshore companies whose directors belong to the original feudal families.

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Last edited by authun; January 6th, 2018 at 01:54 AM.
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Old January 6th, 2018, 04:48 AM   #53

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There were two types of landownership in Anglo-Saxon England, bocland/bookland and folcland/folkland. Bookland/charter land, arrived with Christianity and is probably the origin of freehold as it was held by an individual and could be disposed of at his/her's will.

Anglo-Saxons.net : S 1504

Folkland appears to have been communally owned, bookland originally applied to the church and was free of taxes/fyrd service, Bede says this was being abused by pretend monks and the immunity was removed.

There was a land dispute in Kent between Earl Godwin and the Norman Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert Champart, this carried on in William's time between Bishop Odo of Bayeux , Earl of Kent and Lanfranc, Archbishop of Canterbury. The dispute was settled at the Trial of Penenden Heath, William called a contingent of English witnesses as experts in ancient laws and customs.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trial_of_Penenden_Heath
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Old January 6th, 2018, 05:11 AM   #54
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Bede says this was being abused by pretend monks and the immunity was removed.
Snippets from Bede's letter to Egbert:

"Others even more disgracefully......buy for themselves under the pretext of building monasteries.......Having usurped for themelves large estates......they serve in reality only their own desires as laymen in charge of monks. Moreover they do not assemble real monks there, but rather wanderers....They thus fill the 'monasteries' they have built with groups of these deformed people, a very ugly and unprecedented spectacle...They authorise themselves to be rulers... To all these people, the popular proverb applies: 'Wasps can indeed make honeycomb, but they fill it with poison, not honey.'"
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Old January 7th, 2018, 01:10 AM   #55

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Allodiaries are mentioned on the first page of Domesday for Dover, it lists the fines for blocking the king's highway (presumably the origin of the public rights of way that exist today) - "the king has these forfeitures over all allodiaries in the whole shire of Kent and over their men".

"And when an allodiary/allodarii dies the king has from him a relief (inheritance tax) from his land except from the land of...."the Church of Canterbury and eight named individuals who all appear to be English or Norse origin, Northmann, Thorgisl, Esbiorn Bigga, etc. ∆thelnoth Cild mentioned appears to have been a Godwin henchman appropriating land from the Canterbury Church, he now has to supply William with a bodyguard for 6 days at Canterbury or Sandwich and if required to attend the shire moot, Penenden was as far as he was obliged to travel. Presumably why William held Odo's trial there.

Odo gets a bad press for allowing Herbert fitzIvo to build a mill on Dover harbour's entrance, causing havoc to shipping (presumably blocking the wind). Herbert also paid Odo a mark of gold for a mill appropriated from Canterbury Church.

The burgesses of Dover had to supply the king with 20 ships with 21 crew for 15 days for allodarii/sake and soke land rights.

Cinque Ports

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinque_Ports
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Old January 7th, 2018, 01:31 AM   #56

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The burgesses of Dover had to supply the king with 20 ships with 21 crew for 15 days for allodarii/sake and soke land rights.
Most likely transport ships and fairly large ones with 21 crew, running consecutively this would give the king or his messengers transport to the continent for most of the year. Domesday says that if the king's messenger wanted to transport a horse he had to pay 3d in winter and 2d in summer.

Last edited by Haesten; January 7th, 2018 at 01:35 AM.
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Old January 7th, 2018, 01:57 AM   #57
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it lists the fines for blocking the king's highway (presumably the origin of the public rights of way that exist today)
Even today there are cases whereby claims are made for adverse possession of parts of a public highway. They mostly fail because obstructing a public highway is a criminal offence. There are special exclusions though, for example, obstructing a road with barriers where it is likely to fall over a cliff. The time honoured claim, "once a highway, always a highway" is still dominant.

Note, highways and public roads are not the same as rights of way which belong to the group under Easements and Profits. These tend to be things like the right to pass and repass over somebody else's property.

Once a highway, always a highway?
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Old January 7th, 2018, 03:53 AM   #58

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Many Anglo-Saxon kings granted lands in exchange for military service and/or taxes. how is this feudalism? Athelstan, Edmund, Edgar, and St. Edward, all did. Cnut wasn't ethnically Anglo-Saxon, but he and his sons granted lands as much as the "English" English kings did. Thegns held lands on the basis they would support the king on his campaigns, and attend regular Witans.

The Franks, Saxons, Norse, Visigoths, Ostrogoths, Burgundians, etc. all held this retainer/loyalty system. If anything, as the Germanics conquered much of the former Western Roman Empire, they were able to impose this system ince they didn't have the order of the Romans. The Roman state was the most advanced possibly ever seen, and only has been rivalled in structure after the Enlightenment and modern liberal democracy. It also provided security for both rulers and the ruling class. If king X grants lands, but knows Y lord has his back if the neighbouring kingdom invades, then fine. Lord Y knows that provided he pays his taxes and provides troops, he can do what he wants with his lands, and he can force the king to do what's best for the kingdom (which is essentially what happened in Magna Carta or other rebellions).
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Old January 7th, 2018, 04:42 AM   #59
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Many Anglo-Saxon kings granted lands in exchange for military service and/or taxes. how is this feudalism?
English feudalism is a subject in itself. It differs from Norman feudalism, which is the most widely known form of feudalism, and also differed in time and place in England. This is one summary of the various views:

English Feudalism and the Structure of Anglo Saxon Society

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Old January 7th, 2018, 11:20 AM   #60

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English feudalism is a subject in itself. It differs from Norman feudalism, which is the most widely known form of feudalism, and also differed in time and place in England. This is one summary of the various views:

English Feudalism and the Structure of Anglo Saxon Society
Have to say i am not impressed and not overly convinced by much of the Eric John essay. It was of its time evidently in overall objective. How he knocked it all together is another thing. It also appears somewhat out of date in places. For example:
'we have no information about justice on the lowest level.'

But we now know that the Hundred court met every 4 weeks and heard and dealt with criminal concerns and land transactions.

Page 37 is telling: we also know that the office of sheriff was begun during the Anglo-Saxon period, to act directly as representatives of the king, and were disliked. The Earl's began life as the key holders of authority and responsibility on behalf of the king.

We know that the knights of the shire during the Norman or Plantagenet period in fact often paid their obligations to the king in money payments, rather than military service (tax).

In Domesday there were ‘…many men [villanus] whose labour services, if any, were negligible in amount…’

‘…the Normans had no clear cut scheme of social relationships which could be applied to the peasantry of a conquered country. There was no Norman stock of well-defined terms which the Domesday clerks could use for the drawing of distinctions between one class of peasant and another.’

Last edited by dreuxeng; January 7th, 2018 at 11:49 AM.
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