Manorial Terms

Manorial law has brought a large number of terms to define elements within it. This glossary provides you with an index of the most popular terms. It has been taken from a work by the University of Nottingham and the book "The Law of the Manor" by Christopher Jessel.

Court Baron

- is held by the Lord and Lady of the manor for their tenants to administer the customs of the manor and enforce payment of dues and services. The name "court baron" means court of the men of the lordship/manor.  So in Saxon and early Norman times men were known as barons.

View of Frankpledge

A system of mutual responsibility for the maintenance of law and order, usually consisting of around ten households.

Court Leet

A Court Leet of the frankpledge and dealt with then administration of local justice for common offences.

A Reputed Manor/Lordship

A reputed manor/lordship was what a true manor became when land sales had reduced the number of free tenants to one, so that a court baron could not be held.

Merchet

If the daughter of a serf was to marry someone from another manor her father needed the permission of the lord. If she married someone from the lord’s manor the children would belong to the lord. Lords always gave permission but charged a fee for his loss. Many lords charged a fee for marrying a man from their own manor.

Manorial Incident

A right contained within the lordship eg, sporting, mineral etc.

Foldage or Faldage

A right to force the lord’s tenants to pasture their sheep on the lord’s land. This meant that the lord would have all the manure from the sheep.