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ANCIENT DEMESNE Definition & Legal Meaning

Definition & Citations:

Manors which in the time of William the Conqueror were in the hands of the crown, and are so recorded in the Domesday Book. Fitzh. Nat. Brev. 14. 50: Baker v. Wich. 1 Salk. 50. Tenure in ancient demesne may be pleaded in abatement to an action of ejectment. Rust v. Roe. 2 Burr. 1040. Also a species of copyhold, which differs, however, from common copyholds in certain privileges, but yet must be conveyed by surrender, according to the custom of the manor. There are three sorts: (1) Where the lands are held freely bv the king’s grant; (2) customary freeholds, which are held of a manor in ancient demesne, but not at the lord’s will, although they are conveyed by surrender. or deed and admittance: (3) lands held by copy of court-roll at the lord’s will, denominated copyholds of base tenure.


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