The Law Dictionary

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COPYHOLD Definition & Legal Meaning

Definition & Citations:

A species of estate at will, or customary estate in England, the only visible title to which consists of the copies of the court rolls, which are made out by the steward of the manor, on a tenant’s being admitted to any parcel of land, or tenement belonging to the manor. It is an estate at the will of the lord, yet such a will as Is agreeable to the custom of the manor, which customs are preserved and evidenced by the rolls of the several courts baron, in which they are entered. 2 Bl. Comm. 95. In a larger sense, copyhold Is said to import every customary tenure, (that is, every tenure pending on the particular custom of a manor.) as opposed to free socage, or freehold, which may now (since the abolition of knight-service) be considered as the general or common-law tenure of the country. 1 Steph. Comm. 210.


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