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LAY TENURES Definition & Legal Meaning

Definition & Citations:

I. Frank tenement, or freehold. (1) The military tenures (abolished, except grand serjeanty, and reduced to free socage tenures) were: Knight service proper, or tenure in chivalry; grand serjeanty: cornage. (2) Free socage, or plow-service: either petit serjeanty, tenure in burgage. or gavelkind. II. Villeinage. (1) Pure villeinage, (whence copyholds at the lord’s [nominal] will, which is regulated according to custom.) (2) Privileged villeinage, sometimes called “villein socage.” (whence tenure in ancient demesne, which is an exalted species of copyhold, held according to custom, and not according to the lord’s will,) and is of three kinds: Tenure in ancient demesne; privileged copyholds, customary freeholds, or free copyholds; copyholds of base tenure.


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