annual recognizance : payment made by an unfree male tenant who wished to live outside the manor but who did not wish, or possess the resources, to buy his full freedom. Also paid by strangers for permission to live within the manor. [1]

assart : piece of heath or woodland converted into arable by grubbing up the trees and brushwood. [1]

assize ordinance : regulating the quality and price of ale bailiff official overseeing the administration of a geographically compact group of manors [1]

boonwork : seasonal obligation of unfree tenants to work for a few days, in addition to their week-work primarily to assist the ploughing of the demesne or the reading of the com, for which they were usually rewarded, either in cash or with food. demesne: land farmed or managed directly by the lord himself. [1]

combe : a short valley or hollow on a hillside or coastline, especially in southern England. In geology: a dry valley in a limestone or chalk escarpment. [4]

entry fine : paid to the lord by the incoming tenant of a piece of villein land on the death or withdrawal of the outgoing tenant. [1]

escheat land : which reverted to the lord on the death of a tenant without an heir. ferling a quarter of a virgate. forestall: to buy up goods before they reach the market in order to profit by creating a monopoly. [1]

feudal fee farm grants : The ban on subinfeudation in the fee simple did not apply to land granted after Quia Emptores to supporters of the Crown. These new estates (many of which were created after the 17th-century plantations) were thus regularly divided into sub-tenures as fee farm grants.

fee-farm grants : is a hybrid type of land ownership typical in cities and towns. The word fee is derived from fief, meaning a  feudal landholding, and a fee farm grant is similar to a fee simple in the sense that it gives the grantee the right to hold a freehold estate, the only difference being the payment of an annual rent (farm being an archaic word for rent) and covenants, thus putting both parties in a landlord-tenant relationship.  A city such as Oxford  could receive a grant of  fee-farm  (the grant offee-farm is often spoken of as if it ‘made’ a borough). Any perpetually renewable leases for life were converted into fee farm grants after the enactment of the Renewable Leasehold Conversion Act 1849. This act also allowed any existing lessees for lives to convert their holding into a fee farm grant.[1]

fee simple : is an estate in land, a form of freehold ownership. It is a way that real estate and land may be owned in common-law countries, and is the highest possible ownership interest that can be held in real property.[1]

glebe, or glebe land : was that farmed or leased out by a parish priest, having been bequeathed to him bit by bit by local worthies. In some parishes this amounted to a substantial holding, enough to create a Glebe Farm.[2]

glebe terrier : is a description of the lands held by the parish incumbent, but has come to include all of the church’s possession’s outside of the church buildings. This might comprise land, buildings, stocks, implements, tithes and how they were to be paid, and fees due, and might be described more prosaically on a record as Survey of Land and Buildings.[2]

heriot : render of the best live beast or chattel of a deceased tenant due by legal custom to the lord of whom he held. [1]

hundred penny : annual due payable by all males over the age of twelve on the Taunton manors. [1]

legume : plant, such as beans, peas or vetch, which enhanced the yield of cereal crops by fixing nitrogen in the soil. [1]

livery : provision of food granted to manorial servants in return for service. mark: unit of currency, equivalent to 13s. 4d. or two thirds of a pound. [1]

longcut :  A path between two points that is not the shortest or quickest route[4].

marl : a kind of soil consisting principally of clay mixed with carbonate of lime, used as a fertilizer. [1]

marriage fine : paid when an unfree female tenant of the lord was married. [1]

mead : an archaic or poetic word for meadow  [5]

messuage : portion of land occupied by a dwelling house. [1]

multure : corn retained by the miller as a payment for grinding. [1]

pannage : payment made to the lord for the feeding of swine in a wood. [1]

portman-moot : a gathering, i.e. *moot, of the men of a *port; sometimes also referred to as a portmote. As a court, it was distinct from any seigniorial/ lord’s court, as was the burh-moot. [3]

pightle : a small piece of enclosed land, often by a hedge. Some authorities also indicate that a  tends to be associated with a house or messuage. [4]

purvey : to requisition provisions and horses for the king’s use at a price set by the purveyor. [1]

quittance of rent : reduction in the rent paid by a tenant who served as one of the manorial servants.[1]

 reest-iron : a piece of iron fixed beneath the mouldboard of a plough to protect the wood. [1]

regrate : to buy up victuals in order to sell again at a profit in the same or a neighbouring market.[1]

simony : the buying or selling of an ecclesiastical benefice [1]

subinfeudate : to grant land in return for the performance of a stated personal service villein: [1]

 terrier : has nothing to do with breeds of dogs, but is a written description of a landed property by acreages and boundaries. [2]

unfree : customary tenant, liable to perform labour services on the lord’s demesne and to render such due as entry and marriage fines and heriot Villeinage was a hereditary condition, the liabilities of which became attached to unfree or villein land. even if held by a free tenant [1]

virgate : variable measure of land usually between 20 and 40 acres, which formed the basis of villein land tenure on the Winchester estate.[1]

week-work: regular obligation of unfree tenants to work on the lord’s land for a certain number of days each week throughout the year as part of the rent for their tenements.[1]


[1] Hampshire Papers 24: The Medieval Bishops of Winchester: Estate, Archive and Administration by Mark Page (2002)



[4] Wikipedia

[5] Collins English Dictionary,  HarperCollins Publishers

Share to social media