Chapter

The Tenant's Interest in the Land

A. W. B. Simpson

in A History of the Land Law

Second edition

Published in print July 1986 | ISBN: 9780198255376
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681585 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198255376.003.0003
The Tenant's Interest in the Land

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An obvious consequence of the tenurial system is that a number of persons had interests of some sort in the same parcel of land. Confining attention for the time being simply to freeholders, at the bottom of the feudal ladder there was a tenant who had seisin of the land and was called the tenant in demesne, and at the top there was the King. In between there may have been a string of mesne lords, who were lords and tenants at the same time. This all posed something of a problem in analysis of the early lawyers, and the problem might have been solved in a variety of ways. One solution would have been to conceive of the tenant in demesne as the ‘owner’ of the land. But this was not the way in which the position was looked at, and perhaps the explanation lies in the materialism which is a striking feature of medieval legal thought in England.

Keywords: tenurial system; freeholders; feudal system; tenant in demesne; materialism; England

Chapter.  14814 words. 

Subjects: History of Law

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