John Hudson

in The Oxford History of the Laws of England

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780198260301
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191740640 | DOI:

Series: The Oxford History of the Laws of England


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Throughout the period covered by this book, control of land underlay the exercise of royal and aristocratic power. This chapter discusses types of land; landholding, lordship, and dependent tenure; security of possession, inheritance, bequests of land and the Anglo-Saxon will, alienability, and church lands. Much remains obscure in the history of late Anglo-Saxon land law, particularly outside the best-documented aspects of bookland and loanland. The degree of regional or, particularly at lower social levels, more local variation in custom is impossible to establish. It seems certain that the origins of northern tenures such as drengage are pre-Conquest. However, it is far from clear, for example, that folkland existed throughout England or even outside Wessex and Kent. The terms on which Scandinavian settlers distributed lands amongst themselves remain obscure.

Keywords: landholding; lordship; tenure; inheritance; church lands; Anglo-Saxon land law; bequests; English law

Chapter.  27407 words. 

Subjects: History of Law

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