feudal aids

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Following the Norman Conquest, custom permitted the king, at times of exceptionally heavy expenditure, to take an ‘aid’ (auxilium) from his tenants‐in‐chief; a lord, similarly, could exact an aid from his free tenants. Magna Carta (1215) listed three occasions when the king, or a lord, might demand a ‘reasonable’ amount. These were: the knighting of his eldest son; the marriage of his eldest daughter (once); and the ransom of his own person from captivity.

Subjects: British History.

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