After the Norman Conquest the system of feudal landholding required the lord of the manor to provide a court for his tenants. Such ‘seigneurial’ courts were the court of the honour and the court baron, for free tenants, and the court customary for unfree tenants or villeins. The court baron was attended by all free tenants who were both its suitors and its judges. The court customary (or hallmoot) was the court for unfree tenants or villeins and was presided over by the lord's steward or bailiff.
Eventually the court baron faded into oblivion and the court customary survived as a court for free and unfree tenants alike.
Subjects: British History.