Page:EB1911 - Volume 17.djvu/614

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To these important ofdcials may be added-a number oft smaller ones, the shepherd, the swineherd, the beekeeper, itheiicowherd, the ploughman and so on, mostly selected from the cotters, and occupying their small holdings by the 'services -expressed in their titles. The number varies with the constitution and needs of each estate, and they are often replaced by hired labour. I The most complicated structure in the system is»the manor court. The complication is, indeed, partly the work of lawyers Mm” interpreting institutions they didnot .understandzbyi Ca, ,, ., formulae not adapted to describe them. Butl be( yond this there remain the facts that=the' court iwas? the meetingapoint of thelord and the tenants' both free and unfree, that any question touching on the power and: constitution of the court was bound to affect the interests of. the lord and the tenants, and that there was no external power capable of settling such questions as did arise. Amid this maze a few clear lines can be laid down. In the first place, so' far as the r3tlr century: goes, all the discussion that- has collected 'about the terms court leet, court baron and court customary may be put aside; it relates to questions which .in the 13th century wereionlyfjust emerging. The manor court at that date exercised its criminal, civil, or manorial jurisdiction as onecourt; its names may-differ, the parties before it may be .free or unfree, but the court is thei same. Its president was the lord's steward; the bailiff was 'thef lord's representative and the public prosecutor; and the tenants of the manor, both free and unfree, attended atiéthe courtand gave judgment in the cases brought before it. To modern, .carsthe constitution sounds unfamiliar. The president of thecourt* settled the procedure of the court; carried it-out, and gave the final sentence, but over the law of the court he had-no power. All that is comprised in theword “judgment ”. was-settled by-the body of tenants present sat the court. This attendance was, indeed, compulsory, and absence subjected to a fmt any tenant; owing and refusing the service knownras f' suit of courtfi “It may be asked who in these courts.settle'd questions of -fact. T he answer must be'that disputed=questions of fact could onlyl be settleduin one way, by ordeal;-, and .that in .rnos.tirlnahoTial courts the method employed was the waiger of law! The business of the court may be divided into criminal, ma;norial/and civil. Its powers under the first head depended' ont the .franchises enjoyed by the lord in the particular -manor; 'for the -most part only petty offences were triable, such as small. thefts, breaches of the assize of bread' and ale, assaults, , and the-lil§ Q; except under special conditions, the justice of great offences remained in the king. But offences. against' the custom of the manor, such as bad ploughing, improper taking- of wood from the lord's woods, and the like, were of course the staple criminal business of the court. . Under the'head¢of manorial business the court dealt with the choice of the manorial officers, .and had some power of making regulations for'the»manage men6~of 'the manor; but its most important function was the recording of the surrenders and admittances of'the'villein'tenarits; 'Into' the history and meaning of this form of 'land transfer it=is not necessary to enter here. But=it-must bel notedithatthe conveyance of a villein's holding was effected by the vendor surrendering his land to the lord, who thereupon admittedthezpurchaser to theé holding. The same procedure was employed = in all cases of transfer of land, and the transaction was regularly recorded upon the rolls of the court among the. records of all the other business transacted' there. Finally, ' the court.. dealt with- 'all suits as to land within the manor, questions of dower and inheritance, and with civil suits not connected with land. But-it need hardly be said that in an ordinary rural manor very few of these would occur. ' » » ' - ~ j

It will be clear on Consideration that the manot court asheref described consisted of conflicting elements? of very fdifierent origin and history. Founded partly on express grants 'of franchises, partly on the inherent right: of a feudal lord to hold a court for his free tenants, partly on t-he obscure community traceable among the unfree inhabitants of the manor, it is incapable of strict legal definition. All these elements, moreover, -.contain in themselves reasons for the decay' which gradually came over i

the system., The history of fthe'de €ay of the. manorial jurisdio tionsin England has-not yet been written. On the one hand were the .king's courts, ;with new and improved processes of law; on the' other hand' the gradual disintegration which marks the history of the manor during the 14th and 1 5th centuries. The criminal jurisdiction. was the first to disappear, and was- 'closely -follo-wed by the civil jurisdiction over the free tenants; and in modern times all that is left is the jurisdiction over the customary tenant sand their holdings, and that in an attenuated form. ~A few wordsmustf be given to the legal theories of the 15th century on the manor court. It would seem to have become the law that to the existence of the manor two courts were necessary—a court customary for customary tenants, and a court baron for free tenants. In the court-customary the lord's steward is the judge; in the court baron the freeholders are the judges. If the freeholders in the manor diminish to less than two in number the court baron cannot be held, and the manor perishes. Nor can it' be revived by the grant of new freehold tenures, because under the statute of Quia Emptores such new 'freeholders would hold not of the lord of the manor, but of his lord. The customary tenants and the court customary may survive, but the, .manor<is, only.a reputed manor. Of the 13th century all this is untrue, but even at that date the existence of free tenants was in a 'measure essential to the existence of the 'manor court. If there weretnone the j'urisdicti'on of the court over free tenants of course collapsed; . but in addition to this the lord also lost his power of exercising the highest criminal franchises, even if he otherwise possessed them; he could, for instance, no longer hang a murderer on his own gallows. Perhaps it may be said that to the exercise of the feudal power and of the royal franchises the presence of free tenants was necessary.. But it is clear that no such condition was necessary to -the existence of themanor. ~', A » .,

Apart fromtthe change in the court of the manor, the most important; thread inf its history is the process which converted the villein into the eopyholder., Here again the subject is imperfectly explored, and part of it is still subject to controversy. In the strict view of contemporary- lawyers the holdingiof the villein tenant of the 13th century was at the will of the lord, and the king's courts of law would riotproteot him in his possession. If, however, the villein werea tenant onithe king's ancient demesne his condition was improved. The writs of monslraverunt and the little writ of right close protected him -from-the improper exaction of services and 'from ejection by the lord; »But in ordinary manors there was no such immunity., That ejection was common cannot be believed, .but it was legally, ossible; and it was i not until the well-known decision of Danby, (RJ, rand Bryan, C.];, .in 7 Edw. IV., that the courts»of'law'-wouldfentertain an action of ttespass brought against his lord by a customa-ryftenant. Fronfthat datelthe courts, both of law and equity, begin to 'intervene'; and the? recordslof- the, Courts of Star1Chamber, and/Requests show that in the 'Tudor period equitable suits brought by tenants against their lords hreurot infrequent." Side byside with the aitieration in theilegal condition of the manor there went on an economic change. The labour rents: and other services slowly disappeared, and were replaced by money payments. The field divisions gave way before in closures, efieeted sometimes by the lords and sometimes by; the tenants. Change in legal and agricultural practice went on side by side, andffinally the manor ceased to be an import antisocial form, and became only- a peculiar form of 'land tenure and the abode of antiquarian curiosities. . A

See G. L. von Maurer, Einleilung in die Geschichle der H of-, Marké,

Dorf#.und:Sladlverfassung-in Deutschland (Erlangen, 1856);~ G. Nasse, Zur Geschivhte der ihitleldlterliohen Feldgemeinsohaft in England (Bonn, 1869); H. S. Maine, Village Communities in the Eaisfand West (Cambridge, 1872); F. Seebohm, The English Village Community (1883); W. ' l. Ashley, English Economic Hisloryypts. i. ii. (1888-1893); iF: Maitland, .Select Pleas in Manorial Courts (London, Selden Society, 1888); P. Vinogradoff, I/illainagein England (Cambridge, 1»892); The Growth of the Manor (IQQS) and English Society in the 11th Century (1908); A. Meitzen, Siedelung und A grarweseifder Westgermanen und Ostgermanen '(Berlin, '1896); W. Cunningham, Growth 'og English Industry and Commerce (Cambridge, 1896); F. Polloe and Maitland, History of English Law (Cambridge, 1 896% Ff.W.Ma.itland, Doomsday Book and Beyond (Cambridge, 1897); and .M. Andrews, .The Old English Manor (1892);, (C. CR;)

MANOR-HOUSE (Lat. manerium; Fr. manoir), in architecture, the name given to the dwelling-house of the lord of the manor. The manor-house was generally arranged for defence against robbers and thieves and was often surrounded by a moat with drawbridge, but was not provided with a keep or with towers or lofty curtain walls so as to stand a siege. The early buildings were, comparatively small, square in plan, comprising a hall with one or two adjacent chambers; at a later period wings were added, thus forming three sides of a quadrangle, like the house, designed by John Thorpe. as his residence, the plan of which is among his drawings in the Soane Museum. One of