England Land Records Glossary E to P (National Institute)

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The original content for this article was contributed by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies in June 2012. It is an excerpt from their course English: Land and Property Records including Manorial Documents and Maps  by Dr. Penelope Christensen. The Institute offers over 200 comprehensive genealogy courses for a fee ($).

Glossary (cont.)[edit | edit source]

Exemplification Formal copy of a court record with the court’s seal; usually for common recoveries but other types occur.
Extent Survey and valuation of a manor
Fallow Arable land which is resting from carrying crops.
Family Settlement Document typically drawn up once each generation as the eldest son came of age. It detail the family as it is at this time and lists the property and money that each child could expect.
Farleu or Farley A monetary fee paid instead of an heriot.
Farm To farm also means to take the proceeds of land, office etc. for payment of a fixed sum.
Fealty An oath of allegiance to the crown made by an incoming tenant
Fee or fief Land or freehold property which could be inherited; usually held by performing military or other service.
Fee conditional The inheritance of freehold land restricted by entail, e.g. to male heirs. Also called estate tail or fee tail.
Fee-farm rent Rent set up on the sale of property by a grant in fee farm.
Fee Simple A freehold estate which passes without restriction to the lawful heir. (SeeIn fee).
Fee tail Estate in which inheritance is limited (entailed) e.g. fee tail male
Feet of fines The bottom copy of three adjoining copies of a final concord (or fine).
Feoffee Person to whom freehold land is conveyed by the oldest form of transfer, the feoffment,
Feoffment Also called a Deed of Gift or a Charter of Feoffment. The earliest form of written record of the transfer of land by livery of seisin.
Feudal incidents Various sources of income of the lord of the manor, such as fines, heriots and wardships
Feudal tenure Tenure of land in return for military service but later commuted to a money payment
Field (a) Pre-enclosure collection of furlongs, sometimes with many farmers.
(b) An enclosure allotment with usually one proprietor
Field book Written record of lands, furlongs, fields and commons in a manor
Field reeve Manor court official overseeing proper use of open fields
Final Concord Record of a collusive court case in Court of Common Pleas provided as three matching copies. Also called a fine – see foot of fine.
Fine (a) A money payment paid by an incoming tenant to the lord of the manor. There was connotation of wrong-doing as the word has today.
(b) Another name for a final concord
First class map The most accurate of the tithe survey maps
Foot of a fine The bottom part of a final concord or fine.
Forty shilling freeholder Freehold with property worth at least 40 shillings (£2) a year, and aged 21-70 and consequently able to vote in both local and parliamentary elections and eligible for jury service.
Frank fee A tenure which required no services; also called animproper feud
Frank tenement Freehold
Frank tenure Freehold
Freebench The custom on some manors whereby a widow of a copyholder retained one-third or more of her late husband’s land until she died, or remarried.
Freehold Absolute tenure of a property, (by 18th century) free of any obligation to the lord of the manor
Freehold Land Society Early form of building society
Freeland Freehold land
Furlong a) 220 yards or one change or 1/8th mile
b) A collection of (usually different farmers’) strips of land making up a rectangular area in an open field
Gavelkind A system of inheritance, particularly in Kent and anciently in Wales, whereby estates were divided equally between sons, and only in the absence of the male heirs amongst daughters.
Gift Any transfer of real property in the mediaeval period, whereas rights and tithes etc are made by grants.
Glebe Land assigned to the parish incumbent as part of his benefice and endowment of the church.
Glebe terrier Detailed list of the farmland held by the incumbent.
Glebe(land) or Glebe farm The farm belonging to the rector
Goad’s plans Fire Insurance plans
Grasson Money payment made to the lord of the manor on transfer of a copyhold property
Hachuring Hill shading on earlier maps
Hallmoot or Halmote Manorial court
Headland The strip of land at right angles to the end of the other strips in a furlong where the plough team turned.
Hec est finalis Concordia Opening words of a Final Concord in Latin
Hereditament a) Land which descended to an heir in cases of intestacy before 1926.
b) Any property which may be inherited; tangible ones such as buildings and land are corporeal hereditaments, and intangibles such as rights and privileges are incorporeal hereditaments.
Heriot The heir’s fee to enter the (particularly copyhold) land, formerly a gift of his best beast, and derived from the Saxon obligation to return to the lord the deceased’s military equipment (horse, harness and/or weapons). The money fee was also called a farleu orfarley. Abolished in 1922. See dead heriot.
Hide Southern English equivalent of a carucate; usually 120 acres but could vary between 64 and 240 acres
HMC Historical Manuscripts Commission, now part of TNA
Homage Collective name for all the tenants of a manor
Home farm Lord’s farm, or barton farm, on his demesne land
Hundred A division of a county in southern England responsible for military, judicial and administrative functions
Hundred court The court of an hundred
Hundred Rolls Records of the 1279 enquiry into feudal holdings
Husbandman A farmer below the rank of yeoman, usually a copyholder of leaseholder
Ichnographical plan True plans showing only walls or outlines of buildings, in comparison with tiny pictures of them
In fee Hereditarily (see fee simple)
In fee male Through male descent
Incidents of tenure Feudal incidents
Inclosure See Enclosure
Incorporeal hereditaments. Intangible inheritable property such as rights and privileges
Indenture Deed to which there are two or more parties. Two or three copies of an agreement separated by a wavy (indented) line, so that they could be matched to prove authenticity.
Inquisitions ad Quod Damnum An enquiry made by the county escheators regarding possible effect on the king’s rights of an application to alienate land, or for the grant of a market of fair.
Inquisition Post Mortem An enquiry made by the county escheators to see if the king’s rights were affected by the death of a tenant-in-chief.
Intake Land enclosed from former waste. See Assart.
Intituled Entitled
IPQ Inquisition Post Mortem
Joint tenant Shared ownership whilst alive with survivor inheriting
Joint enfeoffment The settlement of property jointly on a man and his wife, which avoided the payment of an entry fee for the tenure on the death of the husband.
Jointure The income or estate that is settled on a widow for her life or until remarriage
King’s widow Widow of a tenant-in-chief; she had to obtain the crown’s permission before remarriage.
Knight’s fee or Knight’s service Feudal tenure where holder had to provide military assistance to the crown, usually a fully-armed knight and servants for 40 days a year. Often commuted to money payment and abolished in 1660..
Lady Day 25th March, one of the quarter days when rent was due, and formerly the 1st day of the year.
Lammas (day) Harvest festival, 1st August
Lammas land The common lands open for grazing from Lammas Day until Lady Day.
Land Tax'Assessment Records of values of land holdings and taxes due
Land Tax Returns The actual monies received for Land Tax
Last Heir The party receiving land by escheat, usually the crown or the manorial lord.
Lathe An ancient Kentish land division containing several hundreds.
Lease Grant of real property to a tenant for a specified number of years or lives of people (tenants).
Lease and Release A method of transferring land which did not involve the expense of enrollment on a court roll.
Leasehold Type of tenure of land or property by lease
Letter of Attorney Deed establishing a substitute to act for one of the parties in a transaction
Letters Close Private letters closed with a seal – many are in the Close Rolls
Letters Patent Open letters, usually embodying a grant of a holding or privilege and with a pendant (dangling) seal – many are enrolled in Patent Rolls
Ley Temporary pasture
Liberty A manor or group of manors, or other areas, that lay outside a sheriff’s jurisdiction; particularly in some cities and towns.
Licence to'alienate Royal permission by Letters Patent, to sell or dispose of a property obtained from the crown and held by knight service.
Link One hundredth of a surveyor’s chain length.
Livery (of seisin) A symbolic giving of a lump of earth, turf or a stick when transferring freehold land in the most ancient manner in front of local witnesses. There was frequently no written documentation (which avoided payment of feudal dues to the lord) but if there was it was called a feoffment.
Lloyd George’s Domesday Valuation Office Records
Loveboon A ‘voluntary’ tax to the lord of the manor
LTA Land Tax Assessment
Manor A unit of estate management held by a lord (landlord, not a titled person) either directly or indirectly from the king. It held its own court and had its own customs of land holding.
Manor Court The court belonging to the lord of a manor. Variously termed Court Baron or Customary Court (which regulated agriculture and land transactions within the manor) or Court Leet or View of Frankpledge (which regulated election of officials and policing). There are many variations in custom over time and throughout England and Wales.
Manorial Documents Register A list held at TNA which identifies the location of manorial records.
Manorial Survey A detailed listing of the lands held by the lord of the manor, typically made at a change of ownership.
Maritagium A feudal lord’s right to dispose of the hand of an infant heir of his tenant in marriage. Where the heir was a girl, this ensured that she would marry someone capable of performing his feudal obligations to the lord. One of the profitable incidents of tenure.
Marriage Settlement A document drawn up before, or sometimes shortly after, a marriage typically with a father transferring land, shares or money to a son, or to a daughter and her husband, to ensure that they had sufficient income.
Manorial Documents Register
A sheet of parchment sewn with others into a roll
Mesne lord
A lord of the manor who was not a tenant-in-chief but under a superior lord who held his land from the king.
Real property including a house, e.g. a farmstead; a dwelling house with outbuildings and surrounding land.
One of the quarter days when rent was due; 29th September
One of the quarter days when rent was due; Midsummer 6th July until 1752 then 24th June;
Ministerial Accounts
Annual; accounts of income and expenditures by the steward, bailiff and other manorial officials.
A portion of an estate, originally a half, but later any portion.
A pledge of land as security against the advance of money
The soil excavated from a ditch, thrown up on the owner’s side and on which a hedge was planted.
A title deed, or evidence of a right or privilege
New Grant
Occurs at a manorial court when a house is built on a part of the lord’s waste land.
Next heir
The condition of being under age.
National Register of Archives, now at TNA
Open field
Usually the pre-enclosure arrangement of 2 or 3 common fields, divided into a number of furlongs each consisting of several, individually-farmed strips,
Open parish
One in which it was relatively easy to for a stranger obtain a Settlement Certificate. There were more land owners and later enclosure than in a closed parish.
OS or O.S.
Ordnance Survey
A variable unit of land, about 1/8th of a carucate, also called a bovate, virgate or yardland
a) Sheet of re-used parchment – the original writing erased and new material written.
b) Recycled monumental brass – taken up and engraved on reverse side.
Right to let pigs feed on acorns and beech mast in forests of woods
A piece of land, especially a strip in a common field


Information in this Wiki page is excerpted from the online course English: Land and Property Records including Manorial Documents and Maps offered by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. To learn more about this course or other courses available from the Institute, see our website. We can be contacted at wiki@genealogicalstudies.com

We welcome updates and additions to this Wiki page.