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595
MANOR


to strengthen the tottering edifice of the Frankish Empire, public authority had to compromise with aristocratic forces in order to ensure regular government. As regards military organization this is expressed in the recognition of the power of seniores, called upon to lead their vassals in the host; as regards jurisdiction, in the increase of the numbers of commended freemen who seek to interpose the powerful patronage of 'lay and secular magnates between themselves and the Crown. Great estates arose notonly on the lands belonging to the.king, but on that of churches and of lay potentates, and the constitution of these estates, as described for instance in the Polyptique of St Germain des Pres .or in the “ Brevium exempla ad describendas res ecclesiastic as et fiscales ” (Capitularia, ed. Boretius, i. -250), reminds us forcibly of that of later feudal estates. They contain a home-farm, with a court and a casa indominicata, or manor-house, some holdings (mansi) of free men (ingenuiles), of serfs (serviles), and perhaps of halffree people (lidiles). The rents and services of this dependent population are statedin detail, as in .later custumals, and there is information about the agricultural implements, the stores. and stock on the home-farm., Thus the economic basis of the manor exists in more or less complete order, but it cannot be said as yet to form the prevailing type of land tenure in the country. Holdings of independent free men and village organizations of ancient type still surround the great estates, and in the case of ecclesiastical possessions we are often in a position to .watch their gradual extension at the expense of the 'neighbouring free settlers, by way of direct encroachment, and by that of surrender and Commendation on the part of the weaker citizens. Another factor which plays a great part in the, gradual process of infeudation is the rise of private jurisdictions, which fails chiefly into the 10th and rrth centuries. The struggle against Northmen, Magyars and Slavs gave a crowning touch to the process of localization of political life and of the aristocratic constitution of society. ' A

In order to describe the full-grown continental manor of the rrth century it is better to take French .examples than German, Italian or Spanish. F eudalism in France attained. the greatest extension and utmost regularity, while in other European countries it was hampered and intermixed with other institutional features. The expression best corresponding to the English “ manor, ” in the sense of an organized district, was seigneurie. Manoir is in use, and is, of course, a French word corresponding to manerium, but it meant strictly “ mansion ” or chief homestead in France. Baronie is another term which might be employed in some instances as an equivalent of the English manor, but, in a sense, it designates only one species of a larger genus, the estate of a full baron in contrast to a mere knight's fee, as well as to a principality. Some of the attributes of a baron are, however, typical, as the purest expression 'of manorial rights, and may be used in a 'general'characterization of the latter. ' '-The

seigneurie may be considered from three points of view-as a unit of administration, as an economic unit, and as a union of social classes.,

(a) In principle the disruption of political life brought about by feudalism ought to have resulted in the complete administrative independence of the manor. Chaque baron est souverain dans sa baronie is a proverb meant to express this radical view of manorial separatism. As a matter of fact this separatism was never completely realized, and even at the time of the greatest prevalence of feudalism the little sovereigns of France were combined into a loose federation of independent fiefs. Still, the proverb was not a mere play of words, and it took a long time for the kings of France to break in potentates, like the jittle Sire de Coney in the immediate vicinity of ans, who sported in his crest the sel -complacent motto: Je ne suis ni comte, ni marquis, je suis le sire de Coucy. The institutional expression of this aspect of feudalism 'in the life of the seigneurie was the jurisdiction combined with the latter. The principal origin of this jurisdiction was the dismemberment of royal justice, the. acquisition by certain landowners of the right of holding royal pleas. The assumption of authority over public tribunals of any kind was naturally considered as equivalent to such a 'transmission of royal right. But other sources may be noticed also.. It was assumed by French feudal law that in all cases when land was granted by a seigncur in subinfeudation the recipients would be bound to appear as members of a court of tenants for the settlement of conflicts in regard to land. A third source may betracedin the. extension of the patrimonial justice of a person over his serfs and personal dependents to the classes of free and half-free population connected with the sefigneurie in one way or another. There arose in consequence of these assumptions of jurisdiction a'most bewildering confusion of tribunals and 'udicial rights. It happened sometimes that the question as to who should be the judge in some particular contest was decided by matter-of-fact seizure-the holder of pleas who was the first on the spot to proclaim himself judge in a case was deemed entitled to jurisdiction. In other cases one seigneur held the pleas in a certain place for six days in the week, while some competitor of his possessed jurisdiction during the seventh. A certain order was brought into this feudal chaos by the classification of judiciary functions according to the four categories of high, middle, low and tenurial justice. The scope of the first three subdivisions is sufficiently explained by their names; the fourth concerned cases arising from subinfeudation. As a rule the baron or .reigneur sat in justice with a court of assessors or peers, but the constitution of such courts varied a great deal. They represented partly the succession of the old popular courts with their scabini, partly courts of vassals and tenants, In strict feudal law an appeal was allowed from a lower to a higher, court only in a case of a denial of justice (dénie de justice), not in error or revision of sentence. This rule was, however, very often infringed, and gave way ultimately before the restoration of royal justice; ' ~ ' 1 L

(b) The economic, fabric of the French seigneurie varied greatly, according to localities. In, the north of France it was not unlike that of the English manor. The capital messuage, or castle, and the home-farm of the lord, were surrounded by dependent holdings, censives, paying rent, and villein tenements burdened with services. Between these tenancies there were various ties of neighbourhood and economic solidarity recalling the open-held cultivation in England and Germany. When the harvest was removed from the open strips they returned to a state of unclividedpasture in which the householders of the village exercised .rights of common with their cattle. 'Wild' pasture and woods were used more or less in the same fashion as in England (droit de pacage de wine prilure). The inhabitants often formed courts and held meetings in order to settle the bylaws, and to acljudicate as to trespasses and encroachments (courts colon tres). In the south, individual property was more prevalent and time villagers were not so closely united by ties of neighbourhood. Yet even there the dependent households were arranged into mansi or colonicae, subjected to approximatelyiequal impositions in respect of, rents and services. In any case the characteristic dualism of rnanorial life, the combined working of a central home-farm, and of its economic satellites providing necessary help in the way of services; and contributing towards the formation of 'manorial stores, is quite as much a feature of French as of English medieval husband . (c) The social relations between the manorial lord and his siihjects are marked by various forms of the exploitation of the latter by the former; Apart from jurisdictional profits, rents and agricultural services, ~dues of all kinds are exacted from the rural population. Some of these dues have to be traced to servile origins, although they were evidentl gradually extended to groups of people who were not descended, from downri ht serfs but had lapsed into a state of considerable subjection. The main marie of rustic tenants meant that they had no goods of their own, but held movable property on sufferance without the right of passing it on to their successors. As a matter of fact, sons were admitted to inheritance after their fathers, and sometimes succession was extended to other relatives, but the -person taking inheritance paid"a heavy fine for entering into possession, or gave up a horse, an ox, or some other especially valuable piece of property. The formariage corresponded to the English merchetum, and was exacted from rustics on the marriage of their daughters. Although this pa 'ment assumed very different shapes, and sometimes only a pearecl in case consorts belonged to different lords, it was considered a badge of serfdom. Chevage (capitagium) might be exacted as a poll-tax from all the unfree inhabitants of a seigneurie, or, more especially, from those wholeft it to lookfor sustenance abroad. The power of the lord as a landowner was more particularly expressed in his right of pre-emption (retro/it seigneufia), and in taxes on alienation (lods et 1/entes). As a person wielding political authority, a kind of sovereignty, the lord enjoyed divers rights which are commonly attributed to the statethe right of coining money, of levying direct taxes and toll (tallagfium, tolneta) and of -instituting monopolies. These latter' were of common occurrence, and might take the shape, for instance, of forcing the inhabitants to make use of the lord's mill (moulin banal), or of his oven (four banal), or of hisbull (taureau banal). In Germany the history of the manorial system is bound up with the evolution of the Grundherrschajt (land lordship), as opposed to Gutsherrschaft (estate-ownership). The latter need not include any elements of public authority and aristocratic supremacy: the former is necessarily connected with public functions and aristocratic standing. The centre of the Grundiherrschaft was the Hof, the court or hall of the lord, from which the 'political and 'economic rights of thelord tadiated.