|Long title||An Act takeing away the Court of Wards and Liveries and Tenures in Capite and by Knights Service and Purveyance, and for setling a Revenue upon His Majesty in Lieu thereof.|
|Citation||12 Car 2 c 24|
|Text of statute as originally enacted|
|Revised text of statute as amended|
The Tenures Abolition Act 1660 (12 Car 2 c 24), sometimes known as the Statute of Tenures, was an Act of the Parliament of England which changed the nature of several types of feudal land tenure in England. The long title of the Act was An act for taking away the Court of Wards and liveries, and tenures in capite, and by knights-service, and purveyance, and for settling a revenue upon his Majesty in lieu thereof.
This Act was partly in force in Great Britain at the end of 2010,though only section 4:
And that all tenures hereafter to be created by the Kings Majestie his Heires or Successors upon any gifts or grants of any Mannours Lands Tenements or Hereditaments of any Estate of Inheritance at the common Law shall be in free and common Soccage, and shall be adjudged to be in free and common Soccage onely, and not by Knight service or in Capite, and shall be discharged of all Wardship value and forfeiture of Marriage Livery Primer-Seizin Ouster le main Aide purfaier fitz Chivalier & pur file marrier, Any Law Statute or reservation to the contrary thereof any wise notwithstanding.
Passed by the Convention Parliament in 1660, shortly after the English Restoration, the Act replaced various types of military and religious service that tenants owed to the Crown with socage, and compensated the monarch with an annual fixed payment of £100,000 to be raised by means of a new tax on alcohol. (Frankalmoin, copyhold, and certain aspects of grand serjeanty were excluded.) It completed a process that had begun in 1610 during the reign of James I with the proposal of the Great Contract.
The Statute made constitutional gestures to reduce feudalism and removed the monarch's right to demand participation of certain subjects in the Army. By abolishing feudal obligations of those holding those feudal tenures other than by socage, such as by a knight's fee, it standardized most feudal tenancies of the aristocracy and gentry. The Act converted more of their tenures into ones which demanded nil or negligible impositions to the Crown. While socage usually implied rent to be payable to the monarch, no rent was paid in the form of free and common socage as interpreted by the courts. Instead the Act introduced and appointed collection offices and courts to administer a new form of taxation, called excise. Excise duty imposed taxation on the general public to provide an income for the monarch, its ministers and civil servants, to replace these relatively common feudal tenures among the landed classes.
Section 3 of the Act repealed the Acts 32 Hen. 8 c 46,and 33 Hen 8 c 22, thereby abolishing the Court of Wards and Liveries, established in 1540, which had been responsible for revenue collection under the feudal tenure system. It was also the first Act (under its section 14) to impose an excise duty on tea, as well as on coffee, sherbet and chocolate; the duty was placed on the manufactured beverage, and not the raw tea or coffee, treating it in much the same way as beer or spirits.
The Act also let any father, by last will and testament, designate a guardian for his children. The rights of this guardian superseded those of the children's mother. [ page needed ]
Copyhold was a form of customary land ownership common from the Late Middle Ages into modern times in England. The name for this type of land tenure is derived from the act of giving a copy of the relevant title deed that is recorded in the manorial court roll to the tenant; not the actual land deed itself. The legal owner of the manor land remained the mesne lord, who was legally the copyholder, according to the titles and customs written down in the manorial roll. In return for being given land, a copyhold tenant was required to carry out specific manorial duties or services. The specific rights and duties of copyhold tenants varied greatly from one manor to another and many were established by custom. By the 19th century, many customary duties had been replaced with the payment of rent.
The Statutes of Mortmain were two enactments, in 1279 and 1290, passed in the reign of Edward I of England, aimed at preserving the kingdom's revenues by preventing land from passing into the possession of the Church. Possession of property by a corporation, such as the Church, was known as mortmain, which literally meant "dead hand". In medieval England, feudal estates generated taxes for the King, principally on the grant or inheritance of the estate. If an estate became owned by a religious corporation which could never die, could never attain majority, and could never be attainted for treason, these taxes never became payable. It was akin to the estates being owned by the dead, hence the term.
The Statute of Frauds (1677) was an Act of the Parliament of England. It required that certain types of contracts, wills, and grants, and assignment or surrender of leases or interest in real property must be in writing and signed to avoid fraud on the court by perjury and subornation of perjury. It also required that documents of the courts be signed and dated.
Purveyance was an ancient prerogative right of the English Crown to purchase provisions and other necessaries for the royal household, at an appraised price, and to requisition horses and vehicles for royal use. It was finally abolished in 1660.
The Statute of Monopolies 1623 was an Act of the Parliament of England notable as the first statutory expression of English patent law. Patents evolved from letters patent, issued by the monarch to grant monopolies over particular industries to skilled individuals with new techniques. Originally intended to strengthen England's economy by making it self-sufficient and promoting new industries, the system gradually became seen as a way to raise money without having to incur the public unpopularity of a tax. Elizabeth I particularly used the system extensively, issuing patents for common commodities such as starch and salt. Unrest eventually persuaded her to turn the administration of patents over to the common law courts, but her successor, James I, used it even more. Despite a committee established to investigate grievances and excesses, Parliament made several efforts to further curtail the monarch's power. The result was the Statute of Monopolies, passed on 29 May 1624.
Socage was one of the feudal duties and land tenure forms in the feudal system. Farmers held land in exchange for clearly defined, fixed payments made at specified intervals to feudal lords. The lord was therefore obligated to provide certain services, such as protection, to the farmer and other duties to the Crown. Payments usually took the form of cash, but occasionally could be made with goods.
In medieval and early modern Europe, the term tenant-in-chief denoted a person who held his lands under various forms of feudal land tenure directly from the king or territorial prince to whom he did homage, as opposed to holding them from another nobleman or senior member of the clergy. The tenure was one which denoted great honour, but also carried heavy responsibilities. The tenants-in-chief were originally responsible for providing knights and soldiers for the king's feudal army.
Allodial title constitutes ownership of real property that is independent of any superior landlord. Allodial title is related to the concept of land held "in allodium", or land ownership by occupancy and defense of the land.
Seisin denotes the legal possession of a feudal fiefdom or fee, that is to say an estate in land. It was used in the form of "the son and heir of X has obtained seisin of his inheritance", and thus is effectively a term concerned with conveyancing in the feudal era. The person holding such estate is said to be "seized of it", a phrase which commonly appears in inquisitions post mortem. The monarch alone "held" all the land of England by his allodial right and all his subjects were merely his tenants under various contracts of feudal tenure.
Quia Emptores is a statute passed by the Parliament of England in 1290 during the reign of Edward I that prevented tenants from alienating their lands to others by subinfeudation, instead requiring all tenants who wished to alienate their land to do so by substitution. The statute, along with its companion statute Quo Warranto also passed in 1290, was intended to remedy land ownership disputes and consequent financial difficulties that had resulted from the decline of the traditional feudal system in England during the High Middle Ages. The name Quia Emptores derives from the first two words of the statute in its original mediaeval Latin, which can be translated as "because the buyers". Its long title is A Statute of our Lord The King, concerning the Selling and Buying of Land. It is also cited as the Statute of Westminster III, one of many English and British statutes with that title.
In Scotland, a baron is the head of a feudal barony, also known as a prescriptive barony. This used to be attached to a particular piece of land on which was situated the caput or essence of the barony, normally a building, such as a castle or manor house. Accordingly, the owner of the piece of land containing the caput was called a baron. According to Grant, there were around 350 identifiable local baronies in Scotland by the early fifteenth century and these could mostly be mapped against local parish boundaries. The term baron was in general use from the thirteenth century to describe what would have been known in England as a knight of the shire.
A feudal baron is a vassal holding a heritable fief called a barony, comprising a specific portion of land, granted by an overlord in return for allegiance and service. Following the end of European feudalism, feudal baronies have largely been superseded by baronies held as a rank of nobility, without any attachment to a fief. However, in Scotland, the feudal dignity of baron remains in existence, and may be bought and sold independently of the land to which it was formerly attached.
Frank almoin, frankalmoign or frankalmoigne was one of the feudal land tenures in feudal England. Its literal meaning is 'free pity/mercy', from Norman French fraunch aumoyne, 'free alms', from Late Latin eleemosyna, from Greek ἐλεημοσύνη, 'pity, alms', from ἐλεήμων 'merciful', from ἔλεος, 'pity'. By it an ecclesiastical body held land free of military service such as knight service or other secular or religious service, but sometimes in return for the religious service of saying prayers and masses for the soul of the grantor. Not only was secular service not due but in the 12th and 13th centuries jurisdiction over land so held belonged to the ecclesiastical courts, and was thus immune from royal jurisdiction.
In old English law, a capite was a tenure, abolished by Act 12 Chas. II, xxiv., by which either person or land was held immediately of the king, or of his crown, either by knight-service or socage. A holder of a capite is termed a tenant-in-chief.
Livery of seisin is an archaic legal conveyancing ceremony, formerly practised in feudal England and in other countries following English common law, used to convey holdings in property. The term livery is closely related to if not synonymous with delivery used in some jurisdictions in contract law or the related law of deeds. The oldest forms of common law provided that a valid conveyance of a feudal tenure in land required physical transfer by the transferor to the transferee in the presence of witnesses of a piece of the ground itself, in the literal sense of a hand-to-hand passing of an amount of soil, a twig, key to a building on that land, or other token.
The Convention Parliament of England followed the Long Parliament that had finally voted for its own dissolution on 16 March that year. Elected as a "free parliament", i.e. with no oath of allegiance to the Commonwealth or to the monarchy, it was predominantly Royalist in its membership. It assembled for the first time on 25 April 1660.
The history of English land law can be traced back to Roman times, and subsequently through the Early Middle Ages under post-Roman chieftains and Saxon monarchs where, as for most of human history, land was the dominant source of personal wealth. English land law transformed further from the Saxon days, to post-Norman Invasion feudal encastellation, from the Industrial Revolution and over the 19th century, as the political power of the landed aristocracy diminished, and modern legislation increasingly made land a social form of wealth, subject to extensive social regulation, such as for housing, national parks, and agriculture.
In the kingdom of England, a feudal barony or barony by tenure was the highest degree of feudal land tenure, namely per baroniam, under which the land-holder owed the service of being one of the king's barons. The duties owed by and the privileges granted to feudal barons are not exactly defined, but they involved the duty of providing soldiers to the royal feudal army on demand by the king, and the privilege of attendance at the king's feudal court, the precursor of parliament.
Feudalism as practiced in the Kingdoms of England during the medieval period was a state of human society that organized political and military leadership and force around a stratified formal structure based on land tenure. As a military defense and socio-economic paradigm designed to direct the wealth of the land to the king while it levied military troops to his causes, feudal society was ordered around relationships derived from the holding of land. Such landholdings are termed fiefdoms, traders, fiefs, or fees.