Speaking

The King (or lord) ruled large areas of land. To protect his land from invasion, the king gave parts of it to local lords, who were called vassals. In return, his vassals promised to fight to defend the king's land.

 

The title ‘Lord’ is an appellation for a person or deity who has authority, control, or power over others acting like a master, a chief, or a ruler. The appellation can also denote certain persons who hold a title of the peerage in the United Kingdom, or are entitled to courtesy titles. The collective "Lords" can refer to a group or body of peers.

 

The Lordship of a Manor is a lordship emanating from the feudal system of manorialism.

 

Lord Denning, in Corpus Christi College Oxford v Gloucestershire County Council [1983] QB 360, described the manor thus:

“In medieval times the manor was the nucleus of English rural life. It was an administrative unit of an extensive area of land. The whole of it was owned originally by the lord of the manor. He lived in the big house called the manor house. Attached to it were many acres of grassland and woodlands called the park. These were the “demesne lands” which were for the personal use of the lord of the manor. Dotted all round were the enclosed homes and land occupied by the “tenants of the manor”.

 

England in the Middle Ages land was held of the English monarch or ruler by a powerful local supporter, who gave protection in return. The people who had sworn homage to the lord were known as vassals. Vassals were nobles who served loyalty for the king, in return for being given the use of land.

 

After the Norman conquest of England, however, all land in England was owned by the monarch who then granted the use of it by means of a transaction known as enfeoffment, to earls, barons, and others, in return for military service. The person who held feudal land directly from the king was known as a tenant-in-chief

 

"Lord of the Manor" came into use as a substantive title in the English medieval system of feudalism after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The title "Lord of the Manor" was a titular feudal dignity which derived its force from the existence and operation of a manorial court or court baron at which he or his steward presided. To the tenants of a manor their lord was a man who commanded on occasion the power of exercising capital punishment over them. The term invariably used in contemporary mediaeval documents is simply "lord of X", X being the name of the manor. The term "Lord of the Manor" is a recent usage of historians to distinguish such lords from feudal barons and other powerful persons referred to in ancient documents variously as "Sire" (mediaeval French), "Dominus" (Latin), "Lord" etc. The title of "Lord of the Manor" is recognised by the British Government, in the form of the Her Majesty's Land Registry, as one of three elements of a manor that can affect Land Registry. They may exist separately or be combined and may be held in moieties:

 

1.the title (deriving from the Roman concept of dignitas);

2.the manorial, comprising the manor and/or its land; and

3.the seignory, rights granted to the titular holder of the manor

 

Modern legal cases have been won by persons claiming rights as lords of the manor over village greens. The heads of many ancient English land-owning families have continued to be lords of the manor of lands they have inherited.

 

Knights were warriors who fought on horseback. In return for land, they pledged themselves as vassals to the king. Only the sons of lords could become knights. Candidates for knighthood began training as pages at the age of 7, learning social graces and skills such as fencing and hunting. At 13 or 14 they became squires and began to practice fighting on horseback. Squires served as assistants to knights both in the castle and on the battlefield. At 21 a squire could become a knight himself, kneeling before the lord of the manor to be "dubbed" on the shoulder with a sword. Kings, local lords, and knights were all part-of a ruling class that called itself noblemen.

 

Ladies or Noblewomen were the wives and daughters of noblemen. They were in charge of the household servants and supervised the upbringing of children. They also helped take care of the sick and the poor. In certain cases, noblewomen themselves could own land. They could inherit it from their parents or from their husbands. When a nobleman was away, his wife ruled the manor. This meant that the noblewoman, if called upon by her lord, could send knights into battle, just as a man would.

 

Serfs lived in small communities called manors that were ruled by a local lord or vassal. Most peasants were serfs. They were bound to the manor and could not leave it or marry without the manor lord's permission. Serfs did all the work on the manor farm: they worked the fields, cared for the livestock, built and maintained the buildings, made the clothing, and cut firewood. Men, women, and children worked side by side. Serfs had small plots of land they could work for themselves; sometimes a serf saved enough money to buy his freedom and became a freeman.

 

Servants were peasants who worked in the lord's manor house, doing the cooking, cleaning, laundering, and other household chores.

 

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