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Domesday-book (a), which about fifty years ago was reprinted by government, under an address of the House of Lords (6), records the survey made by command of William the Conqueror, of all the manors throughout England, except those
(a) The better opinion seems to year; and in the latter end of that be, that this book was compiled upon very year the king was attended by the introduction, or rather on the all his nobility at Sarum; where all complete establishment, of feudal the principal landholders submitted tenure in England by William the their lands to the yoke of military Conqueror, for the purposes of mili- tenure, became the king's vassals, tary defence ; and, as Sir Martin and did homage and fealty to his Wright supposes, (Ten. 56), “ in person.” 2 vol. Com. 48. And adds, order to discover the quantity of (16. p. 51.) “In
(Ib. p. 51.) “In consequence of this every man's fee, and to fix his ho- change, it became a fundamental mage."
Sir Wm. Blackstone ob- maxim and necessary principle serves, “We learn from the Saxon (though in reality a mere fiction) of Chronicle (A.D. 1085), that in the our English tenures, that the king 19th year of King William's reign, o is the universal lord and original proan invasion was apprehended from prietor of all the lands in his kingDenmark; and the military consti- • dom : and that no man doth or can tution of the Saxons being then laid
possess any part of it, but what has aside, and no other introduced in its • mediately or immediately been destead, the kingdom was wholly de- "rived as a gift from him, to be held fenceless; which occasioned the king
feodal services.'" to bring over a large army of Nor- The reader, however, is reminded, mans and Bretons, who were quar- that most of our ancient text writers tered upon every landholder, and are agreed, that military services and greatly oppressed the people. This feuds may be traced to the Saxon apparent weakness, together with the polity, but that the feudal law was grievances occasioned by a foreign completely established about the midforce, might co-operate with the dle of the reign of William the Conking's remonstrances, and the better
queror. Vide Harg. & Butl. notes incline the nobility to listen to his to Co. Lit. 64. a. & b., 65. a., proposals for putting them in a posture of defence. For as soon as the (b) And is said to be executed danger was over, the king held a with the most scrupulous fidelity and great council to inquire into the state
correctness : See first Report of the of the nation; the immediate conse- House of Commons on Public Requence of which was the compiling cords, Appendix A. 1. a. 1 Phill. on of the great survey, called Domesday- Ev. 321. book, which was finished in the next
in the northern counties, viz. Northumberland, Cumberland, Westmoreland, and Durham (a); and part of Lancashire.
This survey is supposed by some ancient writers, to have been undertaken about the year 1081, and to have been finished in 1086 (6); but the exact time of its commencement is differently stated by historians, some affirming that it was begun in 1085, and finished in about a year (c).
Domesday-book has been sometimes called Liber de Wintonia, or Rotulus Wintoniæ, which is considered to be evidence of the first place of its deposit. It appears to have been re
(a) A valuable supplement to “ these exclusive rights, that when Domesday-book was, a few years “ the general census, known by the ago, reprinted, entitled the Boldon- “ name of Domesday-book was made, book, or Survey of the Palatinate of “the bishoprick of Durham was Durham. In the appendix to the passed by, as it was found to consecond general Report from the Com- “ tain no rights which could be missioners on Public Records, (p. “ claimed by the monarch, without 475,) it is stated, that Hugh Pudsey, trenching on those which had been called also, De Puteaco, De Pusar, possessed by its bishops through a and De Pusaz, nephew to Stephen, “ long series of years." king of England, caused this survey This record it seems is frequently to be made in 1183; and that it pro- appealed to, and has been admitted bably had its name from Boldon, a as evidence in trials at law, on quesvillage and parish near Sunderland, tions affecting the seignorial rights in the same diocese, where either it of the see of Durham. was compiled, or according to the One
of the Boldon-book is in census of whose inhabitants, the other the bishop's auditor's office, Durham; manors, &c. in that bishopric were another in the library of the Dean regulated. This useful work adds, and Chapter in the same city; and a “Of the motives or reasons which led third among the manuscripts of Arch“ to this compilation, we have no re- bishop Laud, at Oxford. “cord; but Bishop Pudsey affected (6) See Lex Man. 27. 4 Inst. “ the state of a sovereign in his own 269. “ palatinate; in which there were (c) Baron Maseres, in the notes “ many royal rights, which had been
to his . Excerpta ex Orderico Vitali,' “ enjoyed by its prelates long before p. 259, represents the survey to have “ the conquest, and were continued begun as early as 1071. See App. to
long after; several of which re- 2nd Gen. Rep. from Comm. on “ main even to the present day. And Pub. Rec. p. 382, et seq. “ perhaps it was in consequence of
moved to Westminster soon after its completion, and kept under seal in the Exchequer, till, in 1696, it was deposited in the chapter house.
Ancient writers are not agreed as to the derivation of the word · Domesday : It has been affirmed (a), and with apparent probability, to be a corruption of Dome-boc, which was the appellation given to Alfred's register or code of Saxon laws; but the word “domesday' was frequently used, even so long back as the eleventh century, to denote a survey (b).
As there can be no appeal from domesday-book, and no averment made against it (c), so it has not inappositely been called liber judiciarius (d); and we have a further clue to the signification of the word · Domesday, in Sir Edward Coke's 4th Inst. (e), who in adverting to its uncontrollable truth and verity, says, “ And therefore in that respect like the doome and judgement at Doomesday.”
Domesday-book was frequently appealed to in ancient times, as will be seen by consulting several of the authorities already referred to (f).
In the case of Griffin v. Palmer (8), the issue was whether the manor of Bowden in Northamptonshire were ancient demesne or not; and the Court of Common Pleas awarded that the plaintiff · habeat recordum libri de Domesday hic • in Oct. Mich., &c., and on production of the book at the trial it appeared, that the manor of Bowden in Leicestershire was ancient demesne, but that Bowden in Northamptonshire was not.
The like issue was taken in ejectment for lands in Longhope
(a) See Bishop Kennett's Pa- (e) P. 269. So Redborne, Angl. roch. Antiq.
Sacr. tom. i.
257. « Vocalus (b) See App. to second Gen. Re- Domysday; et vocatur sic, quiù nulli port from Commissioners on Public parcit sicut nec magnus dies judicii.” Records, 381, 383-4.
($) Ante, p. 687. n. (e). (c) 4 Inst. 269.
(g) 1 Brownl. 43. S. C. Hob. 188. (d) Spelm. Gloss. v. Domesday. Ca. 230. Lex Man. 30. And see 4 Inst. 269.
in Gloucestershire, and at the trial Domesday-book was brought into court by an officer of the Exchequer, by which it appeared that Hope was Ancient Demesne, but there was no mention of Longhope, upon which the counsel for the defendant offered to prove that Hope and Longhope were one and the same place; but the court would not admit such proof, and held that the defendant should have pleaded that it was known as well by the one name as the other (a).
And unless the manor or land is mentioned under the title terræ Regis or terre Regis Edwardi (b), in Domesday-book, it will not be deemed Ancient Demesne, although the book itself should furnish evidence of a grant thereof from the Crown (c).
There are three sorts of tenants in Ancient Demesne, one who hold their lands freely by the grant of the King; a second, who hold of a manor which is Ancient Demesne, but not at the will of the lord, and whose estates pass by surrender, or deed of
grant or bargain and sale, and admittance, and denominated customary freeholders (d); and a third who hold of a manor, which is Ancient Demesne, by copy of court roll, at the will of the lord, and denominated copyholders of base tenure, which latter cannot maintain a writ of Right Close (e) or Monstraverunt (f), but are to sue by plaint in the lord's court (g).
(a) Holdy v. Hodges, 1 Sid. 147. S.C. (Holdage v. Hodges) 1 Lev. 106. And see similar issues as to the manor of Sudbury in Suffolk, Dy. 250. b. 9 Co. 31. a;
and the manor of Otterbury, Saunders v. Welch, cited 1 Salk. 57. Vide also, 1 Nels. Abr. 210. (A). 1 New Abr. 110. (A. marg.)
(6) Ante, p. 687.
Of the Privileges incident to this Tenure.
It should seem that by the terms of the original grants of land, of the tenure of ancient demesne, the grantees bound themselves to cultivate the King's demesnes for the sustenance of his household (a); and to supply provisions for the King's garrisons, and for the soldiers in other places, in time of war or rebellion (6); for which services certain privileges were secured to them, regarding both their persons and estates, for they appear to be excused (but in respect only of their lands held in ancient demesne) from serving on juries or inquests out of their manor or seigniory (c); and from taxes and tallages granted by parliament, if not specially charged (d); and from payment of pontage and toll of passage (e): And this latter privilege extends as well to tenants who hold of a subject as of the king ;
(a) See 1 Leo. 232, in Ward & nure is not prejudiced by the purview Knight's case. 2 Inst. 221, 542. 4 of such acts. See 1 And. 71, &c. Inst. 269. Lex Man. 29, 81. 2 Sho. 4 Inst. 270. Hob. 48. Com. Dig. 16, in the King v. Betlworth. Hob. Ancient Demesne(K). Ante pt. 1.p.99. 48, in Cox v. Barnsly.
(e) Br. Aunc. Dem. pl. 43, 49. Ib. (6) See the Town of Leicester's Priviledge, pl. 56, F. N. B. 14, 228. case, 2 Leo. 191. Lex Man. 29 n. 2 Inst. 542. 4 Inst. 269. Kitch. 194. 1b. 32-3.
Hob. 48, in Cox v. Barnsly. Ancient (c) F. N. B. 14 F. 4 Inst. 269. Demesne tenants were also exempt Br. Auncien Demesne, pl. 42. “ Te
from contribution to the expenses of nants of ancient demesne shall be ex- knights in Parliament; see all the empt from the leet, view of frank- authorities referred to in this note. pledge, and from Sheriff's tourns.” Vide also ante, p. 672. Heyw. C. Br. Aunc. Dem. pl. 49, cites the Reg. 82, [2d ed.] fo. 181. And see F. N. B. 14. E. Tenants in ancient demesne, holdmarg. But ancient demesne
ing by copy of court roll, were exexemption from serving the office of cluded by 31 Geo. 2. c. 14, from the high constable. King v. Bettsworth, privilege of voting at elections. Vide 2 Sho. 75. S.C. Anon. 1 Vent. 344. Heyw. C. 75, &c. Male [2d ed.]
(d) But I apprehend that all ge- 133, 285. Ante p. 674. But see reneral acts of Parliament extend to ference to 2 W. 4. c. 45, ante pt. 1. ancient demesne lands, when the te- p. 661, n. (b).