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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 14

The Feudal Tenures. — 11.—The Feudal Tenants and the King

The Feudal Tenures.

11.—The Feudal Tenants and the King.

Whatever name may be given to the title by which William I. possessed himself of England, it is beyond a doubt that, soon after the battle of Hastings, it became a fundamental maxim of the law of England that all the lands in the kingdom were held either mediately or immediately of the Crown, on consideration of certain services to be rendered, and of certain payments to be made by the tenants y. At first all the lands were held immediately of the king; but from time to time the king's chief tenants (tenants in capite as they were called) granted out a portion of their estates to other tenants, to hold of them instead of the king. This practice was put a stop to in the reign of Edward I., by a statute commonly called the statute Quia emptores z. Those estates, however, which had been created before the passing of that statute continued, but no more could be created.