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brians. The English and the Anglo-Danes gradually coalesced, the English language and institutions maintaining the ascendancy, though appreciably influenced by contact with the foreign element in their midst.

After the death of Eadgar the Peaccable (.A.D. 975), the minority and feeble character of Ethelred the Unready provoked fresh attacks from Denmark. These now assumed the form of a regular war of conquest, conducted by the kings of a country which had at length been admitted within the civilizing pale of Christendom, and whose people were no longer ferocious pirates, like their ancestors in the former invasions. The English royal house was for a time supplanted by its Danish rival, but the polity of the Kingdom was not changed. The English still outnumbered their conquerors; and on the death of Harthaknut, in 1042, the ancient line of Cerdic regained the throne. With the exception of the reigns of Harold II. and the first four Norman kings, descendants of the House of Cerdic have occupied it ever since.

Before the Norman Conquest, the various Teutonic tribes had coalesced with one another and with the descen

dants of the Danish settlers, and had become fused into Constitution one nation. We have now to inquire what was the constiof English tution of the English nation from the 7th to the ith nation from 7th to with

century; a constitution which survived the Norman Concentury.

quest, and which in all its essential principles—developed and adapted from time to time to meet the requirements of successive generations, but still the same—has continued

down to our own day. Appropria- Of the exact process by which the territory conquered by tion of the each of the invading tribes was divided amongst the colo.

nists, we have no positive knowledge. Any statement on this point must therefore necessarily be hypothetical. But there can be little doubt that, as to a large portion of the land

of each colony, a principle of allotment was generally adopted General based upon the existing divisions of the host into compaallotment probable.

| Robertson, Hist. Essays, p. 203; Stubbs, Const. Hist. i. 173.

nies, each consisting of a hundred warriors united by the tie of kinship. The allotment of land made to each hundred warriors would be sub-divided, according to the ininor divisions of the kindred into magths, i.e., a greater or The magth. less number of settlers closely connected by the family tie.? Certain portions of the land appropriated to the separate magths were held in absolute ownership by the heads of families; other portions were both held and cultivated in common as the common property of the community.

Besides the land thus divided among the simple frcemen, Private a further portion of the territory was retained by the chief estates of

. of the tribe as his private estatc; and it is probable that the nobles also and leaders of subordinate rank either themselves appropriated, or received, grants of estates in severalty.

All the land which remained after satisfying these Public lands. various claimants was the common property of the whole colony-the Folkland. As the various tribal colonies or shires coalesced into kingdoms, and the kingdom of Wessex absorbed the other kingdoms, and developed into the kingdom of England, the Folkland of the shire became in turn the Folkland of the provincial kingdom and of the English nation. Although tenure of land in common by local commu- Absolute

ownership nities continued to subsist, and has left its traces in the in severalty common lands of townships and manors of the present day, the generan absolute ownership in severalty, which had existed from rule. the first, soon became the general rule.

During the pre-Norman period, therefore, the whole land of England may be broadly divided under the two great heads of (1) Public, or Folcland; and (2) Private, or Bôcland.

1 There were two groups of individuals in the Anglo-Saxon community to which the word family may be applied. The first and larger group, including the whole body of the kindred, is called in Anglo-Saxon the Mother Megburit... The second and smaller group, including only the husband, his wife, and children, may be called the household.' Young, Essays in AngloSaxon Law, Boston, 1876. On the Mughurh, see further, Kemble, Saxons in Eng. i. 234.

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(1) Folcland, the land of the folk or people, was the common property of the nation. It formed the main source of the State revenues, and could not be alienated without the consent of the national council. But it might be held by individuals, subject to such rents and services as the State, in its landowning capacity, should think fit to determine. While, however, it continued to be Folkland, its alienation was only temporary, and could not be in perpetuity; so that at the expiration of the term for which it had been granted it reverted to the nation. It was closely analogous to the ager publicus of the Romans, and its individual holders to the Roman possessores.

(2.) Böclandl was land held in full ownership, either as part of an original allotment, or as having bcen subsequently severed from the Folkland, with the consent of the nation, and appropriated to individuals in perpetuity, subject merely to such burdens as the State, in its political as distinguished from its landowning capacity, might impose upon its members.

Folkland, even when granted to individuals for a life or lives or other term in severalty, always retained certain marks of its public character in the burdens to which it was liable. Its possessors were bound to assist in the execution of various public works, including the repair of royal vills ; and they might be called upon to entertain the King and great men in their progress through the country, and to furnish carriages and horses for their service. Bookland, on the contrary, was released from all public burdens, except the trinoda necessitas, or liability of

Bôcland=land conveyed by book or charter, the usual mode after the introduction of writing. But at an earlier period the conveyance was symbol. ized by the delivery of a staff, spear, arrow, branch of a tree, or piece of turf. This practice was continued after the introduction of writing, and long survived in our law of real property, in a modified form, as the lizary of seisin, the essential part of a feoffment. Though all land, on being granted in perpetuity, ceased to be Folcland, it was not strictly Bôcland, unless conveyed in writing. Land thus held in absolute property has been called in different Teutonic dialects Sel, odal, or alod. Similar to the possessors of Bôcland, both in name and with reference to the nature of their possessions, were the libel. lario nomine possidentes' and the 'libcllarii' of the Lombards and Franks.

its owners to military service and to a contribution for the repair of fortresses and bridges (fyrd, burl-bôt, and brycge-bốt).

Bookland might be held for various estates or interests. It was generally alienable inter vios, devisable by will, and transmissible by inheritance. It might be entailed or limited in descent, in which case the owner was deprived of the power of alienation. The King, like any of his subjects, had private estates of Bookland which did not merge in the Crown, and over which he exercised the same powers of disposition as a private individual.? In the course of tinc much of the Folkland was converted into Bookland. Large grants were made to the Church, and also to individuals for specific purposes, as for the pay of the King's thcgns (thegn-land), of the gerefa (gerefa-land, reve-land), or of the officers of the royal household.

Both Folkland and Bookland might be leased out to free cultivators, in such quantities and on such terms as the holders pleased. When so leased out, it was termed lanland (land lent or leased).

As the regal office advanced in dignity and power, a tendency set in to substitute the King for the Nation as the owner of the national lands; the word Folkland The Folkgradually fell out of use, and was replaced by the term terra regis, or Crown-land. This tendency reached its regis. climax after the Norman Conquest, when the whole land

land be comes terra

From the will of King Ælfred (Cod. Diplom. ii. 112) it is evident that both he and his grandfather Ecgberht had the absolute disposal of their bôcland.

Allen (Royal Prerogative, p. 144) thus sums up the information on the land laws of the Anglo-Saxons contained in this interesting document : *It appears that Egbert, grandiather of Alfred, had settled his landed property on his male in preference to his female heirs ; that Ethelwulf, father of Alfred, had bequeathed various estates to his younger children, and regulated, in certain contingencies, how they should descend ; that Alfred himself and two of his brothers had acquired landed property, in addition to the inheritance they received from their father ; that their rights over their estates were settled and adjudged in the courts of law, as if they liad been private individuals ; and lastly that Alfred was empowered to make a new settlement of his lands by a decision of the Witan in these words, “It is now all thine own; bequeath it, give it, or sell it to kinsman or stranger, as it pleaseth thee best."


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of the kingdom came to be regarded as the demesne land

of the King, held of him by a feudal tenure.
Territorial The unit of the territorial division was the tun, town-

ship or vicus, occupied by a body of alodial owners as-
sociated by the tie of local contiguity, and also as repre-
senting either the original mugth community of allottees,
or the dependent settlers on the estate of the immigrant
chief. Each township had its tun-gemöt, or assembly of

freemen, and a tun-gerofa as its headman or chief executive The Town officer. The townships were grouped together into hunship.

crcds, or as they were called in the Anglian districts, ii'apentakes. An aggregation of hundreds constituted the

shirc, and the union of shires made up the later kingdom. The

The Hundred, or Wapentake, a district answering to the llundrell.

pagus of Tacitus, probably has its origin in the primitive settlements, varying in geographical extent, of each hundred warriors of the invading host. The term Wapentake, which clearly has reference to the armed gathering of the freemen, points to the military origin of the hundred, like that of the harred in the Scandinavian kingdoms. In England the names Hundred and Wapentake first appear


| For a fuller description of Folkland and Bookland, sce Allen, Royal Prerog. 135 it seq.

: “The liin is originally the enclosure o: , hedge, whether of the single farm or of the enclosed village, as the burh is the fortified house of the powerful

The corresponding word in Vorse is garis, our garth or jard. The equivalent German termination is heim, our ham; the Danish form is by (Xorse, li=German, bau).'—Stubbs, Const. Hist. i. 82. Cf. also the Flemish and Frisic him.

3 The difficulty in determining the principle upon which the Hundreds were established is increased by the fact that they are most numerous in some of the smaller shires. Kent contains 61, Sussex 65, Dorsetshire 34 hundreds ; while Lancashire has only six. A probable explanation of this disproportion, and a further argument in favour of a military origin, may be derived from the fact that the small southern counties were the districts first conquered, and therefore the most densely populated by the new settlers. The county of Kent is divided into six lathes, of nearly equal size, having the jurisdiction of the hun. dreds in other shires. The lathe may be derived from the Jutish lething' (in modern Danish 'leding')—a military levy. The singular division of Sussex into six rapes '(each of which is subdivided into hundreds), seems also to have been made for military purposes. The old Norse hreppe' denoted a nearly similar territorial division. (See Lappenbery, England under the Anglo-Saxons, by Thorpe, i. 96, 107.) Two counties, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, were divided into Trithings or Thirds (which still subsist in Yorkshire under the corrupted name of Kidings), and these were subdivided generally into wapentakes.

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