Harvard Law School Library

Bracton Online -- English

Previous   Volume 2, Page 227  Next    

Go to Volume:      Page:    

[001] and doing all their service to the eldest or her husband,1 who shall answer for it to
[002] the chief lord lest he be obliged to receive his service in fractions. [The chief lord,
[003] not the eldest daughter or her husband, will also have the wardship and marriage
[004] of the younger daughters, that the sheep be saved from the jaws of the wolves,
[005] because of the expectation and possibility of succession, which might occur if they
[006] should die within age through some machination.]2 These statements are true if
[007] the several sisters hold of someone other than the lord king, for if they hold of
[008] him in chief, then, the eldest being put aside, they shall all achieve and do homage
[009] to him.3 [If] when they hold of someone other than the lord king each achieves de
[010] facto to the chief lord, this may4 be set aside by the eldest daughter and her husband,
[011] but what was done will always hold because the chief lord will not give up what
[012] was bestowed upon him [since], whether they hold of the lord king or of another,
[013] when homage has been done, whether before the third heir or after, reliefs and the
[014] other services will at once be due.


[016] 5We must consider among other things what homage is, how it is entered into,
[017] who is bound to take and who to do it, when, how often, and from what things.
[018] And by what persons. How it is taken and by what words. And by what words the
[019] oath of fealty ought to be sworn. And how and for how long homage continues
[020] between lord and tenant, and when both die, or one of them, and it falls on both
[021] sides or on one, dissolved by death, the obligation continues6 and the tenement is
[022] raised again [with the homage]7 in the persons of heirs. And how, after it has
[023] once been done, it is dissolved and totally extinguished because of the failure of
[024] heirs or the felony of the lord or the tenant: of the lord, so that he loses his
[025] dominium, so that he cannot be lord; of the tenant, so that the tenement must
[026] revert to the lord according as the tenant holds it, in demesne or in service. Also
[027] whether the lord can attorn his homage and service, or one of them, against the
[028] will of his tenant. And what the law is if the lord refuses the homage of his tenant,
[029] or after he has taken it does not acquit him of the service due his superior lord
[030] but puts everything into his own purse.8


1. Glanvill, vii, 3: ‘Tenentur autem postnatae filiae vel earum mariti servitium suum de suo tenemento capitali domino facere per manum primogenitae vel eius mariti.’

2. Cal. Cl. Rolls (continuing 226, n. 11 supra): ‘Et preterea cum primogenita sit heres omnium aliarum sororum si obierint sine herede de se, si ipsa habere posset custodiam sororum suarum vel puerorum suorum, hoc esset quasi committere agnum lupo devorandum.’

3. Ibid.: ‘... in regno nostro Anglie semper talis fuit lex et consuetudo quod si quis teneret de nobis in capite et haberet filias heredes, ipso patre defuncto antecessores nostri et nos semper habuimus homagia de omnibus filiabus et singule earum tenent de nobis in hoc casu in capite; et si infra etatem fuerint, nos habemus custodiam earum et maritagium.’

4. ‘non’ deleted but remainder of sentence left unchanged; homage may be void because of error, supra 174, 207, infra 228, 233

5. New paragraph, probably written subsequently as an introduction to the portion on homage

6. Infra 229

7. Ibid.

8. Infra 244

Contact: specialc@law.harvard.edu
Page last reviewed April 2003.
© 2003 The President and Fellows of Harvard College