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What homage is.

[002] What is homage? Homage is a legal bond1 by which one is bound and constrained
[003] to warrant, defend, and acquit his tenant in his seisin against all persons for a
[004] service certain, described and expressed in the gift, and also, conversely, whereby
[005] the tenant is bound and constrained in return2 to keep faith to his lord and perform
[006] the service due. [Homage is contracted by the will of both, the lord and the tenant,
[007] [and] is to be dissolved by the contrary will of both, if both so wish, for it does not
[008] suffice if one alone wishes, because nothing is more in conformity with natural
[009] equity etc.]3 4The nexus between a lord and his tenant through homage is thus so
[010] great and of such quality that the lord owes as much to the tenant as the tenant
[011] to the lord, reverence alone excepted.5

Who is bound to take homage.

[013] Who is bound to take homage? Clearly the lord of the fee and feoffor, whether male
[014] or female, of age or a minor. If he had taken it while a minor, at full age he could
[015] not allege his age, that he was deceived when he took the homage, [but it is otherwise
[016] today], because in the taking of homage it will always be understood that it is done
[017] saving the right of everyone: hence if a deception6 has taken place, it may later
[018] be alleged, despite the homage, [if homage is excepted against the action, let
[019] minority be replicated against the homage,]7 though that cannot be done in the
[020] case of one of full age, who ought not to be ignorant of the condition of him whose
[021] homage he takes.8

Who is bound to do homage.

[023] We must see who can do homage. It is clear that it may be done by 9a free man,
[024] a male or a female, a clerk or a layman, one who is of age or a minor, provided that
[025] those chosen bishops, whatever they may have done before, may not do homage
[026] after their consecration but only fealty.10 A convent does not do homage de jure,
[027] nor does an abbot or prior since they hold in the name of another, that is, in the
[028] name of their churches, as may be seen in the gift itself, at the beginning of [the
[029] charter of] gift, where it is said, ‘Know etc. that I have given etc. to such church
[030] and such a one, rector,’ or ‘[to such priory or abbey] and such a one, prior or abbot,
[031] and the monks there


1. Inst. 3.13. pr.: ‘obligatio est iuris vinculum quo necessitate astringimur’

2. P. and M., i, 301: ‘re obligatur,’ ‘bound re’; but Fleta, iii, c. 16: ‘obligatur’; Britton, ii, 26: ‘reoblig‰; agreement vested by traditio: infra 287

3. D. 50.17.35: ‘Nihil tam naturale est quam eo genere quidque dissolvere quo colligatum est,’ rather than Inst. 2.1.40; D., as supra 67

4-5. Glanvill, ix, 4: ‘Mutua quidem debet esse dominii et homagii fidelitatis connexio, ita quod quantum homo debet domino ex homagio, tantum illi debet dominus ex dominio praeter reverentiam.’

6. ‘falsitas’ for ‘falsa carta’

7. The effect of homage, once absolute, has weakened: supra 227, n. 4, Bailey in Cambridge L. Jour., ix, 89 ff.

8. Infra iii, 246; cf. supra 174. D. 50.17.19: supra 148, n. 1.

9-10. Glanvill, ix, 1: ‘Potest autem liber homo masculus homagium facere, tam is qui aetatem habet quam is qui infra aetatem est, tam clericus quam laicus. Episcopi vero consecrati homagium facere non solent domino regi etiam de baroniis suis, sed fidelitatem cum iuramentis interpositis ipse praestare solent. Electi vero in episcopos ante consecrationem suam homagia sua facere solent.’

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