Harvard Law School Library

Bracton Online -- English

Previous   Volume 2, Page 229  Next    

Go to Volume:      Page:    

[001] serving God.’ It is evident and it is true that the gift is made primarily and
[002] principally to the church and secondarily to the rectors and parsons.1 Hence if
[003] when the gift is first made homage is sometimes done de facto, as it often is because
[004] of the warranty, relief will never follow thereon, nor wardship, nor another homage
[005] de jure, [though it may be otherwise by custom or by the modus of the gift,] because
[006] though there are several successive abbots and priors and all the canons are
[007] replaced by others it will always be the same body and the same convent, like a
[008] flock etc.,2 [and because] though there are several abbots and priors in succession,
[009] no descent of the right ought to be counted from abbot to abbot, as from heir to
[010] heir, because they do not succeed one another by hereditary right, [and] because
[011] they are in possession in the name of another.3 And though such persons are not
[012] bound to homages de jure, they do such every day by custom, and give reliefs at
[013] certain intervals, for example, every thirtieth year, as is the custom in Normandy,
[014] lest the chief lords be defrauded of the services due. [In connexion with what has
[015] been said above,4 this should be observed, that if a minor has done homage he shall
[016] not take an oath of fealty until he reaches full age.] And how a minor may do and
[017] take homage since consent is here necessary and the articulation of words.5


[019] When may one do homage? When the gift is first made, either before seisin is
[020] obtained or after. If it is done before and seisin does not follow, the homage will
[021] have no effect, as6 where seisin does not follow in the donor's lifetime, unless the
[022] gift is ratified by the heir.

How often.

[024] How often? Once, at the outset, because when homage has been done at the
[025] outset by the tenant and taken by the lord it always continues until both die. It
[026] may be taken several times successively, as it may be done,7 [because if] one of
[027] them dies it then is dissolved [because death extinguishes all things,]8 on the
[028] decedent's side, whether he is lord or tenant, but it continues in the survivor,
[029] [and if it falls in the person of the deceased the obligation nevertheless continues
[030] in his heir,] [and thus though when the lord survives it must be done anew by the
[031] tenant's heir] and the tenement and the homage raised again in his person,9 in the
[032] person of the lord a homage is renewed which was binding from the beginning.
[033] Thus if several homages are done


1. Supra 52, infra iii, 331, iv, 175

2. Infra iv, 175; E. Kantorowicz, 295, 316

3. Infra iv, 175, 176; B.N.B., no. 411

4. Supra 228

5. An addition to the series of sentences beginning ‘Item qualiter, supra 227; P. and M., i, 305-6

6. ‘ut’

7. ‘Et pluries ... sicut fieri,’ from lines 25-6

8. Drogheda, 5: ‘mors omnia solvit’

9. Infra 244

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