Harvard Law School Library

Bracton Online -- English

Previous   Volume 2, Page 263  Next    

Go to Volume:      Page:    

[001] having retained part of the inheritance, and the younger son [B] dies, leaving an heir
[002] within age [C], and the wardship of the lands of the heir [C] of the younger son [B]
[003] falls in the hands of the lords, because of the heir [A], with regard to having the
[004] marriage of the heir [C] the rule of priority will be applied according to whether he
[005] [B] was enfeoffed by his father and mother at one time or successively, for if they
[006] enfeoffed him of their several fees at the same time, the chief lord of whose fee the
[007] enfeoffing ancestors were themselves first enfeoffed will be preferred. But if they
[008] enfeoffed him in successive stages, he will be preferred of whose fee the father and
[009] mother made the first feoffment to the younger son.

To whom a marriage belongs in the case of socage.

[011] We must see to whom a marriage from socage belongs. It will belong to him to
[012] whom the wardship of the lands and tenements [of the heir] will belong according to
[013] local custom, either to the chief lord or to a nearer kinsman who may claim no right in
[014] the inheritance, because of the suspicion of disherison, especially not to that kinsman
[015] from whose side the inheritance descends, or who could claim some right in the
[016] inheritance or be heir to the whole or a part.1 Thus a younger daughter ought not to
[017] be in the wardship of an older daughter, or of her husband if she should be married.
[018] And thus if one buys the wardship of lands and the marriage of daughters and makes
[019] one of them his wife, suspicion at once arises and he loses the wardship of the body
[020] and marriage of the others ipso jure, because of the suspicion; it will belong to the
[021] relatives, as was said, [that is], the wardship of the body and the marriage. Suppose
[022] that one is first enfeoffed of something to be held in socage and afterwards of [another
[023] thing, by] the same person or another, to be held by military service, [or conversely.]
[024] It is evident and it is true that he who made the feoffment by military
[025] service must be preferred, because of the privilege of military tenure. If by such
[026] feoffment the feoffee suffers damage with respect to the marriage of his heir, such
[027] persons can only blame themselves. 2If when heirs are under the potestas of their
[028] parents, to whom the marriage belongs by absolute right, the parents sell the
[029] marriage of such heirs and they are not married by the purchaser during the life of
[030] the vendor, immediately upon the vendor's death the marriage will belong to the
[031] chief lord,3 4and thenceforth, if another marries off the heir, a purchaser, relative,
[032] stranger,


1. Reading: ‘maxime [non] ad ipsum consanguineum de cuius’; supra 254

2. New paragraph; connected with section following

3. Supra 257; B.N.B., no. 696

4. New sentence only in MB

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