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[001] a free tenement. He may hold, however, both by certain and specified services [and]
[002] under an agreement, for life only or in fee, in which case the agreement and consent of
[003] the lords gives him a free tenement,1 though servile works, tallages and other such,
[004] are done, [But he may not give merchet on the marriage of a daughter, because
[005] inter alia of the privilege of free blood.]2 since they are certain and fixed. Hence
[006] in the demesnes of the lord king we must distinguish between freemen [and pure
[007] villeins, and between free] villein sokemen who were born on the royal demesne and
[008] have held in villeinage from ancient times,3 and those who are adventitious and hold4
[009] by certain and specified services, like [those] of villein sokemen, though under an
[010] agreement,5 whose condition is similar, though in one there will be a free tenement
[011] and in the other a villeinage.6

Whether a bondsman may make a gift.

[013] We must now see whether a bondsman may make a gift. It is clear that he cannot
[014] make a gift de jure of a tenement he holds in villeinage or in villein socage;7 if he does
[015] so de facto the thing given may at once be recalled without writ, [not without writ
[016] [long] after the event.]8 If a villein within the potestas of his lord [or beyond it]
[017] transfers his acquired tenement to another before his lord has laid his hand upon
[018] it, the gift is good, nor may it be revoked since by his negligence the lord has lost
[019] his action.9 10If a villein sokeman wishes to transfer his villein socage to another,
[020] let him first restore it to his lord, or to his bailiff if the lord is not present, and let
[021] the transfer be made to the other out of their hands,11 to be held freely or in socage,
[022] as the lord pleases, for a villein sokeman does not have the power to transfer since
[023] it is not he who has the free tenement but his lord.12 From this it may readily be
[024] seen that if he has been ejected the assise is not available to him but to his lord.13

If a gift is made to another for the life of the donor or donee.

[026] A gift may be made for a term or for a time: for a term, [that is], of life or years:
[027] of life, [that is], for those of both donor and donee or for the life of one of them
[028] only. For a time, that is, until or up to the time when provision is made for the
[029] donee.14 It then is important whether it is the donor only who is mentioned or the
[030] donor and his heirs. And whether it is the one or the other, whether provision ought
[031] to be made for the donee only or the donee and


1. Supra 38, infra iii, 34, 39; Br. elsewhere takes another view: iii, 35, 108, 131

2. Infra iii, 95, 96, 131

3. Supra 37-8, infra iii, 132

4. Reading: ‘inter liberos [et puros villanos, et inter liberos] villanos sokemannos . . . in villenagio et illos . . . tenuerint’

5. Reading: ‘et expressa, ad . . . sokemannorum, quamvis ex conventione’

6. ‘quorum est similis . . . quamvis in’

7. Supra 52, 66, infra iii, 132

8. Infra iii, 101, 133

9. Supra 88

10. New paragraph

11. Infra iii, 132

12. Ibid.

13. Supra 37-8, 85, infra iii, 34, 35, 39, 109, 131

14. Infra iii, 39-40, 50, 127; B.N.B., i, 89-90

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