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[001] Hilary term in the [eighteenth] year of king Henry in the county of Norfolk, [the
[002] case] of Cecilia de Stradesete and the Prior of the Hospital of Jerusalem.1 Nor would
[003] such a donor [or his heir] if vouched to warranty be bound to warrant by reason
[004] of such gift. To the same intent [in the roll] of Michaelmas term in the thirteenth and
[005] the beginning of the fourteenth years of king Henry, at the beginning [of the roll].2

A gift made in free alms.

[007] A gift may also be made in free alms, as to churches, cathedral, conventual or
[008] parochial, [and] to men of religion, sometimes in free and perpetual alms.3 The
[009] donee is not then excused the performance of service. But if the gift is made in
[010] free, pure and perpetual alms, he is excused.4 On this matter there is more below
[011] [in the portion] on the assise.5 Special cases arise out of a gift of this kind. For
[012] suppose one gives to some house of religion ‘to hold6 in pure and perpetual alms,
[013] quit of every secular service and exaction, as freely as any alms may most freely
[014] and advantageously be given to any religious house’ land which was his escheat and
[015] of his fee but which he never before held in demesne. If he who forfeited the
[016] land did customs and services therefrom to some other, for which the house has no
[017] acquitance, and if, when they are impleaded for that service, they vouch their
[018] feoffor to warranty, he need not warrant (though it is true that one may give land
[019] more freely than he himself held it) because he gave only what was his own, that
[020] is, the land which was his escheat, remitting to them the service due himself. The
[021] service owed another he could not take away or diminish by such gift unless he had
[022] specifically taken it upon himself, with its warranty and defence, with the consent
[023] of the other lord; what was his own he remitted for himself and his heirs, and,
[024] so far as he and they are concerned, he made [a gift] in free and pure alms, but as
[025] to others not at all.7 Suppose that one says, ‘I give to such a one so much land as
[026] freely as I held it on the day I made the gift,’ or ‘as I ever most freely held it,’
[027] or ‘as I or any of my ancestors ever most freely held it.’ We must then see whether
[028] that land is free as against others or burdened, [and if burdened], by what services,
[029] to whom, and from what time, and accordingly the donor, he who gave, may or
[030] may not be bound.8 And that one may give land in free, pure and perpetual alms,
[031] more freely


1. B.N.B., no. 836; no roll extant

2. Not in B.N.B.; no roll extant

3. Supra 59

4. B.N.B., no. 21

5. Infra iii, 40, 127, 128, 331, iv, 265, 266

6. ‘tenendam’

7. Infra 115

8. Ibid.

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