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A History of the Land Law$
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A. W. B. Simpson

Print publication date: 1986

Print ISBN-13: 9780198255376

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198255376.001.0001

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The Tenant's Interest in the Land

The Tenant's Interest in the Land

Chapter:
(p.47) III The Tenant's Interest in the Land
Source:
A History of the Land Law
Author(s):

A. W. B. Simpson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198255376.003.0003

An obvious consequence of the tenurial system is that a number of persons had interests of some sort in the same parcel of land. Confining attention for the time being simply to freeholders, at the bottom of the feudal ladder there was a tenant who had seisin of the land and was called the tenant in demesne, and at the top there was the King. In between there may have been a string of mesne lords, who were lords and tenants at the same time. This all posed something of a problem in analysis of the early lawyers, and the problem might have been solved in a variety of ways. One solution would have been to conceive of the tenant in demesne as the ‘owner’ of the land. But this was not the way in which the position was looked at, and perhaps the explanation lies in the materialism which is a striking feature of medieval legal thought in England.

Keywords:   tenurial system, freeholders, feudal system, tenant in demesne, materialism, England

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