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Native Law and the Church in Medieval Wales$
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Huw Pryce

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780198203629

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198203629.001.0001

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Land and Lordship

Land and Lordship

(p.204) 8 Land and Lordship
Native Law and the Church in Medieval Wales

Huw Pryce

Oxford University Press

A prerequisite of the territorial sanctuary-rights enjoyed by churches was the possession of land. By the time of the earliest lawbooks' compilation in the late 12th and 13th centuries, churches in Wales were well endowed with estates, many of which had been granted in the pre-Norman period. In addition, from the mid-12th century onwards, both the Marcher aristocracy and native Welsh rulers made donations to the new religious orders, especially the Augustinians and Cistercians. The massive benefactions to the latter order were estimated to have doubled the amount of land under ecclesiastical control in the country. Two main aspects of churches' landed wealth engaged the attention of Welsh jurists: disputed title to land and, more importantly, the exercise of seignorial rights over tenants on ecclesiastical estates.

Keywords:   Wales, churches, land, ecclesiastical estates, title, landed wealth, seignorial rights, tenants

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