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By Marjorie Keniston McIntosh

This background of the English royal manor of Havering, Essex, illustrates lifestyles at one severe of the spectrum of private and collective freedom in the course of the later heart a long time, revealing the categories of styles that may emerge while medieval humans have been put in a surroundings of bizarre independence. As citizens of a manor held by way of the crown, they profited from royal administrative overlook. As tenants of the traditional royal demesne, that they had distinct criminal rights and monetary privileges. Havering's dominant households managed the criminal and administrative lifetime of their neighborhood in the course of the robust manor courtroom. The tenants mixed successfully to avoid outdoors interference of their affairs, regardless of the individualistic self-interest take place of their financial dealings. In 1465 the tenants got a royal constitution which tested Havering as a proper Liberty, with its personal justices of the peace. via the top of the 15th century Havering displayed many features usually linked to the Elizabethan and Jacobean classes.

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Additional resources for Autonomy and Community: The Royal Manor of Havering, 1200-1500

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344). 34 Royal profit and privileges of ancient demesne, 1200—65 point of view of the king and royal justices too. In simplest terms, it removed a number of unimportant cases from an already overcrowded docket and contributed to a tidier definition of the jurisdiction of the central courts. At the same time it provided a means whereby the king's legal and administrative interest in his manorial tenants could be maintained after their land cases had been excluded from the central courts. The king and his officials retained some degree of supervision through issuing writs for customary land cases and accepting appeals against the procedures or judgements of the manorial courts.

70 Another element in the ancient demesne procedure is the provision of a writ for customary land cases, the only instance in medieval English law in which writs were used for non-freehold land. Here again, the writ was probably not a new creation of the justices but rather a formalisation of a practice already in at least partial use. In the case from Havering which came before the royal court in 1199, it was claimed that the men of the four royal manors within Essex pleaded by the king's writ for their customary tenements; in a case from elsewhere on the ancient demesne, blocked in the king's court in 1224 because the land was held by villein tenure, the plaintiffs were told to * obtain a writ of right according to the custom of the manor'.

1, p. 77, vol. 5, p . 324, vol. 6, pp. 68 and 201, vol. 15, n o . 1458, BNB, vol. 2, no. 641, P R O J U S T 1/229, m m . 1 and u d , and FFE, vol. 1, p p . 24, 46, 6 1 , 98, 104, 115 and 117. For his son John, see pp. 26-7 above; their estate is described in ch. 3 below. CRR, vol. 1, p. 77, and vol. 6, p. 68. ) In both cases the justices apparently allowed the actions to proceed. Between 1212 and 1233, however, the provision of immediate royal justice for the tenants of the manor was completely withdrawn.

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