Month: August 2018


“No” does not mean the end of the road.


In almost all meetings, the sales team saying that the customer is saying “NO”. No matter what is the new products or new suggest of a new customer, the sales team are repeatedly saying “but the customer said NO!.”


I wrote this blog to explain my view of the meaning of “No”.


“No” is the end of the road, so does every “No” means the end of the road?

I am like you, I said “No” many times to an offer and then shortly after, I look to buy the same product. So, what happened, why did I change my mind?


“No” is an expression of a mind state at the time. This mind state is expressed by a “No” word. So, does the mind state reject the sales offer?

No, there is a seldom chance to have a mind state rejection. It is just an impulsive response to a new offer.


To achieve a sale after hearing a “No”, is to work with the prospect to convert his mind state. To overcome a “No” and hear a “YES”, we should carefully discover the state of mind and not to stop at the word “No”. Asking the right follow up questions and listen to the prospect to figure out the reasons of the state of mind to overcome the “No”. Prospects do not buy based on a need, they buy based on


To Get from “No” to “Yes” in Sales: Listen to What the Client is Really Saying

Sales campaigns can be complex. Frequently, many moving parts need to be aligned. People must agree and products and services must fit the challenges that the client is facing. When you finally get to the point of presenting a proposal and articulating your solution, it is not uncommon to hear no. The challenge to you as a sales professional to not hear “no”, but to try and hear what the client is actually saying.


Remember that clients do not buy based on a need, they buy because their mind state is to say: “YES, I am buying or using this product!!!!!” A quick good example, when two kids are knocking on your door to sell you chocolate for a fund raising, many of us will agree to pay $5 for a bar of chocolate that is from unknown brand/manufacturer, does not test as good as my favourite chocolate that I protect from my family, which I can buy 2 for $1 in the dollar store. So why do I buy this chocolate bar. So, why do I buy this chocolate bar, more expensive than my favourite chocolate, taste not as good as my favourite chocolate and I keep it for them time till I donate it or I throw it away to the garbage.


A second example, is we pay for a dinner in a fancy restaurant for 8 oz. barbeque beef close to $50, while the same piece will cost $30 in an average restaurant and about $10 or cheaper in a low end restaurant with an open buffet salad and a drink. Included.


The third example, is we prefer to pay $6 for a gallon of Milk in a convenient store after waiting in a shot line and we do not go to chain store to pay $4 although we have the same likely hood of waiting in a line.


The reason to pay more to what we do not need is the state of mind in the first example, supporting a charity or a kid to achieve his goals. In the second the decision is driven by a desire to feel important or to have a special treatment or occasion and it does not have any relationship with being hungry or a desire to eat. In the third example, the perception of quick service is driving the decision despite the fact that in a smaller parking lot you a less chance to find a spot and get it faster.



So, how to explore the state of mind and what is the possibilities?

“No” means “I am not comfortable with your solution.”


The prospect will be looking for similar experience of solving his problems. The prospect is concerned that the solution may increase his workload or creating more issues and problems. In many cases, I learned that the prospect is suffering from other issues and non-related problems that impact his comfortable level with new product or service. “No” means talk to me more.


“No” means “We are not ready to commit.”


The prospect is either over loaded with busy schedule or there is a budget cycle that needs to be aligned. In many cases, I learned that the prospect has an issue with his superior and does not want to introduce a new purchase.  “No” means come back later but not right now.


“No” means “We don’t get it.”


The prospect has a comprehension problem with the material you provided, in many cases the prospect would ask for more information or clarification. Despite the role of sales to explain what the product about but sometime the prospect himself is getting his brain busy that he hear what you say and does not listen to what you say. In many cases, I learned that the prospect has a board meeting or a major meeting in the immediate after the meeting and then the prospect does not have the state of mind to accept your information. This particular “No” can be always sensed when the prospect will ask can I keep this material, it is an immediate indication that prospect can not get it. “No” means explain to me in a different way, I am interested but I like to understand more!!


“No” means “Too risky for us right now.”


The prospect may feel that he understands the product but in reality the prospect cannot articulate the value and criticality for the product. The prospect is looking for articulation of the value and to trust the relationship. If you have a reference customer that the prospect trust is a good value. You may also build a trusting relationship. The word risky is red flag of a concern, for many small business and start up companies, it is a fear that the company many disappear or lack the resources behind its offering. In other situation, it is a concern of the performance, etc. “No” means comeback with more information to make me feel comfort and trust your solution. Many smart businesses can convert this “No” by introducing another technical salesman, customer support or other clients or consultant to increase the trust. A marketing campaign many be a way to convert this “No” to YES


“No” means ”We do not need your product.”


The prospect does see the immediate need of the product and how it can serve him. This “No” means that you did not do your due diligent and you need to better articulate the customer specific pain point and how you are solving it. Some intelligent questions will help you understand the gap. This may be a red flag for you to change your messages and come back to the prospect.

This “No” is an alarm that you better understand the prospects and align your solution to solve his pain.



“No” means ”We are not ready.”


The prospect is not inline with the product value, the sale team did not ask the right questions and did not articulate the answer pushing on the point of pain. More work is needed to understand the client, the culture and create a dialogue.   This “No” is an invitation to better understand the prospect then comeback. The right set of questions will reveal amazing aspects of the prospects. This is an alarm that you are required to better understand the customer.


“No” means “I can’t support this.”


This prospect is not willing to be your champion or reference. This “No” may not have any relation with the performance of the product. The prospect may have an issue before or a pain that it heart the prospect. The prospect may have issues with his superior or have been threaten so has cannot speak about new products. This “No” may also indicate that the customer does not get what he expected from your products or the value is not delivered.   This “No” is an indication of more work needed to align the prospect to your product values.   Pay attention!!!


Next time you receive a “No”, try to understand the state of mind of the prospect. Think,  adjust and go back; when you are ready. A prospect buys with his feeling and not based on a need, and he pays more than premium when ever he like and without a logical reason and it is not driven by a needs.




Ancient Tenures.

By England Howlett.


PRACTICALLY all the landed property in England is, by the policy of our laws, supposed to be granted by, dependent upon, and holden of some superior lord, in consideration of certain services to be rendered to such lord by the possessor of this property, and the terms or manner of their possession is therefore called a tenure. Thus all the land in the kingdom is supposed to be held, mediately or immediately, of the sovereign who is consequently styled the lord or lady paramount.

All tenures being thus derived, or supposed to be derived, from the sovereign, those who held directly under such sovereign, and in right of the crown and dignity, were called tenants in capite, or in chief, which was the most honourable species of tenure, although at the same time it subjected the tenants to far greater and more burthensome services than the inferior tenures did, and this distinction ran through all the different sorts of tenure. William I., and other feudal sovereigns, although they made large and numerous grants of land, always reserved a rent or certain annual payments, which were collected by the sheriffs of the counties in which the lands lay, to show that they still retained the dominium directum in themselves.

With our ancestors the most honourable and highly esteemed species of tenure was that by knight service, and this was purely and entirely a military tenure, being, in fact, the result of the feudal establishment in England. Now to make a tenure by knight service, a determinate quantity of land was necessary, which was called a knight’s fee, feodum militare; the measure of which in 3 Edward I., was estimated at twelve ploughlands, and its value (although it varied with the times) in the reigns of Edward I. and Edward II. was stated at £20 per annum. The knight who held this proportion of land was bound to attend his lord to the wars for forty days in every year, if called upon so to do, which attendance was his rent or service for the land he claimed to hold. If, however, he held only half a knight’s fee, he was only bound to attend his lord twenty days, and so on in proportion. This tenure of knight service drew with it several consequences as inseparably incident to the tenure in chivalry, and one of the most profitable, and, at the same time, arbitrary of these was marriage. This incident called marriage was the right which the lord possessed of disposing of his infant wards in matrimony, at their peril of forfeiting to him, in case of their refusing a suitable match, a sum of money equal to the value of the marriage; that is, what the suitor was willing to pay down to the lord as the price of marrying his ward; and double the market value was to be forfeited, if the ward presumed to marry without the consent of the lord.

The personal attendance rendered necessary by knight service growing troublesome and inconvenient in many respects, the tenants found means of compounding for it; first, by sending others in their stead, and then in process of time making a pecuniary satisfaction to the lord in lieu of it. This pecuniary satisfaction at last came to be levied by assessments at so much for every knight’s fee; the first time this appears to have been done was in 5 Henry II., on account of his expedition to Toulouse; but it soon became so universal that personal attendance fell quite into disuse. From this period we find, from our ancient histories, that when the kings went to war, they levied scutages on their tenants, that is, on all the landowners of the Kingdom, to defray their expenses, and to pay for the hire of troops.

These assessments, in the time of Henry II., seem to have been made in a most arbitrary manner, and entirely at the king’s will and pleasure. The prerogative became, indeed, abused to such an extent, that at last it became a matter of national clamour, and King John was obliged to consent by his Magna Carta, that no scutage should be imposed without the consent of Parliament. But this clause was omitted in the Charter of Henry III., where we only find that scutages, or escuage, should be taken as they were used to be taken in the time of Henry II.; that is, in a reasonable and moderate manner. Yet afterwards, by statute 25 Edward I., and many subsequent statutes, it was again provided, that the king should take no aids or tasks but by the common assent of the realm; hence it was held that scutage, or escuage, could not be levied except with the consent of Parliament; such scutages being indeed the groundwork of all succeeding subsidies, and the land tax of later times.

It will easily be seen that with the degenerating of knight service, or personal military duty into a pecuniary assessment, all the advantages were destroyed, and nothing in fact remained but the hardships. Instead of having a national militia, composed of barons, knights, and gentlemen, bound by their interests and their honour to defend the king and country, the whole system of military tenures tended to nothing else but a wretched means of raising money to pay an army of occasional mercenaries. At length the military tenures, with all their heavy appendages were destroyed at one blow by statute, 12 Charles II., C. 24, which enacts “that the courts of wards and liveries, and all wardships, liveries, primer seisins, and ousterlemains, values and forfeitures of marriage, by reason of any tenure of the king or others, be totally taken away. And that all fines for alienation, tenures by homage, knight service, and escuage, and also aids for marrying the daughter, or knighting the son, and all tenures of the king in capite, be likewise taken away. And that all sorts of tenures, held of the king or others, be turned into free and common socage; save only tenures in frank almoign, copyholds, and the honorary services of grand serjeanty.”

Another ancient tenure was that by Grand Serjeanty, whereby the tenant was bound, instead of serving the king generally in the wars, to do some special honorary service for the king in person; as to carry his banner, his sword, or the like; or to be his butler, champion, or other officer at his coronation. Tenure by cornage was a species of grand serjeanty, being a grant of land upon condition that the tenant was to wind a horn when the Scots or other enemies entered the land, in order to warn the king’s subjects.

The tenure of petit serjeanty bears a great resemblance to the tenure of grand serjeanty; for as the one is a personal service, so the other is a rent or render, both tending to some purpose relative to the king’s person. Petit serjeanty as defined by Littleton, consists in holding lands of the king, by service of rendering to him annually some small implement of war, as a bow, a sword, a lance, an arrow, or the like. This, of course, is but socage in effect, for it is no personal service, but a certain rent. The tenure by which the grants to the Duke of Marlborough and the Duke of Wellington, for their great military services to the country, are held, are of this kind, each rendering a small flag or ensign annually, which is deposited in Windsor Castle. Bury House (New Forest), the property of Sir Charles Mill, Bart., is held by the tenure of presenting the king whenever he enters the New Forest with a brace of milk-white greyhounds. A breed of these dogs is preserved by the family in readiness. King George III. received dogs in recognition of this tenure in 1789, and the incident is the subject of one of Lawrence’s pictures.

In Beckwith’s edition of Blount’s “Fragmenta Antiquitatis,” the following tenure is inserted from the “Black Book of Hereford.”—“The tenants at Hampton Bishop, in the county of Hereford, were to get yearly six horse loads of rods or wattels, in the Hay Wood, near Hereford, and bring them to Hereford to make booths (or hurdles to pen sheep in) at the fair when they should be required; and for every load of the said rods they were to be allowed a halfpenny at the fairs.”

This tenure would appear to relate to one particular fair only, and not to all the fairs formerly held at Hereford. The particular fair is supposed to have been the one beginning on May 19th, and commonly called the nine-days’ fair, from the circumstance of its continuing for that length of time. From time immemorial this fair was proclaimed, with certain formalities, by the Bishop of Hereford’s bailiff, or his deputy, the tolls of the fair belonging to one or both of these officers. During the continuance of the fair, the Bishop’s bailiff superseded the Mayor of Hereford as acting magistrate, the fair being held in a street opposite the Bishop’s palace.

Brienston, in Dorsetshire, was held in grand serjeanty by a curious jocular tenure, viz.:—by finding a man to go before the king’s army for forty days when he should make war in Scotland (some records say in Wales) bareheaded and bare-footed, in his shirt, and linen drawers, holding in one hand a bow, and in the other an arrow without feathers.[6]

The Dukes of Athol hold the Blair Athol estate by the tenure of presenting a white rose to the sovereign whenever he visits them there.

Land was frequently held by the tenure of protecting the church property in times of war. Scott tells us how the Bishop of Durham gave lands to the Danish Count, Witikind, to be held by this tenure. The story is not true, but the tenure is;

Broad lands he gave him on Tyne and Wear,

To be held of the Church by bridle and spear;

Part of Monkwearmouth, of Tynedale part,

To better his will and soften his heart.

Harold the Dauntless.

Canto i., IV.

The tenure of ancient demesne exists in those manors, and in those only, which belonged to the crown in the reigns of Edward the Confessor and William the Conqueror, and in Domesday Book are called Terrœ Regis Edwardi. The tenants are freeholders and possessed certain privileges, the chief of which was a right to sue and be sued only in their lord’s court.

Another kind of ancient tenure, still subsisting, is the tenure of frankalmoign, or free alms, and this is the tenure by which the lands of the church are for the most part held. This tenure is expressly excepted from the statute, 12 Charles II., by which the other ancient tenures were destroyed. It has no peculiar incidents, the tenants not being bound even to do fealty to the lords, because, as Littleton says, the prayers and other divine services of the tenants are better for the lords than any doing of fealty. As the church is a body having perpetual existence, there is, moreover, no chance of any escheat. By this tenure almost all the monasteries and religious houses held their lands. It was an old Saxon tenure; and continued under the Norman revolution, through the great respect that was shewn to religion and religious men in ancient times. This too, no doubt, is the reason that tenants in frankalmoign were discharged from all other services except the repairing of highways, building castles, and repelling invasions; just in fact as the Druids, among the Ancient Britons, had similar privileges. The tenure being purely spiritual, the lord had no remedy for neglect by distress or otherwise, but merely a complaint to the ordinary to correct it.

One of the most interesting tenures is that of Borough English. There are a great number of manors throughout the country in which this tenure prevails; they are not however confined to one county or one district. Borough English is the right of succession of the youngest son, instead of the eldest, to real estate in case of intestacy, but the custom is not always the same; it differs in different manors. In some it is confined to the sons only, and if there should be no son the estate is shared equally amongst all the daughters. In other manors, principally Sussex, the youngest daughter inherits. Again, there are cases to be found where if there be no children, the youngest brother inherits, and in others it goes according to the rules of the common law. There are, moreover, places in which the copyhold land only is Borough English, while the freehold is held by the ordinary tenure, and in others the freehold and copyhold alike follow the Borough English custom.

The area over which this Borough English tenure prevails is an exceedingly wide one. It is found in nearly every part of Europe, except perhaps Italy and Spain—in Germany, Hungary, the Ural mountains, and in Asia as far as the borders of China. Many attempts have been made to explain the custom. Littleton suggests that the youngest son, by reason of his tender age, is not so capable as the rest of his brethren to help himself. It is possible the origin may have come to us from the Tartars, amongst whom this custom of descent to the youngest son also prevails. That nation is composed almost entirely of shepherds and herdsmen, and the elder sons, as soon as they are capable of leading a pastoral life, migrate from their father with a certain allotment of cattle, and go to seek a new habitation. And thus we find that, among many other northern nations, it was the custom for all the sons, but one, to migrate from the father, which one became his heir.

The tenure of Gavelkind prevails principally in the County of Kent. It is universally known what struggles the Kentish men made to preserve their ancient liberties, and with how much success those struggles were attended. It seems fair therefore, to conclude that this custom was a part of those liberties, agreeably to the general opinion, that Gavelkind, before the Norman Conquest, was the general custom of the realm. The distinguishing properties of this tenure are various; some of the principal are these: 1. The tenant is of age sufficient to alienate his estate by feoffment at the age of fifteen. 2. There never was any escheat in case of an attainder and execution for felony; their maxim being “the father to the bough, the son to the plough.” 3. In most places, the tenant had the power of devising his lands by will, before the statute for that purpose was made. 4. The lands descend not to the eldest, youngest, or any one son only, but to all the sons together. This last incident is, of course, the most important affecting the tenure, and not only this, but also the most interesting, in that, like Borough English, it prevails to the present day. True it is that certain lands in Kent, once Gavelkind, have been made descendable according to the rules of the common law, by special statutes; however, these statutes only affect a very small portion of the county.

Gavelkind and Borough English, being customs already acknowledged by the law, need not be specially pleaded; it is sufficient to show that the lands are affected and regulated by the same; but all other private customs must be pleaded.

The ancient Barons of Buccleuch, both from feudal splendour and from their frontier situation, retained in their household at Branksome a number of gentlemen of their own name, who held lands from their chief for the military service of watching and guarding his castle.

Nine and twenty knights of fame

Hung their shields in Branksome Hall

Nine and twenty squires of name

Brought them their steeds from bower to stall.

Nine and twenty yeomen tall

Waited duteous on them all.

They were all knights of metal true,

Kinsmen to the bold Buccleuch.

“Lay of the Last Minstrel.”—Scott.

Canto i., III.




 The Manor and Manor Law.


By England Howlett.


EVERYTHING relating to the manor reminds us forcibly of the baron of olden days, with his little territory, in which he was practically a king. Estates in copyhold are essentially distinct both in their origin and in their nature from those of freehold estates. Copyhold lands are holden by copy of court roll, that is to say, the muniments of the title to such lands are copies of the roll or book in which an account is kept of the proceedings in the court of the manor to which the lands belong. For it must be remembered that all copyhold lands belong to and are parcel of some manor. An estate in copyhold is not a freehold; but, according to construction of law, merely an estate at the will of the lord of the manor, at whose will copyhold estates are expressed to be holden. Copyholds are also said to be holden according to the custom of the manor to which they belong, for custom is of course the life and being of copyholds.

We must remember that in former days, a baron, or great lord, becoming possessed of a large tract of land, granted part of it to freemen for estates in fee simple. Part of the land he reserved to himself, and this formed the demesnes of the manor, properly so called: other parts of the land he granted out to his villeins, or slaves, permitting them, as an act of pure grace and favour, to enjoy such lands at his pleasure; but sometimes enjoining, in return for such favour, the performance of certain agricultural services, such, for instance, as ploughing the demesne, carting the manure, and other such servile work. The lands remaining after this parcelling out, generally the poorest, formed the waste lands of the manor, over which rights of commons were enjoyed by the tenants. In this way arose a manor, of which it will be seen the tenants formed two classes, the freeholders and the villeins. Now for each of these classes a separate court was held—for the freeholders a Court Baron; for the villeins another called a Customary Court. In the former court the suitors were the judges; in the latter the lord only, or his steward.

In some manors the villeins were allowed to have life interests, but these grants were not extended so as to admit any of their children. Hence arose copyholds for life. Again, in other manors a much greater degree of liberality was shown by the lords; and on the death of a tenant, the lord permitted his eldest son, or indeed sometimes all his sons, or sometimes the youngest only, and afterwards other relations to succeed him by way of heirship; for which privilege, however, the payment of a fine was usually required on the admittance of the heir to the tenancy. Frequently it happened that the course of descent of estates of freehold was chosen as the model for such inheritances; but in many cases dispositions of the most capricious kind were adopted by the lord of the manor, and in course of time actually became the custom of the manor. And thus it was that copyholds of inheritance arose. Again, if a villein tenant wished to part with his own parcel of land to some other of his fellows, the lord would allow him to surrender or yield up again the land, and then, on the payment of a fine, would indulgently admit as his tenant, on the same terms, the other, to whose use and in whose favour the surrender had been made. Thus arose the method now prevalent at the present day, of conveying copyholds by surrender into the hands of the lord of the manor to the use of the purchaser, and the subsequent admittance of the latter. By long custom and continued indulgence that which at first was a pure favour gradually grew up into a right, and thus it came to pass that the will of the lord, which had of course originated the custom, came at last to be controlled by it.

The rise of the copyholder from a state of uncertainty to certainty of tenure appears to have been very gradual. Britton, who wrote in the reign of Edward I., thus describes this tenure under the name of Villeinage. “Villeinage is to hold part of the demesnes of any lord entrusted to hold at his will by villein services to improve for the advantage of the lord.” And he further adds that “In manors of ancient demesne there were pure villeins of blood and of tenure, who might be ousted of their tenements at the will of their lord.”

In the reign of Edward III. a case occured in which the entry of a lord on his copyholder was adjudged lawful, because he did not do his services, by which he broke the custom of the manor, which seems to show that even at that time the lord could not have ejected his tenant without a cause. And later, in the reign of Edward IV., the judges gave to copyholders a certainty of tenure by allowing them an action of trespass on ejectment by their lords without just cause. “Now,” says Sir Edward Coke, “copyholders stand upon a sure ground; now they weigh not their lord’s displeasure; they shake not at every sudden blast of wind; they eat, drink, and sleep securely; only having a special care of the main chance, namely, to perform carefully what duties and services soever their tenure doth exact and custom doth require; then let lord frown, the copyholder cares not, knowing himself safe.”

In the present day a copyholder has as good a title as a freeholder; in some respects a better; for all the transactions relating to the conveyance of copyholds are entered on the court rolls of the manor, and thus a record is preserved of the title of all the tenants.

Since the passing of the statute of Quia Emptores, 18 Edward I., it has not been lawful to create a tenure of an estate in fee simple; so that every manor bears date at least as far back as that reign; to this rule the few seignories, which may have been subsequently created by the king’s tenants in capite, form the only exception.

The name “manor” is of Norman origin, but the estate to which it was given existed, in its essential character, long before the Conquest; it received a new name as the shire also did, but neither the one nor the other was created by this change. The local jurisdiction of the thegns who had grants of sac and soc, or who exercised judicial functions amongst their free neighbours, were identical with the manorial jurisdictions of the new owners.

Although long continued custom has now rendered copyholders quite independent of the will of the lords, yet all copyholds, properly so called, are still expressly stated, in the court rolls of manors, to be holden at the will of the lord; and, more than this, estates in copyholds are still liable to some of the incidents of mere estates at will.

In ancient times the law laid great stress on the feudal possession or seisin of lands, and this possession could only be had by the holder of an estate of freehold, that is, an estate sufficiently important to belong to a free man. Now, as we have seen, copyholders in ancient times belonged to the class of villeins or bondsmen, and held, at the will of the lord, lands of which the lord himself was alone feudally possessed. The lands held by the copyholders still remained part and parcel of the lord’s manor; and the freehold of these lands still continued vested in the lord; and this is the case at the present day with regard to all copyholds. The lord of the manor is actually seised of all the lands in the possession of his copyhold tenants.

The lord, having the legal fee simple in the copyhold lands comprised in his manor, possesses all the rights incident to such an estate, controlled only by the custom of the manor, which is now the tenant’s safeguard. Thus he possesses a right to all the mines and minerals under the land, and also to all timber growing on the surface, and this even though the timber may have been planted by the tenant. However, it must be borne in mind that these rights are somewhat interfered with by the rights which long continued custom has given to the tenants, for the lord cannot come upon the lands to open his mines, or to cut his timber, without the copyholder’s leave.

A copyholder cannot commit any waste, either voluntary, by opening mines, cutting down timber or pulling down buildings; or permissive, by neglecting to repair. For the land, with all that is under it or upon it, belongs to the lord of the manor; the tenant has nothing but a customary right to enjoy the occupation; and if he should in any way exceed this right, a cause of forfeiture to his lord would at once accrue.

By the customs of manors, on every change of tenancy, whether by death, sale, or otherwise, fines of more or less amount become payable to the lord. By the customs of some manors the fine payable was anciently arbitrary; but now in modern times, fines, even when arbitrary by custom, are restrained to two years’ improved value of the land after deducting quit rents.

In some manors a fine is due on the change of the lord; but in this case the change must always be by act of God, and not by any act of the party.

The tenure of an estate in copyholds involves an oath of fealty from the tenant, and together also with suit to the customary court of the manor. Another incident of the tenure, and this sometimes a very profitable one, is the escheat to the lord on failure of heirs.

Before the abolition of forfeiture for treason and felony, the lord of a copyholder had a great advantage over the lord of a freeholder in this respect, that, whilst freehold lands in fee simple were forfeited to the crown by the treason of the tenant, the copyholds of a traitor escheated to the lord of the manor of which they were held.

One of the most curious incidents of the tenure is the right of the lord, on the death of a tenant, to seize the tenant’s best beast, horse, or other chattel under the name of a heriot. Now it would appear that heriots were introduced into England by the Danes. The heriot of a military tenant was his arms and habiliments of war, which belonged to the lord for the purpose of equipping his successor. And it would seem that in analogy to this purely feudal custom, the lords of manors usually expected that the best beast or other chattel of each tenant, whether he were a freeman or a villein, should on his death be left to them. In old wills of copyholders we constantly find this legacy to the lord of the manor the first bequest mentioned: in fact the tenant really making a bounty of what was actually an obligation. In cases where the tenant died intestate the heriot of the lord was taken in the first place out of his effects, unless indeed the lord seized the whole of the goods, which not unfrequently happened in days before custom had so completely controlled the rights of the lord, and at the same time protected the interests of the tenant. Heriots survive to this day in many manors, a true badge of the ancient servility of the tenure. Now, however, the right of the lord is confined to such a chattel as the custom of the manor, grown into a law, will permit him to take; and in most cases the heriot consists not of a chattel at all, but merely of a money payment.

The mode in which copyhold land is transferred from one person to another still retains much of the primitive simplicity of bygone ages. The copyholder personally surrenders the lands into the hands of the lord, generally through his steward, and this surrender is evidenced by the delivery of some article varying according to the custom of the particular manor: in some manors the surrender is effected by the delivery of a rod, in others of a straw, and again in others by a glove. The surrender having been duly effected, the purchaser is admitted, and the various documents used are all entered upon the court rolls of the manor. The steward is the person who makes the entries on the court rolls, and they are kept in his custody, but subject however to the right of the tenants to inspect them. The steward also usually presides at the copyhold courts of the manor.

A special custom is required to entitle the wife of a copyholder to any interest in her husband’s lands on his death intestate. Where such a custom does exist the wife’s interest is termed her freebench, and it consists generally of a life interest in one-third part of the lands of which the husband died possessed. Freebench in most manors differs from the ancient right of dower in this most important particular, that whilst the widow could claim her dower out of all the freehold lands which her husband actually possessed at any time during the marriage, the right to freebench does not in general attach until the actual death of the husband, and of course may be defeated by a devise of lands by the husband’s will. From this it will be seen that freebench is no impediment to free alienation by the husband of his copyholds without any consent on the part of his wife. To this general rule, however, the manor of Cheltenham forms an important exception; for by the custom of this manor the widow’s freebench attaches in the same way as the ancient right of dower did on all the land of copyhold tenure, of which the husband at any time during the marriage had been possessed.

Centuries have robbed the manor of much of its importance; most of the honour and prestige has decayed which once surrounded the lord, his power has become controlled by long continued custom, so that the copyhold tenants are practically independent of him, and have as good a title to their lands as freeholders. Little remains beyond the most prominent of the old formalities, which at one time gave dignity and importance to the lord of the manor and his court. Most of the dealings with copyhold land are now effected out of court, and although the courts are still held at the customary periods, they are for the most part an empty formality, their glamour gone, yet still possessing an especial interest of their own as evidence of the surviving of ancient customs, which have practically remained unchanged through the roll of centuries.


What is Feudalism?

A series of contractual relationships between the upper classes, designed to maintain control over land.
Feudalism flourished between the tenth and thirteenth centuries in western Europe. At its core, it was an agreement between a lord and a vassal. A person became a vassal by pledging political allegiance and providing military, political, and financial service to a lord. A lord possessed complete sovereignty over land, or acted in the service of another sovereign, usually a king. If a lord acted in the service of a king, the lord was considered a vassal of the king.
As part of the feudal agreement, the lord promised to protect the vassal and provided the vassal with a plot of land. This land could be passed on to the vassal’s heirs, giving the vassal tenure over the land. The vassal was also vested with the power to lease the land to others for profit, a practice known as subinfeudation. The entire agreement was called a fief, and a lord’s collection of fiefs was called a fiefdom.
The feudal bond was thus a combination of two key elements: fealty, or an oath of allegiance and pledge of service to the lord, and homage, or an Acknowledgment by the lord of the vassal’s tenure. The arrangement was not forced on the vassal; it was profitable for the vassal and made on mutual consent, and it fostered the allegiance necessary for royal control of distant lands.
The bond between a lord and a vassal was made in a ceremony that served to solemnize the fief. The vassal knelt before the lord and placed his hands between those of the lord as a sign of subordination. Immediately afterward, the lord raised the vassal to his feet and kissed him on the mouth to symbolize their social equality. The vassal then recited a predetermined oath of fealty, and the lord conveyed a plot of land to the vassal.
In the seventeenth century, more than three centuries after the death of this particular social practice, English scholars began to use the term feudalism to describe it. The word was derived by English scholars from foedum, the Latin form of fief. The meaning of feudalism has expanded since the seventeenth century, and it now commonly describes servitude and hierarchical oppression. However, feudalism is best understood as an initial stage in a social progression leading to private ownership of land and the creation of different estates, or interests in land.
Before feudalism, the European population consisted only of wealthy nobility and poor peasants. Little incentive existed for personal loyalty to sovereign rulers. Land was owned outright by nobility, and those who held land for lords held it purely at the lords’ will. Nevertheless, the feudal framework was preceded by similar systems, so its exact origin is disputed by scholars. Ancient Romans, and Germanic tribes in the eighth century, gave land to warriors, but unlike land grants under feudalism, these were not hereditary.
In the early ninth century, control of Europe was largely under the rule of one man, Emperor Charlemagne (771–814). After Charlemagne’s death, his descendants warred over land ownership, and Europe fell apart into thousands of seigniories, or kingdoms run by a sovereign lord. Men in the military service of lords began to press for support in the late ninth century, especially in France. Lords acquiesced, realizing the importance of a faithful military.
Military men, or knights, began to receive land, along with peasants for farmwork. Eventually, knights demanded that their estates be hereditary. Other persons in the professional service of royalty also began to demand and receive hereditary fiefs, and thus began the reign of feudalism.
In 1066, William the Conqueror invaded England from France and spread the feudal framework across the land. The feudal relationship between lord and vassal became the linchpin of English society. To become a vassal was no disgrace. Vassals held an overall status superior to that of peasants and were considered equal to lords in social status. They took leadership positions in their locality and also served as advisers for lords in feudal courts.
The price of a vassal’s power was allegiance to the lord, or fealty. Fealty carried with it an obligation of service, the most common form being knight service. A vassal under knight service was obliged to defend the fief from invasion and fight for a specified number of days in an offensive war. In wartime, knight service also called for guard duty at the lord’s castle for a specified period of time. In lieu of military service, some vassals were given socage, or tenure in exchange for the performance of a variety of duties. These duties were usually agricultural, but they could take on other forms, such as personal attendance to the lord. Other vassals were given scutage, in which the vassal agreed to pay money in lieu of military service. Priests received still other forms of tenure in exchange for their religious services.
A lord also enjoyed incidental benefits and rights in connection with a fief. For example, when a vassal died, the lord was entitled to a large sum of money from the vassal’s heirs. If the heir was a minor, the lord could sell or give away custody of the land and enjoy its profits until the heir came of age. A lord also had the right to reject the marriage of an heiress to a fief if he did not want the husband as his vassal. This kind of family involvement by the lord made the feudal relationship intimate and complex.
The relationship between a lord and a vassal depended on mutual respect. If the vassal refused to perform services or somehow impaired the lord’s interests, the lord could file suit against the vassal in feudal court to deprive him of his fief. At the same time, the lord was expected to treat the vassal with dignity, and to refrain from making unjust demands on the vassal. If the lord abused the vassal, the vassal could break faith with the lord and offer his services to another lord, preferably one who could protect the vassal against the wrath of the defied lord.
Predictably, the relationship between lord and vassal became a struggle for a reduction in the services required by the fief. Lords, as vassals of the king, joined their own vassals in revolt against the high cost of the feudal arrangement. In England, this struggle culminated in the Magna Charta, a constitutional document sealed by King John (1199–1216) in 1215 that signaled the beginning of the end for feudalism. The Magna Charta, forced on King John by his lords, contained 38 chapters outlining demands for liberty from the Crown, including limitations on the rights of the Crown over land.
Other circumstances also contributed to the decline of feudalism. As time passed, the power of organized religion increased, and religious leaders pressed for freedom from their service to lords and kings. At the same time, the development of an economic wealth apart from land led to the rise of a bourgeoisie, or middle class. The middle class established independent cities in Europe, which funded their military with taxes, not land-based feudal bonds. Royal sovereigns and cities began to establish parliamentary governments that made laws to replace the various rules attached to the feudal bond, and feudal courts lost jurisdiction to royal or municipal courts. By the fourteenth century, the peculiar arrangement known as feudalism was obsolete.
Feudalism is often confused with manorialism, but the two should be kept separate. Manorialism was another system of land use practiced in medieval Europe. Under it, peasants worked and lived on a lord’s land, called a manor. The peasants could not inherit the land, and the lord owed them nothing beyond protection and maintenance.
Feudalism should also be distinguished from the general brutality and oppression of medieval Europe. The popular understanding of feudalism often equates the bloody conquests of the medieval period (500–1500) with feudalism because feudalism was a predominant social framework for much of the period. However, feudalism was a relatively civil arrangement in an especially vicious time and place in history. The relationship of a vassal to a lord was servile, but it was also based on mutual respect, and feudalism stands as the first systematic, voluntary sale of inheritable land.
The remains of feudalism can be found in contemporary law regarding land. For example, a rental agreement is made between a landlord and a tenant, whose business relationship echoes that of a lord and a vassal. State property taxes on landowners resemble the services required of a vassal, and like the old feudal lords, state governments may take possession of land when a landowner dies with no will or heirs.
Further readings
Amt, Emilie, ed. 2000. Medieval England 1000–1500: A Reader. Orchard Park, N.Y.: Broadview Press.
Boureau, Alain. Lydia G. Cochrane, trans. 1998. The Lord’s First Night: The Myth of the Droit de Cuissage. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.
Chen, Jim, and Edward S. Adams. 1997. “Feudalism Unmodified: Discourses on Farms and Firms.” Drake Law Review 45 (March): 361–433.
Dunbabin, Jean. 2000. France in the Making: 843–1180. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.
Ganshof, F.L. 1996. Feudalism. Toronto, Buffalo: Univ. of Toronto Press in Association with the Medieval Academy of America.
Hoyt, Robert S., and Stanley Chodorow. 1976. Europe in the Middle Ages. 3d ed. New York: Harcourt Brace, Jovanovich.
Lazarus, Richard J. 1992. “Debunking Environmental Feudalism: Promoting the Individual through the Collective Pursuit of Environmental Quality.” Iowa Law Review 77.


A New Topology for a Current-mode Wheatstone Bridge

This paper presents a new topology for a current-mode Wheatstone bridge (CMWB) that uses an operational floating current conveyor (OFCC) as a basic building block. The proposed CMWB has been analyzed, simulated, implemented, and experimentally tested. The experimental results verify that the proposed CMWB outperforms existing CMWBs in terms of accuracy. A new CMWB linearization technique based on OFCC has been proposed, used, analyzed, and tested. The advantages of the proposed CMWB are fourfold. Firstly, it reduces the number of sensing passive elements; i.e., we can use two resistors instead of four and get the same performance as the traditional voltage-mode implementation. Secondly, we can apply the superposition principle without adding signal conditioning circuitry; therefore, the addition of sensor effects is possible. Thirdly, it has a higher common-mode cancellation. Finally, the proposed CMWB topology offers a significant improvement in accuracy compared to other CMWBs

Published in:

Circuits and Systems II: Express Briefs, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:53 ,  Issue: 1 )

Yehya H. Ghallab, and Wael Badawy ” A New Topology for a Current-mode Wheatstone Bridge” IEEE Transaction on Circuit and System II, Volume 53, No.1, pp. 18-22, January 2006.

Link to the list of other Peer Journal Publications


The Operational Floating Current Conveyor and Its Application

A five-port general-purpose analog building block, termed as an Operational Floating Current Conveyor (OFCC), is described. The OFCC combines the features of current feedback operational amplifier, second-generation current conveyor and operational floating conveyor. An implementation scheme of the OFCC is described and its terminal operational characteristics are used to yield a working device. The OFCC is then used as a single block to realize the current conveyors (CCII+ and CCII-) as well as the four basic amplifiers (i.e., voltage, current, transconductance, and transresistance amplifiers). The applications of the OFCC are presented and discussed. In the field of the analog filter synthesis, we proposed a new active universal second order filter using OFCC. It has three inputs and one output employing two OFCC, two capacitors and three resistors and can realize lowpass, bandpass, highpass, notch, and all pass filters from the same configuration. The proposed universal filters offer the following advantageous features: using active elements for the same type (OFCC). No requirement for component matching or cancellation constraints, which makes the filter easier to design, orthogonal adjustment of ω0 and Q and the circuits have low sensitivity. The simulation and experimental results are obtained and discussed.

Read More:

Link to the list of other Peer Journal Publications

Yehya Ghallab, Wael Badawy, M. Abo El-Ella, and M. Elsaid, “The Operational Floating Current Conveyor and Its Application“, Journal of Circuits, Systems and Computers, Volume 15, No. 3, June 2006, pp. 351–372.


DeFET: A Novel CMOS Electric-Field Sensor for Lab-on-a-Chip and Biomedical Applications

This paper presents a novel CMOS electric-field sensor, it is called the “differential electric-field sensitive field-effect transistor” (DeFET), which is based on a standard 0.18-mum Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) CMOS technology. The DeFET shows a sensitivity of 51.7 mV/(V/mum). This paper also describes the DeFET’s theory of operation in addition to the experimental and simulation results that confirm the DeFET’s theory of operation. Some applications of the DeFET in the area of lab on a chip and biomedical are also presented

Published in:

Sensors Journal, IEEE  (Volume:6 ,  Issue: 4 )


Be a Red Apple and surround yourself with Red Apples and don’t mind the Green Apples

Like all aspects of life, and in business, we have different customers who can be negative, positive or neutral. We have different employee who can be negative, positive or neutral. We have different co-works who can be negative, positive or neutral.   No matters what is the example, we will always find red apples, green apples and brown apples.

The Red apples are the good ones, the delicious one, the performers, the positive, the high energy etc.

The Green apples are the sour ones, the ones who do not want to move but they do not decide, the undecided, I call them waiting for the train to have a ride or a hit, etc.

The Brown apples are the bad ones, the negative, the rejection, the non-performers, the road blocker, the negatives, Etc. These are the bad influences, who can harm you.


To be successful, you must be a Red Apple, surrounded by at least 90% Red Apples and do not mind up to 10% Green Apples.  But, avoid Brown Apples and have 0% Brown Apples in your life.  Your goal is convert Green Apples to Red Apples.  If you stuck with a Brown Apple, you will be Brown.

It is Red, Red, Red, Apple; and only Red Apple.



The power of one cent


What is the power of one cent?

To answer this question, imagine that one cent doubles every day. As shown in the table, one cent after 9 days can buy you a coffee at $2.56. One cent, after 20 days, can buy a car at $5,242.88. One cent after 30 days can buy your dream that is worth $5 Million dollars. AND, you keep it to the following day, you will become a double-digit millionaires. One cent will be a $1,374,389,534.72 on day 38 and will be $5,497,558,138.88 on day 40.


Then what?

The model above presents the strength of a network. I focus my effort to  recruit my team and double double every day, or a week or a month. I can reach a powerful result and I have the passion and dedication to do it for 30 days.

The model is also applicable to sales, if I can double my sales every day, I can reach amazing business size after 30 cycles.

The cycle can be one week, one month, or even one year.

Just keep it doubling and do not rush and have the passion to be a billionaire starting with one cent.

John D. Rockefeller who is the world’s richest man and the first American worth more than a billion dollars, controlling 90% of all oil in the United States at his peak. said “I would rather earn 1% off a 100 people’s efforts than 100% of my own efforts.” 




Law under the Feudal System.


By Cuming Walters.


TO the historian proper feudalism presents a wide subject with diverse points of interest, but its legal aspect is comparatively a small matter, and it can be considered without detailed reference to the whole vast scheme which existed from early German and Gothic times, and overspread the greater part of Europe. It is a common error to suppose that it was introduced into England by the Normans. William the Conqueror only superimposed a French form of feudalism upon that which already existed; and all historians agree that the measures he adopted, the restrictions he made, and the original conditions he established, were evidence of his farseeing genius, and a masterpiece of statecraft. His was a feudalism which, while giving the lords great personal power and influence, retained them still as the servants of the king, and totally prevented them from using their strength against the throne. In this respect the feudal system in England never resembled that of Germany and France, or even that which the Norman barons established in Scotland. The Conqueror had no intention of allowing the owners of territory to supersede his own authority, and to be beyond the sovereign’s control. While, therefore, he allowed them all liberty in dealing with their dependents, he made it impossible for them to defy his own authority, first by distributing their possessions so that they could not have a great army of followers at command, and, secondly, by insisting upon a formal declaration of allegiance from both the barons and their vassals. The former, therefore, were not beyond the law, and the latter had nominally, if not actually, some right of appeal to the monarch. These points it is necessary to bear in mind for a full understanding of legal procedure during the long period feudalism prevailed.

The feudal lord’s claims upon his vassals were numerous. First came his claim to their military service. He could demand from them service as assessors in his courts of various fines and payments and confiscations of land. He could dispose of females in marriage; not infrequently he consigned them to a debased existence. When the tenant was invested with possession of his feud or fief, he paid homage to his lord, that is, he proclaimed himself the “man” to help and to serve his master. Kneeling humbly before the baron, he took oath of fealty, and practically enslaved himself. It was here that King William showed his wisdom by ordaining that the oath of allegiance should be not only to the feudal superior, but to the monarch as the head of all, and thus he secured the ultimate service of all vassals to the crown, and deprived the barons of autocratic power.

The Saxon feudalism had been of the most tyrannical character, the owners of slaves making their own laws, and carrying them out with the utmost barbarism. Records exist which prove that for slight offences mistresses were accustomed to order their servants to be scourged to death, or subjected to fearful tortures. For breaking a dish, or spilling wine from a cup, for example, a servant might have his ears cut off, his nose slit, or suffer the loss of his hand, according to the caprice or fancy of his lord or lady. While murderers and robbers could find sanctuary in the Church, servants had no such refuge. They were torn away from the altar to which they clung in their terror, and none could or would intervene to protect them. According to the decree of King Ethelred, public punishments were to be mild, and death sentences were seldom to be passed; but the sovereign’s wishes had no effect upon the treatment of bondmen. High-born women were as cruel as their husbands, and King Ethelred’s own mother is said to have beaten him so severely when he was a child that he regarded whipping instruments with horror to the end of his life. Flagellation was not recognised as a legal punishment by the Saxons, though a husband might beat his wife and incur no penalty, while the whipping of slaves was accounted no more than the whipping of animals, and perhaps less. For all other classes money-fines were almost the only authorised penalty, a fixed price being set upon persons of different degrees. But the slave had no real value, and hence could be mutilated or killed at the pleasure of his lord.

The ideal of feudalism, never realised in England, was that the king and his tenants-in-chief should hold law-courts, which the tenant or the sub-tenants should be bound to attend to have their cases tried according to statute rules. But the system was only imperfectly carried out, and the fact that the tenant-in-chief, or feudal lord, had the right to levy taxes (called “tallage” or “tailles”) on his vassels, speedily led to all sorts of tyranny and abuse. Still, the feudal courts could not engross the legislation for the excellent reason that the quick-witted Conqueror had preserved the Witanagenot and the courts of the shire and the hundred to check the barons. The latter made a big effort to introduce the Continental system of feudalism, by which each of them would have been supreme in his domain; but the plans were defeated as we have seen. William’s successors were men of a different stamp, and the system proved unworkable in the hands of weaker men. “The prince,” says Hume, “finding that greater opposition was often made to him when he enforced the laws than when he violated them, was apt to render his own will and pleasure the sole rule of government, and on every emergency to consider the power of the persons whom he might offend rather than the rights of those whom he might injure.” The mischievous course pleased none, and the royal prerogative was at last systematically assailed by the barons in the time of John, and the Magna Charta wrestled from him. The concessions then made were of benefit to the barons rather than to the landless and dependent classes, and it remained for the third Edward to diminish their power and increase the liberties of the populace.

Law in England during all this period was chiefly a system of oppression, proceeding stage by stage from the highest to the lowest. The revenues of the crown were obtained by extravagant rents, forfeits, taxes, reliefs, fines, aids, and other devices which show the amazing ingenuity of the extortioners. The result was that most tyrannical exactions were made in turn by the feudal lords, and the dependents groaned for six centuries under these lawless yet legalised oppressions. Personal property was at the mercy of the lords, who adopted the most cruel means to enforce their “rights.” They, in turn, could be the victim of extortions, as was proved in the case of Roger of Dudley, who was summoned to receive the honour of knighthood in 1233. He found the honour so expensive that he declined to appear, whereupon a writ was issued—“Because Roger de Someri, at the feast of Pentecost last last, has not appeared before the King to be girded with the military girdle, the Sheriff of Worcestershire is hereby commanded to seize on the house of Dudley and all other lands of the said Roger within his jurisdiction, for the King’s use; and to keep them with all the cattle found upon them, so that nothing may be moved off without the King’s permission.” The same Roger had a twelve years’ dispute with William de Birmingham touching the service due for the manor of Birmingham, for which the latter was required to perform the service of eight knights’ fees, a half and a fourth part, and also to do suit to the court at Dudley once every three weeks. In such wise did these cheftains rule. Another curious piece of law relating to the Dudley lands is told by Leland:—“The lorde Powis, grauntfather that is now, being in a controversy for asawte made upon hym goying to London by the lord Dudeley, Dudeley castelle condesended by entreaty, that his son and heir should mary the olde lorde of Dudleis’ daughter.” A very amiable method of atoning for personal violence.

The feudal lord had absolute power over his own family, as well as over his dependents, the laws of household government being entirely of his own devising and prompted by his passion, his ignorance, and his wickedness. Robert de Belesme, Earl of Shropshire and of Arundel and Shrewsbury, one of the most powerful and defiant barons of Norman times, tore out the eyes of his own children when they had, in sport, hidden their faces beneath his cloak. He cast his wife in a dungeon, heavily fettered; but every night he sent his servants to drag her to his bed, and in the morning sent her back to her prison. This torture he inflicted upon her to gain money from her family. He disdained to allow his captives in war to be ransomed, but impaled them, men and women, upon stakes. His friends were terrified to approach him, for by way of pleasantry he would engage them in merry chat and suddenly plunge his sword into their sides with a loud laugh. No law could touch this man, and no avenger arose to overcome him. The Warden of the Welsh and English Marches made also his own laws, which were conceived in a spirit of the utmost cruelty. Border foragers, for example, were cast into a dungeon, and subjected to the punishment of having their right hands chopped off with the axe. This prescribed penalty was often aggravated by additional torture or death.

Feudalism was deep-rooted, so deep-rooted that not the enactments of all the Normans and Plantagenets could do more than check its growth and gradually ameliorate its severities. But while some of the old customs were abolished, the bulk of the laws remained based upon the Anglo-Saxon customs, so that as one writer has tersely explained, “the Land Laws and Game Laws are derived from the Normans, the Common Law from the Anglo-Saxons, and almost all our Statute Laws breathe the spirit of pre-Norman England.” To this Macaulay refers with ill-disguised scorn in his History: “Our laws and customs have never been lost in general irreparable ruin. With us the proceedings of the Middle Ages are still valid precedents, and are still cited on the gravest occasions by the most eminent statesmen…. Thus in our country the dearest interests of parties have been staked on the results of the researches of antiquaries.” The historian, however, does admit that there is compensation for the anomalies which result from this polity. “Other societies possess written constitutions more symmetrical. But no other society has yet succeeded in uniting revolution with prescription, progress with stability, the energy of youth with the majesty of immemorial antiquity.” That the spirit of olden feudalism should sometimes be found surviving in modern laws is inevitable. Villenage is extinguished, and yet in the very character of certain classes, as well as in the operation of certain laws affecting lands and personal privileges, we see a direct connection between the submission of the bondman in the past to his hereditary master and the readiness of the poor in the present to yield to one in higher station. What struck the philosophic Emerson most, on his visit to England, was that Englishmen should maintain their old customs, repeat the ceremonies of the eleventh century, and consider in so many things that “antiquity of usage is sanction enough.” “The Middle Ages,” he said, “still lurk in the streets of London.”

The stocks and the whipping-post, which stood in front of every castle, were the commonest instruments in use for the punishment of the ceorl and villein who displeased their masters. For the ceorl, who could not quit the land on which he was born, or free himself from slavery, life was particularly hard. He could not absolve himself by money payments, like the rest of his fellow-men, if once he gave offence; while the majority could rob and murder and escape with a fine, the ceorl’s slightest defect, real or imagined, was punished with merciless rigour. Tithings and the process of compurgation came to the assistance of other criminals, but the ceorl could appeal to none, and expect neither pity nor aid. Such facts give point to Emerson’s dictum that “Castles are proud things, but ’tis safest to be outside them.” The villein was in a much happier state than the ceorl. He was free against everybody except his lord, and the criminal code accorded him the same privileges as a free man. The lord was even liable to punishment for killing or mutilating his villein, and the Mirror of Justice in the thirteenth century laid down the fact that “the villein is no serf in any sense of the word; he is a free man; his land is a free tenure.” But all this is largely comparative, and our estimate of the advantages enjoyed by the villein must depend upon whether we view it by the standards of the time, or by modern standards. At all events, while the ceorl tasted all the bitterness of his serfdom, the adjudged felon in other stations was able to obtain much leniency. The common form of oath or abjuration in King Edward’s time was this: “This heare, thou Sir Coroner, that I am a robber and a murderer, and a fellow of our Lord the King of England; and because I have done many such evils in his lande I do abjure the lande of our Lord Edward, and I shall haste me towards the port of ——, which thou hast given me, and that I shall not goe out of the highway, and if I doe, I will that I be taken as a robber and a felon. And that at such a place I will diligentlie seeke for passage, and I will tarrie there but one ebbe and flood, if I can have passage; and unlesse I can have it in such a place I will goe every day into the sea up to my knees, assaying to pass over; and unlesse I can do this within fortie days I will put myselfe again into the Church as a robber and a felon, so God me helpe and his holy judgment.” But King Richard showed no disposition to put so much trust in the honour of these gentry, and when setting out for Palestine, he made a law against peculating sailors, which was calculated to dismay them: “Whosoever is convicted of theft shall have his head shaved, melted pitch poured upon it, and the feathers from a pillow shaken over it, that he may be known; and shall be put on shore on the first land which the ship touches.” This punishment reminds us of a modern American institution.

The law of “Englishry” deserves a passing note. It dates back to the time of Canute, and was continued by the Normans. When Canute sent away the greater portion of his Danish troops, “the Witan pledged themselves that the rest should be safe in life and limb, and that any Englishman who killed any of them should suffer punishment. If the murderer could not be discovered, the township or hundred was fined.” The proud and tyrannical Normans used this law to their own advantage. A mere Englishman being a vassal, and of no importance, could be killed with impunity, but it was ordained that when a man was found killed, and evidence was not brought to prove that he was English, he should be held to be a Frenchman, so that a penalty could be imposed upon the township. This law of “Englishry” is often illustrated in old chronicles. Men were found murdered by the roadside, on heaths, and in woods; the chronicles state that “no Englishry was proved,” and the towns were accordingly amerced. The “Frankpledge” was not so feudal in character, though it was based upon the principle that “every landless man shall have a lord who shall answer for his appearance in the courts of law.” The custom prevailed before the Conquest, ten men forming a “tithing,” the members of which were answerable each for others. The present Court Leet is a survival of the system, though in a very modified form.

The feudalism which the Norman barons imposed upon Scotland, and which was unchecked by King William, so that it reproduced all the evils of the ferocious Continental system, was marked by terrible excesses. No institution was more shameful and abhorrent, or so vividly reveals the baseness to which unrestricted feudalism sank, than the horrible depravity of maiden-rights, or droits de seigneur. Beaumont and Fletcher founded upon the historic incidents their drama of “The Custom of the Country,” and though a few mild attempts have been made to throw doubt upon the facts, there is no question that these domestic tyrannies spread rapidly from Scotland to France and Germany, and took numerous odious forms. Isaac Disraeli, in his “Curiosities,” devotes a chapter to the subject, which can scarcely be dealt with in detail in a work appealing to the general reader. The shameful institution was abolished by Malcolm III., who, however, put the matter upon a business basis by ordering that it should be redeemed by a quit-rent. But the lord still considered himself privileged to manifest his authority over his vassals by thrusting his booted leg into the bed of a newly-married couple, or by sousing the bridegroom in a river. The wardships enjoyed by the feudal lords were equally absurd, one of their favourite methods of raising money being to arrange an unsuitable marriage, and on the refusal of the persons to carry out the contract, to claim the revenue of the wards’ estate as “forfeit.” The feudal lord could sell his vassals as he did his animals, and they were often bartered away with fields and houses. The value of a serf was roughly apprised as four times that of an ox, and he could also be used as “live money.”

Mr. Ruskin, in his third letter in “Fors Clavigera,” gives an account of the laws promulgated by King Richard, Cœur de Lion, whom he declared to be the truest representative of the British “Squire,” under all the significances of that name. The ideal lord was an admixture of the patriarch and the tyrant, and if we examine Richard’s legislation, and endeavour to recognise the objects he had in view, we see that with a considerable amount of selfishness he also possessed a real wish to add to the welfare of his people. He simplified and adjusted the weights and measures of the country to put an end to cheating, and he took severe measures “to prevent the extortions of the Jews.” If the people would be honest, he was quite willing to do the fighting for them; if they made good cloth, he was ready to see that they got good pay; and when they bought and sold, he was determined that each should give the other good measure. But with much power comes caprice, and the feudal lords too soon forgot the interests of their dependents in serving their own ends. The English barons never made the formal claim of the German barons to rob on the highways in their own territories, though, without asserting the right, they frequently performed the act. A case in point is that of William de Birmingham, who so late as the sixteenth century went out with a hundred men to molest and rob travellers on foot. The ordinary laws were unequal to calling them to account for these misdeeds; nothing but conquest by battle could have checked them. Besides, there were Lord Palatines whose rule in their own domains was equal to that of the sovereigns, and they could make or abrogate laws at will. These kings in petto appointed their own judges and courts, could reverse sentences, pardon at will for any crime, and indict at pleasure. Offences committed in the County Palatine were said to be “against the peace” of the lord, and not against the peace of the king, and it was with a rod of iron that these despots governed the territory allotted to them. Still there was a show of legality in this. It differed from the wanton caprice of Geoffrey of Coventry, who oppressed the inhabitants, was amenable to no law for so doing, but consented to remit the burdensome taxes if his wife would ride naked through the streets. As a specimen of the barbarous humour of these lords, the Godiva story is instructive.

At the end of King Stephen’s troublous reign, there were eleven hundred and fifteen castles in England, each of them a centre of power, at that particular time almost absolute. The wise provisions of the Conqueror had to some extent been overcome, and the feudal lords had become so unmanageable that Henry II. found himself compelled to stipulate for the destruction of a number of the strongholds. At the same time he prevented the erection of others except by royal licence, and so began to limit the oppression which had prevailed. We find, too, that in consequence of the frequent over-riding of the common law by men in authority, the monarch reserved to himself more and more of sovereign power, “by which,” says Sir Robert Filmer in his famous “Patriarcha”—answered by John Locke in the still more famous treatises on Civil Government—“he did supply the want or correct the rigour of the common law, because the positive law, being grounded upon that which happens for the most part, cannot forsee every particular which time and experience bring forth. Already sundry things do fall out,” he continues later, “both in war and peace, that require extraordinary help … so that rare matters do grow up meet to be referred to the absolute authority of the prince.” We find such a case in the time of Richard II., when, on a question of freehold, the appeal went direct to the king because “of maintenance, oppression, or other outrages the common law cannot have duly her course.”

How the lords could avoid and defy the common law is proved by two curious instances in the history of the Dudleys, the family previously referred to. Lord Edward Dudley, in 1592, had a dispute with the neighbouring Lyttelton family, and raising some 150 persons, he went one night and stole all the cattle on the latter’s estate. Lyttelton obtained judgment against Dudley, who was ordered to return the cattle, but he posted his servants at the gates, and bade them cut the bailiffs to pieces. Lyttelton then armed sixty men and took the cattle back by force; Dudley armed 700 men to fetch them back and kill them. For this offence the nobleman and eighty followers were indicted, but by one means and another the proceedings were made to last four years, and then an agreement was entered into by the parties. Lord Edward’s son, Ferdinando, was the hero of the next exploit. He purchased the property of an oppressed widow, named Martha Grovenor, for £1200, but only paid £100. She sued him in the Exchequer for the remainder, and obtained judgment for the balance. No notice was taken of this. The following year the widow obtained a second decree, and this again was ignored. His lordship was next called upon for costs, and this led him to make an effort to compromise the matter. He entered into an agreement to pay all arrears and costs, but, having done so much, refused to fulfil his obligations. An execution of ejectment was then levied against his lordship. This he avoided for nine years, and it was only twelve years after negotiations had begun that the widow was able to obtain her dues.

A very brief glance at Continental feudalism and its influence upon statute law may now be given. It enables us to mark some of the differences between the English and the foreign systems, the one with its restrictions and the other all-powerful. In the eleventh century, all France and the German Empire were one vast feudal possession. The powers of the lords have been classed by the historian Hallam as follows—First, the right of coining money; second, that of waging private war; third, exemption from all public tributes except the feudal aids; fourth, freedom from legislative control; and fifth, the exclusive exercise of original judicature in their dominions. It is easy to perceive how, with these initial powers conceded, the seigneurs were enabled to make themselves the veritable masters of the kingdom. In Germany the lawlessness of the barons became as proverbial as did their cruelty towards their slaves. The whole country was divided up into territories over which the feudal chiefs reigned as absolute and despotic kings. Nor is the spirit of feudalism in that country yet extinct, for, unlike France, it has not had its bloody revolt against “aristocrats.” No one can have travelled in Germany and seen the castle towering high on crag or rock, and the diminutive houses scattered about its base, without realising at a glance how the chieftains and their serfs lived in the old days. In Germany the feudal system was seen at its strongest and its worst, and law was paralysed while the men of lust and blood were supreme in their own dominions. Austria has a similar story to tell of barbarity towards serfs, and the abrogation of law by powerful chieftains. But it is remarkable that in Russia, where the feudal spirit still most strongly survives, and is marked by many excesses utterly repugnant to the feeling and customs of the times, the earliest attempts to establish a feudal system were quelled by the princes. In this land, where a mistress might, until recently, have her maid whipped to death for dropping a teacup, or for any other trivial offence, real or imagined, where again it was taken for granted that

“A Count carbonadoes

His ignorant serfs with the knout,”

feudalism, once instituted, deepened its hold with the progress of years. While there was no law for the lower classes, save that dictated by the caprice of their masters, there were special exemptions and priveleges for the noble and wealthy. The Russian lords pay no taxes, and they retain, in almost undiminished force, that power to abuse, insult, and destroy the peasantry which was possessed by the ancienne noblesse of France before the Revolution. Mr. Morley Roberts, in one of his Russian historical sketches, relates that not long ago a noble threw a Hebrew into a dungeon for an offence, and a week later asked his jäger what had become of him. “Oh,” said the fellow with a laugh, “he made so much noise that I shot him.”

The state of Bohemia from the ninth to the fourteenth century shows to what deplorable depths a race may sink under an unrestrained and licentious feudalism. The Bohemian nobles practically abolished the marriage laws, and in addition to oppressing their dependents, frequently sold them into slavery. When St. Adalbert endeavoured to effect a reformation, he found every impediment put in his way, and his wishes openly defied. He had a horror of bloodshed, and preached the hatefulness of murder. By way of response, a man, whose wife had been put in a nunnery to save her from his brutality, was dragged out and butchered in the streets. Adalbert had to wait long before he could influence these men who, secure in their castles, could indulge their rapacity without fear of punishment. Reforms, effected in the tenth century, however, were not permanent, and in the twelfth century the nobles had succeeded in converting the local assembly, with its power of appointing judges, to their own uses. Mr. Edmund Maurice, in his history of Bohemia, relates that the nobles began to secure the judgeships for themselves, and then sold or bequeathed the offices to heirs. They thus made the appointments a means of tyranny and a source of profit, and with the money acquired purchased the lands of freemen. Others, owing to the unpopularity of the local tribunals, strengthened the power of their own feudal courts, and again reduced their dependents to abject slavery.

“The coolness,” says Mr. Maurice, “with which many of the grants of land transferred workmen of various kinds as mere appendages of fields and fishponds, is in itself a proof of the degraded position to which the peasant class had been reduced; and the fact that military service seemed one of the few means of escaping from serfdom, led the peasants to favour those wars which in the end increased their misery.” Eventually King Wenceslas, famed in ballad, and still more famed in Bohemian history, came to the rescue, and ordained “that no baron or noble of the land shall have power in the city of Brünn, or shall do any violence in it, or shall detain anyone, without the license and proclamation of the judge of the city.”

The wide survey we have taken enables a fair estimate to be made of the state of the law in Europe when the castle was the court of justice, and the baron was the judge. England alone of all Europeon countries seems to have been able to place a check upon the more flagrant abuses, and in later times of reform to have succeeded, while abolishing what was essentially evil in the system, in retaining whatever of it was of worth. Whether there be still laws too deeply impressed with feudal ideas for modern acceptance is a question for legislators to consider.