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Manors

MANORS.  Although in substance as old probably as the Anglo-Saxon Constitution Manors are considered by our best writers on English antiquities as of Norman introduction.  Dugdale says they are first mentioned in England in the reign of Edward the Confessor; a circumstance easily accounted for by the fondness of that King for Norman institutions.  The name is either from the French Manoir, or from the Latin Manendo, as the usual residence of the owner on his land.  Lord Chief Baron Gilbert informs us that every Manor or Lordship was itself the similitude of the Kingdom at large.  The Lord divided his Manor into two parts, as the State had divided the kingdom:  the one he retained for his own support, and was partly cultivated by his own villeins and copyholders, and was called his demesne;  the other part was parcelled out among his dependants, who returned him their services.  The residue of the Manor being uncultivated, it was called the Lord’s waste, and served for public roads and for common of pasture for him and his tenants.  There was a hall or court always attached to the Manor, wherein the Lord sat as judge, and his tennants as jurors.  It was called the Court Baron, and therein misdemeanors and nuisances within the precincts of the Manor were redressed, and disputes about property, accounts, &c. among the tennants settled and decided.

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