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Esq., His Majesty's Chief Steward of the said Amerciaments for Trespasses and Encroachments Manor, viz.:
try'd petty Causes between party and party punThe Manors of Lewisham and Greenwich were ished various kinds of transgressions Mundbreche antiendly parcel of the possessions of the Priory of Bloodwite &c as appears by the Court Rolls from Lewisham, which was a Cell of Carthusian Fryers the beginning of Edw: ist to 3rd of Henry the subject to and under the Abbot of St. Peter's at 5th." Gaunt in Flanders.
King Henry the 5th by Letters Patent under By an exemplification of an antient grant on his great seal bearing date the Ist April in the 3rd record in the Tower it appears that Edward the year of his reign granted to the Prior of the Confessor granted to the Abbot and Monks of St. House of Jesus of Bethlehem of Sheen in the Peter's at Gaunt the Manor of Lewisham, includ- County of Surrey and to the Convent of Carthuing Greenwich, Woolwich, Moddingham and sian Monks of the same place (inter al) The said Crumbe, with Sac and Soc Toll and Theam Manors of Lewisham and Greenwich To hold to Infangthe of Mondbrece Uthleaw Blodwite them and their successors in Free Alms for ever. Hamsoken and all other laws and Customs.
Humphrey Duke of Gloucester (Guardian of the King Henry the ist granted to the Abbot and Kingdom during the Minority of King Henry the Monks of St. Peter's at Gaunt the Manor of oth) and Eleanor his wife being possessed of a Lewisham and Greenwich, and all their Churches, Mansion House and about 160 acres of land at Lands, Rents, Tithes, &c., thereto belonging, Greenwich obtained from the said prior and Conwith Sac Soc Toll Team and all other Customs, vent a surrender of 40 acres of their lands adjoinLaws and Libertys and wharfage by land and by ing to the premises in exchange for other Lands strand, To hold as freely and honorably as they and the said King by Letters Patent passed in full were held by the charter of the late King Edward Parliament the 6th day of March in the 15th year (the Confessor) or of King William, his father.' of his Reign granted to the said Duke and Duchess
Teste Robert, Earl of Mell, William, Earl of a Liberty to embark and enclose the said 200 Warren, &c.
acres with a Wall and to fortify it with Towers This Charter is recited at large and confirmed and Castles &c To hold the same to them and by King Henry the 3rd the 16th day of February, their heirs for ever; which said Park and Mansion in the 13th year of his reign.'
house came to the Crown (as seems) on the death Teste I. Bath, R. Dunhelm et al. And again of the said Duke and Duchess. by King Edward the second the 24th of July, in King Edw: the 4th by Letters Patent under the the nith year of his Reign.“
Great seal bearing date the 22nd April in the fifth Teste William, Archbishop of Canterbury, T. year of his reign granted the said Mansion house Norw: et al.
and Park to his Queen Eliz. for life and the same In the ist year of King Henry the Fifth, at the received considerable additions and improvements prayer of the Commons in Parliament, Enacted, from that Prince and also from Kings Henry 7th that the Statutes for avoiding of aliens should be and 8th and was used as a Palace or place of Resiobserved and put in execution, Except Priors, dence for the Royal Family." Aliens, Conventual and other Priors having Insti- By Indenture between King Henry 8th and the tution and Induction."
Prior and Convent of Sheen bearing date the 5th King Henry the 5th, by Letters Patent under of September in the 23rd year of his Reign It the great seal bearing date the 25th June, in the was agreed that the said King should have to him 3rd year oi his Reign, declares the alien Priorys his heirs and assigns for ever All those Manors or void, and that all their lands and possessions in Lordships Reversions Services Woods UnderEngland were vested in the king his heirs and woods Waters Fishings Advowsons and all other successors by virtue of the Statute passed at Hereditaments thereto belonging (Except three Leicester in the first year of his Reign.
tenements in East Greenwich of John Cole) in Till this time the Abbotts and Monks held the exchange for the Monastery of Beadwell in the Courts Royaltys and privileges within the Manors County of Bucks and divers other lands Tythes presented and removed nuisances Sett Fines and and Advowsons of great value in Bucks Essex
Kent North'ton Surrey Cambridge and Sussex • This has reference to more antient grants of therein mentioned." the prem, of ye Monks of Gaunt.
*See this Charter recited in the Grant of 11 Ed. See the Court Rolls in the Chapter-house in 2 in the Chapter-house.
box marked Lewisham and Greenwich. '16 Febry. 13 Hen. 3, recited also in 11 Ed. 2. Anno 1416, Patent Roll 3 Henry 5; 2 M. 30;
* 24 July, 11 Edwd. 2nd. The original charter in also patent roll 2 Hen. 6, p. 4, M. 15. the Chapter-house at Westminster.
Anno 1466, Pat. 5 Edw. 4, p. II, M. 15. 'Stat. apud Leicestr. 1 Hy. 5, cap. 7, Abridgm. ** 5 Sep. 23 Henry 8. See the Deeds in the of Records, p. 535.
Chapter-house among the papers intituled Lewis25 June, 3 Hen. 5; Feod. vol. 8, p. 281.
ham and Greenwich.
In pursuance of this agreement the said Prior | Tenure in soccage or Burgage and not in capite and Convent by Deed under their common seal or by Fealty only as of any his honours Manors bearing date the ist of November in the 23rd year and lands and not in Capite." of his reign gave and granted the aforesaid Manors By the statute of the ist of Edward the 6th it or Lordships of Lewisham and East Greenwich was enacted that all Estates (of whatever yearly with the Appurts (Except as in the Indre of 5th value) holden of the King his heirs and successors September 23 Henry 8 is excepted) To hold to by Knights service soccage or otherwise as of the said King his heirs and assigns for ever; which any of his or their Dukedomes Castles or Manors grant or surrender was acknowledged in chancery which came to the Crown by means of any dissothe 22nd December following."
lution surrender attainder Conviction or Outlawry And they also delivered up several Deeds Char- shall not from thenceforth be adjudged or taken ters Court Rolls Rentals and other Writings be- to be holden in capite or as Tenure in capite.18 longing to the said Manors which now remain on By these steps and degrees the subjects of this record in the Treasury of the Chapter house be- Kingdom obtained this most liberal tenure to hold longing to the Court of Exchequer."
as of some honour Castle or Manor belonging to King Henry 8th being fully possessed of the the Crown. said Manor Palace and Park with all the Courts Because by this statute tho the Tenure was in Royalties and Jurisdictions thereunto belonging Capite yet if it was held as of some of the Kings and the Old Royal Palace of Eltham being at this Honors or Manors the tenure in chief was detime fallen to decay and neglected this King added stroyed, and it should be deemed a Tenure in many sumptuous buildings and ornaments to soccage and from hence came that prevailing Greenwich and made it one of his favorite Palaces. Tenure not only in this Kingdom but in other He also changed the site of the Manor from Countries Tenendum de nobis et heredibus etc Maner de East Greenwich (as it was stiled in the in Liber et communi soccagio per Fidelitas tantum Court of Rolls from Edward the First's Reign to ut de manerio pro de East Greenwich in Com this time) to Manerium Regalem de East Green- Kantio. wich and afterwards to Honorem et Manerium What the rights and privileges of this Manor Regal de East Greenwich in Com Cantio.16
are what rents and services of free and customary In the 27th year of the said King he became tenants what wasts and Commons what Courts possessed of all the Lesser Monasteries and by Royalties Jurisdictions and Privileges of right bestatute 27 Hen: 8 Cap 27 it is declared and enacted long to this Manor and to the Tenant's holding that upon all grants of Lands of inheritance of the thereof ought therefore with care to be ascersaid Monastic Estates there should be reserved to tained and defended They are become by these the Crown a Tenure by Knights service in capite accidents of great concern and the Public are which being tho' an Antient and Royal yet a
interested in them at least all persons whose burthensome Tenure in attending the King in his estates are held as of this Manor the freedom of warlike Expeditions suing out Livery of their whose tenure is derived from it. If the Royalties lands and making Fines for Licenses or pardons Courts and privileges of the Manor are suffered for Alienations could not be bore by Grantees of to be encroached and lost on what foundation do lands of small value so in the 35 year of the same their Tenures stand who hold as of this Manor King an Act passed to enable the said King in which is extinct and lost. It would breed conhis grants of the said Monastic Estates to reserve fusion in the Tenures if not destroy them. a tenure by Knights service in capite or else a It appears by the Court Rolls of this Manor Tenure in soccage and free burgage and not in from the beginning of Edward ist to the time of capite at his will and pleasure provided such the purchase made by King Hen 8th That there estates did not exceed the clear yearly value of was a Court Leet in which they presented heard 40 shillings."
and punished offences against the Peace pro traxAnd by an Act passed 37 Hen: 8th this power atione Sanguinis pro Levatione Hute sif injusta was extended to all lands not exceeding 40' per Also for pourprestures on the Kings Wasts and annum by whatsoever title they came to the Highways Rescues Homesokue and breaker of the Crown. And that his Maj'y might reserve a assisa panis et Cervicio Also for the appointing
and the amercing Officers Constables and Tithing 10 Survr. to the King 1 Nov. 23 Hen. 8 in the Men; and fined and amerced Defaulters for not Chapter-house.
attending the Courts." * In the Chapter-house in an oak box marked Lewisham and Greenwich.
* 37 Hy. 8, cap. 20. Estates by what title they * 23 Hy. 8.
came to the Crown. 1 Statute for dissolving the lesser Monast. 27
18 1 Edwd. 6, cap. 1.
Estates without limitation Hy. 8, cap. 27. Religious houses only. Stat. 35 of value. Hen. 8, cap. 14. Estate of the religious houses Court Rolls: 19 Ewd. 2, 20 Edw. 2, 3 Edw. 3, only.
6 Edw. 3, 4 Edw. 3, i Edw. 3.
They had also a Court Baron in which they many great estates in this Kingdom derive the received the homage of Tenants tried pleas for freedom of their tenure. That from this time in small debts also pleas of trespasses and damages regard to the Tenure the Manor has remained in done to the Lord or to one another in their corn and the Courts been held by Officers appointed cattle or other part of their estates which were by the Crown, but have not been so well prenot of consequence enough to be carried to the served and defended as they ought. That since higher Courts and levied their fines and amercia- the Restoration such Encroachments have been ments aiter they had been offered and set in made on the Manor on pretence of Leases and misericordia. They had Waifs Estrays Deodands Grants of Old Court that if permitted to go on Reliefs Herriots and Game and presented and the Manor and Royalties would soon be extinct amercied encroachments in the Lords lands or and lost. soil and many other such like powers and privileges for the mutual benefit of Lord and Tenant All which is humbly submitted to Your Lordwere subsisting in the Manor at the time the ships great Wisdom. Crown obtained it by the exchange before men
(s'd) Z Chambers Late Depty., tioned.
Survey'r Gen.” From this time the Manor was held in the AN OLDER MEMORANDUM OF COUNSEL TO THE hands of the Crown with intent that the rights CROWN, FOUND IN H. M. OFFICE OF WOODS and royalties tenures and services might be better AND FORESTS. supported and maintained and the Courts were
After that vast acquisition of Lands and power held by High Stewards appointed by the Crown made by King Henry 8 by the Dissolution of or their Deputies but they did not take that care
Monasteries He very prudently and politically that was requisite therein and was intended by the passed many of these estates to his Subjects either Crown. It sometimes happened that the persons for a valuable consideration paid to him in money intrusted with holding the Courts of the Manor
or as in exchange for other lands or granted them were also Lessees of the demesnes And though
as marks of his favour and bounty; These grants the Royalties of the Manor are quite separate and being made by the great King in the plenitude of distinct from the occupations of the Demesne
his power when all his Servants and Favorites as lands yet I find the greater part of the encroach
well as the rest of the nation were looking ments complained of have arisen from that
towards him as the fountain of bounty and plenty quarter.
He passed the lands to them upon the most Royal
Tenure that is by Knights' service in Capiti and Upon the whole it appears from the evidences
a tenth of the value in money and happy they who abovement'd that the Manor and Demesne's of
could get them even upon these terms. * East Greenwich in their full extent were vested in
Not many years passed before the subjects who the Church in very early times and continued
had procured these lands tho' upon the sad and there till the Dissolution of the Friers Aliens in
servile tenure of attending the King on all his the 3rd of Henry the 5th. That Humphrey com
warlike expeditions became weary of this dependmonly called the Good Duke of Gloucester ob
ence and began to wish to enjoy their acquisitions tained part of that estate and built a Palace and
in peace and quietness at home not quite so bad enclosed the Park which afterwards reverted to
but somewhat like the Monks and Fryers whose the Crown. That what remained was given by the
estates they now enjoyed. The first step they said King Henry the 5th to the Priory and Con
took towards this with this great Prince and Monvent of Sheen in Surrey. And was purchased in
arch was to petition him that the purchasers of by King Henry the 8th in exchange for other lands under 40 s. per annum being small Quillets lands in the 23rd year of his Reign. That this
of land on which they were not able to maintain prince made it a place of residence for the Royal their poor family and pay their rents and do the Family Erected it into an Honour and on grant
services reserved for the same might be permitted ing the Monastic Estates changed the several
to hold them if it was the King's pleasure to grant tenures in Capite into soccage tenure To hold as
them either by Knights service in Capiti or in of some of his Honors Castles or Manors. And
soccage or free burgage and not in Capiti and the that the most prevailing tenure was ut De Manerio
yearly rent of a tenth part.22 pro de East Greenwich in com Canc which by
This act was the first step obtained by the new these accidents is become a Manor from whence
Patentees and tho' it was no great conquest yet it 20 The Lords had hunting, hawking, fishing and
was breaking the Ice and preparing the way for fowling, as appears by a prohibition under the something better and accordingly they attacked Gt. Seal, 2 & 3 Phil. & Mar., p. 4, and the Royalty again in formâ pauperis as Patentees of lands not of a Ferry over the Thames, as appears by a grant
above 40 s. per annum by whatever Title the thereof under the Gt. Seal, 12 Eliz., p. 10 of Court 21 27 Hy. 8. Rolls abstracted.
35 Hy. 8.
same came to the Crown and obtained an Act to This pretty well quieted the people as to the confirm all those Letters Patent whether it should tenures in capiti and silenced the nice distinction be his Majesty's pleasure to grant them by fealty of the lawyer and Casuists as to that matter seeonly or by fealty and not in capiti or in soccage or ing that even where a Tenure had been expressly free burgage or to hold by fealty as of any of his granted in capiti if it was to hold as of any of the honours Manors or lands should be adjudged and Kings Honors Castles or Manors it should be taken to be held in soccage and not in capiti.“ deemed a tenure in soccage and not in capiti. But
This was a great point gained and compre- one thing had now remained unexplained which hended all the lands under 40 s. per annum that the Lawyer in the pleadings had reminded them had come to the Crown by Escheat forfeiture per of and no time so proper as the present to obtain treason felony Dissolution surrender or otherwise This was that in many of the Lrs Patent the or other land that had been granted as part of the enths had not been reserved wherefore it was antient demesne but this Act was only temporary enacted and declared that all Letters Patent under from 24 April 35 H. 8 for 5 years from the pass. the Great Seal of England or the Great Seal of the Act. In the first year of Edward the VI the the Duchy of Lancaster shall be good perfect and new patentees and proprietors of these lands be- available in law to all intents and purposes, accordgan to speak plain and tell the Crown in directing to the said Letters Patent The homage of the terms what they wanted. The late King knew King as Duke of Lancaster or any Act Statute or his power and preserved it pretty well during his Laws concerning any tenures or reservations of life having it in his power to gratify his subjects Rents or tenth to the contrary notwithstanding.” with parcells of his large acquisition, but these From hence it appears that the saiest and best being pretty well dispersed among his people he | Tenure for a Grantee holding oi the Crown is to found himself left with all the incumbrances of hold as of some Honour Castle or Manor because courts and officers but the Revenue was so far in that case because they are freed from the servdissipated in about ten years that he could not wellices of Royal tenure from attending the King in support his late erected courts of Augmentation his warlike expeditions sueing out livery making Surveyor General Court of Wards and first fruits fines licences or pardons for alienation &c and and tenths with all their Chancellors Treasurers carrys the matter so far that tho the Tenure were Surveyors Attorneys and Solicitors Auditor's reserved and treated in capiti yet its being holden Clerks Messengers and other Officers and Regalia as of a Manor frees it from and destroys the thereto belonging. And was forced to come again Tenure in Capiti and brings it to soccage by the to his Parliament for his subsidies and fifteens Stat: i Edward VI. The 37 Hen. 8 began this once or twice before he died, and I presume on tenure ut de manerio but this only extended to these occasions his people gained the points before Estates of the Monasteries under 40 S per annum mentioned.
from which Knights' service could not be exNow was a Minor King and consequently a pected but it was soon extended to all estates of Ministry that must oblige and gratisy the people any value and from what quarter soever they in any reasonable requests for which they had been came to the Crown. preparing the way in the late King's time. And And from this fountain came as I conceive the in the first year of Edward the 6th on complaint several Tenures. that the Lawyers and Pleaders raised doubts about To hold of the King as of his castle of Windsor the Titles and Tenures of their lands whether they or as was more frequent of his Manor of East could be discharged of tenure in capiti which were Greenwich is the land were within the survey of holden of the King as of his Duchess Baronies any of the Courts now annexed to the Court of Honors or Manuers which came to the Crown by Exchequer and to hold as of his Manor of Enfield attainder Outlawry or other Royal means or by in the County of Middx if they were within the dissolution or surrender of the Religious houses. survey of the Duchy of Lancaster.”
Wherefore that his people might know the cer- From these old opinions it would seem clear tainty of the Law relating to the tenure of their that the original purpose in making new crown estates and that a plain Declaration and Resolu- grants to be holden as of a particular royal manor tion might be had concerning them It was De
was to free the lands granted from the feudal clared and Enacted That any lands holden of the burdens or the old tenure by knight-service, King by Knights service soccage or otherwise under which tenure all the old grants that came to as of any of his Honours or Manors which came the crown by the dissolution of the lesser monasto the Crown by Escheat forfeiture treason dis- teries in the reign of King Henry VIII had to be solution or surrender should not be deemed and granted. This object of the clause in question taken from thenceforth to be holden in capiti or
was finally, by the celebrated Statute 12 Car. II, as tenure in capiti.“
C. 24 (A. D. 1660), made obligatory on the crown.
This statute converting all feudal tenures into * 37 Hy. 8. * 1 Ed. VI, cap. 4.
%D7 Ed. VI, cap. 4.
tenures by free and common socage expressly | By that custom, it will be remembered, lands dedirected " that all tenures thereafter created by the scended to all the sons, but females were excluded king s majesty
shall be in tree and com- from the inheritance. It is quite true that gavelsucage, and
not by knight-service or in kind is always presumed to prevail in Kent as to capute, inus without speciiying any tenure at all all lands, until the contrary is shown (Rob. Gavela patent from the crown would alter the year 1000 kind, 54; Sandys, Gavelkind, passim.), and it is De presunied to be in tree and common socage. equally true that the royal manor of East Green
The object of the tenendum clause in the Duke wish was in Kent, and that its customs are not oi York s patent of 1004 for New York then, irre- now ascertainable. After some years of research spective of the act of 1000, seems ciear. It was to
the present writer concluded that the customs of conier on the patentee the best tenure then known
that manor as to inheritances among the tenants and to assure to him freedom from the burden
could not be affirmatively established." Since the some incidents oi a tenure by chivalry, of which joundation of Greenwich Hospital on the site of knight-service was only one species. Ur else, as the old palace, and the construction of the Royal is more probable, the uraitsmen servilely con- Observatory in Duke Humphrey's park, it is iormed to older precedents without any very den probable that there have been no tenants holding nite purpose in so doing. In either event, there by suit and service of this manor and no manor was probably nothing gained and nothing lost by
The old records of thar court are the draitsman's thus coniorming to a precedent lost, or at least no one seems to be aware of their which aiter the year 1000 had lost much of its existence. But though this is true, there is negaoriginal meaning, for knight-service was then
tive evidence that gavelkind never existed in the abolished and the tenure of New York must have royal manor of East Greenwich. Had it done so, been socage by express provision of the statute, it is fair to assume that some of the early lawyers as the statute was binding on the crown and in
in the colonies, islands or provinces in America tended so to be.
would have made out to establish the fact, for at The tenendum clause of the Duke of York's that time the manor customs could have been patent was probably never intended to introduce easily shown. The fact that in all the colonies particular customs of the manor of East Green- held as of the manor of East Greenwich primowich into New York, but simply to denote the geniture was a rule of descent ** and not gavelkind quality of the tenure. The patent must be read is pretty persuasive of the conclusion that gavelas a whole, and in its context there is abundant kind did not prevail in this royal manor in quesevidence that the common law of England, in its tion. Royal manors differed in this respect probgeneral extent and not in its local exceptions, was ably from other manors even in Kent. It would intended to be applied to the province of New certainly seem more consistent with the dignity York. Certainly such a construction prevailed of the crown that the general common law of the prior to the abolition of the common law oi realm, and not a local custom, should prevail in a descents in 1782, and it is rather a late day to
royal manor concerning inheritances. contend that gavelkind furnished the rule of de- But whether or not the inferences just stated are scents when the general common-law rule was
correct, it is certain that primogeniture was from always applied.
1664 the rule of descents among the English in It will be not forgotten that many of the British
New York until its formal abolition in 1782,30 and provinces, including New York, were seigniories,
after so great a lapse of time rules of law well or subordinate States, modeled after the feudal established should not be disturbed under the counties palatine, in which the patentee exercised principle, “ communis error facit jus.” Story states certain regalities, but always in subordination to
that no traces are to be found in America of his sovereign. Of course, the royal grants of the latter part of the seventeenth and the eighteenth gavelkind," and distinctly that primogeniture and centuries were not strictly feudal seigniories, for
not gavelkind prevailed in New York, 52 and a like the feudal system had then been abolished. They statement is made by Kent and other authors, ** were simply semi-political estates established after a feudal model.
27 In this he is confirmed by the distinguished The mere fact that the patent for New York chief of H. M. Office of Woods & Forests. provided that the Duke of York was to hold it of Many of these lawyers were persons of great the crown, “as of the Manor of East Greenwich,” capacity and bred at the Temple, and fully indid not serve to introduce here the custom of structed in their profession. Kent known as gavelkind, as erroneously asserted 20 i Story Const. 77, 121. in the case mentioned at the outset of this paper.
Chap. 2, Laws of 1782; 1 J. & V. 245.
i Story Const. 121. * Penn v. Lord Baltimore, 1 Ves. Sr. 444; case * i Story Const. 77, 78. of the County Palatine of Wexford, Davies' (Irish) * 4 Kent Com., note “d.” 375; 4 Burge, Com. Report, 159.
Col. Law, 126.