Location: East Riding of Yorkshire
Surnames/tags: Acklom Beeford, Hornsea, Bewholme, North_Frodingham, Dringhoe
Lord of the Manor today is usually a meaningless title, carrying no duties and no income, at most a vague semi-ownership of common land. In the medieval period the Lord of the Manor had almost total power in the manor: He usually owned everything except church land, and controlled everything, including punishment for crimes up to hanging: He ruled the serfs daily lives, and the income even of freemen.
Between these two extremes, which we are not considering here, and exclude by the end-dates, lay a period in which some land had been enclosed and might be owned by someone other than the Lord of the Manor, but other land was in open fields, common grazing and enclosed fields owned by the Lord but leased to individuals, by the year or even for three named lifetimes. The Lord owned the Manorial Courts and appointed both the judges and the enforcement officers. Fees and penalties might range from a penny for allowing a sheep to stray, or having one cow more than your right on the common land to £5 (a man's yearly wage) for renewing a lease or even £40 if the lease involved hundreds of acres. Smaller fines might be turned from cash to duties: working extra days on ditching or road repairs.
In bigger manors the lordship might be a major source of income, often inherited, but sometimes bought or sold. All this was recorded, and if any of this survives it is a very useful source for genealogists not only about the Lord himself but also his officers and even the humblest inhabitants of the manor. It also forms a useful interpretation for enclosures, which often removed most of the Lord's rights and income but gave him substantial parts of the land.
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