Nepokhozhie Krestiane

Nepokhozhie Krest’iane


(immobile peasants), a basic category of the rural population in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania during the 15th and 16th centuries; they were also called immobile people and inherited, native, eternal, and settled peasants because they had lived on their lands on a hereditary basis from ancient times. Immobile peasants were those who paid only quitrent and those who also performed service.

The enserfed status of the nepokhozhie krest’iane was legally defined by the Charter of 1447 of Casimir IV. Initially an immobile peasant could leave if he found a replacement. The development during the 16th century of the folwark-corvée system worsened the situation of the immobile peasants, a trend that was reflected in Lithuanian law. The Second Lithuanian Statute of 1566 established a ten-year statute of limitations on the search for runaway immobile peasants. The Third Lithuanian Statute of 1588 prohibited immobile peasants from leasing land or hiring themselves or members of their families out even for one year.