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a principal form of feudal land tenure by peas-ants in late medieval and early Renaissance England.

Copyhold arose out of villein tenure about 1400 and became widespread in the 15th century. A copy of an excerpt from the manor’s court roll was given to the peasant, attesting to his right to own a plot. Copyhold reflected the emancipation of villeins from serfdom, the actual and legal strengthening of the peasant economy, and the replacement of the lord’s arbitrary power with customary law. However, copyholders did not have legal protection under common law and were burdened with many obligations. In most cases copyhold tenure was for life, but it was not hereditary. During the agrarian revolution that began in the 16th century, an enormous number of copyholders were deprived of their land.

The English bourgeois revolution in the 17th century kept the copyholders in the position of landholders whose rights were not recognized by common law. Copyhold tenure became obsolete as a result of parliamentary enclosures, but it was not legally abolished until 1925.


References in periodicals archive ?
Dudley again obtained one-sixteenth for his manorial rights, and allotments for his right of coney warren and to enfranchise copyholds which secured him 46 per cent of the surface, largely along the line of the canal and over the most easily won coal.
Villein tenure became slowly transformed to copyhold during the later 14th and 15th centuries.
The effect of this type of manorial administration was not limited to the medieval period, with heavy servile dues and other types of restrictions, but continued in the early modern period, with forms of copyhold and leasehold tenures that restricted tenant actions.
But the owners of former copyhold property might still need to have recourse to the original records for proof of title to their land, and in 1924 the Act was amended to put these records under the superintendence of the Master of the Rolls.
Here, as always, he is careful to define his terms--custom itself, copyhold, and their relationship with the common law.
Even so, fines for encroaching were less a matter of deterrence than of fiscal pragmatism on the part of landlords, since those presented had the appropriated land granted to them in copyhold at an appropriate rent.
Thirsk introduces the rural chapters by surveying food prices, disputes over ownership of coastal lands, improvement of the commons, conflict over copyhold, and the search for concealed crown lands.
PRUDENCE M DAILEY, Chairman, Prayer Book Society, The Studio, Copyhold Farm, Goring Heath, Reading RG8 7RT (tel: 01189 842 582; email: info@tbutlerpr.
Where Tawney and others had bewailed the mistreatment of copyhold tenants as a consequence of the commercialisation of agriculture, the hard-headed Rowse saw it as a step towards efficiency and prosperity.
It was in the eastern counties that the tenure of copyhold took root during the expansive years of the sixteenth century, thus laying the ground for the emergence of the English yeomen, "a process engineered by the copyholders themselves.
151) Two statutes of 1603 and 1605 reasserted the king's rights and restricted hunting and hawking to freeholders worth at least 40 [pounds sterling] per annum or 80 [pounds sterling] copyhold, and only on their land.
Finally, in 1889, the Land Commissioners (responsible to the Home Office for enclosure, copyhold and tithes) were combined with the Agriculture Department to form a new Board of Agriculture, with a Veterinary Department as one of its constituent parts.