manor


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manor

1. (in medieval Europe) the manor house of a lord and the lands attached to it
2. (before 1776 in some North American colonies) a tract of land granted with rights of inheritance by royal charter
3. a manor house

Manor

 

the term for a feudal patrimony in medieval England. Although manors were established before the Norman conquest of England in 1066, they became widespread and uniform throughout the country only after the beginning of the Norman age. A “typical” manor consisted of two parts: the demesne, or lands retained by the lords for their own use, and the lands of the serfs (villeins) and freeholders. In addition, the manor included common lands, most of which were used by all the manor’s inhabitants, but which were considered the personal property of its lord.

The overwhelming majority of the manor’s inhabitants were villeins. The economy of the demesne depended on their labor obligations, and their quitrent in kind satisfied the needs of the lord and was sold by him on the market. The villeins were subject to the jurisdiction of the lord in the manorial court. They were also obliged to pay banalities to the lord. The manor was administered by the lord’s ministerials (the stewards). On the manor all forms of seignorial dependence were encountered: the peasants were personally, legally, and economically dependent on the lord.

By the end of the 13th century, most of the manors were small or middle-sized. As the exchange of money and goods developed, the manorial system declined. Gradually the villeins were emancipated, and the corvee was commuted to cash payments. Demesne lands were either given out to a single major lessee or were broken up into small plots that were rented to small peasant farmers. In the later Middle Ages, as economic relations took on a completely new, bourgeois character, the manor became an empty shell. Manors disappeared in the 18th century, giving way to capitalist forms of landowning. However, their disappearance did not mean the elimination of the virtual monopoly over land-ownership by a minority—the basis of the modern system of landlordism.

REFERENCES

Vinogradov, P. G. Issledovaniia po sotsial’noi istorii Anglii v srednie veka. Moscow, 1887.
Vinogradoff, P. The Villenage in England. Oxford, 1892.
Vinogradoff, P. The Growth of the Manor, 2nd ed. London, 1911.
Petrushevskii, D. M. Vosstanie Uota Tailera, 4th ed. Moscow, 1937.
Kosminskii, E. A. Issledovaniia po agrarnoi istorii Anglii XIII v. Moscow-Leningrad, 1947.
Barg, M. A. Issledovaniia po istorii angliiskogo feodalizma XI-XIII vv. Moscow, 1962.
Maitland, F. W. Domesday Book and Beyond. Cambridge (England), 1907.

M. A. BARG

References in classic literature ?
he said, pointing to the board as though it was the lord of the manor himself standing there, "I shouldn't like to have had the trouble he's had on my shoulders.
She was the lady of the manor and the patroness of his school; and then, as I say, he was a very noble-looking man, and probably took her fancy; and, sir, whenever some women set their hearts on a man there's no stopping them.
Would that I had some brighter ending to communicate to my readers, but these are the chronicles of fact, and I must follow to their dark crisis the strange chain of events which for some days made Riding Thorpe Manor a household word through the length and breadth of England.
We are going to Riding Thorpe Manor," said he, "but we have heard nothing of what has passed there.
We picked up our things, and went over to the Manor House.
The people at the Manor House did not wait to hear us talk.
Little Jones went one day a shooting with the gamekeeper; when happening to spring a covey of partridges near the border of that manor over which Fortune, to fulfil the wise purposes of Nature, had planted one of the game consumers, the birds flew into it, and were marked (as it is called) by the two sportsmen, in some furze bushes, about two or three hundred paces beyond Mr Allworthy's dominions.
What's the use of bragging about being from the North, or the South, or the old manor house in the dale, or Euclid avenue, Cleveland, or Pike's Peak, or Fairfax County, Va.
It was late in the afternoon when the four friends and their four-footed companion turned into the lane leading to Manor Farm; and even when they were so near their place of destination, the pleasure they would otherwise have experienced was materially damped as they reflected on the singularity of their appearance, and the absurdity of their situation.
About half a mile from the town, standing in an old park famous for its huge beech trees, is the ancient Manor House of Birlstone.
There are many manors in New York though all political and judicial rights have ceased.
In the lordships and manors, therefore, and likewise in the great places of the Church, were established knights and nobles, the secular ones holding in feudal tenure from the king or his immediate great vassals, and each supported in turn by Norman men-at-arms; and to them were subjected as serfs, workers bound to the land, the greater part of the Saxon population.