Tenure was either free tenure or villein tenure, the first being based on services of a character such as it was considered proper for a free man to render, while villein tenure was based on services of a "villein" character, involving generally the cultivation of the lord's land under particular conditions.7 Of free tenure there were three classes: (1) Tenure in frankalmoign, by which ecclesiastical persons or bodies held land on condition of their rendition of services of a spiritual character, (2) tenure in chivalry, and (3) socage tenure.8

Tenure in chivalry included what was known as tenure by "grand sergeanty," which existed only in the case of a holding directly of the king, and was based on the rendition of some particular honorary services to the king in person, as to carry his sword, or to act his champion upon his coronation.9 The other tenure in chivalry, by far the more important, was that by "knight service."

Tenure by knight service involved military service on the part of the tenant with the king in time of war, which were held by one man of another (1 Pollock & Maitland, Hist. Eng. Law, 215, note 3; Dig-by, Hist. Real Prop. 72, note 5. See ante, Sec.5); the word "fee" having acquired a new meaning as descriptive of an estate of inheritance. 2 Blackst. Comm. 105. See post, Sec. 20.

6. Co. Litt., Butler's note 77. V, 1; Digby, Hist. Real Prop. 32.

7. 2 Blackst. Comm. 61; 1 Pollock & Maitland, Hist. Eng. Law, 337.

8. Litt. Sec. 118; Co. Litt. 86a; Challis, Real Prop. (3rd Ed.) 8.

9. 1 Pollock & Maitland, Hist. Eng. Law, 262. The word "ser-geanty" involved the notion of "servantship"; "sergeant" and "servant" being originally the same word. Id.; and see Co. Litt. 105b.

And frequently, by the conditions of the tenure, the furnishing of the services of other knights. Gradually, as time went on, the persons who were thus bound to furnish military services were allowed to pay a certain sum in lieu thereof; this payment being termed "scut-age," or "escuage." This commutation of services into money did not, however, affect the character of the tenure in other respects, and it was still regarded as military, with the burdens incident to that character of tenure.10

Tenure in free socage comprised all tenures not in frankalmoign, by knight service, or by grand sergeanty. While the services rendered in connection with this class of tenure were originally of an agricultural or profitable character, to be rendered on lands in the possession of the lord, its distinctive characteristic was that the services to be rendered were fixed and determinate in amount, and consequently it included all tenures by fixed rents, whether these rents were of considerable pecuniary value, or were merely nominal, as the gift of a rose or a peppercorn, reserved only in order to evidence the tenure.11

There were various kinds of free socage tenure, including "petit sergeanty," which was of the king alone, involving the yearly presentation to him of a thing of slight value, as a bow, a sword, or a lance, and "burgage" tenure, which existed where the king or other person was lord of an ancient borough, in which the tenements were held by certain rent. Another species of socage tenure was that of "gavel-kind," which was chiefly confined to the county of Kent. This tenure was subject to certain customs, the most important of which were that the holding did not escheat in case of execution for felony; the tenant could devise the land even at common law, and the land descended to all the sons equally. The bulk of free socage tenures did not, however, fall into one of these subclasses, but were merely in "free and common socage."12

10. Litt. Sec. 95; 2 Bl. Comm. 74; 1 Pollock & Maitland. Hist. Eng. Law, 253, note 1; Har-grave's note 35 to Co. Litt. 73a.

11. Litt. Sec.Sec. 117, 119, 129, 130; 2 Blackst. Comm. 79 et seq.; 1 Pollock & Maitland, Hist. Eng. Law, 271 et seq.