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and married Lady Frances Vane, eldest daughter of the late Most Honourable Charles William Vane, Marquis of Londonderry* and Viscount Castlereagh in the Peerage of Ireland; Earl Vane, Viscount Seaham, and Baron Stewart, in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, K.G., Lord Lieutenant of the County Palatine of Durham, and of the County of Down, a general in the army, colonel of the second regiment of Horse-guards, &c., &c. and the Most Honourable Frances Anne Vane Tempest, Marchioness of Londonderry, only daughter and heiress of Sir Henry Vane Tempest, Bart., of Wynyard Park, M.P. for the county of Durham, and the Right Honourable the Countess of Antrim in her own right. George Churchill, the eldest son of the Marquis and Marchioness of Blandford, assumes by courtesy his grandfather, the Duke of Marlborough's third title of Earl of Sunderland.
ORIGIN AND PRESENT STATE OF COPYHOLD OR CUSTOMARY PROPERTY, THE HALMOTE COURT, AND COURT BARON OF SUNDERLAND, ETC., ETC.
The possession of England by the aborigines, or ancient Britons, its conquest and abandonment by the Romans, and its subsequent conquest by the Saxons, and the division of it into seven kingdoms, are all matters of general history ; in thisworkitis sufficient that the county of Durham, with Sunderland, was part of the powerful Saxon kingdom of Northumberland. The civil polity of the Anglo-Saxons is a subject of curious enquiry; but it is involved in the intervening gloom of eight centuries. All the primary germs in the feudal system may be discovered amongst the Saxons. From the earliest intimation of history, it appears that every Gothic chief was surrounded by a number of retainers, who did him honour in the time of peace, and accompanied him in war. The lord and his vassal were reciprocally bound together by a sacred principle, which often gave rise to actions of the most romantic and generous kind. The conquerors of the Saxons divided the lands of the natives into parcels, denominated hides or sowlings. The king kept the largest portion, and the remainder was divided amongst the chieftains, his immediate vassals, who subdivided it into shares amongst their humble followers.
The Thanes,* so called from thegnian, to serve, were
* ''From the Rev. Dr. Lingard's History of England."
a numerous aud distinguished order of men, divided into several classes of different ranks, and with different privileges. We read of greater and lesser thanes, of the thanes of the king, and the thanes of eldermen and prelates. The heriot of the higher was fourfold that of the lower thane; and while the former acknowledged no other superior than the king, the latter owed suit to the court of his immediate lord. It is certain that they held their lands by the honourable tenure of service about the person of their lord, or in the field. Milities is the term by which they are usually designated by the Norman writers, and every expression in Beda, denoting a military character, is invariably rendered thane, by his royal translator.
The law required one combatant from every five hides of land; and the acquisition of property to the same extent was sufficient to raise the ceorl to the rank of the ihane ; but without it, though he might accompany the king to the field, though he should possess a helmet, a coat of mail, and a golden-hilted sword, he was still condemned to remain in the subordinate and humble condition of a ceorl. A political exception was made in favour of the merchants, who were accustomed to form companies or guilds, and possessed their lands in common. To sail twice to a foreign land with a cargo of his own wares, entitled the merchant to the rank and privileges of the thaneship.* Of these privileges the most valuable was the amount of the were.f
* These regulations have been attributed to Athelstan, but they have also been described as the ancient customs of the nation. It is to them that we are to attribute the title of barons, given to the merchants of London and the Cinque Ports.—Lingard.
t Homicide and theft were the common crimes of the Anglo
The Gerefas (Greeves) or Reeves, were officers of high' importance, appointed by the king and the great proprietors in their respective demesnes. They were to be found in every separate jurisdiction; but the principal were the reeves of the shires, ports, and boroughs. It was their duty to collect the tolls, to apprehend malefactors, to require sureties, to receive the rents, and occasionally to act in the place of their lords. They were assessors, sometimes the chief judges in different courts, and. were commanded under a severe penalty to regulate their decisions by the directions of the doom-book.
The foregoing were the ethel or dear born, the unethel, the tradesmen, mechanics, husbandmen, and labourers, were comprehended under the generic denomination of ceorls. Of these there were two classes. The superior class consisted of socmen or free ceorls, who held lands by conventional services, or chose their own lords, or possessed the right of disposing of their real estates by sale, or will, or donation. The others were attached to the soil, as part and parcel of the manor, transferable with it from one lord to another, bound to give their personal labour in return for the land which they cultivated for their own use, and liable to be punished as runaways if they withdrew out of the manorial jurisdiction under which they were born.*
Saxons. The commission of homicide was atoned for by a pecuniary compensation. The were, or legal value of lives advanced in proportion to the rank of the person murdered. Hence, all above the rank of a ceorl, were called ethel, or dear bora.
• In the Boldon Book may be seen innumerable instances of the difference between the rent and services of the two elasses. Both paid partly in kind, partly in money, and partly in labour; Jbut th«
They had, indeed, certain rights recognized by the law, and could not in many places be dispossessed, as long as they performed their customary services; but then these services were often uncertain in amount, depending on the will of the lord. He could tallage or tax
free tenant worked only a fixed number of days for the lord in seed time, and during the harvest; the other worked in addition, three days in the week during the whole year, with the exception of a fortnight at Christmas, and a week at the festivals of Easter and Whitsuntide. The services of mechanics were regulated in the same manner.—Lingard.
Boldon Buke derives its name from the village of Boldon, near Sunderland, in the county of Durham. The services and returns of many of the Bishop's manors were the same, and the compilers after enumerating these services under Boldon, when the same occurred elsewhere, during the progress of the Inquisition, were satisfied to deseribe them as the same with those of Boldon. The name of Boldon, therefore, repeatedly occurring, the record itself became popularly spoken of as the Buke of Boldon.
The survey was compiled, as we are told in its opening paragraph, at the feast of St. Cuthbert, in Lent, in the year 1183, by order of Hugh Pudsey, then Bishop of Durham, one of the most magnificent and powerful prelates who at any time occupied the episcopal chair. The same paragraph gives us a concise account of the document; it is a deseription of the revenues of the Bishoprick, and an enumeration of the settled rents and customs renderable to the Bishop, as they stood fixed at the time of its compilation.
Boldon Buke may he called the Domesday of the Palatinate. It k impossible to overrate its importance to the historical enquirer, whether he be interested in the nature of early tenures, the descent of property, or the social condition of the tenants, in whatever rank, of that day. No one can go carefully through the record without attaining a considerable insight into the state of the country and its inhabitants, as far as the Palatinate is concerned, at the end of the twelfth century. Many parts of the relations between the lord and his tenants