top of page
  • TFIG News

Glossary of historical terms

With the arrival of our interim historical report, we thought it would be useful to have a glossary to aid people’s understanding of it. Both the report and the glossary can be downloaded from our Historical Research page.

Thanks goes to Harry Ball for providing us with this:

Alienation – The transfer of property.

Appurtenances – Belonging to the property held.

Boon – A service in kind, or labour given by a tenant to his lord.

Capon – a hen.

Court Roll – The record of the transfers or grants of land.

Deed – A written document recording the rights appertaining to land.

Demysed (demise) – To convey a property by lease.

Easement – A right of way over adjoining property.

Egresse (egress) – The right of going out of a property.

Hearth Tax – A tax on each hearth in a property.

Heriot – Originally the return to his lord of the military apparel by an heir of a deceased tenant. Later, this became the gift of the best beast by the heir to the landlord and later still it became a money payment. In effect it had become a fee to take possession of the land.

Indenture – A legal document between two or more parties.

Ingresse (ingress) – The right of entrance to a property.

Lease or leaze – Meadow land, usually common.

Leasoes (leasow) – Grassland.

Liberty – (1) An area of land outside of a manor or borough over which the tenants had rights of pasture. (2) The jurisdiction over a number of estates and villages.

Manor – An estate held by a landlord. It may be just part of a parish, or contiguous with its boundaries, or spread over more than one parish. The landlord had jurisdiction over the manor court.

Manor Court – This enforced the customs of the manor. These included the rights of the tenants in the manor.

Messuage – A house and the ground around it.

Is this the site of a messuage?

Parish Registers – Records kept in the parish church of each marriage, christening and burial. Many of these are now in the County Record Offices.

Rental (Rent roll) – A register of rents due and paid.

Regresse (regress) – The right of return to a property.

Rood – 40 square rods, or one quarter of an acre.

Seisin – Possession of land rather than ownership.

Severalty – A portion of land (common) assigned for a period to a particular occupier.

Terrier – A register of landed property, usually with particulars of sites, rents etc.

Tithe – A local income tax usually paid for the upkeep of the parish church.

There are several words for which I have not been able to find meanings. They are ‘eloigned’, ‘forprized’, ‘boviculi’ and ‘modus’.  


If anyone can help with these words, we would be most grateful – you can use the comments section below.


bottom of page