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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1815 Excerpt: ...take the oath of fealty as his vassal for ever, which prevented a desertion to any neighbouring seignior, as the feudatories of the lower ranks had been accustomed to do; and by which regulation the exact force of every feudal lord in France was accurately known, and could on the least notice be called forth as necessity required. But the feudal system was not fully settled in France till many years after the establishment of the French monarchy. When the Franks first entered Gaul, they did not destroy all the natives or the Romans; many remained in the country, some enlisted utider the chiefs or leaders among the Franks, had portions of land assigned them, and were admitted to take the oaths of fealty, and entitled to the same protection and privileges as other feudatories. By degrees the allodial or free lands were surrendered into the King's hands, who restored them to the owners as a beneficium or feud, to be held to them and such of their heirs as were previously agreed on; and thus allodial estates in France were gradually converted into feuds, and the freemen became vassals of the crown. A very strong reason why the allodial tenants and clergy surrendered their freehold estates to the King, or to some neighbouring lord, was, they formerly were greatly oppressed by the Kings of France, or by their ministers, much more so than the feudatories, whose seigniors were bound to protect them. When it was customary to levy commutations in money, instead of inflicting corporal punishment for the thefts, murders, and other injuries done by one person to another, six hundred sols were paid by him that killed a feudatory, when two hundred sols were deemed a sufficient composition for an allodial tenant; and in every other instance where the feudatories or freehol...
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