Hence, it was more or less inevitable that Lord Mansfield, the judge in the Somerset case, would decide on June 22, 1772, that villeinage
did not apply and that slavery was "so odious" that, unless Parliament specifically legalized it, it was incompatible with English common law.
(40) In medieval England, villeinage
was not only a personal status, but also a tenure.
In contrast, Elazar associates rule justified by an act of conquest with hierarchy, command, and control; organic authority, which, for example, emerges from kinship, villeinage
, and patronage, produces governing institutions of the center-periphery type.
The unfree peasants, chafing under seignorial oppression, longed for freedom -- freedom from villeinage
and freedom to take advantage of the new economic opportunities.
On the 14th Richard agreed to the demands, which included a general pardon, abolition of villeinage
, liberty to trade and the fixing of land rent at four pence per acre.
(12.) The classic account of enclosures and the decline in villeinage
(43) Christopher Dyer, Lords and Peasants in a Changing Society: The Estates of the Bishopric of Worcester, 680-1540 (Cambridge, 1980), 105-6; John Hatcher, `English Serfdom and Villeinage
: Towards a Reassessment', Past and Present, no.