Land Law

Land Law

Medival Land Law

Maintenance of English land law under Norman Law

The capital instance of harsh treatment consists in an application of the theory that they have not been conquered by foreign enemies, but, having rebelled against one who was de iure king of the English, are to be lawfully punished for their unlawful revolt. Those who fought by Harold’s side forfeited their lands, and so of course did those who resisted William after he was crowned. These forfeitures, so far from clearing the way for pure Norman land law, had the effect of bringing even the Norman barons under English land law. Here a combination might be made of all that was favourable to the duke in the Norman, with all that was favourable to the king in the English system. William’s tenants in chief were to owe him definite quantities of military service; the somewhat vaguely territorialized scheme which had produced Harold’s army was to be superseded by a set of determinate contracts, more determinate perhaps than any that had as yet been concluded in Normandy. On the other hand, the king was going rigorously to exact the old English land tax, the danegeld.

With geld in view he achieved the most magnificent of all his feats, the compilation of Domesday Book. It is very possible that he purposed to reform the capricious assessment which had come down to him from his ancestors. In the meantime, however, each Norman baron was to stand in the geld system just where some one Englishman or some definite group of Englishmen had stood. For the purpose of taxation the Frenchman succeeded to the duties of his English antecessores. Moreover, what the Frenchman succeeded to was in many cases a superiority over free tenants of the soil. The rights of these tenants might be left to the uncovenanted mercies of their new lord; but the superiority often included rights of a jurisdictional kind, rights of sake and soke, and in this matter the king had an interest. The French lord was not to get other fines and forfeitures than those which his antecessor had received. For a long time after the Conquest a serious attempt was made to maintain the old law of sake and soke despite its archaisms.

Source: Sir Frederick Pollock, The History of English Law before the Time of Edward I (1895)

Regulation of the acquisition or disposal of land

After bringing mortgage regulation within the scope of FSA regulation in October 2004, the Government -it is said in the book “The Law of Banking in Scotland,” 2nd Edition, by Lorne D Crerar, LLB- proposed to add the regulation home reversion schemes to the duties of the FSA. This proposal was implemented under the Regulation of Financial Services (Land Transactions) Act 2005 in February 2006. The Act enables activities relating to financial arrangements involving the acquisition or disposal of land to be specified as ‘regulated activities’ under s 22 of FSMA 2000, [through amendment of FSMA 2000, Sch 2] and hence to be brought under FSA regulation.


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