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Copyhold Tenure

1779 Codford St Peter copyhold tenure

Customary tenants made up the largest group, and also the lowest group of tenant farmers. Copyhold was perpetuated by inheritance or by ‘lives’ (leases were often held for the life of one or more lessees). Although rent was generally paid the major expenses were the substantial payments (known as an entry fines and heriots) which the manorial lord exacted on his tenant’s embarking on or inheriting the tenancy. If a copyhold or leasehold was on ‘lives’, generally three named individuals, the tenure could, if the lord agreed, be extended by adding a life when one of the three died – this too incurred a large one-off payment.

Content generated during research for the paperback book 'Codford: Wool and War in Wiltshire' (ISBN 13 : 978-1-86077-441-6 ) for the England's Past for Everyone series

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