Legal Definition and Related Resources of Copyhold
Meaning of Copyhold
A species of tenure founded on immemorial custom by which land was originally held of the lord of the manor by villein tenants in return for uncertain agricultural services, which services later came to be commuted into money payments and villeinage become copyhold. Copyhold are customary tenures in that the only record of their existence is the record of the custom maintained in the copies of the court rolls made out by the steward of the manor. Some of the attributes of copyhold are said to be general , that is, applying to all manors and some particular as those applying only to the manor in question . The tenant of a copy hold might have the same quantity of interest as in a freehold , such as fee simple , fee tail or for life, but the quality of the estate , while it partook of the nature of a freehold, was still a base as opposed to the free tenure. His tenure was that he was a tenant at will , although he had all the protections accorded to him by custom. In order to form a copyhold there must have been a manor, there must have been a court, the land must have been parcelled off the manor, and lastly it must have been demised or demisable by copy of court rolls from time immemorial. By various legislations commencing in 1841, copyholds in England have been largely enfranchised.
Copyhold Alternative Definition
A tenure by copy of courtroll; any species of holding by particular custom of the manor; the estate so held.
Related Entries of Copyhold in the Encyclopedia of Law Project
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Copyhold in Historical Law
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English Legal System: Copyhold
In the context of the English law, A Dictionary of Law provides the following legal concept of Copyhold :
Formerly, ownership of land enforceable only in the court of the lord of the manor and not protected by the sovereign’s courts (See feudal system). The owner’s title comprised a copy of an entry in the rolls of the lord’s court. By the Law of Property Act 1922 copyhold tenure was abolished and existing copyholds were converted into freeholds.