Explanation of a small extract from the Last Will & Testament of George Naylor the Elder.


George’s occupation was Yeoman[1].  George had a leasehold of 30 acres from the manor at Delamere in Cheshire. George’s leasehold had been willed to his eldest son George. A lease for three lives determinable upon 99 years was  the method used by the manor at or near Delamere.  The lessee paid an entry fine and an annual rent and his lease held good as long as one of the entered names was still alive.  It was common to enter the names of  husband, wife, and eldest son, though any names could be chosen.  Fresh lives could usually be entered upon the payment of another entry fine.  Estate records often include a good run of leases.  Surveys of estates give accounts of the various ways in which property was held.  George ran cattle on his Leasehold Premises  The property contained a Leasehold Messuage or Dwellinghouse and Outbuilding with Fields, Closes[2], pieces and parcels of Land or Ground. 


With thanks to Errol, for this example.


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  [1]   Yeoman - The term has changed its meaning over time.  In the 13th-15th centuries it was principally applied to a *knights servants or retainers, though in the Royal Household the minor officials under the Chamberlain were known as the Yeomen of the Kings Chamber.  Under  the Tudors the use of the term was gradually widened to include the prosperous working farmers below the rank of the *gentry, the class formally known as *franklins.  They worked their own land, but did not necessarily have to be freeholders.  Yeomen increasingly held their land by a variety of tenures:  *freehold, *copyhold, and *leasehold.  The term had no legal precision, but was used informally to distinguish a farmer who was more prosperous than the average *husbandman. 

[2]  Closes (fields).  A small hedged or walled field, either at the edge of cultivation or taken in (‘enclosed’) from the *open fields, and so not subject to rights on the *commons and wastes.

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