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The Fee Tail and the Common Recovery in Medieval England


Part of Cambridge Studies in English Legal History

  • Date Published: February 2007
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521032940

$ 129.00

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About the Authors
  • Fee tails were a basic building block for family landholding from the end of the thirteenth to the beginning of the twentieth century. The classic entail was an interest in land which was inalienable and could only pass at death by inheritance to the lineal heirs of the original grantee. Biancalana's study considers the origins, development and use of the entail in later medieval England, and the origins and early use of a reliable legal mechanism for the destruction of individual entails, the common recovery. He untangles the complex history surrounding medieval landholding in this detailed study of the fee tail, the product of extensive research in original sources. This book includes an extensive index of over three hundred common recoveries with discussions of their transactional contexts. A major work which will interest lawyers and historians.

    • Almost entirely based on original sources
    • A comprehensive history of fee tails and an explanation of the origins of the common recovery
    • Includes a catalogue of more than three hundred common recoveries with discussions of their transactional contexts
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'A short review cannot do justice to the scope and value of this book. … essential reading not only for those interested in land law but also for all converned with the history of English landed society.' Oxford Academic Journals

    '… any further work in this field will have to start from the information and interpretation of this magisterial monograph.' The Cambridge Law Journal

    '… an extended and engrossingly technical study of the development, from the late twelfth to the fifteenth century, of the fee tail … The text is meticulously researched and diligently footnoted, and is ample witness to the author's long hours in the Public Record Office wrestling with the Plea Rolls of the Court of Common Pleas … Biancalana not only has taken us back to the drawing board, but has inked out what is, in many respects, a new - and immensely thought-provoking - picture.' Legal History

    '… a masterly survey of a wealth of unpublished primary materials regarding the origins and development of entails and the methods used to bar them.' Legal Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2007
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521032940
    • length: 520 pages
    • dimensions: 215 x 137 x 30 mm
    • weight: 0.67kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of abbreviations and abbreviated citations
    Part I. Fee Tails Before De Donis:
    1. Grants in fee tail
    2. The transformation of maritagium
    3. Maritagium and fee tails in the King's court: the development of the formedon writs
    Part II. The Growth of the 'Perpetual' Entail:
    4. Reading De Donis
    5. The statutory restraint on alienation and the descender writ
    6. The duration of entails for reversions and remainders
    Part III. Living with Entails:
    7. The change from maritagium to jointure
    8. The frequency and use of entails
    Part IV. Barring the Enforcement Entails other than by Common Recovery:
    9. The doctrine of assets by descent
    10. The doctrine of collateral warranty
    11. Barring entails by judgment
    Part V. The Origin and Development of the Common Recovery:
    12. The origin and growth of common recoveries
    13. Development of procedure and doctrine
    14. The double voucher recovery
    Part VI. The Common Recovery in Operation:
    15. The uses of recoveries
    16. Social acceptance of the common recovery
    Appendix to Part VI
    Subject and selected persons index
    Index to persons and places in appendix to Part VI.

  • Author

    Joseph Biancalana, University of Cincinnati

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