Homage Jury – historically, a jury in a court baron, consisting of tenants who made homage to the lord

homage jury:

1. Hist. A jury in a court baron, consisting of tenants who made homage to the lord.

court baron:

1. A manorial court that had jurisdiction over amounts in controversy of 40 shillings or less.  *  According to some authorities, the court baron developed into two courts: the customary court baron for disputes involving copyholders, and the court baron proper (also known as the freeholders’ court baron), in which freeholders were allowed to hold court concerning minor disputes. — aka freeholder’s court baron.

     Excerpt from Frederick Pollock & Frederic W. Maitland’s The History of English Law Before the Time of Edward I (2d ed. 1898):

      “In Coke’s day it was said that the lord of a manor had one court, ‘a court baron,’ for his freeholders and another court, ‘a customary court,’ for his copyholders, and that in the latter the lord or his steward was the judge.  Now over his unfree men the lord had, according to the law of the king’s court, almost unlimited power; short of maiming them he might do what he liked with them; and every tenant of an unfree tenement was a tenant at will. Nevertheless in the court rolls and the manuals for stewards which come to us from the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries we cannot discover two courts or two methods of constituting the court. Freeholders and serfs are said to owe suit to the same halimoot, and so far as we can see, the curia which pronounces judgment is always the same body. [2]


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[1]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black, Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-61300-4

[2]: 1 Frederick Pollock & Frederic W. Maitland, The History of English Law Before the Time of Edward I 593 (2d ed. 1898).


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