Those whom he enfeoffed with land held it according to the law of Norman feudalism, which was already becoming precise.
The tenure by which lands were held before 1838 was strictly feudal, resembling that of Germany in the 11th century, and lands were sometimes enfeoffed to the seventh degree.
The rearrangement, on a feudal basis, of the original returns (as described above) enabled the Conqueror and his officers to see with ease the extent of a baron's possessions; but it also had the effect of showing how far he had enfeoffed "under-tenants," and who those under-tenants were.
Nor is it in the sphere of taxation alone that Williams organization of the realm stands on the old English customs. In the military sphere, though his normal army is the feudal force composed of the tenants-in-chief and the knights whom they have enfeoffed, he retains the power to call out the fyrd, the old national levee en masse, without regard to whether its members are freemen or villeins of some lord.
1095) had just issued its famous decree to the effect that bishops must be chosen by free election, and not invested with their spiritual insignia or enfeoffed with their estates by the hands of a secular prince.