The ordinary business of the ports was conducted in two courts known respectively as the court of brotherhood and the court of brotherhood and guestling, - the former being composed of the mayors of the seven principal towns and a number of jurats and freemen from each, and the latter including in addition the mayors, bailiffs and other representatives of the corporate members.
The salt-houses were divided between the king, the earl of Chester and certain resident freemen of the neighbourhood.
In 1553 The electors consisted of an indefinite number of freemen, about 50 in all, indirectly nominated by the mayor and corporation, which existed by prescription.
Slaves were recruited by purchase abroad, from captives taken in war and by freemen degraded for debt or crime.
On the present occasion it was evidently regarded as quite a formal and introductory matter, and the same remark applies to the general grant of liberties to all freemen and their heirs, with which the chapter concludes.
Forbid the royal officials to seize the horses or carts of freemen for transport duty, or to take wood for the king's buildings.
The principle of judgment by one's peers is asserted, and is obviously the privilege of every class of freemen, not of the greater lords alone.
Its benefits are confined to freemen, and of the benefits the lion's share fell to the larger landholders; the smaller landholders getting, it is true, some crumbs from the table.
To this end John Locke drafted for them in 1669 the famous Fundamental Constitutions providing for the division of the province into eight counties and each county into seigniories, baronies, precincts and colonies, and the division of the land among hereditary nobles who were to grant three-fifths of it to their freemen and govern through an elaborate system of feudal courts.
In Anglo-Saxon England in the 7th and 8th centuries it seems certain that each of the larger kingdoms, Kent, Wessex, Mercia and Northumbria, had its separate witan, or council, but there is a difference of opinion as to whether this was identical with, or distinct from, the folkmoot, in which, theoretically at least, all freemen had the right to appear.
Freeman advances the theory that the right of all the freemen to attend the genzot had for practical purposes fallen into disuse, and thus the assembly had come to be confined to the wise men.
Evidence in support of this view is sought for in the accounts in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and elsewhere, where the decisions of the witan were received with loud expressions of approval or of disapproval by an assembled crowd, and it is argued that this is a survival from an earlier age, when all the freemen attended the witan.
The Scottish bowmen followed up this advantage, and the fight became general; the English horse, crowded into too narrow a space, were met by the steady resistance of the Scottish pikemen, who knew, as Bruce had told them truly, that they fought for their country, their wives, their children, and all that freemen hold dear.
At the time of the Conquest West Ham belonged to Alestan and Leured, two freemen, and at Domesday to Ralph Gernon and Ralph Peverel.
From very early days executive officers known as " select-men," constables, clerks of markets, hog reeves, packers of meat and fish, &c., were chosen; and the select-men, particularly, gained power as the attendance of the freemen on meetings grew onerous.
Freemen, through indigence, sometimes sold themselves, and at Athens, up to the time of Solon, an insolvent debtor became the slave of his creditor.
The service of the magistrates was at first in the hands of freemen; but the lower offices, as of couriers, servants of the law courts, of prisons and of temples, were afterwards filled by slaves.
Slaves who were admitted to holy orders, or who entered a monastery, became freemen, under certain restrictions framed to prevent fraud or injustice.
Freemen had always been to some extent employed in the public service.
The sources of slavery were there, as elsewhere, capture in war, voluntary sale by poor freemen of themselves, sale of insolvent debtors, and the action of the law in certain criminal cases.
During the reign of Coloman, moreover, the number of freemen was increased by the frequent manumission of serfs.
He was elected by the freemen and then installed by the abbot.
The early German governments whose chief functions, military, judicial, financial, legislative, were carried on by the freemen of the nation because they were members of the body politic, and were performed as duties owed to the community for its defence and sustenance, no longer existed.
The great landowners who were developing into feudal lords, and the smaller freemen who were becoming independent burghers, broke the imperial.
Charles now sought to increase his authority in Italy, where Frankish counts were set over various districts, and where Hildebrand, duke of Spoleto, appears to have recognized his overlordship. In 780 he was again in the peninsula, and at Mantua issued an important capitulary which increased the authority of the Lombard bishops, relieved freemen who under stress of famine had sold themselves into servitude, and condemned abuses of the system of vassalage.
The abandonment of the communal system was begun in the latter year, and with the dissolution of the partnership with the adventurers of the London Company in 1627 Plymouth became a corporate colony with its chief authority vested in the whole body of freemen convened in the General Court.
The whole body of freemen composed the General Court until other towns than Plymouth had been organized, the first of which were Scituate in 1636 and Duxbury in 1637, and then the representative form of government was adopted and there was a gradual differentiation between Plymouth the town and Plymouth the 1882 the assessment of realty increased nearly twelve times as much as personalty.
The charter gave the company control over the admission of " freemen " (co-partners in the enterprise, and voters), " full and absolute power and authority to correct, punish and rule " subjects settling in the territory comprised in their grant, and power to " resist.
Under the latter a mayor, recorder, six common councillors, a coroner, six freemen and a common clerk were to constitute the corporation.
By the middle of the 18th century the franchise had become restricted to the freemen or burgesses.
The trial is now held annually by a jury consisting of freemen of the Company of Goldsmiths.
The first, styled a charter of liberties and privileges, required that an assembly elected by the freeholders and freemen should be called at least once every three years; vested all legislative authority in the governor, council and assembly; forbade the imposition of any taxes without the consent of the assembly; and provided for religious liberty and trial by jury.
After a period of tranquillity a reaction set in against Frankish influences, and in 840 the freemen and liti separated themselves from the nobles, formed a league, or stellinga, and obtained a promise from the emperor Lothair I.
Again, although the charter reserved to the proprietor the right of calling an assembly of the freemen or their delegates at such times and in such form and manner as he should choose, he surrendered in 1638 his claim to the sole right of initiating legislation.
By 1650 the assembly had been divided into two houses, in one of which sat only the representatives of the freemen without whose consent no bill could become a law, and annual sessions as well as triennial elections were coming to be the usual order.
When suffrage had thus come to be a thing really worth possessing, the proprietor, in 1670, sought to check the opposition by disfranchising all freemen who did not have a freehold of fifty acres or a visible estate of forty pounds sterling.
In England the franchises enjoyed by burgesses, freemen and other consuetudinary constituencies in burghs, were dependent on the character of the burgagetenure.
Below the freemen were the slaves, who were war-captives, persons enslaved for punishment, or children sold by their parents.
Kerl and with similar words in other Teutonic languages), one of the two main classes, eorl and ceorl, into which in early Anglo-Saxon society the freemen appear to have been divided.
Until 1832 there was only one party in the state, the Democratic, but the question of nullification caused a division that year into the (Jackson) Democratic party and the State's Rights (Calhoun Democratic) party; about the same time, also, there arose, chiefly in those counties where the proportion of slaves to freemen was greater and the freemen were most aristocratic, the Whig party.
To these we find nothing analogous in the other kingdoms, though the poorer classes of Welsh freemen had wergilds varying from r 20 to 60 shillings.
They were divided into freemen and serfs (Sarmatae Limigantes), the latter of whom had a different manner of life and were probably an older settled population enslaved by nomad masters.
Nobles, freemen and freedmen.
The large amounts fixed for the wergelds of nobles and even of freemen were paid no doubt, as in later times, not only by the slayer himself, but by every member of his kindred in proportion to the nearness or remoteness of his relationship; and in like manner they were distributed among the kindred of the slain.
The general assembly, convoked every autumn at Thermon to elect officials, and at other places in special emergencies, shaped the league's general policy; it was nominally open to all freemen, though no doubt the Aetolian chieftains really controlled it.
The tendencies of the tribe to independence wen crushed as their ancient popular assemblies were discouraged and the liberty of the freemen was curtailed owing to the exigencies of military service, while the power of the church was rarely directed to the highest ends.
The same process took place in the case of great numbers of freemen of a lower class, who put themselves at the service of their more powerful neighbors in return for protection.
A strong check was thus imposed upon the tendency of freemen to become the vassals of great lords.
This movement had become so powerful by the troubles of the epoch that, had no other current of influence set in, the entire class of freemen must soon have disappeared.
For the time, feudalism in truth meant that lands and offices were held on condition of service; the kinf was the genuine ruler, not only of freemen, but of the highest vassals in the nation.
Besides the imperial cities, and the princes and other immediate nobles, there were the mediate nobles, the men who held land in fief of the highest classes of the aristocracy, and who, in virtue of this feudal relation, looked down upon the allodial proprietors or freemen, and upon the burghers.
PHRYGIA, the name of a large country in Asia Minor, inhabited by a race which the Greeks called Ipirycs, freemen.'
The logical consequence of this view is that the plebs as an order in the state is of considerably later growth than the beginning of the city, the patricians being originally the only freemen and the only citizens.
The members of the town council had to be freemen, born in lawful wedlock, in the enjoyment of estates in freehold and of unstained repute.
There were three classes of inhabitants, full freemen, half freemen and guests or foreigners.
From the beginning, however, tradesmen and handicraftsmen had settled in the town, all of them freemen of German parentage and with property and houses of their own.
These commoners might be the several owners, the inhabitants of a parish, freemen of a borough, tenants of a manor, &c. The opening of the fields by throwing down the fences took place on Lammas Day (12th of August) for corn-lands and on Old Midsummer Day (6th of July) for grass.
Villeins are opposed to socmen and freemen on one hand, to bordarii, cottagers and slaves on the other.
While the occasional services, even when agricultural, in no way established a presumption of villenage, and many socmen, freemen and holders by serjeanty submitted to them, agricultural week-work was primarily considered as a trait of villenage and must have played an important part in the process of classification of early Norman society.