It is curious that while in England the burgage-tenure was deemed a species of socage, to distinguish it from the military holdings, in Scotland it was strictly a military holding, by the service of watching and warding for the defence of the burgh.
SOCAGE, a free tenement held in fee simple by services of an economic kind, such as the payment of rent or the performance of some agricultural work, was termed in medieval English law a socage tenement.
Certainty and legal protection were so essential that even villain holdings were treated as villain socage when legal protection was obtainable for it, as was actually the case with the peasants on Ancient demesne who could sue their lords by the little writ of right and the Monstraverunt.
Minors inheriting socage come under the guardianship not of the lord but of the nearest male relative not entitled to succession.
An heiress in socage was free to contract marriage without the interference of the lord.
Customs of succession were also peculiar in many cases of socage tenure, and the feudal rule of primogeniture was not generally enforced.
Led to a gradual absorption of socage in the general class of freehold tenures.
Land was held in free and common socage, and the statute quia emptores was suspended, thus allowing subinfeudation.
The condition of the serfs was subsequently (1520) still further deteriorated by the introduction of socage.