MANOR. Any definition of a manor, in land tenure, must take note of two elements—economic and political. The manor has an estate for its basis, although it need not coincide with an estate, but may be wider. It is also a political unit, a district formed for purposes of government, although the political func tions made over to it may greatly vary. As a lordship based on land tenure, the manor necessarily comprises a ruler and a population dependent on him, and the characteristic trait of such dependence consists in various forms and degrees of subjection, chiefly regulated by custom. In the sense mentioned the manor is by no means a peculiarly English institution; it occurs in every country where feudalism got a hold. Under other names we find it not only in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, but also, to a certain extent, in the Byzantine empire, Russia, Japan, etc. It is espe cially representative of an aristocratic stage in the development of European nations. When tribal notions and arrangements ceased to be sufficient for upholding their commonwealths, when social and political life had to be built up on the basis of land tenure, the type of manorial organization came forward in natural course.
there is a tendency to make the landowner responsible for military conscription, for the presentation of criminals to justice. On the other hand the incumbents of ecclesiastical offices are nominated in accordance with the wishes of patrons among the landowners ; in the administration of justice the influence of this same class makes itself felt more and more. Nor are signs of a convergent evolution wanting on the economic side. Slaves are used more and more as small householders provided with rural tenements and burdened with rents and services. Free peasant farmers holding by free agreement get more and more reduced to a status of half free settlers occupying their tenancies on the strength of custom and traditional ascription to the glebe. Eventually this status is recognized as a distinct class by imperial legislation. Yet there could be no talk of a manorial system as long as the empire and the commercial intercourse protected by it continued to exist. The fall of the empire hastened the course of evolution. It brought into prominence barbaric tribes who were unable to uphold either the political power or the economic system of the Romans. The Germans had from of old certain manorial features in the constitution of their government and husbandry. The owner of a house had always been possessed of a certain political power within its precincts, as well as within the fenced area sur rounding it : the peace of the dwelling and the peace of the hedged in yard were recognized by the legal customs of all the German tribes. The aristocratic superiority of warriors over all classes engaged in base peaceful work was also deeply engraved in the minds of the fighting and conquering tribes. On the other hand the downfall of complicated forms of civilization and civil inter course rendered necessary a kind of subjection in which tributary labourers were left to a certain extent to manage their own affairs. The Germanic conqueror was unable to move slaves about like draughts : he had no scope for a complicated administration of capital and work. The natural outcome was to have recourse to serfdom with its convenient system of tribute and services.