FRANKALMOIGNE. This tenure is thus described by Littleton (§ 133): "Tenant in Frankalmoigne is when an abbot or prior, or another man of reli gion, or of holy church, holdeth of his lord in frankalmoigne ; that is to say in Latin, in liberam eleemosinam, that is, in free almes. And such tenure beganne first in old time. When a man in old time was seised of certain lands or tene ments in his demesne as of fee, and of the same land infeoffed, an abbot and his oovent, or prior and his covent, to have and to hold to them and their successors in pure and perpetual almes, or in frank almoigne ; or by such words, to hold of the grantor, or of the lessor and his heires in free almes : in such case the tenements were holden in frankalmoigne." From this it appears that lands which are held by religious bodies or by a man of religion, are held by tenure ; but neither fealty nor any other temporal service is due. The spiritual services which were due before the Reformation are thus described by Littleton (§ 135) "And they which hold in frankalmoigne are bound of right before God to make ori sons, prayers, masses, and other divine services for the souls of their grantor or feoffor, and for the souls of their heires which are dead, and for the prosperity and good life and health of their heires which are alive. And therefore they shall do no fealty to their lord ; because that this divine service is better for them before God than any doing of fealty ; and also because these words (frankalmoigne) exclude the lord to have any earthly or temporal service, but to have only divine and spiritual service to be done for him." On this section (§ 135), Coke has the following remark, which explains how most lands are now held by the clergy of the church of England and by spiritual corporations in England. "Since Little ton wrote, the lyturgye or book of Com mon Praier of celebrating divine service is altered. This alteration notwith standing, yet the tenure in frankalmpigne remaiueth ; and such prayers and divine service shall be said and celebrated, as now is authorized : yea, though the tenure be in particular, as Littleton hereafter (§ 137) saith, viz. to sing a mass, &c., or to sing a placebo et dirige, yet if the tenant saith the prayers now authorized, it sufficeth. And as Littleton hath said
before (§ 119), in the case of Socage, the changing of one kind of temporall ser vices into other temporall services altereth neither the name nor the effect of the tenure ; so the changing of spiritual ser vices into other spiritual services altereth neither the name nor the effect of the tenure. And albeit the tenure in frank almoigne is now reduced to a certaintie contained in the book of Common Prayer, yet seeing the original tenure was in frankalmoigne, and the change is by generall consent by authorittyy parlia ment (2 Ed. VI. c. 1 ; 5 & 6 Ed. VI. c. 1 ; 1 Eliz. C. 2), whereunto every man is party, the tenure remains as it was before." [ESTABLISHED CHURCH.
The statute 12 Charles II., whici abo lished military tenures, expressly excepts tenure in frankalmoigne.
Those who hold lands in frankalmoigne must do the services for which these lands were given. These services are now determined, as Coke says, by the book of Common Prayer. The mode of compelling these tenants to do their duty is thus described by Littleton (§ 136): " And if they which hold their tenements in frankalmoigne will not, or fail to do such divine service (as is said), the lord may not distrain them for not doing this, &c., because it is not put to certainty what services they ought to do. But the lord may complain of this to their ordi nary or visitour, praying him that he will lay some punishment and correction for this, and also provide that such negli gence be no more done, &c. And the ordinary or visitour of right ought to do this," &c.
Since the statute of 18 Ed. I., called Oda Emptores, from the introductory words, there can be no gift in frankal moigne except by the crown. This tenure, however, as Blackstone observes, "is the tenure by which almost all the ancient monasteries and religious houses held their lands ; and by which the paro chial clergy and very many ecclesiastical and eleemosynary foundations hold them at this day, the nature of the service being upon the Reformation altered, and made conformable to the purer doctrines of the church of England."