(redirected from Villeins)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.
Related to Villeins: Serfs, Villains

VILLEIN, Eng. law. A species of slave during the feudal times.'
     2. The feudal villein of the lowest order was unprotected as to property, and subjected to the post ignoble services; but his circumstances were very different from the slave of the southern states, for no person was, in the eye of the law, a villein, except as to his master; in relation to all other persons he was a freeman. Litt. Ten. s. 189, 190; Hallam's View of the Middle Ages, vol. i. 122, 124; vol. ii. 199.

References in periodicals archive ?
The Oxford English Dictionary defines a villein as "a feudal tenant entirely subject to a lord or manor to whom he paid dues and services in return for land.
Everyone lies, from villein to tsar, passing through the priest, in a civil disorder, aspiring to the "Grace universe" and makes the people believe themselves "one with the gods".
It is also significant, in this context, that in the medieval period serfs, peasants, and villeins were often described as the offspring of Ham, cursed with servitude.
The Villeins, pictured above, will be the main act of the night and the five-piece indie rockers promise to deliver a memorable set having earned their stripes sharing the stage with the likes of VIVA Brother and The Rumble Strips.
When he posits that Bettina has the sweet spirit in her heart ("se la Bettina / porta soave spirito nel core"), he wonders if she is truly noble: noble as contrasted to the uncouth villeins of the rural areas, of course; but also noble, the inner virtuous nature that the base aristocrats lack.
Class struggle between the feudal owners of large land manors and the emerging industrial capitalist bourgeoisie caused a breakdown in feudal class relations (between the lords of the manor and the villeins, peasants or tenant farmers who were legally tied to a lord of the manor) and their replacement with new social relations between labour and capital.
Members having served more than 10,15,20 or 25 years are classed respectively as Villeins, Apprentices, Yeomen or Masters.
According to seventeenth century English jurist Edward Coke, "If a villein [bondsman] taketh a free woman to wife, and have issue between them, the issue shall be villeins.
Rigid and hereditary stratification dominated lords ruled, clergy prayed, knights in arms fought, serfs and villeins worked the land in return for protection by their lieges.
But there was something missing, namely a commercial centre where all the serfs and villeins could meet up, down a pint or two, and indulge in a spot of banter over their bartering.
76) For centuries, particularly in England, property in the sense of land tenures reflected a clear hierarchy of fixed status, with a chain reaching from the king down through various mense lords to the lowest villeins.
First up is funky rock music with an indie vibe that makes you want to dance from RADIODYNAMICS; second on the bill are THE LITTLE VILLEINS, London's best kept secret, who provide shimmering pop punk with a rich seam of ska running through it; while THIS CITY ROMANCE, an alternative indie band from Middlesbrough, complete the line-up.