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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 ?
All these diverse ideas were tied together in the later medieval definition of Jewish status as "servitudo camerae" sometimes "servi camerae," "serfs of the chamber [treasury]," somewhat akin to the position of the villein in feudal structure, that is, having security through custom, subject however to his ruler's will.
We do not know if Maricoli paid for the work that those women did; they may have been her or her husband's villeins.
58) The gentry tended to use the somewhat less rigid "strict settlement" rather than entailment,(59) but the legal uniqueness of land continued to be a key element of the social system,(60) and although tenant farmers obtained rights greater than feudal villeins,(61) enforcement of the prerogatives of the landowning classes remained a central element of the English legal system.
And, as you'll also know if you're up on your medieval history, vilains are to Gaul what villeins are to Britain i.
The final act The Villeins are a five-piece Indie band from Newcastle who have been together for just over two years.
The bookies have aired no similar concerns about the betting public's appetite for an average Saturday's jump racing, so might it not be the case that the public's disenchantment has something to do with their feeling that they are treated as junior partners in the sport by jumping's leading lights and as a bunch of serfs and villeins during the summer?
The population was made up of 30 villeins, twelve bordars and one serf - and their families.
Despite the fact that white slaves and bondmen or villeins were still known to exist in Tudor England and that the Vagrancy Act of 1547 had imposed slavery as a punishment for refusal to work, the court ruled that the question of ethnic difference was irrelevant.
Soon, the plots were being taken by freemen (called burgesses), who paid William rent and villeins correct who held the land in return for services given to the landlord.
42) By the thirteenth century the requirement to possess arms to participate in the common defense was extended to medieval England's unfree class, the villeins.
Starting at 8pm, the set will feature Saint and the Cynics, Daniel Spooner (Dirty Weekend), The Villeins and The Additions.
Northfield had seven villeins, 16 bordars, six cottars or cottagers, two serfs (probably male slaves), and one female bondswoman (slave) - and their families.