[Serf] Hypertext Medieval Glossary
F
[Serf]
Search NetSERF

NetSERF Features

Medieval Glossary
Advanced Search

Random Medieval Site

New to NetSERF
Top 10 NetSERF Sites
Top 10 NetSERF Sections
Link to NetSERF


Top Medieval Sites
ORB
Internet Medieval Sourcebook
Labyrinth




Follow NetSERFMedieval on Twitter





Click here to find great
medieval books for sale.

In Association with Amazon.com

  Home: Hypertext Medieval Glossary: F Bookmark and Share
[A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z]


Facherie:
Share-cropping agreement.
   (Duby, Georges. Rural Economy and Country Life in the Medieval West, 554)

Location: Provence
Related terms: Megerie


Faculty:
Authority to carry out works in and around a church.
   (Beresford, Maurice and Hurst, John. Wharram Percy: Deserted Medieval Village, 136)


Fair:
A market held at regular intervals, usually once to twice a year. Fairs tend to offer a wider range of goods than normal markets. They are generally licenced by either the king/a local lord or a chartered town.
   (MEDIEV-L. Medieval Terms)

Related terms: Market


Falchion:
1) Broad-bladed cutting weapon.
   (Prestwich, Michael. Armies and Warfare in the Middle Ages: The English Experience, 347)

2) Short, curved single-edged sword with a broad blade, used for cleaving blows.
   (Wise, Terence. Medieval Warfare, 248)


Familia:
1) The members of the household of a prelate or of a king.
   (Heath, Peter. Church and Realm, 1272-1461, 363)

2) Group of dependants attached to lord's household.
   (Duby, Georges. Rural Economy and Country Life in the Medieval West, 554)


Familiaris: [Familiares (pl.)]
The familiaris was an intimate, a member of the familia or household of the king or other great man. The term is used for those close friends, counsellors, aides, and assistants of the king, who owed their standing and authority to their intimacy with the ruler, but who did not hold any formally constituted office or title.
   (Warren, W.L. Henry II, 634)


Family Monastery:
An irregular Saxon monastery set up by noble families for their own purposes and not followig the strict Benedictine rules.
   (Beresford, Maurice and Hurst, John. Wharram Percy: Deserted Medieval Village, 136)


Fan Vault:
See: Vault, Fan


Faras: [farius equus]
A horse, quite possibly an Arabian.
   (Davis, R.H.C. The Medieval Warhorse: Origin, Development and Redevelopment, 135)

Language: Arabic
Related terms: Alfaracis


Farm: [Ferm, firma (Latin), feorme (Saxon) = food rent]
1) A fixed sum, usually paid annually, for the right to collect all revenues from land; in effect, rent. Lords may farm land to vassals, receiving a fixed annual rent in place of the normal feudal obligation. Many sheriffs farm out their shires, contracting in advance to pay a fixed annual sum to the crown, thus obtaining the right to collect any additional royal revenues for their own profit.
   (MEDIEV-L. Medieval Terms)

2) A fixed annual payment, a lease.
   (Waugh, Scott. England in the Reign of Edward III, 238)

3) A fixed annual payment. The "borough farm" or "fee-farm" (firma burgi) was the basic lump sum from a town which had to be paid into the Exchequer each year either by the sheriff of the county or by the town's own officials.
   (Reynolds, Susan. An Introduction to the History of English Medieval Towns, 198)


Farm, Sheriff's:
This was the fixed sum payable annually by the sheriff by way of composition for all the regular royal revenues deriving from the shire, i.e., the sheriff farmed the revenues - contracting in advance to pay a fixed amount and deriving his profit from whatever he could collect above this sum. A custodian, on the other hand, directly accounted for all the revenues.
   (Warren, W.L. Henry II, 634)

Related terms: Farm / Sheriff's Farm


Farmery:
Monastic infirmary.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 412)


Fauld:
Skirt of overlapping lames riveted to leather and protecting the wearer below the waist.
   (Wise, Terence. Medieval Warfare, 248)

Related terms: Armor


Fealty, Oath of:
1) The oath by which a vassal swore loyalty to his lord, usually on a relic of saints or on the Bible.
   (MEDIEV-L. Medieval Terms)

2) The fidelity of a feudal vassal to his lord; a promise under oath to be loyal.
   (Hogue, Arthur R. Origins of the Common Law, 256)

3) An oath of fidelity. Sometimes confounded with homage since both were commonly performed together when a vassal received a fief from a lord. An oath of fealty. however, could be performed to one from whom no land was held. Fealty to the Crown overrode all other obligations even that of homage to a lesser lord.
   (Warren, W.L. Henry II, 634)

Related terms: Oath of Fealty


Fee:
A fee was an estate, sublet to a knight by a baron, bishop or abbot, tenant-in-chief to the king.
   (Wise, Terence. Medieval Warfare, 248)

Related terms: Fee Simple / Fief


Fee Simple:
An estate of inheritance in land without limitation to any class of heirs or restrictions on alienation; the most extensive interest in property recognized by the common law.
   (Hogue, Arthur R. Origins of the Common Law, 256)

Related terms: Fee / Fief


Fee-Farm:
See: Farm


Felony:
1) In feudal law, any grave violation of the feudal contract between lord and vassal. Later it was expanded in common law to include any crime against the King's peace and has come to mean any serious crime. Example: Murder is now a Felony, taking the burden off prosecution from the victim's family and giving it to the crown.
   (MEDIEV-L. Medieval Terms)

2) A serious crime such as murder, arson, rape, highway robbery: the convicted felon forfeits lands and goods and is sentenced to lose "life or member".
   (Hogue, Arthur R. Origins of the Common Law, 256)


Fenestration:
Window arrangement.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 412)


Feoffee:
One to whom land is granted. In the language of medieval law, a grant of land was an "enfeoffment" meaning to endow with a fief or knight's fee.
   (Waugh, Scott. England in the Reign of Edward III, 238)

Related terms: Fief / Fief de Haubert / Fief-Rente / Feoffment


Feoffment:
A gift and grant of land by which the recipient acquires a freehold.
   (Hogue, Arthur R. Origins of the Common Law, 256)

Related terms: Fief de Haubert / Fief / Feoffee / Fief-Rente


Feorm: [firma (Latin)]
"Farm": renders in land to provide one night's food and upkeep for the court. By 1086 often commuted to cash.
   (Wood, Michael. Domesday: A Search for the Roots of England, 213)


Ferm:
See: Farm


Ferrage:
Homestead garden.
   (Duby, Georges. Rural Economy and Country Life in the Medieval West, 554)

Location: Provence


Feu Serf:
Habitation conferring servile status on the occupant.
   (Duby, Georges. Rural Economy and Country Life in the Medieval West, 554)


Feudalism:
1) The system of governing whereby semiautonomous landed nobility have certain well defined responsibilities to the king, in return for the use of grants of land (fiefs) exploited with the labor of a semi-free peasantry (serfs).
   (MEDIEV-L. Medieval Terms)

2) Medieval social and political system by which the lord-vassal relationship was defined.
   (Gies, Frances and Joseph. Life in a Medieval Village, 244)


Fidei Laesio:
Literally "breach of faith", used to categorize actions in the church courts for breach of contract.
   (Swanson. , 366)


Fief: [Fee, Feud]
1) A) Heritable lands held under feudal tenure; the lands of a tenant in chief. Sometimes this can apply to an official position. Often called a Holding. B) Normally a land held by a vassal of a lord in return for stipulated services, chiefly military. Sometimes unusual requirements were stipulated for transferring a fief. For example: Henry de la Wade held 42 acres of land in Oxfordby the service of carrying a gyrfalcon whenever King Edward I wished to go hawking.
   (MEDIEV-L. Medieval Terms)

2) Land or revenue-producing property granted by a lord in return for a vassal's service.
   (Gies, Joseph and Francis. Life in a Medieval Castle, 230)

3) Property producing income; a grant by a lord to a vassal to secure the services of the vassal.
   (Hogue, Arthur R. Origins of the Common Law, 256)

4) An estate in land (in England normally heritable): held on condition of homage and the performance of services (both customary and specified, including, essentially, military service) to a superior lord, by whom it is granted, and in whom the ownership remains.
   (Warren, W.L. Henry II, 634)


Fief de Haubert:
11th century French term equivelant to the term Knight's Fee becuase of the the coat (hauberk) of mail which it entitled and required every tenant to own and wear when his services were needed. This provided a definite estate in France, for only persons who had this estate or greater were allowed to wear hauberks.
   (MEDIEV-L. Medieval Terms)

Related terms: Feoffee / Feoffment / Fief / Fief-Rente


Fief-Rente:
Money paid by a lord in an annual manner to a vassal in return for homage, fealty, and military service (usually knight service) and it could include various other things than money, such as wine, cheese. provide chickens, or wood.
   (MEDIEV-L. Medieval Terms)

Related terms: Feoffment / Fief / Fief de Haubert / Feoffee


Filioque:
"And the Son." An addition to the Nicene Creed by which the Holy Spirit descends from the Father and the Son. Arising in Spain in the sixth century, it had by the ninth century become regular usage in the Western (Catholic) Church. After the 1054 break it became the major theological point of difference between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches.
   (Fine, John V.A. Jr. The Late Medieval Balkans, 622)


Fillet:
A flat thin band used to separate mouldings.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 412)


Fine:
1) A sum of money paid to the Crown to obtain some grant, concession, or privilege. Unlike amercement, a fine os not a monetary penalty, although failure to offer and pay a customary fine for some right, will undoubtedly lead to an amercement.
   (MEDIEV-L. Medieval Terms)

2) Sum paid to a lord in return for the granting of a favor (such as permission to marry or permission to enter a holding).
   (Bennett, Judith M. Women in the Medieval English Countryside, 234)

3) A) In the usage of the twelfth century a fine was not necessarily or even usually a monetary penalty. It was, rather, a sum of money which an applicant to the Crown agreed to pay for having some grant, concession, or privilege. The use of the word approaches nearest its modern connotation in payments to escape the consequences of the king's displeasure. "To make fine": to make one's peace, settle a matter, obtain exemption from punishment. B) A "final agreement". Blackstone: "an amicable composition or agreement of a suit, either actual or fictitious, by leave of the king or his justices". The agreement was embodied in a document known as a fine or final concord.
   (Warren, W.L. Henry II, 634)

Note: from Latin finis, end


Finial:
1) Terminal ornament, such as a bunch of foliage to a pinnacle.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 412)

2) A slender piece of stone used to decorate the tops of the merlons.
   (MEDIEV-L. Medieval Terms)

Note: from Latin finis, end
Related terms: Castle


Fire-Bote:
The wood granted to the tenants by a lord for the purpose of fuel.
   (Bennett, H.S. Life on the English Manor: A Study of Peasant Conditions, 1150-1400, 337)


First Tonsure:
The stage in the progression through clerical orders, giving clerical status without requiring the adandonment of lay life (including marriage).
   (Swanson. , 366)

Related terms: Tonsure


Fitz:
An Anglo Norman prefix meaning son.
   (MEDIEV-L. Medieval Terms)


Flemish Bond:


Fletcher:
Arrow maker.
   (Seward, Desmond. Henry V: The Scourge of God, 222)

Related terms: Bowyer


Foil:
Each of small arc openings in tracery, separated by cusps.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 412)

Note: Latin folium = leaf
Related terms: Cinquefoil / Trefoil


Foliated:
Carved with leaf ornament.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 412)

Note: Latin folium = leaf


Forebuilding:
1) A projection in front of a keep or donjon, containing the stairs to the main entrance.
   (Gies, Joseph and Francis. Life in a Medieval Castle, 226)

2) Additional building against a keep, containing the entrance staircase, and sometimes a chapel.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 412)

Related terms: Castle


Forfeiture:
The right of a feudal lord to recover a fief when a vassal fails to honor his obligations under the feudal contract.
   (MEDIEV-L. Medieval Terms)


Forlorn Hope:
Assault or storming party with little hope of success, or if successful, little hope of survival.
   (Wise, Terence. Medieval Warfare, 248)


Formariage:
1) The sum commonly paid by a serf to his lord when the serf's daughter marries a man from another manor.
   (MEDIEV-L. Medieval Terms)

2) Fine on marriage to an individual not dependent on the same lord.
   (Duby, Georges. Rural Economy and Country Life in the Medieval West, 554)

Related terms: Merchet


Fosse:
Ditch accompanying palisade or wall in fortifications.
   (Frame, Robin. Colonial Ireland, 1169-1369, 144)

Related terms: Castle


Four-centred Arch:


Franchise:
A privilege or exceptional right (typically, rights of jurisdiction) granted by the sovereign power to a person or body or persons (such as a monastery).
   (Warren, W.L. Henry II, 634)

Related terms: Burgess / Charter of Franchise / Liberty


Franciscan:
A member of the Catholic Order founded by Saint Francis of Assisi.
   (Fine, John V.A. Jr. The Late Medieval Balkans, 623)

Related terms: Friars / Mendicants


Frankalmoin: [Frankalmoign, Free Alms]
1) An ecclesiastical tenure by which a monastery or other ecclesiastical corporation holds property under the obligation of saying prayers for the souls of the donor and his family.
   (Hogue, Arthur R. Origins of the Common Law, 256)

2) The tenure of lands or tenements granted to those who had devoted themselves to the service of God, "for pure and perpetual alms". The service rendered by the grantee was the service of prayer, particularly for the souls of the grantor and his kin.
   (Warren, W.L. Henry II, 634)

Related terms: Free Alms


Frankpledge:
1) Medieval English police measure by which a community was divided into groups or tithings, each group responsible for the conduct of its members and for producing them in court if they committed a breach of the law.
   (Gies, Joseph and Francis. Life in a Medieval Castle, 226)

2) The obligation of unfree men twelve years and older, to be sworn into tithings or groups of ten for the purpose of keeping the peace. The members of the tithing were responsible for one another's actions and had to report any crimes that came to their knowledge. Twice a year, the sheriff conducted a view of frankpledge to ensure that the tithings were kept full and at which the chief pledges, or heads of the tithings, reported crimes.
   (Waugh, Scott. England in the Reign of Edward III, 238)

3) Police system by which every member of a tithing was responsible for the conduct of every other member.
   (Gies, Frances and Joseph. Life in a Medieval Village, 244)

Related terms: View of Frankpledge


Frater:
Monastic refectory.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 412)


Free Alms:


Free Bench:
Dower lands assigned for a widow's maintenance.
   (Bennett, Judith M. Women in the Medieval English Countryside, 234)


Free Company:
Band of mercenaries formed for the Hundred Years War in France but subsequently fighting in many other parts of Europe.
   (Wise, Terence. Medieval Warfare, 248)


Free Tenant:
Freeman, most commonly holding land by knight-service, whose tenure was protected by the royal courts.
   (Frame, Robin. Colonial Ireland, 1169-1369, 144)


Freehold:
An estate for life or more; a property interest longer than a lease for a period of years; an inheritable estate.
   (Hogue, Arthur R. Origins of the Common Law, 256)


Freeman:
Not to be understood in the modern sense but a man who was personally free but could owe rents or obligations to his lord; many freemen in Domesday are "lesser thegns".
   (Wood, Michael. Domesday: A Search for the Roots of England, 213)


Freistift:
Revokable tenancy.
   (Duby, Georges. Rural Economy and Country Life in the Medieval West, 554)

Location: Bavaria


Friars:
Term for members of the mendicant (begging) orders founded in the thirteenth century, especially Franciscans, Dominicans and Carmelites; derived from the Latin word frater, "brother".
   (Lynch, Joseph H. The Medieval Church: A Brief History, 362)

Related terms: Franciscan


Frieze:
Horizontal band of decoration, immediately below the cornice.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 412)


Fugator:
A courser or swift riding horse suitable for hunting. A term used from the twelfth century, but driven out of use in the fourteenth century by cursarius.
   (Davis, R.H.C. The Medieval Warhorse: Origin, Development and Redevelopment, 135)


Fuller:
Broad groove running down the centre of each side of some sword blades.
   (Wise, Terence. Medieval Warfare, 248)


Fulling Mill:
Mill used to process cloth (fulling) in water and with clay earth after is has been woven to make the weave denser and tighter.
   (Waugh, Scott. England in the Reign of Edward III, 238)


Furlong: [Flatt]
1) 220 yards length (x 22 yards (1 chain) = 1 acre, 4840 square yards). Then the average furrow in a ploughed field.
   (Wood, Michael. Domesday: A Search for the Roots of England, 213)

2) Plot of arable land, subdivision of a field.
   (Gies, Frances and Joseph. Life in a Medieval Village, 244)

3) A sub-division of the arable open fields, within which the constituent selions had their long axes parallel.
   (Beresford, Maurice and Hurst, John. Wharram Percy: Deserted Medieval Village, 137)


Fyrd:
1) The Anglo Saxon Militia. Special King's Peace prevailed while to or from or during Fyrd service.
   (MEDIEV-L. Medieval Terms)

2) Anglo-Saxon army.
   (Prestwich, Michael. Armies and Warfare in the Middle Ages: The English Experience, 347)



[A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z]

----------

To help defray the costs of maintaining NetSERF, we have added these Google ads.

----------