er rent which the king derived from the land--of cattle, sheep, swine, ale, honey, &c.--which he collected by visiting his villages, thus literally eating his rents. The churchmen did not continue these visits, they remained in their monasteries, and had the feorm brought them regularly; they had an overseer in the village to see to this, and so they tightened their hold on the village. Then the smaller people, the peasants, make gifts to the Church. They give their land, but they also want to keep it, for it is their livelihood; so they surrender the land and take it back as a lifelong loan. Probably on the death of the donor his heirs are suffered to hold the land. Then labour services are substituted for the old provender rents, and thus the Church acquires a demesne, and thus the foundations of the manorial system, still to be traced all over the country, were laid. Thegns, the predecessors of the Norman barons, become the recipients of grants from the churches and from kings, and householders 'commen
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