English Law Terms

Doing English research? You should become familiar with these terms.
 
 
Borough
Town possessing a local government y royal charter. Might be divided into divisions called wards.
 
Chapelry
A division of a large or populous parish having its own chapel.
 
City
A town that has a Cathedral or site of the sea of a Bishop of a diocese.
 
County
Civil division of country. Until 1974 - 40 counties.
 
Diocese
Consists of several ecclesiastical parishes.
 
Extra-Parochial
Land exempt from church and poor rates. Often issued marriage licenses and probated wills. Did not always have a church building.
 
Hamlet
Group of houses of a small village, usually without a church.
 
Hide
Amount of land considered necessary to support a peasant household in Saxon England, usually 40-120 acres.
 
Hundred
Subdivision of county having its own court. Contained 100 hides of land (ancient terminology).
 
Liberty
District within a county exempt from the jurisdiction of a sheriff, often possessed a chapel for baptisms and burials.
 
Parish
(1) Civil subdivision of county.
(2) Ecclesiastical unit having a parish church.
 
Province
York and Canterbury
 
Registration District
Post-1837 division of country. Contains several civil parishes, liberties, precincts, and wards.
 
Stranger in Blood In the law of United States and the Commonwealth, a stranger in blood is someone mentioned in a will who is not related by blood to the testator. It is therefore the opposite of next of kin.
Tything
A rural division originally of 10 householders (1/10 of a hundred). Exist today in Somerset and Wiltshire.
 
Village
Collection of houses, larger than a hamlet, but smaller than a town.
 
Wapentake
Administrative unit in the northern shires corresponding to Hundreds in the south.
 
Ward
Civil administrative division of a city or borough. Governed by an alderman and his deputy.
 
   
Updated: 31 August 2015
 
Have some other English Law terms to add? Please send them to genhelp@lcgsfl.org.