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quia emptores

quia emptores, also known as the statute of Westminster 1290. This statute of Edward I brought to an end the practice of subinfeudation. Before then it was possible for a tenant to grant land to another tenant, who would owe him service, thus creating a further subtenancy and extending the feudal ladder. The statute quia emptores provided that where a tenant of land alienated that land, he could not create a new relationship of lord and tenant with the purchaser, who would instead ‘stand in the shoes’ of the seller. The effect was to preserve order, to prevent extending the feudal ‘ladder’, and to safeguard the lords' interests in their tenants' services. The end of subinfeudation, coupled with the vicissitudes of escheat, forfeiture, and the failure of heirs led to the crown acquiring the overlordship of much land by the reign of Henry VIII.

Maureen Mulholland

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