American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Variant of villeinage.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The condition of a villain or peasant.
- n. Alternative form of villeinage.
- n. the legal status or condition of servitude of a villein or feudal serf
“Christian emperors after Constantine exempted the clergy from the obligation of undertaking municipal offices, trusteeships, guardianships, and all public functions, from military service, quartering, and the other personal munera sordida (later called villainage), and in part also from personal taxation (Cod.”
“They who were born in villainage, were born to an inheritance of labour, but not of inevitable depravity and wretchedness.”
“The lord of the manor could still of course enforce his claim to the various payments and restrictions arising from the villainage of his tenants, but their position as payers of money was much less servile than as performers of forced labor.”
“In any suit against his lord the proof of his condition of villainage was sufficient to put him out of court, and his only recourse was the local court of the manor, where the lord himself or his representative presided.”
“The duty of filling such offices when elected by the tenants and approved by the lord or his steward was, as has been said, one of the burdens of villainage.”
“Men had been freed from villainage in individual cases by various means.”
“With their labor services commuted to money and the other conditions of their villainage no longer enforced, they became an indistinguishable part either of the yeomanry or of the body of agricultural laborers.”
“So long as a villain was anywhere else than on the manor to which he belonged, he was practically a free man, but few of the disabilities of villainage existing except as between him and his own lord.”
“The sense of constant homage and continual service is irksome and galling to us; and we rejoice in being emancipated from it, as from a state of base and servile villainage.”
“A great part of them were serfs, and lived in a state of absolute slavery or villainage; the other inhabitants of the country paid then rent in services, which were in a great measure arbitrary; and they could expect no redress of injuries in”
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