The market in freehold land, 1300–1509: the evidence of feet of fines



This article provides time series data on the medieval market in freehold land, including the changing social composition of freeholders, level of market activity, size and complexity of landholdings, and shifts in the market value of land. These are subjects hitherto largely ignored due, in part, to the disparate nature of the evidence. It argues that feet of fines, despite archival limitations, if employed with care and an understanding of the underlying changes in the common law of real property, are capable of providing quantifiable evidence spanning hundreds of years and comparable across large areas of England.