Statutory Definition please

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Supreme Court of the United Kingdom should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

I am the agent for the fictional strawman that was created with the name Sarah Goldsmith

Dear Supreme Court of the United Kingdom,

The Magna Carta 1297 in 'Confirmation of Liberties' ,SI states
{amongst other things} "We have granted also, and given to all the
Freemen of our Realm, for Us and our Heirs for ever, these
Liberties under-written, to have and to hold to them and their
Heirs, of Us and our Heirs for ever"

In addition, in SXXIX 'Imprisonment, &c. contrary to Law.
Administration of Justice' it states "NO Freeman shall be taken or
imprisoned, or be disseised of his Freehold, or Liberties, or free
Customs, or be outlawed, or exiled, or any other wise destroyed;
nor will We not pass upon him, nor [X1condemn him,] but by lawful
judgment of his Peers, or by the Law of the Land. We will sell to
no man, we will not deny or defer to any man either Justice or

Therefore, in accordance with the FOI Act, please provide me with
your recorded definition of "Freemen" as mentioned in this act.

Thank you.

Sarah Goldsmith

Becky Bbear left an annotation ()

Sarah - In 1215/1297 Feudal Society a 'Freeman' was a social class defined as a person who was not a serf and therefore not 'tied' or bound to the land of a particular Feudal Lord.

As was the case with most social classes at the time, there were actually a number of 'sub-divisions' of both the freeman and serf classes - 'cottager' and 'villein' being examples of two 'serf' classes, the first being provided with a cottage (home) but no land, in return for their labour and the second being one also provided with land to work for themselves, in return for labour on the Lord's land and a tithe of their own produce.

In contrast, a 'Freeman' would provide skilled labour or more specialised services and be granted freedom of movement not available to the serf class. Some Freemen were granted land in return for service, while others were simply paid. Yeomen were a sub-class of Freeman, specialising in military service - the Yeoman Archers for example.

A serf could in some circumstance buy their freedom, or be awarded it by their Lord - but this was VERY rare.

Apart from this, a serf only had the chance to become 'free' if discharged from their serfdom when a Lord's Estate was abandoned and the 'sucessor' didn't want the land worked. The feudal equivalent of redundancy and something to be dreaded by any serf as it meant starvation, or turning to banditry, if no other Lord would accept them.

Under both the Saxon and Norman feudal structures, serfs and freemen had certain rights - Magan Carta simply strengthened/formalised these, where before they had been effectively arbitrary depending on the 'good will' of the Lord concerned.

Unless the Supreme Court has its own Library on feudal history/society, or whoever answers this happens to know their history - it's actually quite doubtful if they would hold any recorded information on the subject.

Most likely they will just refer you to the publicly available information in your local library, or on the internet.

In modern society, the social classes of Freeman and Serf no longer exist. Although they have left a footprint into fairly recent times - google 'tied cottages' and the conditions of agricultural workers in the late 19th early 20th century for an example of just how long some essentialy feudal concepts lingered on.

Be really interesting to see what response you get on this one.


I am the agent for the fictional strawman that was created with the name Sarah Goldsmith

Dear Supreme Court of the United Kingdom,

There is a statutory requirement for you to respond within 20 days. Your response is now overdue

Yours faithfully,

Sarah Goldsmith

Brigland, Paul (Supreme Court),

I will be away from the office on Thursday 16th August 2012 returning on Monday 3rd September.

I will be monitoring e-mails but will not be contactable by phone.

Many thanks

Paul Brigland

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I am the agent for the fictional strawman that was created with the name Sarah Goldsmith

Dear Brigland, Paul (Supreme Court),

You response to this FOI request which was made on 25 July 2012 is long overdue.

You have not replied as required to by law.


Yours faithfully,

Sarah Goldsmith

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