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Of the assise of mortdancestor.

[003] We have spoken above of one's own seisin and of how one may be restored when he
[004] has been wrongfully and forcibly disseised, expelled completely or kept from the
[005] full enjoyment of his seisin. Now we must turn to another's seisin, that of a kinsman,
[006] a deceased ancestor, and explain how it may be acquired by nearer heirs. A nearer
[007] heir will have the same seisin his ancestor had of everything of which the ancestor
[008] died seised as of fee, no matter how acquired or by what title, and whether it is a
[009] corporeal thing or a right existing in contemplation of law. If the heir, though not
[010] present at the time of his ancestor's death, is of full age and finds the possession
[011] vacant, it will be perfectly lawful for him to put himself in seisin, [or to remain there]
[012] if at the time of the ancestor's death he is found in seisin with the ancestor, whether
[013] he is of age or not,1 provided he is prepared to do to his chief lord all that he ought2
[014] rightfully to do him according to the law of the land when he acknowledges him as
[015] lord. If he is of full age, he may resist the violence of [his] lords if they attempt to
[016] eject him.3 If he is a minor, the lord will have the wardship of his lands and4 body,
[017] [but not] before he has taken his homage.5 If the chief lord ejects such persons against
[018] their will, when they are in seisin and are heirs, whether he has acknowledged them as
[019] such or not, those of full age will recover their seisin by assise of novel disseisin. If a
[020] minor is ejected he will have two remedies, that is, the assise of novel disseisin or of
[021] mortdancestor, whichever he chooses.6 If he fails in one he will have recourse to the
[022] other, provided he observes the proper order.7 When such heirs are thus in possession,
[023] a simple seisin will not be refused the lord, that he may be acknowledged as lord,
[024] provided that he takes nothing therefrom and removes no one from possession
[025] against the will of the heirs. And though some say that the chief lord ought to have
[026] the first seisin after the death


1. ‘Eodem modo . . . fuerit,’ from lines 13-15

2. ‘debet’

3. Glanvill, vii, 9: ‘Heredes vero maiores statim post mortem antecessorum suorum possunt se tenere in hereditate sua . . . Possunt enim heredes si opus fuerit violentiae dominorum resistere, dum tamen parati sint relevium et alia recta servicia eis inde facere’; ix, 4

4. ‘et’

5. Supra ii, 208, infra 248

6. Infra 299

7. Supra ii, 297

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