Custom of the Manor – A Glossary: Manor

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the definitive record of the English language, manor is derived from the classical Latin verb manere, meaning to remain or lodge overnight.  Over time usage of the several variations of the word in Old French and Anglo-Norman came to mean a dwelling or residence.

So, in one sense a manor is a residence.

The term also came to mean a landed possession, including both the land and the manor house or mansion.  In a second sense, a manor is an estate.

The term became associated with units of Anglo-Saxon territorial organisation, which developed into a unit of territory governed by a feudal lord or baron.  In a third sense, a manor is a jurisdiction.

The Historical Manuscripts Commission defines the word manor in three ways: “a Residence”, “a unit of estate administration”, and “a piece of landed property with tenants over whom the landlord exercised rights of jurisdiction in a private court“.  (Source: A Vision of Britain)

In the jurisdictional sense, some scholars argue that a manor does not exist if it does not have a court.

The legal Latin words for manor are: manerium, manerius, maneria.

© Sue Adams 2014

3 Comments on “Custom of the Manor – A Glossary: Manor”

  1. […] The lord of the manor was both the owner of the landed estate and governor of the jurisdiction that comprised the manor. […]


  2. […] In the general sense, a steward is the senior officer of a household or one who serves at table.  In, royal households, the term became associated with several official state duties.  The manorial steward ran the legal and financial affairs of the manor. […]


  3. […] use of the land from the lord of the manor  in  return for rents or services.  Identifying which manor a property is part of is tricky, especially when we are not sure of the manorial boundaries and how […]


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