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In medieval and early modern European society the term tenant-in-chief, sometimes vassal-in-chief, denoted the nobles who held their lands as tenants directly from king or territorial prince to whom they did homage, as opposed to holding them from another nobleman or senior member of the clergy.Bloch Feudal Society Volume 2 p. 333Coredon Dictionary of Medieval Terms & Phrases p. 272 Other names for tenant-in-chief were captal or baron. The Latin term was tenentes in capiti,Cosman Medieval Wordbook p. 240 or in capite;Coredon Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases p. 161Reynolds Fiefs and Vassals p. 324

In most countries allodial property could be held by the monarch, laypeople or the church, however in England after the Norman Conquest, the king became, in law, the only allodist; thus all the lands in England were the property of the Crown.Ganshof Feudalism p. 130Ganshof Feudalism p. 165 A tenure by frankalmoin, which in other countries was regarded as a form of privileged allodial holding, was in England regarded as a feudal tenement.<ref...
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