Feoffers were a type of landholding in early medieval England. The word “feoffer” comes from the Old English word “f?of” which meant property or wealth. Feoffers were essentially lords who held land from kings and then granted smaller portions of that land to their own vassals or tenants. They were important figures in Anglo-Saxon society, as they helped to maintain a system of land ownership and hierarchy.
Feoffers typically held their lands through a system of loyalty and service to the king. They would pledge their allegiance to the king and promise to serve him in times of war, in exchange for land and privileges. In turn, feoffers would grant parts of their land to their own vassals or tenants, who would owe them loyalty and service in return.
This system of landholding was crucial in maintaining social order and stability in early medieval England. Feoffers acted as intermediaries between the king and the people, providing a powerful link between the two. They were responsible for administering justice, collecting taxes, and maintaining order in their areas of land. This made them important figures in local communities, and they often formed close relationships with their tenants and vassals. Overall, feoffers played a key role in shaping the social and political landscape of early medieval England.