Feudalism within the Kingdom of Marthis

All land within the Kingdom belongs to the Crown, though Scholars may dispute that the original three Duchies are the true owners and the Royal house is only one of these. Practically the Crown owns all land and givens its adminstration to its Vassels, who then repeat the process until you have the Barons and Baronets, this is further leased to the people that then farm the lands, live on it or raise live stock. Each level pays an agreed amount in coin and/or produce and/or Labour. Nobles protect and govern the peasantry to keep order. This system creates three broad classes of peope

The Crown
Nobles
Peasants

The Crown

The Crown is the is the Soverign and his government, this includes the Small Council and Privy Council as well as the Royal Army and Navy and the sherif system within the Justice system. It also includes any direct agents or Knights of the Crown’s House

Nobles

Upper nobles

Upper Nobles are those that hold land in Vassal directly from the Crown.

Princes traditionally have been the top level of upper nobility, but their hasn’t been a principality within the Kingdom since the end of the Robert Rebellion the Principality of Norfolk was reduced to a Duchy.

Dukes are effectivally the only fuctioning level of upper nobility, they are very powerful nobles and at times have rivaled the crown in military power. They are all very wealthy and have vast holdings.

At various times Marquis were also considered Upper Nobility because Marks on creation have often been held direct from the Crown but hasn’t been so since just before the Robert Rebellion.

Lower Nobles

Marquis are generally consider the top level of Lower nobility, they often have greater leyway and pay less taxes and rents to their lords than Counts largely because being on the border of the Kingdom means more trouble and need for more military.

Counts are the middle group and dispite their higher taxes and rents are generally wealther than Marquis. This generally is enough to keep the friction between the groups low.

The Barons are the most numerous members of Noblity and also the poorest, though several exception exist. They are a most in touch with the peasant class and generally the most aware of what is going on. they also tend to be younger families than the other levels of Nobles, several have been created in living memory after all.

Peasantry

Yeomen

Yeomen are the upper level of the Peasanty they server directly the nobles in some way or are Priests of a reconized temple or Church, Officers of towns and Cities as well as grandmasters of Chartered Guild are also Yeomen by tradition. They are punished differently than the rest of the Peasantry and often have a better standard of living.

Townsmen

Technically there is no difference legally between a Townsmen and a Freeman other than a townmen lives in a chartered Town or City, but fuctionally they is a difference, a town’s person will generally face justice in the town or city they serve in even if they commit a crime in other places in the kingdom. further they often are slightly wealther than their rural counter-parts and depending on ability can strive to much hire wealth without becoming adventurers. they also have advantages of not being so dependent of the weather or other outside forces for their livelihood.

Freemen or peasants

Freemen are the rural farmers that form the backbone of the Kingdom everyone depends on them though few remember to thank them. While technically free to do what they like and go where ever they want, they are often if not always tied to a rental contract for land or in service to a more wealthy Freeman as labour. Almost all Nobles have rental contract for the Tillable land in their Fief, these are often ten or twenty year leases though some nobles offer thirty and forty year leases as well. While a freeman is in one of these contracts he is effectively tied to the land and can leave. Granted that ties only him and his heir to the contract, his other children are not tied. Most leases have been in families for hundreds of years. Leases are paid in general in labour to the lord and a share of crops or animals raised. It can also be paid in coin though this is fairly hard as harvests don’t normally allow the time to convert crops into coin fast enough and there is a 15% surcharge on taking coin. unless someone has a good winter side line or such it unlikely to pay in coin. families with adventurers in them are the most likely to do so..

Exceptions and special cases

Freeholds

Freehold farming is a custom that exist where a group of freemen stake out and set to reclaim a farm abandoned for more than ten years or entirely new land. such land can’t be forest but anything else is game as long as it not in a Royal or Noble’s reserves, such land is peg as such. These freehold will have smaller rents generally for generation, some free hold are so far from anything that they will almost always have smaller rents unless they become a village in their own right. Freehold farm are often experienced farm labourers and their families attempting to strike out on their own, hoping thier skill will give them success. In much of the settle areas of the kingdom Freeholding is the only way to gain new land contracts. Retired and Semi-retired adventurers often start Freeholds, using their adventuring resources to set up the land, many of these are the most successful Freehold as they don’t suffer from poor start up resources. Most nobles support freehold farming because it it expands farm land at little expense to themselves.

Charter Towns and Cities

Charter Towns and Cities are Urban areas that have asked for and received a Charter from their Noble that oversees the area or the Crown directly. These charters agree to a Tax directly to the Noble or the Crown in exchange for a number of rights and privileges, these often include always having criminal trials in their home town, the ability to have a monopoly on a raw material or manufactured goods, and other such details, further within the Charter will define how the town or city will be govern. the biggest change is that the Town or City can effectively sell, land within it boundaries. technically it still belongs to the Crown, but it administration is governed by the Charter allowing for lump sum payments sto be made to the Town or City government for the exclusive use of the land. The Writs often also know as deeds are sell-able to any citizen of the Kingdom. Sales to non-citizens need to go through the Town or City government for approval.

Non-farming Resources

There are two main types of non-farming resources, those of the Land, which belong to the title holder and those of the Earth which belong to the crown. Those of the land include game and wood. this belong to the title holder and their use are as they see fit. Those of the earth are Minerals and Gems and normally require mining. They belong to the crown, the title holder will be paid a strip if the crown runs the mine or a percentage if the titleholder sets up and runs the mine.

Feudalism within the Kingdom of Marthis

Maiths Trin: The expansion of civilization. Daimyo_Shi