Re: Irish feudal residues (was Re: Conduct)



Sean J Murphy wrote:
.. . . . .

Again, those of us on the side of the argument which holds that feudal titles no longer survive in (the Republic of) Ireland have been proven wrong in our belief that the 1662 act abolished feudalism here. Hence there is now before the Irish parliament the above mentioned bill which contains a clause for the abolition of the residues of feudal tenure. There is in effect no Irish jurisprudence in relation to titles, so it would be rash to rule out the possiblity of a purchaser of the remnants of an old estate, eg, the recent Dundalk sale, deciding to maximise his profits by selling on manorial or feudal titles and securing legal advice that he is entitled to do this. I hope it doesn't happen, and the main concern at present is of course the distress to residents and lovers of green urban spaces resulting from the Dartmouth Square affair. Of course, let us not forget that in Scotland property 'title raiding' was succeeded by 'title brokering'.

It might be appropriate to repost the following smoothly but knowledgably written piece from Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prescriptive_Barony:

'In Ireland, most originally-feudal titular baronies have long disappeared through obsolesence or dis-use. However a small number continued to exist either as submerged titles of members of the Peerages of Ireland, Great Britain or the United Kingdom, or as titles held by grand serjeanty. Those few that thus survive are traditionally considered to be "incorporeal hereditaments", and continue to exist as interests or estates in land, registrable as such upon conveyance or inheritance under the Registry of Deeds of the Government of Ireland.

Following a report by the Law Reform Commission [link to large PDF file], a Bill for proposed legislation has been presented and lies before the Oireachtas to abolish the concept of the feudal system of land tenure in the Republic of Ireland (ironically, it continues to exist!). However, these titles will not be affected, and will continue to exist as personal rights, customarily considered to be registrable incorporeal hereditaments held in gross.'

Hmm, 'submerged titles', 'held by grand serjeanty', 'registrable . . . under the Registry of Deeds', 'incorporeal hereditaments held in gross'. You'd have trouble beating this guy in court - I wonder does he lurk here? Incidentally, speaking of the Irish Registry of Deeds, 300 years old next year and which has survived archival destruction only to fall to planned amalgamation with the Land Registry, is a not very widely used treasure trove for historians and genealogists, as well I regret to admit as for property 'title raiders' and more sophisticated title brokers (armorial information on seals said to be limited, but worthwhile investigating). It has been suggested that the hundreds of thousands of deeds in the repository from 1707 should be digitised, a proposal I think nearly all of us at home and abroad would enthusiastically support. See invitations for submissions at http://www.justice.ie/80256E010039C5AF/vWeb/pcJUSQ6RTHDR-en

Sean Murphy
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Relevant Pages

  • Re: Abolition of Feudal Tenure in Ireland
    ... However a small number continued to exist either as submerged titles of members of the Peerages of Ireland, Great Britain or the United Kingdom, or as titles held by grand serjeanty. ... Those few that thus survive are traditionally considered to be "incorporeal hereditaments", and continue to exist as interests or estates in land, registrable as such upon conveyance or inheritance under the Registry of Deeds of the Government of Ireland. ... Thus it is said that the Manor Courts Abolition Act 1859 simply tranferred jurisdiction to the petty sessions courts, and as the Copyhold Act 1894 did not apply to Ireland, it left many earlier acts on the Irish statute book. ...
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  • Re: Feudal titles
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  • Re: Genealogy and Heraldry Bill, 2006
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  • Re: Queen Elizabeth to visit her (southern) Irish domains
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  • Re: Feudal Baronies & Manorial Lordships
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