In many ancient titles the chief warrantee had been a tenant-in-chief and some of the others were granted for services they had rendered to the crown. The present title has been created solely by a grant from the crown and gained a non-derogable right of pre-emption as a condition of this grant. But it is uncertain how far such titles can be said to represent an ancient practice.
The Barony was the smallest division of land. It was usually a manor. Before the diocesan courts became established and some other courts took over, the Barony was the lowest level of court until the 12th century. The system was abolished by the Seventeenth Century but some Barons went on to become Barons of the Exchequer, Barons of the Court of Chancery etc. In modern times, as the lowest court qualification, Barons are styled as such in certain jurisdictions.
In the time of Henry I, freeholders were known as chattels, and provided services such as marshalling the tenantry in war. Any chattels not required for feudal services could be used to pay feudal dues. After the Normans' conquest and taxation, some of the surviving Saxon tenements were mortgaged and sold to pay the tax. The friars interfered in such dealings, and before the Dissolution of the Monasteries, it fell to the friars to collect the feudal dues, which were called the "relief" and the holder was called a "reliefman". d2c66b5586