Hi, I've been reading "Sarum" by Edward Rutherfurd (great book, by the way), and I've met a particular expression I can intuitively understand, but which doesn't seem to make too much grammatical sense. It appears a few times throught the whole book; I ignored it the first time, thinking it was a mere typo, but then found it many times in a passage, sending that hypothesis out of the window (or possibly introducing the one of a very careless editor ). The paragraph I'm talking about is an extract from the will of Walter, a former villein who, by the time of his death, had become a landlord. Here it is, with the expression in bold character: My guess would be that it's an archaic or literary form (or possibly legalese) for "held by", in this case to indicate a feudal benefice. Considering how fiefs work, all the land is ultimately officially owned by the king, who bestows it on vassals, who bestow it on vavasours, and so on and so forth. So, even though Walter is giving the above-mentioned estates to his son, he's just extending the vassalage relationships, as the land is not "officially" his. This is, however, a mere conjecture. I have been able to find this expression in a few other documents on the internet (mostly law-related, hence my earlier hypothesis of legalese), but none of them seem to provide an explanation for this expression or its usage. So I hope that anyone who manages to read through my whole waffle will also be able to help me clear this up. Thank you!