In feudal times, tenants owed services to their lords. When a tenant did not perform a service, a lord had legal remedies: (1) The remedy of distress, and (2) the remedy of forfeiture of the land when the tenant willfully withheld the services.1

Prior to the Statute of Gloucester, cessation of services was a felony, and upon conviction, the tenant’s lands escheated to the lord. The remedy of forfeiture was against the land.2

  1. Cornelius J. Moynihan & Sheldon F. Kurtz, Introduction to the Law of Real Property 8 (4th ed. 2005). 

  2. Id. at 8 n.2.