The Lordship and Manor of Rushton or Rushton James (Staffordshire)

The Overlordship of the Manor of Rushton.

It should be noted that although there is an assumption that manorial rights were extinguished when the lord sold all his freehold land in the township of Rushton James this did not affect the title or dignity of the lordship which remains today. Manorial Rights are rights that were retained by the lord of the manor when the land became freehold. They can include rights relating to mines and minerals, rights to hunt, shoot or fish.
Manors are of ancient origin dating from before Norman times. The extent of the manor was usually determined by the original grant from the Crown or superior lord. A manor was self-contained with its own customs and rights within its defined area.

There are three separate elements to a manor.

        Lordship of the manor – whoever owns the lordship of the manor is entitled to refer to            themselves as lord of that manor, for example, Lord of the manor of Rushton James.

        Manorial land – because a manor was a defined area it included the physical land                     within that area. Such land could either be freehold or leasehold.

        Manorial rights – rights which were part and parcel of the manorial title and which                 were usually kept by the lord on disposal of parts of the manorial land, for example, the         right to hunt, shoot or fish.

        These elements may exist separately or be combined. The lordship title cannot be                      subdivided, but the manorial land and the manorial rights can be.

Confusion can be caused, as ‘manor’ can refer to either the lordship and/or the manorial land.