The "estate in fee simple" title granted by the Crown, under which
land is held not owned, by definition implies an obligation. Fee is a derivative
of fief or trust originally granted by the King to certain Barons in return for
services to be rendered in time of battle, on demand, or on state occasions—an
acknowledgement of the trust.
About the time of Runnymede (1215) the Barons not only curtailed the King's
tyrannical rule without trial but at the same time entrenched their privilege
by satisfying their obligations in other ways e.g. a beer tax, other levies on
the poor and later the enclosure (privatisation) of the Commons. This privilege
which the Barons arrogated to themselves has become entrenched and fragmented
until today it is bought and sold as the freehold title i.e. the right to claim
the economic rent, with income and other taxes in lieu, progressively enshrined
So the "estate in fee simple" is essentially a holding on trust,
without specified obligations, conditions or terms i.e. an open ended leasehold
which can be inherited without constraint.
This basic status readily admits the inclusion of more stringent terms such as
Town Planning ordinances, environmental regulations and the like, as terms of
the lease which recognise and give effect to the fundamental social relationship—the
Crown and the subject; the community and the individual; landlord and the life-tenant.
A lease also sets out the rights of the lessee i.e. the rights and responsibilities
of both parties.
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