A material point for the application of the privilege consists in the fact that ancient demesne has to be proved from the time before the Conquest, and this shows clearly that the theory was partly derived from the recognition of tenant right in villeins of the Anglo-Saxon period who, as we have said above, were mostly ceorls, that is, freeborn men.
These were still under age and were not the children of a freeborn, noble mother.
There are five noble families, possibly representing a former division of the people, after whom come the freeborn, and then the freedmen.
To a Greek it suggested the assembly of freeborn citizens in a city state.
They were, as Milton said, " faithful and freeborn Englishmen and good Christians constrained to forsake their dearest home, their friends, and kindred, whom nothing but the wide ocean and the savage deserts of America could hide and shelter from the fury of the bishops."