Elizabeth in 1580 confirmed all previous charters and incorporated the freeholders under the designation of "the mayor, bailiffs and burgesses of the borough of Tenby."
The old courtier Maurepas, jealous of Turgot and desirous of remaining a minister himself, refrained from defending his colleague; and when Turgot, who never knew how to give in, spoke of establishing assemblies of freeholders in the communes and the provinces, in order to relax the tension of over-centralization, Louis XVI., who never dared to pass from sentiment to action, sacrificed his minister to the rancour of the queen, as he had already sacrificed Malesherbes (1776).
Only Protestant freeholders had votes, which encouraged leases for lives, about the worst kind of tenure, and the object of each proprietor was to control as many votes as possible.
Freeholders, and other factors have combined to form a story which makes painful reading from whatever point of view, social or political, it be regarded.
As a result of the rebellion of 1173-1174 it was provided that an oath of fealty should be taken by all, to wit, barons, knights, freeholders and even villeins (rustici)", and that any one who refused should be arrested as the king's enemy, and the justices were to see that the castles whose demolition had been ordered were completely razed.