Here was held the manorial court of Furness Abbey.
Manorial markets were granted for Dartmouth in 1231 and 1301.
These writs entitled them to appear as plaintiffs against the lord in his own manorial court and, eventually, to have the question at issue examined by way of appeal, on a writ of error, or by reservation on some legal points in the upper courts of the king.
Economically the institution of villenage was bound tip with the manorial organization - that is, with the fact that the country was.divided into a number of districts in which central home farms were cultivated by the help of work supplied by villein households.
The local monarchy of the manorial lords was fast giving way to a central power which maintained its laws, the circuits of its judges, the fiscal claims of its exchequer, the police interference of its civil officers all through the country, and, by prevailing over the franchises of manorial lords, gave shape to a vast dominion of legal equality and legal protection, in which the forces of commercial exchange, of contract, of social intercourse, found a ready and welcome sphere of action.