Certain services, especially the payment of merchet- the fine for marrying a daughter - were considered to be the badge of serfdom.
Merchet was regarded, as has been stated already, as a badge of serfdom in so far as it was said to imply a " buying of one's own blood " (serous de sanguine suo emando).
Still the tendency to treat merchet as a distinctive feature of serfdom has to be noted, and we find that the custom spread for this very reason in consequence of the encroachments of powerful lords: in the Hundred Rolls it is applied indiscriminately to the whole rustic population of certain hundreds in a way which can hardly be explained unless by artificial extension.
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