This mode of colonization was especially favourable to the peasantry, who seem in Brandenburg to have retained the disposal of their persons and property at a time when villenage or serfdom was the ordinary status of their class elsewhere.
VILLENAGE (VILLAINAGE, VILLANAGE, VILLEINAGE), a medieval term (from villa, villanus), pointing to serfdom, a condition of men intermediate between freedom and slavery.
Gradually, however, the exception of villenage became firmly settled.
Bracton fits his definition of villenage into the Romanesque scheme of Azo's Summa of the Institutes, and the judges of the royal courts made sweeping inferences from this general position.
So much as to the proof of villenage by birth or previous condition.