1) Literally ‘possession’, a word found in connection with the conveyance of property.

1251 ‘their attorneys put themselves in seisin of the manor’, Stokesley. It occurs especially in the phrase ‘livery of seisin’

that is the formal handing over of a house, land or the like, e.g. 1488 sall not delyv seasyn unto aftir such a day in the next weyk after lowgh Sonnday, Golcar. The particular interest in the word is in the money or items that were handed over by vendors as symbols of the change in ownership. The earliest example that I have noted is in an undated twelfth-century charter which transferred land in Skelbrooke to St John’s Priory, Pontefract: Quam terram Oliverus frater eius prius donaverat, et super altare obtulerat per cultellum plicatum

that is ‘at the altar of the church by a clasped knife’. In 1567, the manor of Skewkirk changed hands and the symbol was a pair of knives: Skewkirk was a former cell of Nostell Priory. Later deeds provide details of a wide variety of objects: 1610 lease of Roger Weddell’s farme sealed upon the grownde in the myll close and a sod cut up by me ... and delivered ... as possession of all therein conteaned, Brandsby

1611 one peece of silver of the value of sixepence in the name of possession and seison thereof, Kilnsey

1666 one pewter doubler in stead and name of all the premises, South Crosland

1693 by presentation of a clod of earth and a warming pan, Arncliffe

1766 one pewter spoon at the time of the selling and delivering’, Heptonstall. In 1777, Anthony Green of Austonley had debts that he was unable to pay because of losses in trade … and other unhappy misfortunes and he was obliged to sign over his real and personal estates to his creditors. When the deed was executed in November he agreed to put Christopher in full possession by delivering to him one Silver cup in the name of the whole.

dates 1100-1199 1251 1488 1567 1610 1611 1693 1766

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