Leal service

From Cunnan
Jump to: navigation, search

Leal service (or "loyal service") was one of the feudal obligations often owed by a vassal to his overlord, usually implying physical service as opposed to mere financial obligation.

A knight who owed leal service to his superior as part of his oath of fealty would be obliged to a certain period of military service each year (often 40 days), but could not be legally held to more unless he agreed to further compensation.

Some leal services were unusual, in particular that of "Roland the Farter", who in the 13th century held a manor in Suffolk for which he was obliged to perform for his King "Unum saltum et siffletum et unum bumbulum" (one jump, one whistle, and one fart) annually. This service was owed at the King's Christmas revels.