[Yes, I can spell 'villain' as well]. The type of villein we are talking about owes nothing to the Hollywood baddie. The original villein appeared in the period of history which deals with the Normans, and the status disappeared in about 1500.
Absolutely free (except to his feudal lord)
Held land hereditarily - and it included a house and a garden plot
Always employed: week work (regular agricultural work) and boon work (extra work, such as at harvest time)
Could hold a number of arable strips of land
Right to graze beasts
Right to receive a crop of hay from the meadow
Rent was fixed throughout the centuries
Could not bring a suit in the king's court
Could not marry without feudal lord's permission
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