A distinction was drawn between "free socage" and "villain socage."
Lands in New-Brunswick are held in fee simple or free socage.
Their tenure was the origin of free socage, common in the thirteenth century, and now the prevailing tenure of land in England.
The feudal tenures of the crown, such as knights' service, were converted into free socage.
It empowered persons possessed of land in free socage to give or devise same for the maintenance of the poor.
Some of them as tenants in free socage may maintain their position; many fall down into the class of tenants in villeinage.