I have said already that the succession of the youngest son appears with merchet, reeveship, etc., as a servile custom.
merchet is especially interesting as illustrating the fusion of different duties into one.
We often come across such base customs as the payment of merchet in connexion with the 'villain socmen' of ancient demesne.
He laboured under many disabilities, such as the merchet or fine for marrying his daughter, and fines for selling horse or ox.
The corresponding fines for girls were merchet if they married off the manor and leyrwite if they dispensed with that ceremony.
To tenure, merchet, being a personal payment, should have no relation whatever.
Socmen were like "liber tenentes" frequently liable to "merchet, heriot and tallage."
In the first place this merchet fine occurs in the extents sporadically as it were.
merchet was the most striking consequence of unfreedom, but manorial documents are wont to connect it with several others.