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Frankalmoign

Lands held under frankalmoign were subject only to ecclesiastical courts and enjoyed other benefits.
“Gifts to the religious in free alms were defined as being primarily to God, then to the saint of the patrimony of the religious house, and then to the earthly persons serving God there”.

[The Charter of 1544 follows this format exactly “in honour of God Omnipotent, the blessed Virgin, and Saint Moloc, our patron, have mortified and by the present writing confirmed, to our beloved pursuivant, John McMolmore Vic Kevir”]

“Several consequences flowed from that statement: (i) the religious could recognise no secular lord; (ii) the gift, being primarily to God and the Saint, and in wider terms the Church, was inalienable, and thus in mortmain; (iii) since the relationship between earthly persons, grantor and religious, was only secondary, no tenurial relationship was possible.” http://www.le.ac.uk/elh/pot/char/free.html

Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/blackstone/bk2ch6.htm 
“V.TENURE in frankalmoign, in libera eleemosyna, or free alms, is that, whereby a religious corporation, aggregate or sole, holdeth lands of the donor to them and their successors forever. The service, which they were bound to render for these lands was not certainly defined; but only in general to pray for the souls of the donor and his heirs, dead or alive; and therefore they did no fealty, (which is incident to all other services but this) because this divine service was of a higher and more exalted nature. … And, even at present, this is a tenure of a nature very distinct from all others; being not in the least feudal, but merely spiritual. “

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