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This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Copyhold was a form of land tenancy that was never effective in North Carolina, although the term is sometimes encountered in records of landholdings. References to it grew out of the feudal provisions for manors in the Fundamental Constitutions (1669). In England, it applied to tenants bound to lords to whom the land belonged; they were not freemen, being obligated to the landholder, from whom they received a copy of the manor roll specifying their obligation.