Hence there arose, almost at once, a bitter strife between the lords of manors and the laboring class, both landholding and landless.
The dominant element in this minority is the rich landholding interest, and the constitution and the laws of the first half-century were framed for the special protection of that interest.
The employment of the precarium by the Church seems to have been one of the surest means by which this form of landholding was carried over from the Romans to the Frankish period and developed into new forms. It came to be made by degrees the subject of written contract, by which the rights of the holder were more definitely defined and protected than had been the case in Roman law.
Foreign and Colonial Laws: Field, Landholding and the relation of Landlord and Tenant in various Countries; Ruling Cases (American Notes), (London and Boston, 1894-1901).
But the worst vices of the Inquisition were the widespread system of delation it encouraged by paying informers out of the property of the condemned, and its action as a trading and landholding association.