In feudal times, one born a serf. After the Conquest, the natives were the serfs of the Normans. Wat Tyler said to Richard II.:
“The firste peticion was that he scholde make alle men fre thro Ynglonde and quiete, so that there scholde not be eny native man after that time.” —Higden: Polychronicon, viii. 457.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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