Purlieu is a term used of the outlying parts of a place or district. It was a term of the old Forest law, and meant, as defined by John Manwood, Treatise of the Lawes of the Forest (1598, 4th ed. 1717),
|“||a certain territory of ground adjoining unto the forest [which] was once forest-land and afterwards disafforested by the perambulations made for the severing of the new forests from the old||”|
The owner of freelands in the purlieu to the yearly value of forty shillings was known as a purlieu-man or purley-man. The benefits of disafforestation accrued only to the owner of the lands. There seems no doubt that purlieu or purley represents the Anglo-French pourallé lieu (old French pouraler, puraler, to go through Latin perambulare), a legal term meaning properly a perambulation to determine the boundaries of a manor, parish, or similar region.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- Rackham, Oliver (1976) Trees and Woodland in the British Landscape. (London: J.M.Dent & Sons Ltd.) ISBN 0-460-04183-5.
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