Nepokhozhi peasants

Nepokhozhi peasants (nepokhozhi seliany, nepokhozhi liudy). A major category of manorial peasants in the 14th- to 16th-century Lithuanian-Ruthenian state. Unlike the pokhozhi peasants, they did not have the right to move from one feudal lord to another. The lord owned the land they used, as well as their tools and domestic possessions, and had the right to judge, punish, sell, trade, or give them away. The peasants had to pay quitrents and perform corvée and other obligations for the lord. Free peasants became nepokhozhi (‘immobile’) if the land they lived on belonged to the grand duke and he awarded or sold it to a lord, if they became personally indebted to a lord and could not repay their debts, or 10 years after they voluntarily settled on land owned by a lord. The nepokhozhi peasants' dependent status was ratified in a privilege issued by Casimir IV Jagiellończyk in 1447. Their sale and purchase with or without land was legalized by the 1529 Lithuanian Statute. After the 1569 Union of Lublin the term nepokhozhi fell out of use, but the institution of dependent manorial peasants (called kholopy, otchychi, panski liudy) remained, and in the 1588 Lithuanian Statute they were all enserfed (see Serfdom).

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]

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