It is commonly supposed that land belongs to its owner in the same sense as money or a watch; this has not been the theory of the English law since the Norman Conquest, nor has it been so in its fullest significance at any time. No absolute ownership of land is recognized by our law-books except in the Crown. All lands are supposed to be held immediately or mediately of the Crown, though no rent or services may be payable and no grant from the Crown on record.
— SIR FREDERICK POLLOCK, Land Laws, Chap. I., p. 12.