Finally, looking briefly to the overall distribution of grants, the chronology of royal patronage of wardships and marriage rights to Edward's new men indicates a fairly even spread throughout the early decades of the reign, though trailing off later on.
By the late fourteenth century, the development of the enfeoffment-to-use, made use of by the lower orders of landowners since mid-century, had clearly begun to be used by members of the nobility as well, thereby lessening even further the value of wardships returning to the king -- and therefore also often the profitability of connected marriages.
Thus, while the royal feudal structure as a whole might well have been going into decline in the later medieval period, nonetheless, at least for the middle decades of the fourteenth-century, control over the wardships and marriages of his tenants-in-chief played a vital role in Edward III's reshaping of both polity and monarchical authority during his reign.
Thus, many wardships only comprised two-thirds of the lands of an estate.
42) Indeed, wardships seem to have been the perfect time to assert dormant rights.
This did not, however, hold true for royal use of wardships.
142) According to Walker, "because of the clarity of the royal claim and the efficiency of the administration, the king was rarely put to suit about wardships.
169) This goes against, at least in the case of wardships, Ormrod's assertion that Edward III "took full advantage of the deaths of his tenants-in-chief in order to increase the short-term profits of feudalism.