The etymology of frankalmoign(e) is to be found in two Norman French words: franc meaning free; and almoigne or almosne meaning alms.
Thus, in English law, frankalmoign(e) is tenure in free alms. Gifts to religious institutions in free alms were defined primarily as gifts given to God, then to the patron saint of the religious house, and then to the religious serving God in a specific house.
Religious houses in receipt of free alms could not recognise a secular lord. The gift of land or other property made over to God and to a patron Saint, was inalienable and the relationship between the grantor and the religious house was subsidiary.