In the history of English common law, a jurisdiction could be held as a form of property (or more precisely an incorporeal hereditament) called a franchise. Traditional franchise jurisdictions of various powers were held by municipal corporations, religious houses, guilds, early universities, the Welsh Marches, and counties palatine. Types of franchise courts included courts baron, courts leet, merchant courts, and the stannary courts which dealt with disputes involving the tin miners of Cornwall. The original royal charters of the American colonies included broad grants of franchise jurisdiction along with other governmental powers to corporations or individuals, as did the charters for many other colonial companies such as the British East India Company and British South Africa Company. Analogous jurisdiction existed in medieval times on the European Continent. Over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries, franchise jurisdictions were largely eliminated. Several formerly important franchise courts were not officially abolished until Courts Act of 1971.