a nonnoble hereditary landholding in feudal France; usually held by peasants. The censitaire—that is, the holder of a censive—paid an annual cens to the seignieur; the payment was rendered usually in cash but sometimes in kind.

The censive became a common form of landholding in the 12th and 13th centuries as a result of the development of commodity-money relations and the decline of the landowner-serf economy. The seignieur had the right to demand certain obligations in addition to the cens; he had the right to banality (seeBANALITY) and escheat, and he retained jurisdiction in the area and supreme ownership of the land. As a rule, the conditions of the holding were not liable to change, and the size of the cens remained the same from generation to generation. The censitaire had the right to will the censive to another person, to mortgage or lease it, or to sell it, on the condition of the payment of a special duty.

From the 16th to 18th centuries, the censive was the most common form of peasant landholding. It was abolished during the French Revolution by a decree of the Convention on July 17, 1793.


Skazkin, S. D. “Fevdist Erve i ego uchenie o tsenzive.” In the collection Srednie veka, fasc. 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1942.
Skazkin, S. D. Ocherki po istorii zapadno-evropeiskogo krest’ianstva v srednie veka. Moscow, 1968. Pages 225–26.
Konokotin, A. V. “K voprosu o vremeni vozniknoveniia tsenzivy v feodal’noi Frantsii.” In the collection Srednie veka, fasc. 36. Moscow, 1973.
Konokotin, A. V. “Tsenziva v derevne Severnoi Frantsii v period razvitogo feodalizma (XII–XIV vv.).” Srednie veka, fasc. 39. Moscow, 1975.
References in periodicals archive ?
Or, la valeur des rentes constituees etablie pour chaque censive lors de la confection des cadastres des annees 1850 equivaut aux anciennes rentes seigneuriales.
Depuis la decennie 1820, on a legifere pour permettre la commutation (c'est-a-dire la transformation d'une terre seigneuriale en tenure franche) partielle des censives et des seigneuries, mais tares sont ceux qui s'en sont prevalus (29).
Contractor address : ZA de Tille Avenue des Censives