Patrimonial Court

Patrimonial Court

 

(votchinnyi sud), the court in which first the boyars and later the gentry exercised jurisdiction over their serfs in tsarist Russia from the 16th and 17th centuries until the emancipation of the serfs in 1861. The powers and limitations of the patrimonial court were established by special documents, or instructions, which the patrimonial judges received from the owner of the patrimonial estate.

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