primogeniture


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Wikipedia.

primogeniture,

in law, the rule of inheritance whereby land descends to the oldest son. Under the feudal system of medieval Europe, primogeniture generally governed the inheritance of land held in military tenure (see feudalismfeudalism
, form of political and social organization typical of Western Europe from the dissolution of Charlemagne's empire to the rise of the absolute monarchies. The term feudalism is derived from the Latin feodum,
..... Click the link for more information.
; knightknight,
in ancient and medieval history, a noble who did military service as a mounted warrior. The Knight in Ancient History

In ancient history, as in Athens and Rome, the knight was a noble of the second class who in military service had to furnish his own mount
..... Click the link for more information.
). The effect of this rule was to keep the father's land for the support of the son who rendered the required military service. When feudalism declined and the payment of a tax was substituted for military service, the need for primogeniture disappeared. In England, consequently, there was enacted the Statute of Wills (1540), which permitted the oldest son to be entirely cut off from inheriting, and in the 17th cent. military tenure was abolished; primogeniture is, nevertheless, still customary in England. In the United States primogeniture never became widely established. For other traditional types of inheritance, see gavelkindgavelkind
[M.E.,=family tenure], custom of inheritance of lands held in socage tenure, whereby all the sons of a holder of an estate in land share equally in such lands upon the death of the father.
..... Click the link for more information.
; borough-Englishborough-English,
a custom of inheritance in parts of England whereby land passed typically to the youngest son in preference to his older brothers. Of Anglo-Saxon origin, the custom was abolished by law in 1925.
..... Click the link for more information.
.

primogeniture

  1. the condition of being the first-born child.
  2. the right of succession or inheritance of the first-born child. INHERITANCE systems vary between societies and are extremely important for the transmission and hence accumulation of property. Many Northern European societies practice primogeniture and this may be associated with greater accumulation of wealth and property than where these are dispersed amongst several members of a family. In particular, primogeniture prevents land-holdings being divided into ever smaller plots. In many societies, the first born usually means the first-born male.

Primogeniture

 

(1) In monarchies, the principle under-lying the inheritance of royal power. It developed in the period when, in conflict against feudal fragmentation, centralized states were being formed. Under primogeniture, the throne passed to the eldest son. In Russia the principle of primogeniture was solidified in 1797 by Paul I.

(2) The procedure for transferring landed property by inheritance in such a way as to avoid parceling estates. It was introduced in Russia by a decree of 1714 and was in force until 1731.


Primogeniture

 

inheritance of immovable property (primarily land) on the principle of the first born in the family or kin.

The principles of primogeniture first appeared in the ancient laws of India, which established property privileges for the eldest son in the family, and in the law of Athens. In the feudal law of England, France, Germany, and other European countries, the right of primogeniture was established in the 11th to 13th centuries in order to avoid the division of real estate. The eldest son was recognized as the heir of the fief; the other children were excluded from inheriting any portion of it. The right of primogeniture was legislatively fixed in England by the Westminister statutes, which established the succession of fiefs according to law (and not according to testament). The principle of primogeniture became widely applied as well in the inheritance of peasant allotments—for example, in France, according to the customs of Beaumanoir, the eldest son was to receive two-thirds of his father’s allotment. In prerevolutionary Russia survivals of the right of primogeniture with regard to entailed and family estates continued up until the Great October Socialist Revolution.

Bourgeois law rejects the right of primogeniture as contradictory to the principle of freedom of inheritance; this, however, does not exclude its application. The right of primogeniture continued longest in Great Britain. In Hitlerite Germany the principle of primogeniture was legislatively reinstituted for the property of peasant farmsteads, which was to be inherited by one heir and only according to law.

primogeniture

Law the right of an eldest son to succeed to the estate of his ancestor to the exclusion of all others
References in periodicals archive ?
Elizabeth had made it quite clear that she believed Mary's rights of succession, under the tradition of primogeniture, were more important than those decided by English statute and her father's will.
At one time, primogeniture went unchallenged in family-dominated businesses, and younger sons could only view bloodlines as unfor-giving, ego-bruising accidents of birth.
The research showed that primogeniture remains a significant part of farm inheritance, with 36% of families still choosing the traditional yet outdated method of passing the farm on to the eldest son.
The importance of credit in the aristocratic lifestyle; the costly business of lobbying, bribing, and ingratiating at court in London; the dynastic issues of marriage negotiations and settlements; the begetting and bringing up of children in the primogeniture system; the perpetual problems of religion in Ireland; and the labyrinthine conveyancing of property through the crisis-ridden seventeenth century are all comprehended as never before.
They have decided to move court, staking their claim on the basis of the Rule of Primogeniture ( the right of the first- born son or eldest surviving male heir).
In this instance as well, by relying on seniority, Al Saud avoided some of the primogeniture problems that surfaced elsewhere.
According to the report, the reason for the different treatment lies in the ancient laws of royal primogeniture, which granted males a greater right to the throne than female siblings.
Until now, men have leapfrogged their older sisters under a rule know as primogeniture.
Thomson explains how German families from small and obscure towns, lacking a system of primogeniture, created titles for themselves, producing a pool of marriageable spouses for royal families in other countries and thereby dominating European history.
Primogeniture in England, he speculates, left many offspring with no great stake in parental goods, and parents with smaller stake in their progeny's matings.
Within three months of the opening of the Estates-General, the French nobility had lost its separate status, its tax exemptions, its job monopolies and its seigneurial rights in the countryside and primogeniture had been outlawed.
Primogeniture demanded family subservience to the eldest son.