/her"ee euht/, n. Eng. Law.
a feudal service or tribute, originally of borrowed military equipment and later of a chattel, due to the lord on the death of a tenant.
[bef. 900; ME heriot, heriet, OE heregeate, heregeatu, heregeatwa war gear, equiv. to here army + geate, etc., equipment; c. ON gotvar (pl.)]

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▪ feudal custom
      in European feudal society, the right of the lord to seize his tenant's best beast or other chattel on the tenant's death. The right grew out of the custom under which the lord lent horses and armour to those of his tenants who served him in battle. When a tenant died, the horse and equipment were returned to the lord. When the tenant became responsible for providing his own equipment, the lord claimed the right to heriot. There were various types of heriot. Heriot service was an incident of both free and unfree land tenure, i.e., both unfree, or villein, tenants and free tenants were subject to the feudal lord's right of heriot. A tenant could make provision for the payment of heriot in his will, but if he died in battle no heriot was required.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • heriot — O.E. here geatwe (pl.) military equipment, army gear, from here army (see HARRY (Cf. harry)). An Anglo Saxon service of weapons, loaned by the lord to his retainer and repayable to him upon the retainer s death; transferred by 13c. to a feudal… …   Etymology dictionary

  • heriot — [her′ē ət] n. [ME heriet < OE heregeatwe, lit., army equipment < here, army (see HAROLD1) + geatwe, earlier ge tawe, equipment, arms < tawian, to prepare: see TAW1] Eng. Feudal Law a payment in chattels or money (orig., a restoration of… …   English World dictionary

  • Hériot — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Hériot est le nom de Auguste Hériot (1826 1879), homme d affaires français Auguste Olympe Hériot (1886 1951), homme d affaires et amant éphémère de… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Heriot — for the town, see Heriot, Scotland Heriot was the right of a lord in feudal Europe to seize a serf s best horse and or clothing upon his death. It arose from the tradition of the lord loaning a serf a horse or armour or weapons to fight so that… …   Wikipedia

  • Heriot — A payment which a feudal lord may claim from the possessions of a dead serf or other tenant, essentially a death tax. There are various forms of heriot. Generally if a tenant dies in battle the heriot is forgiven. ♦ A death duty to the lord; in… …   Medieval glossary

  • heriot — /heriyat/ In English law, a customary tribute of goods and chattels, payable to the lord of the fee on the decease of the owner of the land. Heriots are divided into heriot service and heriot custom. The former expression denotes such as are due… …   Black's law dictionary

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