scutage

/skyooh"tij/, n.
(in the feudal system) a payment exacted by a lord in lieu of military service due to him by the holder of a fee.
[1425-75; late ME < ML scutagium. See SCUTUM, -AGE]

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▪ feudal law
also called  shield money , French  écuage 

      (scutage from Latin scutum, “shield”), in feudal law, payment made by a knight to commute the military service that he owed his lord. A lord might accept from his vassal a sum of money (or something else of value, often a horse) in lieu of service on some expedition. The system was advantageous to both sides and grew rapidly with the expansion of money economy in Europe in the 12th and 13th centuries.

      Scutage existed in various countries, including France and Germany, but was most highly developed in England, where it was first mentioned in 1100. It seems to have been levied, at first, on ecclesiastical tenants in chief, who had difficulty in finding their full quota of knights for the king's army. It soon became a general tax on knights' estates, and by the 13th century the rates were standardized.

      Though the crown could demand scutage, tenants could not refuse to perform military service if required to do so. From the time of Richard I (1189–99), however, special fines (payments larger than the routine scutage) were accepted from tenants in chief in lieu of service on a particular campaign. As a result of the frequent and heavy scutages exacted by King John, Magna Carta (1215) forbade the levy of scutage without the consent of a great council. During the 13th century, scutages and fines continued, the latter becoming more general. Scutage, collected from mesne (intermediate) tenants who had not attended a campaign, was divided between the king and those tenants in chief who had served in person. By the 14th century, however, scutage had become obsolete.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Scutage — Scu tage (?; 48), n. [LL. scutagium, from L. scutum a shield.] (Eng. Hist.) Shield money; commutation of service for a sum of money. See {Escuage}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • scutage — [skyo͞ot′ij] n. [ML scutagium < L scutum, a shield: see SCUTUM] a tax paid by the holder of a knight s fee, usually in lieu of feudal military service …   English World dictionary

  • Scutage — The tax of scutage or escuage, in the law of England under the feudal system, allowed a knight to buy out of the military service due to the Crown from the holder of a knight s fee. Its name derived from the knightly shield (in Latin: scutum ).… …   Wikipedia

  • Scutage — A *fine or money paid in lieu of military service i.e. shield money; tax on an estate. The Latin form was scutagium. Land held of the king by tenants in chief owed military service, i.e. the supply of a specified number of knights when called… …   Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases

  • scutage — Tallage Tal lage, Talliage Tal li*age, n. [F. taillage. See {Taille}, and cf. {Tailage}.] (O. Eng. Law) A certain rate or tax paid by barons, knights, and inferior tenants, toward the public expenses. [Written also {tailage}, {taillage}.] [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • scutage — Escuage Es cu*age (?; 48), n. [OF. escuage, F. [ e]cuage, from OF. escu shield, F. [ e]cu. See {Esquire}.] (Feud. Law) Service of the shield, a species of knight service by which a tenant was bound to follow his lord to war, at his own charge. It …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Scutage —    If a man at arms or knight didn t want to perform military service, as stipulated under the terms by which he held his fiefdom, he could pay his lord a fee to avoid this service. This fee was called a Scutage …   The writer's dictionary of science fiction, fantasy, horror and mythology

  • scutage — noun Etymology: Middle English, from Medieval Latin scutagium, from Latin scutum shield more at esquire Date: 15th century a tax levied on a vassal or a knight in lieu of military service …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • scutage — noun A tax, in feudal times, paid in lieu of military service …   Wiktionary

  • scutage — [ skju:tɪdʒ] noun (in a feudal society) money paid by a vassal to his lord in lieu of military service. Origin ME: from med. L. scutagium, from L. scutum shield …   English new terms dictionary

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