SUBINFEUDATION

SUBINFEUDATION

subinfeudation (s[schwa]b-in-fyoo-day-sh[schwa]n), n. Hist. The system under which the tenants in a feudal system granted smaller estates to their tenants, who in turn did the same from their pieces of land. ? As this system proceeded down the social scale, the lords were deprived of their feudal profits, as a result of which the system was suppressed by the statute Quia Emptores in 1290. Instead of subinfeudation, alienation in the modern sense was introduced. Cf. INFEUDATION; SUPERINFEUDATION.

¡°The first step taken in mitigation of the rigors of the law of feuds, and in favor of voluntary alienations, was the countenance given to the practice of subinfeudations. They were calculated to elude the restraint upon alienation, and consisted in carving out portions of the fief to be held of the vassal by the same tenure with which he held of the chief lord of the fee. The alienation prohibited by the feudal law, all over Europe, was the substitution of a new feudatory in the place of the old one; but subinfeudation was a feoffment by the tenant to hold of himself. The purchaser became his vassal, and the vendor still continued liable to the chief lord for all the feudal obligations. Subinfeudations were encouraged by the subordinate feudatories, because they contributed to their own power and independence; but they were found to be injurious to the fruits of tenure, such as reliefs, marriages and wardships, belonging to the paramount lords.¡± 4 James Kent, Commentaries on American Law *443¨C44 (George Comstock ed., 11th ed. 1866).


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