estates. The manner in which lands or tenements are holden. 2. According to the English law, all lands are held mediately or immediately from the king, as lord paramount and supreme proprietor of all the lands in the kingdom. 3. The idea of tenure; pervades, to a considerable degree, the law of real property in the several states; the title to land is essentially allodial, and every tenant in fee simple has an absolute and perfect title, yet in technical language, his estate is called an estate in fee simple, and the tenure free and common socage.
Law Dictionary – Alternative Legal Definition
The mode or system of holding lands or tenements in subordination to some superior, which, in the feudal ages, was the leading characteristic of real property. Tenure is the direct result of feudalism, which separated the dominium directum, (the dominion of the soil,) which is placed mediately or Immediately in the crown, from the dominion utile, (the possessory title,) the right to the use and profits in the soil, designated by the term “seisin,” which is the highest interest a subject can acquire. Wharton. Wharton gives the following list of tenures which were ultimately developed: LAY TENURES. “I.Frank tenement or freehold. (1) The military tenures (abolished, except grand serjeanty and reduced to free socage tenures) were:Knight service proper, or tenure in chivalry; grand serjeanty; coinage. (2) Free socage, or plow-service; either petit serjeanty, tenure in burgage; or gavelkind. “II.Villeinage. (1) Pure villeinage, (whence copyholds at the lord’s [nominal] will, which is regulated according to custom.) (2) Privileged villeinage, sometimes called “villein socage,” (whence tenure in ancient demesne, which is an exalted species of copyhold, held according to custom, and not according to the lord’s will,) and is of three kinds: Tenure in ancient demesne; privileged copyholds, customary free-holds, or free copyholds; copyholds of base tenure. SPIRITUAL TENURES. “I.Frankalmoigne, or free alms.”II.Tenure by divine service. Tenure, In its general sense, le a mode of holding or occupying. Thus, we speak of the tenure of an office, meaning the manner in which it is held, especially with regard to time, (tenure for life, tenure during good behavior,) and of tenure of land In the sense of occupation or tenancy, especially with reference to cultivation and questions of political economy; e.g., tenure by peasant proprietors, cottiers, etc. Sweet. See Bard v. Grundy. 2 Ky. 169; People v. Waite, 9 Wend. (N. Y.) 58; Richman v. Lippincott, 29 N. J. Law, 59. Tenure by divine service is where an ecclesiastical corporation, sole or aggregate, holds land by a certain divine service; as, to say prayers on a certain day in every year, “or to distribute in almes to an hundred poor men and hundred pence at such a day.” Litt.