views updated

serjeanty or sergeanty (both: sär´jĕntē), a type of tenure in English feudalism in which the tenant held his lands from the king or overlord in return for the performance of some personal, often menial, service. Examples of such duties ranged from that of king's constable or chamberlain to that of supplying arrows for an overlord when he went hunting. This method of landholding was less widespread than other forms of tenure, such as knight service (see knight2) and socage, by which serjeanty was largely superseded. Such tenures were nontransferable and indivisible but could be inherited. A remnant of the custom survives in certain ceremonial offices at royal coronations.