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gavelkind was the practice of partible or equal inheritance, as opposed to primogeniture. It was predominant in Kent but found elsewhere, particularly in Wales and Ireland. The result was the creation of small estates with considerable political independence. It was extinguished in 1922 by 12 & 13 Geo. V c. 16. See also borough English.
J. A. Cannon
gavelkind Kentish form of land-tenure XIII; in Kent and elsewhere, division of a deceased man's property equally among his sons. XVI. ME. gavel(i)kinde, -kende; repr. OE. *gafolġecynd, f. gafol tribute + ġecynd KIND1; presumably orig. tenure by the payment of a fixed service.
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