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gavelkind

gavelkind (găv´əlkīnd) [M.E.,=family tenure], custom of inheritance of lands held in socage tenure, whereby all the sons of a holder of an estate in land share equally in such lands upon the death of the father. Most of the lands in England were held in gavelkind tenure prior to the Norman Conquest in 1066, and the custom of dividing lands among the male heirs is still preserved in parts of England, notably the county of Kent. This system of inheritance of lands is to be contrasted with borough-English and primogeniture.

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gavelkind

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

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gavelkind

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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