Gavelkind meaning

găv'əl-kīnd'
An English system of land tenure dating from Anglo-Saxon times and continuing in Kent until 1926, in which land was divided equally among all qualified heirs.
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In Great Britain, a system of land tenure by which:
  • The property of a man dying intestate was divided equally among his sons.
  • The tenant could dispose of his land by feoffment at the age of fifteen.
  • The land did not escheat upon the conviction of the tenant as a felon.
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(historical) A system of inheritance associated with the county of Kent in England whereby, at the death of a tenant, intestate estate is divided equally among all his sons; also, a similar system employed in Ireland.
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Origin of gavelkind

  • Middle English gavelkinde Old English gafol gavel gavel2 Old English gecynd kind kind2
    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition