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Estates, English law. The act of an inferior lord by which he carved out a part of an estate which he held of a superior, and granted it to an inferior tenant to be held of himself. Subinfeudation was a feoffment by the tenant to hold of himself. The purchaser became his vassal, and the vendor still continued liable to the chief lord for all the feudal obligations. This destroyed the fruits of tenure, such as reliefs, marriages and wardships, because they belonged to the paramount lords. It was an indirect mode of transferring the fief, and resorted to as an artifice to elude the feudal restraint upon alienation: this was forbidden by the statute of Quia Emptores.


 - n. (Law) (a) The granting of lands by inferior lords to their dependents, to be held by themselves by feudal tenure. Craig. (b) Subordinate tenancy; undertenancy.

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