/berr"oh ing"glish/ or, often, /-lish, bur"-/, n.
(formerly, in some parts of England) a custom by which the youngest son inherited the entire estate upon the death of his father.
[1300-50; ME]

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▪ English inheritance system
      the English form of ultimogeniture, the system of undivided inheritance by which real property passed intact to the youngest son or, failing sons, to the youngest daughter. Ultimogeniture was the customary rule of inheritance among unfree peasants, especially in southeast England. Its antiquity is uncertain, but it is first mentioned in the 12th century. “Borough-English” became the accepted legal term for the custom after a famous case in 1327 drew attention to the fact that in the French borough of Nottingham, which had grown up beside the English borough, land passed to the eldest son, whereas in the English borough it passed to the youngest son. As a system of undivided inheritance, borough-English applied mostly to unfree peasants and, like primogeniture, acted to preserve the manorial unit; among free peasants, land tended to pass by equal division among sons and daughters. The custom continued in many rural manors until abolished by the Administration of Estates Act of 1925.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Borough-English — Bor ough Eng lish, n. (Eng. Law) A custom, as in some ancient boroughs, by which lands and tenements descend to the youngest son, instead of the eldest; or, if the owner have no issue, to the youngest brother. Blackstone. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • borough English — n. a former custom in some parts of England by which the youngest son succeeded to land holdings * * * …   Universalium

  • borough English — n. a former custom in some parts of England by which the youngest son succeeded to land holdings …   English World dictionary

  • Borough English —    obsolete    a form of disinheriting the eldest son The subject came up in a discussion on 16 October 1773, concerning Marcheta Mulierum, a custom whereby the Lord of the Manor was entitled to jus primae noctis:     Dr Johnson said, the belief… …   How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms

  • borough-english — | ̷ ̷ ̷ ̷ˈ ̷ ̷ ̷ ̷ noun Usage: usually capitalized E Etymology: earlier burghenglish, part translation of Anglo French burgh engloys, from burgh borough (from Middle English) + engloys English : a former custom in some cities and boroughs in… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Borough-English — The term given to ultimogeniture, i.e. inheritance by the youngest son or daughter, which was customary among unfree AS peasants; it continued in English boroughs after the Conquest. The term arose after a case in the early 14c at Nottingham… …   Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases

  • borough English — noun a former English custom by which the youngest son inherited land to the exclusion of his older brothers • Hypernyms: ↑inheritance, ↑heritage …   Useful english dictionary

  • borough English — noun Date: 14th century a custom formerly existing in parts of England by which the lands of an intestate descended to the youngest son …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • BOROUGH ENGLISH —    descent of lands to a youngest son …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Borough-english — Term which designates the custom of ultimogeniture (All lands inherited by the youngest son) …   Medieval glossary

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