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FEALTY Definition & Legal Meaning

Definition & Citations:

In feudal law. Fidelity; allegiance to the feudal lord of the manor; thefeudal obligation resting upon the tenant or vassal by which he was bound to he faithfuland true to bis lord, and render him obedience and service. See I)e I’oyster v. Michael,0 N. Y. 497. 57 Am. Dec. 470.Fealty signifies fidelity, the phrase “foal and leal” meaning simply “faithful and loyal.”Tenants by knights’ service and also tenants in socage were required to take an oath offealty to the king or others, their immediate lords; and fealty was one of the conditionsof their tenure, the breach of which operated a forfeiture of their estates. Brown.Although foreign jurists consider fealty and homage as convertible tonus, boornise insome continental countries they arc blended so a* to form ono engagement, yet theyare not to ho confounded in our country, for thev do not imply the same tiling. Immunefjeing the acknowledgment of tenure, and fealty, the vassal oath of fidelity, being theessential feudal bond, and the animating .principle of a feud, without which it could notsubsist. Wharton.


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