Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Subinfeudation Definition:

The process whereby, under the feudal system of tenure, a person receiving a grant of land from a lord, could himself become a landlord by subdividing and subletting that land to others.

Related Terms: Vassal

John Bouvier, in his 1897 Bouvier's Law Dictionary, defined subinfeudation as follows:

"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."

Jowitt's adds:

"Subinfeudation, while it was allowed, was what took place when a tenant in fee simple of land granted the whole or part of it to another person in fee simple, to hold of him as his tenant, so that the relation of tenure, with its incidents of fealty, services, etc., was created between them.

"The practice of subinfeudation being found to decrease the power and wealth of the great landowners, it was abolished by the statute of Qiai Emptores 1289."

Similar to the modern law concept of sub-lease.

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