Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Trinoda Necessitas Definition:

Latin: three ancient necessities held to be owed all landowners to the English kingdom.

Hinde defined trinoda necessitas as:

“... the threefold obligation to which every man’s estate was by the ancient law subjects, pontium reparatio, arcium constructio, et expeditio contra hostem; that is, repairing bridges, building castles and repelling invasions.”

Burrill described the third (expeditio contra hostem) as “military service against an enemy” but that appears to be wrong. The trinoda necessitas includes a repelling of invasions - not military service against enemies at large or overseas.


  • Blackstone, William, Commentaries on the Laws of England, Volume 2, page 102
  • Burrill, A., Law Dictionary and Glossary, Vol. II (New York: Baker, Voorhis & Co., Law Publishers, 1867), page 546-547
  • Hinde, G., New Zealand Law Dictionary (Wellington: Butterworths, 1972), page 317
  • Radin, Max, Radin Law Dictionary (New York: Oceana Publications, 1955), page 352

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