Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
hostageship (plural hostageships)
- (law, historical) A condition of being held as surety for a pledge, as to appear before a magistrate for trial after release from gaol.
1898, Sir Frederick Pollock, Frederic William Maitland, The history of English law before the time of Edward I, volume 2, edition 2nd:
- English, Norman and French tradition seem all to point to an ancient and extremely rigorous form of suretyship or hostageship which would have rendered the surety liable to suffer the punishment that was hanging over the head of the released prisoner.