mesne lord

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

See mesne, lord.

Noun[edit]

mesne lord (plural mesne lords)

  1. (law) A lord who is intermediate (mesne), in that he is tenant to a higher lord and in turn receives rent from his own tenants of the property
    • 1767, William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, Volume 2: "The Rights of Things", page 60
      Thus all the land in the kingdom is supposed to be holden, mediately or immediately, of the sovereign, who is styled the lord paramount, or above all. Such tenants as held under the crown immediately, when they granted out portions of their lands to inferior persons, became also lords with respect to those inferior persons, as they were still tenants with respect to the king; and, thus partaking of a middle nature, were called mesne, or middle, lords. So that if the king granted a manor to A., and he granted a portion of the land to B., now B. was said to hold of A., and A. of the king ... A. was both tenant and lord, or was a mesne lord: and B. was called tenant paravail, or the lowest tenant; being he who was supposed to make avail or profit of the land.

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