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The status of being the firstborn child among several children of the same parents. A rule of inheritance at Common Law through which the oldest male child has the right to succeed to the estate of an ancestor to the exclusion of younger siblings, both male and female, as well as other relatives.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


n. Latin for "first born," the ancient rule from feudal England (except in the County of Kent) that the oldest son would inherit the entire estate of his parents (or nearest ancestor), and, if there was no male heir, the daughters would take (receive the property) in equal shares. The intent was to preserve larger properties from being broken up into small holdings, which might weaken the power of nobles. It does not exist in the United States.

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.


being first-born. Many legal systems have from time to time and place to place given precedence to the first-born in inheritance. It has the benefit of preserving large hard-won estates. It is not popular with the other children. Concentration of wealth in money as opposed to land has made it much less useful. It no longer applies to ordinary property in the UK.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

PRIMOGENITURE. The state of being first born the eldest.
     2. Formerly primogeniture gave a title in cases of descent to the oldest son in preference to the other children; this unjust distinction has been generally abolished in the United States.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Pol'skoi insinuates that Feofan deliberately avoided using the very concept of "fundamental law" in his treatise because he knew that Peter did not like the idea that any law might be "fundamental." (16) According to Antony Lentin (the translator and editor of a modern English edition of Pravda voli monarshei), the text shocked its audience, because "in Russia as in the west, succession by primogeniture, usually in the male line, was normally assumed to be the natural, God-given, legitimate and indefeasible order of things in a hereditary monarchy." (17) Even Feofan's commitment to the abrogation of primogeniture has been called into question.
The Law of Primogeniture and the Transition from Landed Aristocracy to Industrial.
Under British rules of primogeniture, the male heir inherits not only the title or Earl but also the entire estate.
Morse (English, College of William and Mary) proposes a reinterpretation of the work of Anthony Trollope as both an experimental and innovative writer of fiction and a radical critic of the English cultural and legal institution of primogeniture and of English race discourses, thereby simultaneously presenting a picture of Trollope as a reformer and seeking to reform interpretations of Trollope politically and artistically.
Glossing adequately explains pivotal terms, such as primogeniture, slander, Articles of Confederation, and dissension.
En Suede, la primogeniture masculine a ete supprimee en 1980.
Perhaps the leading case reversing decades of gender discrimination in customary law succession to property and neutralizing the age old principle of male primogeniture is that of Bhe v.
The new rules ending archaic Primogeniture applies to any baby who is born in the line of succession, since the Bill was announced in Australia, at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in October 2011.
The baby will be third in line to the British throne following last year's historic agreement among Commonwealth realms to end the practise of male primogeniture.
Under the ancient rules of male primogeniture, first born royal daughters in direct line to the throne were leapfrogged by their younger male siblings.
After this he looks at the monarchy (hereditary with male primogeniture in principle), the daily routines, the pharaoh as military leader, the importance of royal cities such as Memphis, the death and burial of pharaohs and finally the 'last pharaohs', i.e.
A final distinction emerged between different conceptions of what art stewardship for the nation entailed--actual gifts and large monetary bequests on the part of some philanthropic trustees, or volunteer provision of time and advice by the many who chose to keep their own collections intact as part of the "chattel primogeniture" inheritance of their estates.