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VASSAL, feudal law. This was the name given to the holder of a fief, bound to perform feudal service; this word was then always correlative to that of lord, entitled to such service.
     2. The vassal himself might be lord of some other vassal.
     3. In aftertimes, this word was used to signify a species of slave who owed servitude, and was in a state of dependency on a superior lord. 2 Bl. Com. 53; Merl. Repert. h.t.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
As Mencius made clear, the key to political order in the world is a radical monism derived from the reification of Chou-era feudal vassalage and its hierarchical analogues in all Confucian social relationships: "When there is unity, there will be peace." (33) Any arrangement short of this ideal is necessarily provisional.
This general insecurity weakened the nobles' loyalty to the Carolingians and intensified the nobles' efforts to strengthen their regional networks of kinship and vassalage. Still, political conflict was not the only threat to a noble's position during the ninth century.
While papal power was generally qualified with a cautionary--or peremptory!--"quodammodo" by those on both sides of the issue, contemporary defenders of the Empire certainly did not allow any equation of "reverentia" with vassalage; yet no imperialist writer, no matter how radical, ever denied that such spiritual reverence was fully due to the pontiff.
The crucial effect on feudal tenure was that titles changed sides, personal loyalty and vassalage to either Stephen or to Matilda became meaningless after military reversals, and the rough military equality and luck of both sides made the final outcome completely unpredictable.
Following Galbert of Bruges, Le Goff describes and analyses the ritual whereby feudal land holdings were traditionally conveyed, the ritual of vassalage. He divides the ritual of vassalage into three phases: the homage, the faith, and the investiture of the fief.
David's seemingly insignificant sling and stone prevailed, even to the extent of eventually reducing the Philistines to vassalage (2 Samuel 8), because his enemy had been cut by its own sword (Henry 2:378).
Echoing Genovese, Walther argues that, for the fire-eaters, remaining in the Union meant, at best, second-class citizenship and economic vassalage, or, at worst, emancipation and war for racial survival.
Yet emotional analogies were not hard to find between the history of civilization on the one hand and the history within the CVS pharmacy on the other, when you caught sight of a once great shampoo like Alberto VO5 or Prell now in sorry vassalage on the bottom shelf of aisle 1B, overrun by later waves of Mongols, Muslims, and Chalukyas - Suave; Clairol Herbal Essence; Gee, Your Hair Smells Terrific; Silkience; Finesse; and bottle after bottle of the Akbaresque Flex.
One of the more pathetic sights in Westminster yesterday was Jacob Rees-Mogg, who had previously decried Mrs May's deal as a form of vassalage, desperately looking for a rickety ladder to climb down.
There is no plan, no vision beyond a self-aggrandising role as a defiant hero fighting against imaginary "vassalage".
JoJohnson, the younger brother of Boris, resigned from Prime Minister Theresa May's government on Friday, calling in a withering critique for another referendum to avoid the vassalage or chaos that he said her Brexit plans would unleash.
A longer transition period would mean the whole of the country would be locked into a prolonged period of what EU diplomats have previously described as a state of "vassalage", with the House of Commons being forced to accept Brussels regulations without having any say on them.