Origin Of The Term Real-Estate


wealthymattersThe oldest document using a term recognizable as ‘real estate’ in historical records is dated 1605.This use of ‘real’ reflects the ancient feudal customs in relation to land and the its ownership introduced into England over 500 years earlier, by William the Conqueror in 1066.The word ‘real’ is descended (like French ‘royal’ and Spanish ‘real’) from the Latin word for ‘king’. In the feudal system,which has left many traces in the common law,the king was the owner of all land, and everyone who occupied land paid him rent directly or indirectly (through lords who in turn paid the king), in cash, goods, or services (including military service). Property tax, paid to the state is a relic of this system.

Not all of England and Wales became ‘real estate’ in the ‘royal’ sense by reason only of the Norman Conquest. The Domesday Book provides evidence that some holdings of land in England and Wales remained in the hands of people, who were not the king. They were allodial land. Two main classes of that allodial land are distinguishable, by inference and synthesis, from, the Domesday Book; the passage and enforcement of the Act of Supremacy 1534 and Laws in Wales Acts 1535-1542 by Henry VIII of England; Welsh Law prior to 1535; and the history of Probate in England and Wales; namely, that of the Roman Catholic Church, and that of the parts of Wales where the custom known as ‘dadunnedd’ under Welsh Law applied. Read more of this post

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