Online Encyclopedia

FREEBENCH

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V11, Page 70 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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FREEBENCH, in English law, the interest which a widow has in the copyhold lands of her husband, corresponding to dower in the case of freeholds. It depends upon the custom of the manor, but as a general rule the widow takes a third for her life of the lands of which her husband dies seised, but it may be an estate greater or less than a third. If the husband surrenders his copyhold and the surrenderee is admitted, nr if he contracts for a sale, it will defeat the widow's freebench. As freebench is regarded as a continuation of the husband'., estate, the widow does not (except by special custom) require to be admitted.
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