What is Feudal Law?

Alternative Forms: Feodal law
Legal Definition
By this phrase is understood a political system which placed men and estates under hierarchical and multiplied distinctions of lords and vassals. The principal features of this system were the following.

2. The right to all lands was vested in the sovereign. These were, parcelled out among the great men of the nation by its chief, to be held of him, so that the king had the Dominum directum, and the grantee or vassal, had what was called Dominum utile. It was a maxim nulle terre sans seigneur. These tenants were bound to perform services to the king, generally of a military character. These great lords again granted parts of the lands. they thus acquired, to other inferior vassals, who held under them, and were bound to perform services to the lord.

3. The principles of the feudal law will be found in Littleton's Tenures Wright's Tenures; 2 Blackstone's Com. c. 5 Dalrymple's History of Feudal Property; Sullivan's Lectures; Book of Fiefs; Spellman, Treatise of Feuds and Tenures; Le Grand Coutumier; the Salic Laws; The Capitularies; Les Establissements de St. touis; Assizes de Jerusalem; Poth. Des Fiefs. Merl. Rep. Feodalite; Dalloz, Dict. Feodalit 6; Guizot, Essais sur I'Histoire de France, Essai 5eme.

4. In the United States the feudal law never was in its full vigor, though some of its principles are still retained. "Those principles are so interwoven with every part of our jurisprudence," says Ch. J. Tilghman, 3 S. & R. 447, " that to attempt to eradicate them would be to destroy the whole. They are massy stones worked into the foundation of our legal edifice. Most of the inconveniences attending them, have been removed, and the few that remain can be easily removed, by acts of the legislature." See 3 Kent, Com. 509, 4th ed.
-- Bouviers Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
The body of jurisprudence relating to feuds; the real-property law of the feudal system; the law anciently regulating the property relations of lord and vassal, and the creation, incidents, and transmission of feudal estates. The body of laws and usages constituting the "feudal law" was originally customary and unwritten, but a compilation was made in the twelfth century, called "Feodarum Consuetudines," which has formed the basis of later digests. The feudal law prevailed over Europe from the twelfth to the fourteenth century, and was introduced into England at the Norman Conquest, where it formed the entire basis of the law of real property until comparatively modem times. Survivals of the feudal law, to the present day, so affect and color that branch of jurisprudence as to require a certain knowledge of the feudal law in order to the perfect comprehension of modern tenures and rules of real-property law.
-- Black's Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
The law applying to the feudal system of tenure.
-- Ballentine's Law Dictionary