entailed estates


Senior Member
According to Z. Lensky, at least one-tenth of the land owned by the Polish nobility was confiscated in 1832. The bulk of these properties passed into Russian hands, chiefly through the distribution of entailed estates to Russian generals and high officials.
Micheal Florinsky "Russia. History and interpretation"
Could you please tell what the bolded means? Thanks.
  • They are estates that were supposed to go only to the designated heir - probably by law or custom - of the noble in question. Instead, they were confiscated and given away to the Russian officials and officers.
    Entailment is (was, really, since it is no longer part of English law except for titles) a concept in English law which restricts the sale or inheritance of property, making it legal only for it to pass entirely to an heir designated by the terms of the entailment. This was essentially always the oldest son or the closest male heir in the absence of a son. Whether this existed in Polish law or not is a question well beyond my knowledge, but I think the Lensky use of the phrase means "estates that were expected to be passed down in that manner ( to the oldest son) within the families of Polish nobility." Presumably this was after the failure of the Polish November Uprising against the Russian Empire.
    • Agree
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