Definitions for "Heriot"
Keywords:  beast, feudal, serf, lord, manor
Formerly, a payment or tribute of arms or military accouterments, or the best beast, or chattel, due to the lord on the death of a tenant; in modern use, a customary tribute of goods or chattels to the lord of the fee, paid on the decease of a tenant.
A payment which a feudal lord may claim from the possessions of a dead serf or other tenant, essentially a death tax. There are various forms of heriot. Generally if a tenant dies in battle the heriot is forgiven. (MEDIEV-L. Medieval Terms) A death-duty to the lord; in the case of a villein on a manor, usually the best beast. (Gies, Joseph and Francis. Life in a Medieval Castle, 230) Obligation of unfree families to give up the best ox or livestock or cash equivalent on the death of the tenant. (Waugh, Scott. England in the Reign of Edward III, 238) Related terms: Buteil / Mortmain / Meilleur Catel / Mainmorte
best beast, or value in money, owed to landlord after death of a tenant.