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The growth of landed estates in England from the mid‐16th cent. until the 1880s was partly a product of the system of ‘entailing’ property. Until the mid‐17th cent., the available forms of entail were restricted, but thereafter the courts agreed to permit an owner to tie up his estate to the second and third generation, through a process of ‘contingent remainders’. It was once held that as a result great estates were kept together, but modern research holds that the system of entailing property was introduced partly to protect the financial interests of younger children, that entailed estates could be partially or completely freed, and that the consolidation of estates was due to factors other than entail.

Subjects: British History.

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