Is derived from the Anglo‐Saxon word for ‘war‐gear’ (in Scotland, hereyeld). This was a feudal obligation due to a lord on the death of a tenant. Originally the tenant's heir returned armour and weapons lent to him, but it developed into a claim by the lord to the best beast or chattel. It was, in effect, a kind of death duty, though its incidence varied widely. By the 14th cent. it was becoming common for the heriot to be commuted to a money payment.
Subjects: British History.