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Alodium Alod

law, property, land and tenure

ALOD, ALODIUM. It is a term used in opposition to feed urn or fief, which means property, the'use of which was bestowed up on another by the proprietor, on condition that the grantee should perform certain serv ices for the grantor, and upon the failure of which the property should revert to the orig inal possessor. See 1 Poll. & Maitl. 45.

A kind of tenure in England, not infre quently mentioned in Domesday Book. It is a French term and, in Continental law, is op posed to feudum. But no such opposition can be traced in the English common law after the Conquest. All ownership of land in Eng land resolved Itself into tenure, derived from a royal grant in consideration of service. There was no independent property in Eng lish feudal law like the dominium of Roman law, or like the alleu of Southern France. Vinogradoff, Engl. Soc. in Eleventh Cent. 236. Maitland (Domesday Book. and Beyond 154) takes the same view : "Such sparse evidence as we can obtain from Normandy strengthens our belief that the wide, the almost insup erable gulf that modern theorists have found or set between 'alodial ownership' and 'feud al tenure' was not perceptible in the 11th Century." These writers express the result of modern research on clod in early English institu tions. But a different meaning has been given it from Coke down to recent times and, in that sense, has become fixed, as a mode of expression, in our law. This will

appear from the following (from the last edition of this work): An estate held by absolute ownership, without recognizing any superior to whom any duty is due on account thereof. 1 Washb. R. P. (5th ed.) *16.

In the United States the title to land is essentially allodial, and every tenant in fee simple has an absolute and unqualified do minion over it; yet in technical language his estate is said to be in fee, a word which im plies a feudal relation, although such a re lation has ceased to exist in any form, while in several of the states the lands have been declared to be allodial ; Wallace v. Harm stad, 44 Pa. 492; Matthews v. Ward, 10 Gill & J. (Md.) 443; but see Corn. v. Alger, 7 Cush. (Mass.) 92; 2 Sharsw. Bla. Corn. 77, n. ; 1 Washb. R. P. (5th ed.) *41, *42; Sharsw. Lect. on Feudal Law (1870). In some states, the statutes have declared lands to be al lodial. See also Barker v. Dayton, 28 Wis. 367.

In England there is no allodial tenure, for all land is held mediately or immediately of the king ; but the words tenancy in fee-sim ple are there properly used to express the most absolute dominion which a man can have over his property ; 3 Kent Cora. *487 ; . -Cruise, Prelim. Dis. c. 1, 13; 2 Bla. Com. 105.