from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Same as mortmain.
- n. In Fr. feudal law, a right which the lord had (on the death of the chief of a family which is mainmortable) of taking the best movable in the house.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
But how, in the meantime, is so much freedom compatible with so many species of servitude, as for instance, that of the mainmort?
Owing to the lack of workmen, the increase of imposts, and the prejudice against the mechanic arts, industry was being ruined; while the increased depopulation of the realm, the mainmort of ecclesiastical lands, the majorats of the nobility and the privileges of the Mesta, brought agriculture rapidly into decay.
Crown constituted a powerfully endowed Church, which, while it did splendid service in converting and civilizing the natives, engrossed much of the land in the form of mainmort, and filled the new world with thousands of idle, unproductive, and often licentious friars.