from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. In the Middle Ages, relating to or befitting of a nobleman.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old French *seignorial, from seignor ("master, lord") + -ial (adjectival suffix).


  • The rich, painterly textures and sober use of color in his "matter paintings" lent a moving solemnity - the critic John Russell referred to their "seignorial dignity" - to works that "seemed to have been not so much painted as excavated from an idiosyncratic compound of mud, sand, earth, dried blood and powdered minerals."

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  • Though this hut owed to the neighborhood of the town a few improvements which were wholly absent from such buildings that were five or six miles further off, it showed plainly enough the instability of domestic life and habits to which the wars and customs of feudality had reduced the serf; even to this day many of the peasants of those parts call a seignorial chateau, "The Dwelling."

    The Chouans

  • Defenders of seignorial rights tried to turn the tables on the Physiocrats by contending that these rights were "natural" properties acquired legitimately through contracts freely entered into by tenants.

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  • The Physiocrats, too, advocated the gradual scaling back of seignorial dues, as well as the elimination of state-imposed restrictions on the use and disposition of property, which they portrayed as impediments to expanding output.

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  • By the late eighteenth century, property in western Europe was gradually emerging from its seignorial cocoon, but this did not mean that it had lost all its political significance.

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  • Influenced by the liberal doctrines of the Enlightenment, German reformers tried to accelerate and regulate this process by limiting seignorial dues and services in hopes that liberation from the most oppressive aspects of seignorialism and a larger stake in the produce of a seigniory would encourage peasants to work harder.

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  • Although they did not deny the legality of seignorial property outright, the Physiocrats undercut its legitimacy by representing seignorial rights as the product of the lords 'historic violence and tyranny over the peasantry.

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  • In some areas of Germany seignorial authority was already declining with the growth of a large number of masterless, landless workers.

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  • In the larger seignorial domains, the old bailiff, himself a serf, was displaced by the free farmer.

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  • But especially, and in further exercise of their seignorial privileges, they made war on each other, and on the Free Cities of the Empire, attacking and plundering without mercy the caravans, or large trains of wagons, by which the internal commerce of

    Anne of Geierstein


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