Definition of bona vacantia in English:

bona vacantia


  • [mass noun] (in the UK) goods without an apparent owner, such as treasure trove or the estate of a person dying intestate and without heirs, to which the Crown may have right.

    • ‘If that is correct, then those rights will, they accept, have vested in the Crown as bona vacantia, on the dissolution of the Estate Company in 1981.’
    • ‘On the 14th June 1992 the Lease vested in the Crown as bona vacantia under section 654 of the same Act.’
    • ‘The Crown's claim to bona vacantia was represented by the Treasury Solicitor on whose instructions Mr Leech of Counsel addressed me in relation to proposition.’
    • ‘I ask the Minister to give some consideration to what happens to goods that are bona vacantia - in other words, do not have a home.’
    • ‘Over this limit, of £4000, and the Crown will pursue the former members of the company for the recovery of assets which are bona vacantia.’


Latin, ownerless goods.


bona vacantia

/ˌbəʊnə vəˈkantɪə/