One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(under the feudal system) give (someone) freehold property or land in exchange for their pledged service.‘he enfeoffed trustees with the lands’‘the enfeoffed knights and overlords’
- ‘Roger de Montbegans son, John, enfeoffed the second William de Beaumont in land at Whitley.’
- ‘The other group of knights were the ‘enfeoffed’ knights, who after a period of military service were granted land, and then continued to serve or paid rents or rendered other services to the King.’
- ‘Over the next two centuries, knights were enfeoffed with land, becoming more fully involved in landed society and royal administration in the localities.’
Late Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French enfeoffer, from Old French en- ‘in’ + fief ‘fief’. Compare with feoffment.
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