Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Borough-English

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BOROUGH-ENGLISH, a custom prevailing in certain ancient boroughs, and in districts attached to them (where the lands are held in socage), and also in certain copyhold manors (chiefly in Surrey and Middlesex), by which in general lands descend to the youngest son, to the exclusion of all the other children, of the person dying seized and intestate. Descent to the youngest brother to the exclusion of all other collaterals, where there is no issue, is sometimes included in the general definition, but this is really a special custom to be proved from the Court-Rolls of the manor and from local reputation, — a custom which is sometimes extended to the youngest sister, uncle, aunt. Generally, however, Borough-English, apart from specialties, may be said to differ from gavel-kind in not including collaterals. It is often found in connection with the distinct custom that the widow shall take as dower the whole and not merely one-third of her husband's lands. (See Third Report of Real Property Commission, and case of Muggleton v. Barnett, 2 Hurls, and Nor. Rep.)