Meaning of Feuar


The scheme of land tenure in Scotland by which an area of land or feu is held by a feuar (sometimes known as a vassal) from a superior for a fixed annual payment of a sum of money (known as feuduty) following an initial payment. In strict feudal theory, the Sovereign is the universal landowner. All other landowners hold their feus from the Sovereign. In Scotland sub in feudation is possible (it has been unlawful in England since the 13th century). Accordingly it is possible for a vassal who actually lives on the feu to hold of a superior which superior is in fact another person's vassal. The feudal system creates a chain or pyramid with the Sovereign as ultimate owner at the top and the intermediate positions being taken by the Sovereign's vassals who are ipso facto superior to those further down the chain, or at the base of the pyramid.


The feuar has all the rights of an owner subject however to the burdens or conditions imposed by the superior. Originally the burdens might require the vassal to perform personal services, such as military service or other forms of feudal duty, or to provide food or other necessities to the superior. Most services have been converted to a payment of feuduty, although some important services are still performed as originally intended.


"Feuar":  someone who rents ground by payment of an annual fee - the feu.


Courtesy of Chris Cork