Heriot

In medieval England, a payment in goods according to custom (usually of the best beast) made to the lord of the manor upon the death of a tenant. This relic of feudal service ensured the proper transfer of land tenure from one tenant to the next occupant. See OED Online. For genealogists, this statement, in manor court cases, documents a death in the family. The individual who made the payment was often a son or close relative.

See also Lord of the Manor, Manor, and Villein.