French: "the right of the lord". Mythical point of medieval law, wherein a newlywed couple would pay a tax or fee to their landlord, that they might immediately consummate the marriage, rather than letting the lord have "first night" (knight?) priveleges with the bride.

Mythical? Hmm...perhaps not:
"Art. 38. Item, in the village of Aas, there are 9 houses with their appurtenances belonging to the said lordship (of Louvie) and affieffed to the same. These houses, their inhabitants and their owners are and were serfs, of such servitude that they cannot and may not quit the said houses, but are bound and constrained to live and dwell there to do their service and pay their dues. ... The inhabitants of these houses are called and named, in an ancient term of the vulgar tongue, "the Bragaris of Louvie."
Art. 39. Item, when the inhabitants of these houses marry, before they know their wives they are bound to present them the first night to the lord of Louvie, to do with them according to his pleasure, or else to pay him a certain tribute.
Art. 40. Item, they are bound to pay him a certain sum of money for each child that is born to them; and, if the firstborn be a male, he is free provided that it can be proved that he was begotten in the work of the said lord of Louvie in the said first night of his pleasures aforesaid."
- from a customal from Berne, dated 1538.


"I have a right to take from my men and others, when they marry on my lands, 10 sols tournois and a joint of pork of the whole length from the chine to the ear, and the tail frankly comprised in the said joint, with a gallon of whatsoever drink is drunk at the wedding; and I may and ought, if it please me, go and lie with the bride, in case her hisband or some person on his account fail to pay to me or at my command one of the things above rehearsed."
- from a customal in Bourdet, Normandy, written in 1419.

In addition to the sources quoted above, Pope Ferdinand V was not very pleased with the situation in Catalonia and had letters sent to the offending lords, ordering them to cease and desist from further harassment of the inhabitants of their lands.

However, the term 'droit de seigneur' itself is a product of the late Renaissance, blown out of proportion to emphasize the difference between the uncivilized middle ages and the refined age of Renaissance. Originally, the custom usually was referred to as jus primae noctis.

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