Legal Definition of 'Droit D'aubaine'


This was a rule by which all the property of a deceased foreigner, whether movable or immovable, was confiscated to the use of the state, to the exclusion of his heirs. The word aubain signifies hospes loci, peregrinus advena, a stranger. It is derived, according to some, from alibi from which the word albinus is said to be formed. Others derive the word directly from advena, by which word aubains or strangers are designated in the capitularies of Charlemagne.

As the darkness of the middle ages wore away, and the light of civilization appeared, things of barbarous and inhospitable usage was by degrees discontinued, and is now nearly abolished in the civilized world. It subsisted in France, however, in full force until 1791, and in a modified form, until 1819, when it was formally abolished by law.



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