A youth. In feudal times it meant a feudatory, or one who held
lands under a “lord.” In law it means a bondservant or political slave,
as “England shall never be the vassal of a foreign prince.” Christian
says, in his Notes on Blackstone, that the corruption of the
meaning of vassal into slave “is an incontrovertible proof of the
horror of feudalism in England.” (Welsh, gwas, a boy or servant; gwasan, a page; like the French garcon, and Latin puer; Italian, vassallo, a servant.)
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
More on Vassal from Fact Monster:
- feudalism - feudalism feudalism , form of political and social organization typical of Western Europe from the ...
- vassal - vassal: vassal: see feudalism.
- Holland, Henry Richard Vassall Fox, 3d Baron - Holland, Henry Richard Vassall Fox, 3d Baron Holland, Henry Richard Vassall Fox, 3d Baron, ...
- Henry Richard Vassall Fox - Fox, Henry Richard Vassall: Fox, Henry Richard Vassall: see Holland, Henry Richard Vassall Fox, 3d ...
- scutage - scutage scutage , feudal payment, usually in cash, given in lieu of actual military service due ...