WARDSHIPLegal Dictionary -> WARDSHIP
WARDSHIP, Eng. law. Wardship was the right of the lord over the person and
estate of the tenant, when the latter was under a certain age. When a tenant by knight's service died, and his heir was under age, the lord was entitled to the custody of the person and the lands of the heir, without any account, until the ward, if a male, should arrive at the age of twenty-one years, and, if a female, at eighteen. Wardship was also incident to a tenure in socage, but in this case, not the lord, but the nearest relation to whom the inheritance could not descend, was entitled to the custody of the person and estate of the heir till he attained the age of fourteen years; at which period the wardship ceased and the guardian was bound, to account. Wardship in copyhold estates partook of that in chivalry and that guardian like the latter, he was required lib. 7, c. 9; Grand Cout. c. 33; Reg. Maj. c. 42.