CURTESY, or COURTESY, Scotch law. A life-rent given by law to the surviving hushand, of all his wife's heritage of which she died infeft, if there was a child of the marriage born alive. The child born of the marriage must be the mother's heir. If she had a child by a former marriage, who is to succeed to her estate, the hushand has no right to the curtesy while such child is alive; so that the curtesy is due to the hushand rather as father to the heir, than as hushand to an heiress, conformable to the Roman law, which gives to the father the usufruct of what the child succeeds to by the mother. Ersk. Pr. L. Scot. B. 2, t. 9, s. 30. Vide Estate by the curtesy.