FEALTY. Fidelity, allegiance.
2. Under the feudal system, every owner of lands held them of some superior lord, from whom or from whose ancestors, the tenant had received them. By this connexion the lord became bound to protect the tenant in the enjoyment of the land granted to him; and, on the other hand, the tenant was bound to be faithful to his lord,, and defend him against all his enemies. This obligation was called fidelitas, or fealty. 1 Bl. Com. 366; 2 Bl. Com. 86; Co. Litt. 67, b; 2 Bouv. Inst. n. 1566.