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Okay so I'm not sure how to word this eloquently, I'm sorry, but please bear with me. Let's say that a lord, eg. a Duke had two sons. The older one got married, had a male heir, and then died while his father, the duke, was still alive and ruling the lands that were meant to be passed down to him.

Would they then still follow the rule of primogeniture and, after the duke's death, pass the lands down to the older son's son, as his father was meant to get them and pass them down to him, or would those lands have be given to the younger brother, as the Duke's oldest living heir? I'm interested in France, sometime in the High Middle Ages, but all answers are welcome.

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    Under primogeniture, the grandson of the deceased eldest son would've been the legal heir. But is primogeniture what you're really asking about? Or how succession worked? Because primogeniture wass not truly universal in 12th century France and often discarded for convenience, if the grandson was not of age. Further, there was a competing principle called proximty of blood, underwhich a younger son inherited. For example, Mahaut of Artois succeeded her father Robert II, prevailing over the claims of her deceased elder brother's son, Robert III. – Semaphore Nov 15 '20 at 23:04
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    Interesting question. My suspicion is that "law" and custom were also strongly influenced by which individual was most capable of defending the claim; that could be influenced by other factors including age, military capabilities, social connection to the liege and other allies, competing claims on the property, etc. My impression is that we overestimate the impact of "law" on premodern/feudal societies. – Mark C. Wallace Nov 16 '20 at 12:42
  • Thank you, both of your answers are really helpful. To be honest, I'm not sure which one I meant exactly (primogeniture or succession), it's more so what would happen in a "real life scenario" per se in the early to high middle ages. Thank you again <3 – Katerina Nov 27 '20 at 15:57

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