Jointure is, in law, a provision for a wife after the death of her husband. As defined by Sir Edward Coke, it is "a competent livelihood of freehold for the wife, of lands or tenements, to take effect presently in possession or profit after the death of her husband for the life of the wife at least, if she herself be not the cause of determination or forfeiture of it': (Co. Litt. 36b).

A jointure is of two kinds, legal and equitable. A legal jointure was first authorized by the Statute of Uses. Before this statute a husband had no legal seisin in such lands as were vested in another to his "use", but merely an equitable estate. Consequently it was usual to make settlements on marriage, the most general form being the settlement by deed of an estate to the use of the husband and wife for their lives in joint tenancy (or "jointure") so that the whole would go to the survivor. Although, strictly speaking, a jointure is a joint estate limited to both husband and wife, in common acceptation the word extends also to a sole estate limited to the wife only.

The requisites of a legal jointure are:

  1. the jointure must take effect immediately after the husband's death;
  2. it must be for the wife's life or for a greater estate, or be determinable by her own act;
  3. it must be made before marriage; if after, it is voidable at the wife's election, on the death of the husband;
  4. it must be expressed to be in satisfaction of dower and not of part of it.

In equity, any provision made for a wife before marriage and accepted by her (not being an infant) in lieu of dower was a bar to such. If the provision was made after marriage, the wife was not barred by such provision, though expressly stated to be in lieu of dower; she was put to her election between jointure and dower.

After marriage, a wife could bar her right to dower by a fine being levied. This meant that in practice, jointures could also be created by a post-nuptial settlement, provided the wife was willing. Wives (or their relatives on their behalf) often paid her husband a lump sum (known as a portion) or otherwise handed over her property to him, in exchange for a jointure (usually being more than a third) being settled on her for life. This might (in practice) be in the form of a share of the whole property or the right to a particular part of it or an annuity from it.

Other articles related to "jointure":

List Of Acts Of The Parliament Of England, 1603–1641 - 1603-1610 - 1605 (3 Jas. 1) - Private Acts
1 Assurance of the Countess of Essex's jointure. 13 Assurance of Dame Elinor Cave's jointure. 14 John Hotham senior and John Hotham junior's estate enabling them to convey lands to provide a jointure for John Hotham junior's future wife ...
List Of Acts Of The Parliament Of England, 1660–1699 - 1690-1699 - 1691 (3 Will. & Mar.) - Private Acts
13 Enabling the Earl of Winchelsea to settle a jointure on any wife he marries during his minority ... in Thomas Shatterden and others and enabling them to make a jointure. 8 Settling a jointure on Jane Matthews ...
Lettice Knollys - Litigation and Old Age
... Some of the Countess of Leicester's jointure manors lay in the castle's vicinity, while at the same time they had been assigned to the younger Dudley's inheritance by the. 1590, lengthy legal proceedings ensued over whether particular parts of Lady Leicester's jointure belonged to the Kenilworth estate or not ... union with Leicester had been bigamous, but would also have nullified her jointure rights ...
Norwin High School
... of Irwin and North Irwin signed a Jointure, combining the three schools ... The west wing of the building burned in 1944, and severed the jointure between North Huntingdon, Irwin and North Irwin Schools ... In 1950, a new West Wing was built, and in 1958 the Jointure between Irwin, North Irwin, and North Huntingdon was reinstated ...
List Of Acts Of The Parliament Of England, 1660–1699 - 1690-1699 - 1692 (4 Will. & Mar.) - Private Acts
33 Alexander Popham's estate jointure for wife and provision for children upon receipt of £12,000 portion to be applied for payment of debts. 6 Anthony Danby's estate settling a jointure on his wife and making provision for his brothers and younger children and for payment of debts. 7 Enabling Sir John Wentworth (an infant) to make a jointure out of and settle his manors and lands in Yorkshire, York and Westmorland ...