Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Droit d’Aubaine.

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E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Droit d’Aubaine.
In France the king was entitled, at the death of foreign residents (except Swiss and Scots), to all their movable estates; the law was only abolished in 1819. Aubain means “alien,” and droit d’aubaine the “right over an alien’s property.”   1
        “Had I died that night of an indigestion, the whole world could not have suspended the effects of the droits d’aubaine: my shirts and black pair of breeches, portmanteau and all, must have gone to the king of France.”—Sterne: Sentimental Journey (Introduction).

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