Definitions for "Mortmain"
Possession of lands or tenements in, or conveyance to, dead hands, or hands that cannot alienate.
Applied to the way in which undying institutions, especially those connected with the church, held real property, and thereby could not be liable for the exactions which would be due to a lord at the death of an individual. (Swanson. , 367) Literally "dead hand", applied to property held by ecclesiastical corporations. (Hogue, Arthur R. Origins of the Common Law, 257) Literally "dead hand", a term which was applied to land granted in perpetuity to the church; also the title of the English statute of 1279 which barred all such grants. (Heath, Peter. Church and Realm, 1272-1461, 267) Related terms: Buteil / Heriot / Meilleur Catel / Mainmorte / Mortuary
real property held inalienably (as by an ecclesiastical corporation)
the oppressive influence of past events of decisions