We’ve been watching some BBC costume dramas weekly, and the first born son usually inherits all the goodies. But according to Investopedia, there’s another system of inheritance – called ultimagenture – whereby the youngest son gains possession of his deceased father’s estate. Ultimogeniture was popular in many rural areas of medieval England, as well as parts of France, but it is rare today. Much more common is the tradition of primogeniture, or inheritance by the firstborn son.
Ultimogeniture, primogeniture and other forms of progressive inheritance have long since given way to wills and other forms of correspondence that explicitly state the desires of the decedent. In days of old, however, one’s inheritance rights were often tied to one’s position of birth (as well as one’s gender). Ultimogeniture is also known as postremogeniture, or junior right.