Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary

    An old writ of right to recover lands according to the form of a gift or grant in tail.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    An ancient writ in English law which was available for one who had a right to lands or tenements by virtue of a gift in tail. It was in the nature of a writ of right, and was the highest action that a tenant in tall could have; for he could not have an absolute writ of right, that being confined to such as claimed in fee-simple, and for that reason this writ of formedon was granted to him hy the statute de donis, (Westm. 2, 13 Edw. I. c. 1,) and was emphatically called "his" writ of right. The writ was distinguished into three species, viz.; Formedon in the descender, in the remainder, and in the reverter. It was abolished in England by St. 3 & 4 Wm. IV. c. 27. See 3 Bl. Comm. 191; Co. Litt. 316; Fitzh. Nat. Brev. 255.
    —Formedon in the descender. A writ of formedon which lay where a gift was made in tail, and the tenant in tail aliened the lands or was disseised of them and died, for the heir in tail to recover them, against the actual tenant of the freehold. 3 Bl. Comm. 192.
    — Formedon in the remainder. A writ of formedon which lay where a man gave lands to another for life or in tail, with remainder to a third person in tail or in fee, and he who had the particular estate died without issue inheritable, and a stranger intruded upon him in remninder, and kept him out of possession. In this case he in remainder, or his'heir, was entitled to this writ. 3 Bl. Comm. 192.
    —Formedon in the reverter. A writ of formedon which lay where there was a gift in tail, and afterwards, by the death of the donee or his heirs without issue of his body, the reversion fell in upon the donor, his heirs or assigns. In such case, the reversioner had this writ to recover the lands. 3 Bl. Comm. 192.