fælagh (OSw) fælagh (ODan) félag (ON) noun

The fælagh was a form of co-ownership or jointly held property. The provincial laws distinguished between two kinds of fælagh: 1) co-ownership, union of properties within the family; and 2) partnership in trade.

1) Co-ownership could be established by agreement between spouses (GuL ch. 53); if no such agreement was reached, the properties of husband and wife were kept separate. However, after twenty years’ marriage (in the FrL twelve months), co-ownership was established automatically if it did not exist already. In Swedish households, the properties of husband and wife were kept more strictly apart. According to the JyL fælagh implied co-ownership between husband and wife only. The SkL and ESjL included the whole (extended) family in the fælagh. This meant that children got their part when they married, i.e. before their parents died. This fælagh was abolished in Denmark in 1547 and replaced by the marriage fælagh. In Sweden, both types continued to exist during the Middle Ages.

2) Partnership was the usual form for cooperation in order to equip end finance commercial travels and to secure the profit. Each partner (ON félagi) had to take care of the interests of his other partner(s) if necessary (e.g. in cases of accident or death).

goods in partnership ODan JyL 2
household ODan JyL 2
ODan SkL 16, 18

household community OSw YVgL Äb
marital co-ownership ONorw GuL Kvb, Arb
partnership ODan ESjL 1−3
OIce Grg Arþ 120, 125 Ómb 128 Feþ 150, 153
OIce Kge 3, 7 Fml 22
OIce Js Kvg 2 Ert 19
ODan JyL 1−3
ODan SkL 5, 6, 20, 21, 230, 240
ODan VSjL 1−3, 6−13, 18, 70

trade partnership ONorw FrL Intr 20 Refs:

Bagge 2010, 220, fn.140, Dübeck 2003, 81; Helle 2001, 141–42; KLNM s.v.v. bergenshandel, félag, formuefællesskab; kompaniskap; Robberstad 1981, 351

  • ‘fælagh’. A Lexicon of Medieval Nordic Law.

  • http://www.dhi.ac.uk/lmnl/nordicheadword/displayPage/1598