Besides escheat for defect of heirs, there was formerly also escheat propter delictum tenentis, or by the corruption of the blood of the tenant through attainder consequent on conviction and sentence for treason or felony.
Escheat is also an incident of copyhold tenure.
Trust estates were not subject to escheat until the Intestates' Estates Act 1884, but now by that act the law of escheat applies in the same manner as if the estate or interest were a legal estate in corporeal hereditaments.
The principal incidents of a seignory were an oath of fealty; a "quit" or "chief" rent; a "relief" of one year's quit rent, and the right of escheat.
Hitherto life-owners of land, holding as subtenants, had possessed large powers of alienating it, to the detriment of their superior lords, who would otherwise have recovered it, when their vassals died heirless, as an escheat.
The first state to escheat to the British government was Satara, which had been reconstituted by Lord Hastings on the downfall of the peshwa Baji Rao in 1818.
The king, also, ceased to hold as a private owner,' but he had full power of disposal by grant of the crown lands, which were increased from time to time by confiscation, escheat, forfeiture, &c. The history of the crown lands to the reign of William III.
For undying corporations paid the king neither reliefs (death duties) nor fees on wardship and marriage, and their property would never escheat to the crown for want of an heir.
"When the tenant of an estate in fee simple dies without having alienated his estate in his lifetime or by his will, and without leaving any heirs either lineal or collateral, the lands in which he held his estate escheat, as it is called, to the lord of whom he held them" (Williams on the Law of Real Property).