Estates of the realm

Definition of Estates of the realm

The lords spiritual, the lords temporal, and the commons of Great Britain. 1 Bl. Comm. 153. Sometimes called the “three estates.” Inasmuch as the lords spiritual had no separate assembly or negative in their political capacity, some authorities reduce the estates in Great Britain to two, the lords and commons. Generally in feudal Europe there were three estates: the clergy, nobles, and commons. In England (until about the 14th century) the three estates of the realm were the clergy, barons, and knights. In legal practice the lords spiritual and lords temporal are usually collectively designated under the one name lords.

That's the definition of Estates of the realm in Black's Law Dictionary 6th Edition. Courtesy of