What does BLACK-MAIL mean?

BLACK-MAIL meaning in Law Dictionary

1. In just one of its initial definitions, this term denoted a tribute paid by English dwellers across the Scottish edge to important chieftains of Scotland, as a disorder of acquiring resistance from raids of marauders and border thieves. 2. Moreover it designated rents payable in cattle, whole grain, work, and so on. These types of rents were called "black-mail," (rcditus nigri,) in difference from white rents, (blanche firmes,) of rents paid in silver. 3. The extortion of money by threats or overtures towards unlawful prosecution or the destruction of a guy's reputation or personal standing. In keeping parlance, the word is the same as, and synonymous with, "extortion,"