In days gone by, those with any substantial estate to leave behind commonly left it to the oldest son. This way, the estate remained intact rather that getting carved into oblivion by subsequent generations. Follow-on sons recieved little from the estate.
The Army and the priesthood were considered appropriate avenues for these younger sons. Those who chose not to pursue these outlets were given a remittance, an allowance, to insure that they could live comfortably without actually having to go to work.
I spent 20 years in the military and now that I have retired, they no longer have any use for my skills and experience. They send me a remittance each month so that I shan"t starve. At the age of 72 years and five days I suddenly found myself single
again. What the Hell? I shall use my remittance to see what the world has to offer.