Sivut kuvina

1. By act of parliament;

death of all its


3. By surrender of its franchises;

4. By forfeiture of its charter.

during the life of the corporation; which may endure for ever: but, when that life is determined by the dissolution of the body politic, the grantor takes it back by reversion, as in the case of every other grant for life. The debts of a corporation, either to or from it, are totally extinguished by its dissolution; so that the members thereof cannot recover, or be charged with them, in their natural capacities (m) : agreeable to that maxim of the civil law (n), "si quid universitati debetur, singulis non debetur; nec, quod debet universitas, singuli debent."

*A corporation may be dissolved-1. By act of parliament, 2. By the natural which is boundless in its operation; 2. By the natural death of all its members, in case of an aggregate corporation; 3. By surrender of its franchises into the hands of the king, which is a kind of suicide; 4. By forfeiture of its charter, through neg[*485] ligence or abuse of its franchises; in which case the law judges that the body politic has broken the condition upon which it was incorporated, and thereupon the incorporation is void. And the regular course is, to bring an information in nature of a writ of quo warranto, to inquire by what warrant the members now exercise their corporate power, having forfeited it by such and such proceedings. The exertion of this act of law, for the purposes of the state, in the reigns of King Charles and King James the Second, particularly by seizing the charter of the city of London, gave great and just offence (25); though perhaps, in strictness of law, the proceedings in most of them were sufficiently regular: but the judgment against that of London was reversed by act of parliament (0) after the Revolution; and by the same statute it is enacted, that the franchises of the city of London shall never more be forfeited for any cause whatsoever. And because, by the common law, corporations were dissolved, in case the mayor or head officer was not duly elected on the day appointed in the charter, or established by prescription, it is now provided (p), that for the future no corporation shall be dissolved upon that account;

(m) 1 Lev. 237.

(n) Ff. 3. 4. 7.

(0) Stat. 2 W. & M. c. 8.
(p) Stat. 11 Geo. I. c. 4.

(25) See Vol. 3, p. 485.

and ample directions are given for appointing a new officer, in case there be no election, or a void one, made upon the prescriptive or charter day (26).

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