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period; and long terms, for three hundred years 5 or a thousand,5 were certainly in use in the time of Edward III, and probably of Edward I. But certainly, when by the statute 21 Hen. VIII. c. 15. the termor (that is, he who is entitled to the term of years) was protected against these fictitious recoveries, and his interest rendered secure and permanent, long terms began to be more frequent than before; and were afterwards extensively introduced, being found extremely convenient for family settlements and mortgages: continuing subject, however, to the same rules of succession,  and with the same inferiority to freeholds, as when they were little better than tenancies at the will of the landlord.
* Every estate which must expire at a period certain and prefixed, by whatever words created, is an estate for years.* And therefore this estate is frequently called a term, terminus, because it's duration or continuance is bounded, limited, and determined: for every such estate must have a certain beginning, and certain end.1 But id certum est, quod certum reddi potest: therefore if a man make a lease to another, for so many years as J. S. shall name, it is a good lease for years; for though it is at present uncertain, yet when J. S. hath named the years, it is then reduced to a certainty. If no day of commencement is named in the creation of this estate, it begins from the making, or delivery of the lease." A lease for so many years as J. S. shall live, is void from the beginning; for it is neither certain, nor h Madox Formulare Anglican. n.o 239. fol. 140. Demise for eighty years, 21. Ric. II. Ibid. n.o 245 fol. 146. for the like term, A. D. 1429. Ibid. n.o 248. fol. 148. for fifty years, 7 Edw. IV.
i 32 Ass. pl. 6. 5 Bro. abr. t. mordauncestor. 42. spoliation, 6.5 k Stat. of mortmain, 7 Edw. I.
5 Previously, "at least."
*-* Quoted, 22 Ind. 125; 39 Ind. 523; 5 Binn. 230.
can ever be reduced to a certainty, during the continuance of the lease. And the same doctrine holds, if a parson make a lease of his glebe for so many years as he shall continue parson of Dale; for this is still more uncertain. But a lease for twenty or more years, if J. S. shall so long live, or if he should so long continue parson, is good; P for there is a certain period fixed, beyond which it cannot last; though it may determine sooner, on the death of J. S. or his ceasing to be parson there.
We have before remarked, and endeavoured to assign the reason of, the inferiority in which the law places an estate for years, when compared with an estate for life, or an inheritance: observing, that an estate for life, even 2if 2 it be pur auter vie, is a freehold; but that *an estate for a thousand years is only a chattel, and reckoned part of the personal estate. Hence it follows, that a lease for years may be made to commence in futuro, though a lease for life cannot.† As, if I grant lands to Titius to hold from Michaelmas next for  twenty years, this is good; but to hold from Michaelmas next for the term of his natural life, is void. For no estate of freehold can commence in futuro; because it cannot be created at common law without livery of seisin, or corporal possession of the land: and corporal possession cannot be given of an estate now, which is not to commence now, but hereafter. And, because no livery of seisin is necessary to a lease for years, such lessee is not said to be seised, or to have true legal seisin of the lands. Nor indeed does the bare lease vest any estate in the lessee; but only gives him a right of entry on the tenement, which right is called his interest in the term, or
2 Probably a typographical error in first edition.
**Quoted, 95 U. S. 250; 4 Ohio, 171.
† Cited, 16 N. H. 268.
interesse termini:* but when he has actually so entered, and thereby accepted the grant, the estate is then and not before vested in him, and he is possessed, not properly of the land, but of the terin of years; † the possession or seisin of the land remaining still in him who hath the freehold. Thus the word, term, does not merely signify the time specified in the lease, but the estate also and interest that passes by that lease; and therefore the term may expire, during the continuance of the time; as by surrender, forfeiture, and the like.] For which reason, if I grant a lease to A for the term of three years, and after the expiration of the said term to B for six years, and A surrenders or forfeits his lease at the end of one year, B's interest shall immediately take effect but if the remainder had been to B from and after the expiration of the said three years, or from and after the expiration of the said time, in this case B's interest will not commence till the time is fully elapsed, whatever may become of A's term.t¶
Tenant for term of years hath incident to, and inseperable from his estate, unless by special agreement, the same estovers, which we formerly observed" that tenant for life was entitled to; that is to say, house-bote, fire-bote, plough-bote, and hay-bote;w terms which have been already explained.x
 With regard to emblements, or profits of land sowed by tenant for years, there is this difference
-* Quoted, 72 Mo. 542; 74 N. C. 71.
-† Quoted, 1 R. I. 428; 23 Conn. 314. Cited, 10 N. Y. 488.
+- Quoted, 8 N. Y. 52.
2- Quoted, 131 Mass. 162.
Cited as to lease commencing at a future day, and interesse ternini, 16 N. H. 268; 10 N. Y. 488: 18 Pa. St. 63; 9 Leigh, 448; 33 Am, Dec. 254; as to term and time, 1 Busb. 71; 13 Or. 385; as to freehold in futuro by bargain and sale, 50 Me. 152; generally, 92 N. C. 200.
between him, and tenant for life: that where the term of tenant for years depends upon a certainty, as if he holds from midsummer for ten years, and in the last year he sows a crop of corn, and it is not ripe and cut before midsummer, the end of his term, the landlord shail have it; for the tenant knew the expiration of his term, and therefore it was his own folly to sow what he never could reap the profits of. But where the lease for years depends upon an uncertainty; as, upon the death of the lessor, being himself only tenant for life, or being a husband seised in right of his wife; or if the term of years be determinable upon a life or lives; in all these cases, the estate for years not being certainly to expire at a time foreknown, but merely by the act of God, the tenant, or his executors, shall have the emblements in the same manner that a tenant for life or his executors shall be entitled thereto. Not so, if it determine by the act of the party himself; as if tenant for years does anything that amounts to a forfeiture in which case the emblements shall go to the lessor, and not to the lessee, who hath determined his estate by his own default.a
II. The second species of estates not freehold are cstates at will. An estate at will is where lands and tenements are let by one man to another, to have and to hold at the will of the lessor; † and the tenant by force of this lease obtains possession. Such tenant hath no certain indefeasible estate, nothing that can be assigned by him to any other; because the lessor may determine his will, and put him out whenever he y Litt. 68.
z Co. Litt. 56.
a Ibid. 55.
b Litt. ? 68.
8 Prior editions read "for that."
*Cited, 4 Blackf. 286; 30 Am. Dec. 660; 56 Ga. 582; 10 N. J. L. 130. † Cited, 57 Vt. 65; 1 Blackf. 426.
‡‡ Quoted, 57 Miss. 288. Cited, 34 N. H. 34; 66 Am. Dec. 753,
pleases. But every estate at will is at the will of both parties, landlord and tenant; so that either of them may determine his will, and quit his connexions with the other at his own pleasure. Yet this must be
understood with some restriction.  For, if the tenant at will sows his land, and the landlord before the corn is ripe, or before it is reaped, puts him out, yet the tenant shall have the emblements, and free ingress, egress, and regress, to cut and carry away the profits. And this for the same reason, upon which all the cases of emblements turn; viz., the point of uncertainty since the tenant could not possibly know when his landlord would determine his will, and therefore could make no provision against it; and having sown the land, which is for the good of the public, upon a reasonable presumption, the law will not suffer him to be a loser by it. But it is otherwise, and upon reason equally good, where the tenant himself determines the will; for in this case the landlord shall have the profits of the land.et
What act does, or does not, amount to a determination of the will on either side, has formerly been matter of great debate in our courts. But it is now, I think, settled, that (besides the express determination of the lessor's will, by declaring that the lessee shall hold no longer; which must either be made upon the land,' or notice must be given to the lessee) the exertion of any act of ownership by the lessor, as entering upon the premises and cutting timber, taking a distress for rent and impounding it thereon,1 or making a feoffment, or lease for years of the land to commence immediately;* any act of desertion by the lessee, as assigning his
c Co. Litt. 55.
d Co. Litt. 56.
e Ibid. 55.
g 1 Ventr. 248.
h Co. Litt. 55.
i Ibid. 57.
k 1 Roll. Abr. 860; 2 Lev. 88.
**Quoted, 2 Conn. 452; 47 Ind. 111.
* Cited, 13 Me. 215; 52 N. H. 296; 77 N. C. 258.