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because the lessor may determine his will, and put him out whenever he 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 (c)(13). Yet this must be un
(c) Co. Litt. 55.
(13) Mr. Christian, in his note upon Conv. 14), must, in fairness, be unthis passage of the text, intimates, that derstood, not literally, but as meaning all estates, which are said to be holden no more than what all the cases on at will, are now properly construed to the subject prove, namely, that our enure as tenancies from year to year: courts are disposed to and he cites as his authority the case of tates to be terms from year to year, raClayton v. Blakey, (8 T. R. 3). But, ther than to be estates at will, as bein that case, the tenant had held the ing, for general purposes, the most conpremises for several years; and we may venient construction, when the terms of collect from Thunder v. Belcher, (3 the contract do not exclude it. But, East, 451), that, by payment of an in the case of Richards v. Langridge, annual rent, which had been received (4 Taunt. 131), Chief Justice Mansby the landlord, an implied tenancy from field said, “ you must find some act of year to year had been raised, though Parliament, or some decision of the the tenant was originally let in under courts, that two persons cannot agree an invalid lease. So, in Doe v. Lees, to make a tenancy at will. Have you (2 W. Bla. 1173), Chief Justice De any case where the courts have deGrey said, all leases for uncertain terms clared that there must be a tenancy are, prima facie, leases at will; it is from year to year, the parties having the reservation of an annual rent that expressly agreed that the holding shall turns them into leases from year to be as long as both parties please? If year. And though there is an obiter there were a general letting at a yearly dictum ascribed to Lord Mansfield, in rent, though payable half yearly, or the report of Timmins v. Rowlison, (3 quarterly, and though nothing were Burr. 1609), where his Lordship is re- said about the duration of the term, it presented to have said that, “ leases is an implied letting from year to year. at will, in the strict legal notion of a But if two parties agree that the one lease at will, exist only nominally," shall let, and the other shall hold, so (the word in Burr. is notionally, but long as both parties please, that is a that is pretty certainly a mere mis- holding at will, and there is nothing to print), " and have been succeeded by hinder parties from making such an another species of contract which is agreement.” With this doctrine Heath less inconvenient ;” still, this inci- and Chambre, J. J. agreed; and de. dental observation (though it has call- nied the proposition, that at this day ed forth no temperate vituperation there is no such thing as a tenancy at from Mr. Watkins, in bis Elem, of will. The case of Timmins v. Rouli
derstood 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 (d). And this for the same reason, upon which all the cases of emblements turn (14); 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
What act does, or does not, amount to a determination of As to what de
terinines the the will on either side, has formerly been matter of great will. 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 (f), or notice must be given to the lessee) (g) the exertion of any act of ownership by the lessor, as entering upon the premises and cutting timber (1), taking a distress for rent and impounding it thereon (i), or making a feoffment, or lease for years of the land to commence immediately (k); any act of desertion by the lessee, as assigning his estate to another, or committing
(d) Co. Litt. 56.
(1) Co. Litt. 55.
son is alluded to in Johnstone v. Hud- though it be expressed in the grant to
waste, which is an act inconsistent with such a tenure (1); or, which is instar omnium, the death or outlawry of either lessor or lessee (m); puts an end to or determines the estate
at will. Where rent is The law is, however, careful, that no sudden determinareserved, it is generally con
tion of the will by one party shall tend to the manifest and strued to be a unforeseen prejudice of the other. This appears in the case tenancy from
of *emblements before mentioned; and, by a parity of reayear to year. [ *147 ] son, the lessee, after the determination of the lessor's will,
shall have reasonable ingress and egress to fetch away his
long ago as the reign of Henry VIII., (m) 5 Rep. 116. Co. Litt. 57, 62. when half a year's notice seems to have (n) Litt. s 69.
been required to determine it. (T. 13 (0) Salk. 414. I Sid. 339.
Hen. VIII. 15, 16). (p) This kind of lease was in use as
(15) See ante, note (2) to this chapter.
7 Mr. Christian observes," the learned be the end of the year, unless the conjudge, in the text, tells us, the notice trary is shewn. Ib. If the notice is inust be six months, and in the note not good for one year, it is not good for half a year'; but it is demy an, or half the next, it being supposed that the a year, in the 13 Hen. VIII. 15. The landlord has waived it. 2 Bro. 161. notice must be to quit at the end of the The defect of notice cannot be set up year. 1 T. R. 159.
The time speci- by a tenant who controverts the title of fied in the notice will be presumed to the landlord. Ib.
There is one species of estates at will that deserves a more of copyhold esparticular regard than any other; and that is, an estate held tates. by copy of court roll; or, as we usually call it, a copyhold
“ Where part of the premises was en- the time he was to quit, agreed upon tered upon at Candlemas, and part at by that parol lease. 5 T. R. 471. May-day, but the rent was payable at “ It is not necessary to give notice Lady-day, it was held that a notice to to produce the original notice to quit, quit half a year before Lady-day was but a copy of it is evidence. Mr. Jussufficient for the whole. 2 Bl. Rep. tice Wilson, at York, held it was ne1224.
cessary, but having consulted the rest “ Though the tenant does not object of the judges, they were of opinion it to the insufficiency of the notice at the was not necessary; and in the followtime, he is not precluded from taking ing year, in another cause at York, he advantage of it afterwards at the trial. decided agreeably to that opinion. 4 T. R. 361.
“ Mr. Justice Chambre, at Carlisle, “A delivery of the notice to the ten- 1802, after debate and consideration, ant's maid-servant at his house, though held the same respecting a notice not not upon the premises, the contents of to come upon the plaintiff's grounds to which were explained to her, was held kill game, and certified that it was a a sufficient service of the notice, as the wilful trespass. jury might presume that she gave it “So a copy of an attorney's bill, deafterwards to her master. 4 T. R. 464. livered to the defendant, may be read
“ A mistake in the notice, in writing in evidence without proof of notice to 1795 for 1796, as the latter date clear- produce the original; the nature of the ly appeared to be the intention of the action in these cases being equivalent parties, from the conversation which to such notice. 2 Bos. & Pul. 237. passed upon delivering the notice, was “ It does not seem necessary that a held not to invalidate it. 7 T. R. 64. notice to quit a tenancy from year to
“ It is now determined, that if a year, or not to come upon another's landlord gives notice to quit, and after- ground to pursue game, should be in wards receives rent for the time subse- writing; but perhaps it is most convequent to the end of the year, it is a nient to deliver a written notice by a waiver of the notice, it being a clear witness who preserves a copy of it. acknowledgment and affirmance of the “ The following notice to a tenant tenancy. 6 T. R. 219. And a distress from year to year to quit, was apfor such rent will not admit of any proved by Lord Kenyon :—To quit other explanation, and is also an un- at lady-day, or at the end of the year equivocal waiver of the notice. H. Bl. 'when your tenancy expires, and if Rep. 311.
• there is not six months between the “ Where a parol lease is void, with ' time of the delivery of this notice respect to the duration of the term, by . and the end of this present year, then the statute of frauds, yet the tenant you will quit at the end of the enholds from year to year, according to suing year.'"-CH. VOL. II.
estate (16). This, as was before observed (9), was in its original and foundation nothing better than a mere estate at will. But the kindness and indulgence of successive lords of manors having permitted these estates to be enjoyed by the tenants and their heirs, according to particular customs established in their respective districts; therefore, though they still are held at the will of the lord, and so are in general expressed in the court rolls to be, yet that will is qualified, restrained, and limited, to be exerted according to the custom of the manor. This custom being suffered to grow up by the lord, is looked upon as the evidence and interpreter of his will: his will is no longer arbitrary and precarious; but fixed and ascertained by the custom to be the same, and no other, that has time out of mind been exercised and declared by his ancestors. A copyhold tenant
is therefore now full as properly a tenant by the custom, as [ * 148 ] a tenant at will; the custom *having arisen from a series of
uniform wills. And therefore it is rightly observed by Calthorpe (r), that "copyholders and customary tenants dif“ fer not so much in nature as in name; for although some “ be called copyholders, some customary, some tenants by “ the virge, some base tenants, some bond tenants, and some “ by one name and some by another, yet do they all agree “in substance and kind of tenure: all the said lands are “holden in one general kind, that is, by custom and conti“ nuance of time; and the diversity of their names doth not
" alter the nature of their tenure.” of the nature of Almost every copyhold tenant being therefore thus tenant the interest of a at the will of the lord according to the custom of the manor; copyhold tenure at will. which customs differ as much as the humour and temper of
the respective antient lords, (from whence we may account for their great variety), such tenant, I say, may have, so far
(16) See ante, the 3d sect. of chapter 6, (pp. 90–98), with the notes thereto.