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ure, or acknowledgment of superiority; being frequently the only evidence that the lands are holden at all. Where rent is reserved, it is also incident; though not inseparably so, to the reversion (s). The rent may be granted away, reserving the reversion; and the reversion may be granted away, reserving the rent; by special words: but by a general grant of the reversion, the rent will pass with it, as incident thereunto; though by the grant of the rent generally, the reversion will not pass. The incident passes by the grant of the principal, but not e converso: for the maxim of law is, “ accessorium non ducit, sed sequitur, suum prin
“cipale” (t). What consti- These incidental rights of the reversioner, and the retutes a reversion.
spective modes of descent, in which remainders very frequently differ from reversions, have occasioned the law to be careful in distinguishing the one from the other, however inaccurately the parties themselves may describe them. For if one, seised of a paternal estate in fee, makes a lease for life, with remainder to himself and his heirs, this is properly a mere reversion (u), to which rent and fealty shall be incident; and which shall only descend to the heirs of his father's blood, and not to his heirs general, as a remainder limited to him by a third person would have done (w): for it is the old estate, which was originally in him, and never yet was out of him. And so likewise, if a man grants a
a lease for life to A., reserving rent, with reversion to B. and his heirs, B. hath a remainder descendible to his heirs general, and not a reversion to which the rent is incident;
but the grantor shall be entitled to the rent, during the con[ *177 ) tinuance of A.'s estate (r). Protection of re- *In order to assist such persons as have any estate in reagainst the frau- mainder, reversion, or expectancy, after the death of others, dulent conceal- against fraudulent concealments of their deaths, it is enacted ment of the death of the ces
by the statute 6 Ann. c. 18, that all persons on whose lives tui que vie. (s) Co. Litt. 143.
(w) 3 Lev. 407. (t) Ibid. 151, 152.
(1) 1 And. 23. (") Cro. Eliz. 321.
any lands or tenements are holden, shall (upon application to the Court of Chancery and order made thereupon), once in every year, if required, be produced to the court, or its commissioners; or, upon neglect or refusal, they shall be taken to be actually dead, and the person entitled to such expectant estate may enter upon and hold the lands and tenements, till the party shall appear to be living.
Before we conclude the doctrine of remainders and re- of the doctrine versions, it may be proper to observe, that whenever a greater estate and a less coincide and meet in one and the same person, without any intermediate estate (y), the less is immediately annihilated; or, in the law phrase, is said to be merged (19), that is, sunk or drowned in the greater. Thus,
(y) 3 Lev. 437.
(19) Even if there be an intermedi- greater estate does not merge and ate contingent estate, it will be destroyed drown the intermediate contingent reby the union and coalition of the mainders; (Boothley v. Vernon, 9 Mod. greater estate and the less, (unless the 147. Plunkett v. Holmes, 1 Lev. 12. greater estate is subjoined to the less by Archer's case, 1 Rep. 66); in the sethe same conveyance), when such coa- cond class of cases, it does merge them. lition takes place by the conveyance or (Hartpole v. Kent, T. Jones, 77, S. C. act of the parties. (Purefoy v. Rogers, 1 Ventr. 307. Hooker v. Hooker, Rep. 2 Saund. 387). But the reports of temp. Hardw. 13. Doe v. Scudamore, adjudged cases apparently differ with 2 Bos. & Pull. 294; and see Fearne, respect to the destruction of an inter- p. 343, 6th ed., with Serjt. Williams's mediate contingent estate, in cases where note to 2 Saund. 382 a). the greater estate becomes united to A distinction (as already has been the less by descent: these differences, intimated), must be made between the however, may be reconciled, by dis- cases where a particular estate is limittinguishing between those cases where ed, with a contingent remainder over, the descent of the greater estate is im- and afterwards the inheritance is submediate from the person by whose will joined to the particular estate by the the less estate, as well as the intermes same conveyance; and those cases diate contingent estate, were limited; wherein the accession of the inheritand the cases where the less estate and
ance is by a conveyance, accident, or the contingent remainders were not circumstance, distinct from that concreated by the will of the ancestor from veyance which created the particular whom the greater estate immediately estate. In the latter cases, we have descends on the less estate. In the seen, the contingent remainder is genefirst set of cases, the descent of the rally destroyed; in the former it is
if there be tenant for years, and the reversion in fee-simple descends to or is purchased by him, the term of years is merged in the inheritance, and shall never exist any more. But they must come to one and the same person in one and the same right; else, if the freehold be in his own right, and he has a term in right of another (en auter droit) there is no merger. Therefore, if tenant for years dies, and makes him who hath the reversion in fee his executor, whereby the term of years vests also in him, the term shall not merge; for he hath the fee in his own right, and the term of years in the right of the testator, and subject to his debts and legacies. So, also, if he who hath the reversion in fee marries the tenant for years, there is no merger; for he hath the inheritance in his own right, the lease in the right of his wife (2). An estate-tail is an exception to this rule: for a man may have in his own right both an estate-tail and a reversion in fee; and the estate-tail, though a less estate, shall not
merge in the fee (a). For estates-tail are protected and [ *178 ] preserved from merger by the *operation and construction,
though not by the express words, of the statute de donis: which operation and construction have probably arisen upon
(2) Plow. 418. Cro. Jac. 275. Co. Litt. 338. (a) 2 Rep. 61. 8 Rep. 74.
otherwise. For, where by the same relieve against the merger of a term, conveyance a particular estate is first and make it answer the purposes for limited to a person, with a contingent which it was created. Thus, in Powell remainder over to another, and with v. Morgan, (2 Vern. 90), a portion was such a reversion or remainder to the directed to be raised out of a term for first person as would, in its own nature, years, for the testator's daughter. The drown the particular estate first given fee afterwards descended on her, and him; this last limitation shall be con- she, being under age, devised the porsidered as executed only sub modo; tion. The Court of Chancery relieved that is, upon such condition as to open against the merger of the term; and and separate itself from the first estate, decreed the portion to go according to when the condition happens; and by the will of the daughter. (See also,
means to destroy the contingent Thomas v. Kemish, 2 Freem. 208, S. C. estate. (Lewis Bowles' case, 11 Rep. 2 Vern. 352. Saunders v. Bournford, 80. Pearne, 346, 6th ed.).
this consideration; that, in the common cases of merger of estates for life or years by uniting with the inheritance, the particular tenant hath the sole interest in them, and hath full power at any time to defeat, destroy, or surrender them to him that hath the reversion; therefore, when such an estate unites with the reversion in fee, the law considers it in the light of a virtual surrender of the inferior estate (6). But, in an estate-tail, the case is otherwise: the tenant for a long time had no power at all over it, so as to bar or to destroy it, and now can only do it by certain special modes, by a fine, a recovery, and the like (c): it would therefore have been strangely improvident to have permitted the tenant in tail, by purchasing the reversion in fee, to merge
merge his particular estate, and defeat the inheritance of his issue; and hence it has become a maxim, that a tenancy in tail, which cannot be surrendered, cannot also be merged in the fee.
OF ESTATES IN SEVERALTY, JOINT-TENANCY,
COPARCENARY, AND COMMON.
Of the nature and properties
regard to the number and connexions of the tenants.
I. Of estates in severalty.
We come now to treat of estates, with respect to the number and connexions of their owners, the tenants who occupy and hold them. And, considered in this view, estates of any quantity or length of duration, and whether they be in actual possession or expectancy, may be held in four different ways: in severalty, in joint-tenancy, in coparcenary, and in common.
I. He that holds lands or tenements in severalty, or is sole tenant thereof, is he that holds them in his own right only, without any other person being joined or connected with him in point of interest, during his estate therein. This is the most common and usual way of holding an estate; and therefore we may make the same observations here, that we did upon estates in possession, as contradistinguished from those in expectancy, in the preceding chapter: that there is little or nothing peculiar to be remarked concerning it, since all estates are supposed to be of this sort, unless where they are expressly declared to be otherwise; and that in laying down general rules and doctrines, we usually apply them to such estates as are held in severalty. I shall therefore proceed to consider the other three species of estates, in which there are always a plurality of tenants.