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9. Franchises are a royal privilege, or branch of the king's prerogative, subsisting in the hands of a subject

.. Page 37 10. Corodies are allotments for one's sustenance; which may be converted into pensions. (See Book I. Ch. VIII). 40

11. An annuity is a yearly sum of money, charged upon the person, and not upon the lands, of the grantor.

40 12. Rents are a certain profit issuing yearly out of lands and tenements; and are reducible to, i. Rent-service. II. Rent-charge. III. Rent-seck.



OF THE FEODAL SYSTEM. 1. The doctrine of tenures is derived from the feodal law; which was planted in Europe by its northern conquerors, at the dissolution of the Roman empire.

44-5 2. Pure and proper feuds were parcels of land, allotted by a chief to his followers; to be held on the condition of personally rendering due military service to their lord.

54 3. These were granted by investiture; were held under the bond of fealty; where inheritable only by descendants; and could not be transferred without the mutual consent of the lord and vassal.

53-57 4. Improper feuds were derived from the other; but differed from them in their original, their services and renders, their descent, and other circumstances.

58 5. The lands of England were converted into feuds, of the improper kind, soon after the Norman conquest: which gave rise to the grand maxim of tenure; viz. that all lands in the kingdom are holden, mediately or immediately, of the

, king.



OF THE ANTIENT ENGLISH TENURES. 1. The distinction of tenures consisted in the nature of their services: as, I. Chivalry, or knight-service; where the service was free, but uncertain. II. Free socage; where the service was free, and certain. III. Pure villenage; where the service was base, and uncertain. IV. Privileged villenage, or villein socage; where the service was base, but certain. 61-78

2. The most universal antient tenure was that in chivalry, or by knight-service; in which the tenant of every knight's fee was bound, if called upon, to attend his lord to the wars. granted by livery, and perfected by homage and fealty; which usually drew after them suit of court.

This was


3. The other fruits and consequences of the tenure by knightservice were, I. Aid. II. Relief. III. Primer seisin. IV. Wardship V. Marriage. VI. Fines upon alienation. VII. Escheat.

Page 63–72 4. Grand serjeanty differed from chivalry principally in its render, or service; and not in its fruits and consequences. 73

5. The personal service in chivalry was at length gradually changed into pecuniary assessments, which were called scutage or escuage.

74 6. These military tenures (except the services of grand serjeanty) were, at the restoration of king Charles, totally abolished, and reduced to free socage, by act of parliament.




1. Free socage is a tenure by any free, certain, and determinate service.

78 2. This tenure, the relic of Saxon liberty, includes petit serjeanty, tenure in burgage, and gavel-kind.

81 3. Free socage lands partake strongly of the feodal nature, as well as those in chivalry: being holden; subject to some service,--at the least, to fealty and suit of court; subject to relief, to wardship, and to escheat, but not to marriage; subject also formerly to aids, primer seisin, and fines for alienation. 86-89

4. Pure villenage was a precarious and slavish tenure, at the absolute will of the lord, upon uncertain services of the basest nature.

93 5. From hence, by tacit consent or encroachment, have arisen the modern copyholds, or tenure by copy of court roll; in which lands may be still held at the (nominal) will of the lord, (but regulated) according to the custom of the manor.

95 6. These are subject, like socage lands, to services, relief, and escheat; and also to heriots, wardship, and fines upon descent and alienation.

97 7. Privileged villenage, or villein socage, is an exalted species of copyhold tenure, upon base, but certain, services; subsisting only in the antient demesnes of the crown; whence the tenure is denominated the tenure in antient demesne.

99 8. These copyholds, of antient demesne, have divers immunities annexed to their tenure; but are still held by copy of court roll, according to the custom of the manor, though not at the will of the lord.

100 9. Frankalmoign is a tenure by spiritual services at large; whereby inany ecclesiastical and eleemosynary corporations now hold their lands and tenements: being of a nature distinct from tenure hy divine service in certain.



CHAPTER VII. OF FREEHOLD ESTATES OF INHERITANCE. 1. Estates in lands, tenements and hereditaments, are such interest as the tenant hath therein; to ascertain which, may considered, I. The quantity of interest. II. The time of enjoyment. III. The number and connexions of the tenants.

Page 103-179 2. Estates, with respect to their quantity of interest, or duration, are either freehold, or less than freehold.

104 3. A freehold estate, in lands, is such as is created by livery of seisin at common law; or, in tenements of an incorporeal nature, by what is equivalent thereto.

104 4. Freehold estates are either estates of inheritance, or not of inheritance, viz. for life only: and inheritances are, I. Absolute, or fee-simple. II. Limited fees.

104 5. Tenant in fee-simple is he that hath lands, tenements, or hereditaments, to hold to him and his heirs for ever. 104

6. Limited fees are, I. Qualified, or base, fees. II. Fees conditional at the common law.

109 7. Qualified, or base, fees are those which, having a qualification subjoined thereto, are liable to be defeated when that qualification is at an end.

109 8. Conditional fees, at the common law, were such as were granted to the donee, and the heirs of his body, in exclusion of collateral heirs.

110 9. These were held to be fees, granted on condition that the donee had issue of his body; which condition being once performed by the birth of issue, the donee might immediately aliene the land: but, the statute de donis being made to prevent such alienation, thereupon, from the division of the fee (by construction of this statute) into a particular estate and a reversion, the conditional fees began to be called fees-tail.

111, 112 10. All tenements real, or savouring of the realty, are subject to entails.

113 11. Estates-tail may be–I. general, or special; II. male

, or female; III. given in frank-marriage.

113_115 12. Incident to estates-tail are, I. Waste. II. Dower. III. Curtesy. IV. Bar-by fine, recovery, or lineal warranty with assets.

115 13. Estates-tail are now, by many statutes and resolutions of the courts, almost brought back to the state of conditional fees at the common law,


OF FREEHOLDS NOT OF INHERITANCE. 1. FREEHOLDS, not of inheritance, or for life only, are, I. Conventional, or created by the act of the parties. II. Legal, or created by operation of law.

Page 120 2. Conventional estates for life are created by an express grant for term of one's own life, or pur auter vie; or by a general grant, without expressing any term at all.

120 3. Incident to this, and all other estates for life, are estovers, and emblements: and to estates pur auter vie general occupancy was also incident; as special occupancy still is, if cestuy que vie survives the tenant.

122 4. Legal estates for life are, I. Tenancy in tail, after possibility of issue extinct. II. Tenancy by the curtesy of England. JIÍ. Tenancy in dower.

124--128 5. Tenancy in tail, after possibility of issue extinct, is where an estate is given in special tail, and, before issue had, a person dies from whose body the issue was to spring; whereupon the tenant (if surviving) becomes tenant in tail, after possibility of issue extinct.

124 6. This estate partakes both of the incidents to an estate-tail

, and those of an estate for life.

125 7. Tenancy by the curtesy of England is where a man's wife is seised of an estate of inheritance; and he by her has issue, born alive, which was capable of inheriting her estate: in which case, he shall, upon her death, hold the tenements for his own life, as tenant by the curtesy:

126 8. Tenancy in dower is where a woman's husband is seised of an estate of inheritance, of which her issue might by any possibility have been heir; and the husband dies: the woman is hereupon entitled to dower, or one third part of the lands and tenements, to hold for her natural life.

128 9. Dower is either by the common law; by special custom; ad ostium ecclesiæ; or, ex assensu patris.

132-3 10. Dower may be forfeited, or bárred; particularly by an estate in jointure.



OF ESTATES LESS THAN FREEHOLD. 1. Estates less than freehold are, I. Estates for years. II. Estates at will. III. Estates at sufferance.

140-150 2. An estate for years is where a man, seised of lands and tenements, letteth them to another for a certain period of time, which transfers the interest of the term; and the lessee enters

thereon, which gives him possession of the term, but not legal seisin of the land.

Page 140 3. Incident to this estate are estovers; and also emblements, if it determines before the full end of the term.

144-5 4. An estate at will is where lands are let by one man to another, to hold at the will of both parties; and the lessee enters thereon.

145 5. Copyholds are estates held at the will of the lord, (regulated) according to the custom of the manor.

147 6. 'An estate at sufferance is where one comes into possession of land by lawful title, but keeps it afterwards without any title at all.


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OF ESTATES UPON CONDITION. 1. ESTATES (whether freehold or otherwise) may also be held upon condition; in which case their existence depends on the happening, or not happening, of some uncertain event. 152

2. These estates are, I. On condition implied. II. On condition expressed. III. Estates in gage. IV. Estates by statute, merchant or staple. V. Estates by elegit.

152 3. Estates on condition implied, are where a grant of an estate has, from its essence and constitution, a condition inseparably annexed to it; though none be expressed in words.

1.52 4. Estates on condition expressed, are where an express qualification or provision is annexed to the grant of an estate. 154

5. On the performance of these conditions either expressed or implied (if precedent), the estate may be vested or enlarged: or, on the breach of them (if subsequent), an estate already vested may be defeated.

154-5 6. Estates in gage, in vadio, or in pledge, are estates granted as a security for money lent; being, I. In vivo vadio, or living gage; where the profits of land are granted till a debt be paid, upon which payment the grantor's estate will revive. II. In mortuo vadio, in dead, or mort gage; where an estate is granted, on condition to be void at a day certain, if the grantor then repays the money borrowed; on failure of which, the estate becomes absolutely dead to the grantor.

157 7. Estates by statute merchant, or statute staple, are also estates conveyed to creditors, in pursuance of certain statutes, till their profits shall discharge the debt.

160 8. Estates by elegit are where, in consequence of a judicial writ so called, lands are delivered by the sheriff to a plaintiff, till their profits shall satisfy a debt adjudged to be due by law. 161

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