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And also, by this and a former act (b), all fraudulent conveyances to defeat the intent of these statutes are declared void; but that no purchasor bond fide, for a good or valuable consideration, shall be affected by the bankrupt laws, unless the commission be sued forth within five years after the act of bankruptcy committed (25).

(b) 1 Jac. I. c. 15.

(25) The statutes referred to in the text, with numerous others relating to bankrupts, were repealed by the act of 6 Geo. IV. c. 16, in which the whole of the bankrupt code, as at present established, is consolidated. By the 12th section of the statute just mentioned it is enacted, that commissioners appoint ed under the great seal shall have full power to take the order and direction of all such lands, teneinents, and hereditaments, both within this realm and abroad, as well copy or customary-hold as freehold, as a bankrupt had in his own right before he became bankrupt; and also all such interest in any such lands, tenements and hereditaments as such bankrupt might lawfully depart withal, and to make sale thereof, or otherwise order the same, for the satisfaction and payment of his creditors. And, by the 64th section, it is further enacted, that the commissioners shall, by deed indented and enrolled, convey to the assignees, for the benefit of the creditors, all lands, tenements, and hereditaments, (except copy or customaryhold), in any part of the dominions or colonies belonging to his Majesty, to which any bankrupt is entitled, and all interest to which any such bankrupt is entitled in any of such lands, tenements and hereditaments, and of which he might have disposed; and all such lands, tenements, and hereditaments as

he shall purchase, or which shall descend, be devised, revert, or come to such bankrupt before he shall have obtained his certificate; and every such deed shall be valid against the bankrupt and against all persons claiming under him: provided, that, where, according to the laws of any colony or plantation where such lands or tenements may be situated, such deed would require registration, enrolment, or recording, the same shall be so registered, enrolled, or recorded; and no such deed shall invalidate the title of any purchaser for valuable consideration prior to such registration, enrolment, or recording, without notice that the commission has issued. The 65th section enacts, that the commissioners shall make sale of any lands, tenements, or hereditaments, situate either in England or Ireland, whereof the bankrupt is seised of any estatetail in possession, reversion, or remainder, (whereof no reversion is in the Crown), and every such deed shall be good against the bankrupt and the issue of his body, and against all persons claiming under him after he became bankrupt, and against all persons whom the bankrupt by fine, common recovery, or any other means, might cut off or debar from any remainder, reversion, or other interest, in, or out of such lands, tenements, or hereditaments.

By virtue of these statutes a bankrupt may lose all his real estates; which may at once be transferred by his com

The 68th and 69th sections enact, that the commissioners shall have power to make sale of any copyhold or customary-hold lands, or of any interest to which a bankrupt is entitled therein, and thereby to entitle any persons on their behalf to surrender the same for the purpose of any purchas⚫ ers being admitted thereto; such purchasers, before they enter into or take any profit of such lands, compounding with the lords of the manors of which the same are holden for such fines and other services as have theretofore been usually paid for the same; and there upon the said lords shall grant unto such purchasers the said copyhold or customary-hold lands, for such estate or interest as shall have been sold to them as aforesaid, reserving the antient rents, customs, and services. The 70th section enacts, that any estates conveyed or pledged upon condition, or with power of redemption, by a man who afterwards becomes bankrupt, may be redeemed by his assignees, according to such condition, as fully as the bankrupt might have done. The 71st section enacts, that if any real estate of any bankrupt be extended after he shall have become bankrupt, upon a false pretence of his being an accountant of, or debtor to, the King; a sale of such estate by the commissioners shall be valid against such extent and all persons claiming under it. The 73rd section enacts, that if any bankrupt, being at the time insolvent, shall (except upon the marriage of any of his children, or for some valuable consideration) have conveyed, assigned, or transferred any hereditaments,

the commissioners shall have power to sell and dispose of the same, and such sale shall be valid against the bankrupt and all persons claiming under him. The 76th section enacts, that if any bankrupt shall have entered into any agreement for the purchase of any estate or interest in land, the vendor may compel the assignees to elect whether they will abide by and execute such agreement, or deliver up the same, and the possession of the premises. The 77th section enacts, that all pow ers vested in a bankrupt which he might legally execute for his own benefit (except the right of nomination to any vacant ecclesiastical benefice, see ante, p. 21, note (3) to chapter 3), may be executed by the assignees. The 78th section enacts, that the Lord Chancellor may order bankrupts to join in conveyances of their real estates, and if they shall not execute such conveyances within the time directed, they, and all persons claiming under them, shall be stopped from objecting to the validity of the conveyances; and all estate, right, and title, which the bankrupts had in such tenements, shall be as effectually barred by such order, as if the conveyances had been executed by the bankrupts. The 79th section enacts, that if any bankrupt shall, as trustee, either alone or jointly, be seised of, or entitled to, any real estate, or any interest secured upon or arising out of the same, the Lord Chancellor may order the assignees, and all persons whose act or consent thereto is necessary, to convey, assign, or transfer the said estate to such persons as the Lord Chancellor

missioners to their assignees, without his participation or


shall think fit, upon the same trusts as the said estate was subject to before the bankruptcy, or such of them as shall be then subsisting and capable of taking effect. The 81st section enacts, that all conveyances by, and all contracts by and with, any bankrupt, bonâ fide made and entered into more than two calendar months before the issuing of the commission against him, and all executions and attachments against the lands and tenements of such bankrupt, executed or levied more than two calendar months before the issuing of such commission, shall be valid, notwithstanding any prior act of bankruptcy by him committed; provided the person so dealing with such bank rupt had not, at the time of such conveyance, contract, dealing, or transaction, notice of any prior act of bankruptcy by the said bankrupt committed. The 83rd section enacts, that the issuing of a commission shall be deemed notice of a prior act of bankruptcy, (if an act of bankruptcy had been actually committed before the issuing of the commission), if the adjudication has been notified in the London Gazette,

and the persons affected by such notice may reasonably be presumed to have seen it. But, the 86th section enacts, that no purchase from any bankrupt bona fide and for valuable consideration, though the purchaser had notice at the time of such purchase of an act of bankruptcy by such bankrupt committed, shall be impeached by reason thereof, unless the commission shall have been sued out within twelve calendar months after such act of bankruptcy. And the 87th section enacts, that no title to any real estate sold under a commission or order in bankruptcy, shall be impeached by the bankrupt, or any person claiming under him, in respect of any defect in the suing out the commission, or in any of the proceedings under the same, unless the bankrupt shall have commenced proceedings to supersede the said commission, and duly prosecuted the same, within twelve calendar months from the issuing thereof.

These are the statutory provisions at present affecting the real estates of bankrupts.

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nation or conveyance.

THE most usual and universal method of acquiring a title to Of title by aliereal estates is that of alienation, conveyance, or purchase in its limited sense; under which may be comprised any method wherein estates are voluntarily resigned by one man, and accepted by another: whether that be effected by sale, gift, marriage, settlement, devise, or other transmission of property by the mutual consent of the parties.

the feodal law.

This means of taking estates by alienation is not of equal Alienation by antiquity in the law of England with that of taking them by descent. For we may remember that, by the feodal law (a), a pure and genuine feud could not be transferred from one feudatory to another without the consent of the lord; lest thereby a feeble or suspicious tenant might have been substituted and imposed upon him to perform the feodal services, instead of one on whose abilities and fidelity he could depend. Neither could the feudatory then subject the land to his debts; for, if he might, the feodal restraint of alienation would have been easily frustrated and evaded (b). And, as he could not aliene it in his life-time, so neither could he by will defeat the succession, by devising his feud to another family; nor even alter the course of it, by imposing particular limitations, or prescribing an unusual path of descent Nor, in short, could he aliene the

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Formerly, a man was only

estate, even with the consent of the lord, unless he had also
obtained the consent of his own next apparent or presump-
tive heir (c). And therefore it was very usual in antient feoff-
ments to express that *the alienation was made by consent
of the heirs of the feoffor; or sometimes for the heir appa-
rent himself to join with the feoffor in the grant (d). And,
on the other hand, as the feodal obligation was looked up-
on to be reciprocal, the lord could not aliene or transfer his
signiory without the consent of his vassal: for it was es-
teemed unreasonable to subject a feudatory to a new supe-
rior, with whom he might have a deadly enmity, without his
own approbation; or even to transfer his fealty, without
his being thoroughly apprised of it, that he might know
with certainty to whom his renders and services were due,
and be able to distinguish a lawful distress for rent from a
hostile seizing of his cattle by the lord of a neighbouring
clan (e).
This consent of the vassal was expressed by what
was called attorning (f), or professing to become the ten-
ant of the new lord; which doctrine of attornment was af-
terwards extended to all lessees for life or years. For if one
bought an estate with any lease for life or years standing out
thereon, and the lessee or tenant refused to attorn to the
purchasor, and to become his tenant, the grant or contract
was in most cases void, or at least incomplete (g): which
was also an additional clog upon alienations.

But by degrees this feodal severity is worn off; and experience hath shewn, that property best answers the purposes of civil life, especially in commercial countries, when lands which he its transfer and circulation are totally free and unrestrained.

allowed to dispose of those

himself had


The road was cleared in the

(c) Co. Litt. 94. Wright, 168.
(d) Madox, Formul. Angl. No. 316.

319. 427.

(e) Gilb. Ten. 75.

(f) The same doctrine and the same denomination prevailed in Bretagne possessiones in jurisdictionalibus non aliter apprehendi posse, quam per at

first place by a law of king

tournances et avirances, ut loqui solent; cum vasallus, ejurato prioris domini obsequio et fide, novo se sacramento novo item domino acquirenti obstringebat ; idque jussu auctoris. D'Argentre Antiq. Consuet. Brit. apud Dufresne, i. 819, 820.

(g) Litt. s. 551,

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